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Out of the frozen tundra of Edmonton, Alberta, one of Canada's most northern metropolitan areas, comes a band dripping in acid rock and raining down fire and brimstone. While the preachers of yesteryear preached words of condemnation however Everyother surrounds their music with words of love.  It is fitting that in a recent interview rhythm guitar player Brett Esslinger referred to the group's style of music as Revival Rock and Roll. Esslinger says, "Our band is sometimes a little too rock for worship and sometimes a little too worship for rock."
Even though three of the band's four members are barely into their twenties, they have been playing together for several years. Esslinger, Matt MacKinnon (drums) and bassist Jeremy Dehek started off as part of a worship team in Bethesda Church on Edmonton's north side and eventually formed Elevate, the forerunner of Everyother. Guitarist Jaron Schamuhn completes the quartet. 
Everyother's music is hot and they heat up juxtaposed elements of rock with pop and melt the two together into a lava of blistering riffs. Esslinger said, "I grew up listening to my parents play that old dragon slayer rock stuff. I was definitely into rock early. I like the old stuff like PETRA and Guardian. (I enjoy) mainstream bands like Collective Soul, Under Oath and Anberlin." MacKinnon claims influences as diverse as Kelly Clarkson, Natasha Bedingfield, Foo Fighters, Pillar and Delirious?. 
MacKinnon, the primary songwriter said, "You find the influences of some of those pop singers showing up in many of our songs." He cited the example of "Only Hope," which starts with a powerful rock beat and submits to a pop melody.  "It doesn't really matter what the genre of music, there is always that universal hook that pop has really grabbed onto. You always find traces of it in other types of music," he said.
Esslinger's authoring of "Only Hope" demonstrates his creativity at its peak as he sets two different soliloquies to music. "The first half of each verse is written from the perspective of someone living in North America. I wrote it when we were thinking about getting involved with Compassion (the ministry). The first half talks about me looking at the situation (in third world countries). The second half is about the kids in those countries looking at our situation and reaching out for help. The chorus is unified. It is me calling out to God and saying you are my only hope and the kids calling out to us saying you are our only hope."
Esslinger believes, "The music is appealing and whether or not you like the lyrical content the music will appeal to fans of rock music. It is really an evangelistic tool for others to bring their friends out (to our concerts). Youth and teens today are socially conscious and always want to do something. They are looking for a way to change the world or get behind something that will make a difference in the world so the music provides an outlet for that as well."
When the group held their CD release party last November at Vanguard College they drew a modest crowd of two hundred. When you look at that attendance more closely, however, and realize that the bulk of it was made up of youth, Everyother will take that figure and be very happy about it, thank you very much. For an emerging band whose focus is specifically geared to youth, the turn out is a feather in their cap.
Since most of the band members are still in university or college, it should not come as a surprise that thematically their songs follow the spiritual challenges that can beset individuals of that age group. ""Not A Day" talks about a time when the walls are crashing in around you, everything is going wrong and you don't understand (why). It's about a person who has just walked off. They have fallen away from their faith. It is about no matter who you are or where you go you still can't let go of that hope that you have in Jesus Christ. By the end of the song it turns around to more of a worship song," said Esslinger.
Everyother decided to record a cover of Paul Oakley's "Be Lifted Up." They haven't abandoned their fondness for worship tunes and "Be Lifted Up" is one of their favorites. MacKinnon said, "The struggle is always to find a creative way to do an old song and bring it back to life. We just tried to put our own touch and spin on it." 
Everyother is still a baby band, but their manager Hollie Taylor managed to negotiate a Canada-wide distribution agreement for them in February. Taylor is highly regarded in Canadian music circles for her work as a radio drive-home host for Shine FM and for possessing a keen eye for up and coming talent. Taylor's marketing savvy is complimented by Len Dehek, Jeremy's dad, who is also part of the Shine FM team. Mix in the studio skills of Ainslee Grosser (Grits, Tree63 and Fusebox) and Everyother has put together a strong team.
By Joe Montague, exclusive rights reserved

Joe Montague is an internationally published journalist / photographer. His ministry is dedicated to the memory of his late son Kent David Montague who went to heaven at the age of 18. All copyright and distribution rights remain the property of Joe Montague. 


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