In today’s society, parents think one must choose between pursuing success in a music career and receiving a college education. At some point, one must choose between the dream of being a rock star, filling venues, and playing to masses of people, or walking across a stage and being handed a degree in the major that you worked hard to achieve.
For a select few Malone students, the decision of which dream to pursue hasn’t been necessary.
Andrew in Vienna, an Indie-rock Christian band, has found recent success and continues to gain a fan base across the country.
The band is made up of Malone students Chaz Stead, a senior vocal music performance major and lead vocalist, Brandon Parsons, a senior biology major and bass guitarist, and Luc Bohler, a junior music productions major and drummer, along with Jacob Hazlett, who focuses his time solely on the band.
“We started out doing worship music and then slowly grew from there,” Stead said.
This summer, Andrew in Vienna played on the big stage at the ALIVE festival on June 21, held in Mineral City, Ohio.
Stead said, “A goal of ours was to perform at ALIVE, but first we knew we needed more material. We wrote and recorded original songs and got accepted to play there.”
“Break Down,” one of their original songs, opened doors and presented opportunities. The song began getting airplay on 95.5, The Fish, which lead to multiple radio interviews.
Not everything has come easily in the year that the band has been together.
”It’s hard to put a lot of time in,” Parsons said. “When I look at other bands that have practiced more than us and see we have progressed faster, I see we are truly blessed to be where we are at.”
One difficulty for the band is working with each member’s schedule to find practice time. A significant part of the scheduling trouble is that Luc Bohler, the drummer, also holds the title of father and husband.
Luckily for everyone, each band member is on the same page. They all have a passion for music and achieving the goals they set as a group.
“It’s something that we love to do,” Stead said. “We have had many things come up that could have made us think, ‘Maybe we should just step away from this,’ but we continue to pursue this dream.”
The band is currently working on their EP, which will have about five to seven songs. They have also been approached by Dave Douglas, former drummer of Relient K, to record with him.
Andrew Hill, a sophomore psychology major, is the lead guitar and backup vocalist for The Remnant, another Indie-rock Christian band.
“We all went to the same high school and played as the high school’s worship team,” Hill said.
After deciding to play for the school and outreach to local churches, The Remnant began receiving offers from other churches to play for them.
“We began to realize that we could write our own songs and play them at larger venues,” Hill said. “It was at that point when we realized that we could make something of it.”
That thought became reality this summer when the band also played on stage at the ALIVE Festival.
As for now, The Remnant is currently working on recording their music.
“We will be releasing a new CD sometime in the next month or two,” Hill said. “We are excited to release more music for our fans.”
Who knows? You could be sitting in class beside the next big Christian hit.
Matt Shoup is a contributing writer for The Aviso AVW.