Remedy Drive: How They Became Counter-Trafficking Agents

Remedy Drive has transformed their band into a support for the work of justice, from the music they make to the merch they sell to actual undercover work overseas with The Exodus Road. Hear straight from a coffee conversation with lead singer David Zach about the work they do, how it informs their music, and some of the misconceptions they’ve encountered along the way.

Learn more about Remedy Drive (and find their merch store full of products supporting rehabilitation at remedydrive.com. Get involved with The Exodus Road at theexodusroad.com.

Poetic Descent: Raw and Redemptive

Poetic Descent’s music is marked by their absolute refusal to shy away from heavier topics. With a musical style heavy enough to match, their series of singles released over the past year have been quick to make an impact. Formed by Jared Lacey and Adam Thompson following the dissolution of their former band Mayfly, Poetic Descent didn’t lose a moment of time in reforging themselves into a force for creating impactful hard rock music.

Poetic Descent singer Jared Lacey took the time to share with Rock On Purpose about the band’s origin and their approach to topics like abuse, addition and loss.

For those who are just now encountering you guys, can you give us the Poetic Descent origin story?

This is Jared Lacey, and I sing and play guitar for Poetic Descent. We are an Alternative/Metal band from the Dayton, Ohio area.

The band was pretty much created the moment my old band, Mayfly, ended in March of 2017. Mayfly had studio time booked to record our first full length album, and I didn’t want to cancel when the band ended because we had already cancelled once before. So I took six of the songs I had written for Mayfly and went ahead and recorded them myself. I convinced Adam Thompson, who had also been a part of Mayfly, to play drums on the songs. We released the first of those six songs a little over a year later, and we put a new single out every couple weeks after that.

The name, Poetic Descent, came about after I discovered that the biblical Hebrew meaning of my first name meant “to descend,” which refers specifically to the descent of the sons of God or fallen angels to earth in Genesis. The angel/human hybrid offspring of the sons of God were called Nephilim, which has been translated by some to mean giants. In the past few years, I have become intrigued with this rarely mentioned passage in scripture, and I figured that since my name was associated with it, why not name my band after it?

The latest single is “Paperthin Walls.” Can you share about the idea behind that song and what you hope listeners take away from it?

The lyrics for Paperthin Walls were written after hearing the man who lived in the apartment below me constantly yelling at his step-daughter. The walls in my apartment building are so thin that I could usually hear him pretty clearly. He would curse at her and just say really insulting things to her. I remember being yelled at by my parents some when I was a kid and even spanked several times by my parents, but this guy just seemed to take it beyond discipline. Everything he said seemed to come from a place of anger and not love.

I am not the type of person who enjoys confrontation. I wrote the words to this song in a notebook before I ever actually said anything to the man downstairs. I wish I had said to him in real life what I said to him in this song, but I was afraid of the confrontation, so I simply sent him a text message with a Bible verse about children being a blessing from God, and I let him know that I could hear him upstairs. He and his family moved out not long after that.

I really do hope he hears the song some day. I hope this song reaches the ears of parents who are abusing their kids either verbally or physically, because I believe their kids will continue to unintentionally seek out relationships with the same kind of abuse throughout the rest of their lives if they continue to receive it from the ones who are supposed to protect them from it.

 

 

 

Was there anything in your own personal lives that led to choosing to write about such weighty topics, on this song and others?

Yes. I wrote the song “Consuming” after several years of wrestling with an addiction to pornography, which is something I still fall prey to from time to time. The chorus talks about feeling unsatisfied, which is exactly how porn leaves me every time I have looked at it in the past. I use food as a metaphor in this song. Porn is kind of like junk food. It tastes really good and makes you just want to keep eating more and more until you are sick to your stomach, but it has no real nutritional value. It does not truly satisfy. Only Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life, can do that.

I am learning that when he died on the cross, my sin was crucified with him, and I was reborn as a new creation with him when he was resurrected. Sin should no longer have any power over my flesh, because it was put to death on that cross. As long as I keep my eyes fixed on it, I cannot fall prey to the temptation of things like pornography.

 

 

 

 

 

Another very personal song for me is “Fragile Frame.” I think I began writing the lyrics for it some time in 2010 after my mother died from a disease called ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) which broke down all the muscles in her body, including vital organs like the heart, lungs and brain. I was only 20 years old when this happened, and my siblings were even younger.

I think I accepted the fact that my mother was dying early on, and I asked God for the strength to bear the loss of her in my life. This disease pretty much turns a person into a child who can no longer do anything for themselves and is totally dependent on other people by the end. This gave my father, siblings and I the chance to serve her in many of the same ways she had served us over the years, which was a pretty awesome blessing.

I recall my mother’s faith in God being strong my whole life. In the bridge section I even included an audio clip of her voice that I ripped from an old family video where she is talking to me as a toddler on Easter Sunday. She asks me, “Jared, do you know why we celebrate Easter? You’ll find out in Sunday school today. It’s because Jesus was raised from the dead.” I know if God can raise Jesus from the dead, then he can certainly resurrect my mother, as well, and I will see her again in heaven where we will sing together some day.

 

 

 

 

How would you describe your personal brand of metal?

I drew influence from bands like Dead Poetic, Project 86, Norma Jean, Beartooth and Blindside for this project. I have always appreciated vocalists who can flip seamlessly between singing and screaming, so I try to do that in most of the songs I write. Staple and Chasing Victory are two bands that have really influenced my vocal style. I listen to a lot of modern metalcore bands, but don’t really like to add the chuggy breakdowns to my songs like they do. I really worked hard on writing choruses with memorable melodies for this batch of songs as well.

What’s coming up this year for Poetic Descent, and how can fans keep up with you?

We just recorded a new single called “Pariah” back in November with Jake Bryant, who used to play guitar in a band called Dangerkids. The song was originally written by our manager, Joel Holycross (Swamp Fawx Artist Collective), the founding guitarist in our old band Mayfly, who allowed us to make our own version of the song. We are hoping to have the song along with a music video released by the spring.

Other than that, we hope to do a few local shows and maybe a few festivals this summer. You can find out everything you need to know about the band by going to www.poeticdescent.com. There are links to our music, social media pages and a place where you can sign up for our mailing list there.

What do you see as your core mission as a band?

I just want to write songs that are honest. I don’t want our music to sound a certain way simply because it will make us more popular, and I don’t want to be afraid to share what God has placed on my heart, even if I know it will make a lot of people uncomfortable. I often struggle to express my thoughts verbally, so I think writing songs helps me to express those thoughts more clearly.

I have heard many Christian bands say that the only reason they exist is to make music for God. I don’t believe that’s 100% true. We make music because it’s fun. It makes us feel alive, but I do hope that God will use the songs I write to speak to someone as well. I hope our music gives us the opportunity to meet people in dark places, so we can remind them that light still exists.

Find “Paperthin Walls” on Spotify and Apple Music

Jen Ledger Joins Winter Jam 2019

On a noisy Nashville rooftop during the Winter Jam launch party, Jen Ledger shared about being a part of Winter Jam 2019, the success of her debut LEDGER EP, and what’s on the horizon for the “Skilletverse!”

Meet House of Rejects: Independent Rockers from Missouri

House of Rejects, a newly formed indie rock duo based out of Springfield, Missouri, debuts September 14 with a freshman EP called Fiction.

Rock On Purpose had the privilege to sit down and talk with the young band about the EP, the message their music carries, and more.

House of Rejects features former member of Billboard-impacting teen rock group Crossing Fire, Chance Woolsey, on guitar. After so much recent chart success for Crossing Fire, we asked Woolsey–who also writes the songs for the band–about what it’s like to move on.

“Crossing Fire broke up unexpectedly in November last year,” he said. “There’s no easy way to explain it other than that stuff like this just happens at times. All I knew was that everything I had worked hard for, from a tiny worship band more than three years ago, to becoming a Billboard charting rock band, was gone. This is actually how the song ‘Restart’ came about.”

Enter House of Rejects vocalist Ricky Rauch, whose vocals are reminiscent of Daughtry, a deep and powerfully booming voice with superb pitch and control.

“We met at a local church, Connect 417, when Crossing Fire did a show there,” Woolsey explained about how House of Rejects came to be. “Ricky heard me play that night and was a fan, but it was actually when I heard Ricky singing Michael Bublé’s ‘Feeling Good’ at a youth talent show several months later that things started to click. I had been writing new music, and his vocals were so smooth and just had that perfect sound for rock. We had been becoming friends, but I had no idea he could sing, especially like that!”

The vocal prowess of Ricky Rauch, combined with the technical skills of teen sensation guitarist Chance Woolsey, has House of Rejects set up for success with their first single “Fiction,” available for radio adds available September 18.

The duo is able to identify and wants to connect with the rock community, too.  They talk about their purpose on their website. “We all feel so insecure and alone, and our music reaches out to everyone who needs a place to fit in; we are outcasts, renegades living life on the run. We are those the world deems ‘not enough.’ We are the House of Rejects.”

“We are spreading a message of hope that there is someone out there who can give you a restart, and whose love is the only love that is not fiction,” they told us.

With their first project, House of Rejects is poised to earn the trust and appreciation of rock fans everywhere.  The lead track “Delusion” sets the tone with the feel of a late-90s, early 2000s grunge rocker that is sure to delight the eardrums. This track also features Chance Woolsey slaying an epic guitar solo that shows off his ability to run up and down the musical scales with ease.

“Restart,” which was inspired by the transition from his former band, is another rocker with a message about starting over despite hitting rock bottom.  Chance Woolsey reminisced about his emotional state when writing the high energy tune. “I remember in that moment of pain, I was crying out [to God], ‘why would you let this happen?’ I was desperate for God to just hit the restart with my music.”

So what is their favorite track on Fiction?

“The song ‘Fiction’ is at the top of the list,” they told Rock On Purpose. “It’s actually a song about putting away the old things that keep you bound up… musically, we love the guitar riffs, and the way it builds up to this all-out ending is just perfect.”

Perhaps the duo saved the best for last. “Break the Ice” has a driving tempo with a beat that will catch listeners banging their heads and tapping their toes.

This too-short freshman EP is sure to leave listeners wanting more from this up-and-coming group.

Learn more about House of Rejects by following them on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

Related Artists: Daughtry, Creed, Skillet

Find House of Rejects’ Fiction on Spotify

Songs for the Lost: Meet Living Scars

Living Scars has been steadily rising to widespread familiarity with determination and grit– both in their work ethic and in their massive hard rock sound. To mark the release of their dynamic new single “Wide Awake,” we spent some time getting to know Living Scars and the heart behind their music.

Let’s start with your new single, “Wide Awake.” What was the concept behind that song?

“Wide Awake” was written in a way that our listeners can relate to in their own lives. We battle an enemy that tries to break us down every day. As people, we need to find our way out of the shadows and allow our convictions to ultimately point to our Creator. Only then will we truly be Wide Awake.

This song precedes a full length album. When can we expect the album? What are some of the themes?

“Wide Awake” is just one of 13 tracks within the new album! We haven’t released the title or release date of the album YET, but… you can expect a very new side of Living Scars that you never saw in our first album.

This album focuses on how dark the world truly is, and it conveys just how deceitful the enemy can be, but it also points out, time and time again, that there is always a way out of the darkness.

Tell us a little bit about your journey as a band that got you to this point. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced? What have been some of the biggest victories you’ve had along the way?

The journey has been a LONG one, but to make it short and sweet, we really just started as four guys wanting to play music because it was cool. It wasn’t until we found our true desire in life that we found our goal and mission as a band to glorify God with our music by showing the lost that they’re here on Earth for a purpose, and that they are NEVER alone! Shortly after this realization, we found our bassist Adam, who added his epic screams and passion to our mix, which has changed Living Scars’ sound for the better!

As for challenges? Time has always been one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced as a band. After a great year in 2017, we decided that it was time to get in the studio and start producing this second album. Since that decision was made, life decided it was going to hit us in the face and make it increasingly difficult to find time to record. But once we all reached that spark of motivation and commitment, we began our recording process and haven’t stopped since so that we can release one of our best creations to those who both want and need to hear God’s love and the realities of life in our music.

What is your main goal in making music, the motivation that keeps you grinding out the hard road of rock and roll touring and recording?

Our ultimate goal is to be able to reach people for Christ through music for a living. We are also motivated by many things! One of the big ones is our Living Scars family. Fans, friends, wives, parents, brothers, sisters… They are all one big family unit that motivates us to keep going!

And another thing… Folks may or may not notice, but we huddle and pray on stage before each show. Part of that prayer is a hope to reach at least one person that day. If we reach someone for Christ, we’ve succeeded substantially!

How do you believe that music impacts this world in a positive way?

We are big believers in the truth that music can change lives, but it isn’t always necessarily in a positive way. The direction that the mainstream music industry is heading is actually quite frightening in the sense that people, adults and kids, are becoming more lenient to the ways of the world. Drugs, sex and impurities of all sorts are becoming a norm, as if that’s just the way the world is supposed to be.

We believe Christian music is an escape from that. It exposes worldliness for how dangerous it is, and points us to what truly matters. As long as you see the name Living Scars or any other up and coming Christian rock bands, you will know that you’re listening to folks that desire to unleash the light of positivity and love in a dark world that needs it so desperately.

Does Living Scars have any dreams for the future, any guiding goals?

Of course we have dreams for the future! One of our dreams or goals as a band is probably similar to most other artists in the music ministry industry, and that is to do what we love for a living! Serving our God through music and outreach while jumping around screaming and singing on stage? Who wouldn’t want that?!

Since day 1, we’ve always wanted to tour with bands like Red, Memphis May Fire, Fit For A King, etc… But lately, after getting to know the great people in Rockfest Records, we’d LOVE to be a part of one of their tours. Doing what we love with other like-minded bands has been a great dream of ours. So if any of y’all are reading this… hit us up!

What is the best way that fans can support what Living Scars is doing in this season?

The Living Scars family can support us in a number of ways! Firstly, you can pray for us! Pray that we stay strong and have patience in our journey forward as a band. You can also support us by buying our new single “Wide Awake,” telling us what you think about it, sharing it with everyone, and being patient with us as we finish up this album for you guys! That alone would be a huge blessing to all four of us.

We promise to give back to you with our new music, our smiling/awkward faces, and our commitment to playing every show like it is our last!

You can get “Wide Awake” on iTunes and Spotify now. Connect with Living Scars on Facebook and at livingscarsmusic.com.

Photo credit to Breanne Ciccone Photography

Get to Know Collington

Collington, the brainchild of James Collington, is seeing a revitalization with the release of the new project In Between. Collington brought his alt rock sensibilities to producer Eric Owyoung (known previously for work with Switchfoot, Hillsong and his band Future of Forestry). Together, they crafted a sound that the world first heard with single “Here We Go–” a song which quickly blew up.

Collington took some time to share with us about this season of creativity, the new album and the journey still to come.

Introduce the EP In Between to us. How did it come about? What did the recording experience look like?

In Between was written during one of the hardest years of my life. I had really bad writer’s block, and there were a few personal areas of life where I didn’t have closure. I was raised by some mentors and a mother who really instilled in me a sense of taking responsibility: if I didn’t like something, it was my job to do something about it. The record came from a place of feeling stuck. It’s hard to be in a place where your hardest efforts and smartest plans leave you spinning your wheels in the mud.

I had over 100 demos that were whittled down to the 5 songs on the EP. In Between was developed in 6 states, partially at favorite studios and at home. I mixed the record at home, which was really intimidating to do as a followup to the last full length we put out.

“Here We Go” has seen a lot of traction. What was the heart and inspiration behind that song?

I was taken aback by the response to the track! My phone was constantly on the charger from trying to keep up with the response. It was also our first feature on an official Spotify playlist.

There’s a lot of emotion behind the song for me. “Here We Go” ultimately was written out of a place of looking ahead to hope despite the current setting– the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. Lyrically, I feel like this song touches on the uncertainty of how things will change but the belief that they will change for the better.

“Trouble” was the first song that I knew I really wanted on the EP. When I wrote “Here We Go,” I really felt that it had to be on there too.

 

How has your musical style developed, and what artists inspired you along the way?

My musical style has developed slowly over the years. I started Collington doing things kind of troubadour style with just me and my acoustic, and I made a few records that aren’t available anymore.

From there I started to push in the direction of a band with the Collington sound. Working with the intensely talented Aaron Gillespie on our last record, I learned to build my sound and how to approach recording better.

On this record, I worked with another musical hero of mine Eric Owyoung. I am so grateful for his help on this EP. I listened to Eric’s band Future of Forestry. FOF’s record Twilight is one of my all time favorites. Something I’ve always been fascinated about with Eric’s career is how much of the heavy lifting he does when he’s making a record. He writes, records, produces and mixes his own records (and other people’s records) with unparalleled excellence. Which in the music industry is unheard of.

One of the reasons it was important for me to have a producer on this release is because there are decisions that get made when you’re recording that drastically change the song for the better. Eric really grasped where I wanted to take the record as an artist and mixer, and he helped bring the vision to life. I originally sat under him as a mix student, and when we were finishing up mixing, it was a no brainer to ask him for help on the new stuff. He really challenged me and pushed me forward with this release.

Some of the artists I was listening to when writing and mixing were The Killers, Bootstraps, Awolnation, Adele and Ben Howard.

What does the future look like you in terms of live shows? What’s on the calendar?

We’ve got some cool shows coming up! We’re doing our release show for our EP In Between with Darren King (MUTEMATH) and Sucre (Eisley). That’s going to be a lot of fun!

What is your goal in creating music, what you want to communicate to listeners?

That’s a hard question. If I made music for other people, I don’t know that I’d still be making music. For me, I’ve always compared songwriting to journal writing. Some pages I share with others, some pages I keep to myself. Many of the pages are me honestly processing life, and many others are prayers.

The music that’s meant the most for me has had certain sonic textures to it, certain vibes, and has been something I can keep on repeat. It’s also been music that lyrically speaks to me. If I can have any part of that, I’d be so honored.

What do you dream about for the future of Collington?

The hardest question of all! Oh man, I’ve been super blessed to do this whole music thing and consistently be taking steps forward. If I can keep doing that, I’m honestly happy at the end of the day. When I look too far ahead, I usually get heartsick.

You can hear In Between on Apple Music and Spotify. Get to know Collington better on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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