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
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
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
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
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.