Rockin' With Kutless


Charles White

There was a time when the phrase Christian music, conjured up images of acoustic guitars and tambourines. However, today’s Christian music couldn’t be farther from the truth. Although certain Christian musicians still gravitate toward an acoustic, folk sound, the Christian music genre is actually comprised of everything from Country to Rap to Pop music. With a sound reminiscent of bands such as Incubus, Puddle of Mudd, and Switchfoot, Kutless is comprised of a dynamic group of musicians firmly grounded in presenting a strong rock sound within a Christian framework.

Formed three and a half years ago while in college, the members of Kutless got their start as a worship band for an alternative worship service at their college in Portland, Oregon.  During practice one night, Kyle Mitchell, Jon Micah Sumrall, Ryan Shrout and Stu, the group’s bass player, realized they all had a similar calling to share their music with people throughout the country.

During practice one night Stu mentioned that it had been on his heart to be in a rock band and do original music,” members of Kutless explained in a recent interview with Person2Person Christian E-zine.  “We all looked at him and said, ‘no way, that has totally been on my heart too.’  Over the next several months, our calling became more evident and specific and we knew that God had great plans for our life and our music.”

Shortly after the group reached this conclusion, they added a fifth member, James Mead, who had been performing with a mainstream group in the area. Eventually, the members of Kutless decided to put college on hold and dedicate their lives completely to their music and their ministry. The result has been success for the group in the form a Dove Award nomination for their self-titled debut album as well as securing the number one slot on Radio and Records’ Christian Rock chart.

“It's been humbling to see how much of the Christian music industry has adopted us,” group members stated.  “We've been so blessed.  We have been very grateful for the success we have had so far, but there is always somewhere for us to go and goals to shoot for. We have many lofty goals that we would like to achieve someday. These goals drive us to continue working hard and become better at what we do. Success for us pertains just as much to our ministry as it does our band's success.”

For the members of Kutless, their music continues to be both entertainment and ministry.

We want people to know that God loves them and that He desires to have a relationship with them,” band members offered.  “We also want people to be able to rock out and have a great time with our music. If God opens the doors for us to enter the mainstream market, then great.  I think there is a huge ministry opportunity there.  We want, however, to continue being who we are and what we are. We do not intend to ever change our message or compromise our lifestyles for the sake of being accepted.”

“God has been showing us many things lately,” the members of Kutless explained.  “I would have to say that one of the things He has been showing us the most is that He is in total control of our band. If the Lord has something for us, we know it will come to pass. We have seen many doors open and many so-call random occurrences come together, and we know it has been one hundred percent God.”

What has their journey taught them so far? “Stand strong.  Staying in the Word and surrounding yourself with Christian brothers and sisters will aid you in this.  Remember that God is with you and ready to help you in everything that you go through.”

The members of Kutless are an amazing group of dedicated musicians who have seen beyond the fame and fortune that drive many of the musicians playing similar secular music. True to their name, the members of Kutless strive to share through their music and their lives the life-changing fact that Christ died on the cross for us and bore all of the cuts and bruises that we deserved-leaving us “Kutless”.  It is a certainty that these talented young men will continue making a joyful noise to the Lord for many years to come.