downhere...Keeping It Real
newest musical sensation to hit the American airwaves is a band simply named downhere.
Named for their efforts to be much more down to earth than traditional rock
stars, downhere’s sophomore release, So Much For Substitutes,
delivers a powerful rock sound that is on par with groups such as Three Doors
Down, U2 and Pearl Jam. Like
their name implies, there is much more to these talented performers than being
The Canadian foursome
began their journey at Briercrest Bible College in Caronport, Saskatchewan.
While in college, roommates Mark Martel and Jason Germain decided to form a
band. They later added fellow Canadians Jeremy Thiessen and Glenn Lavender to
round out the group. Since
forming downhere, the band has garnered critical acclaim and multiple
accolades such as a Dove award nomination for New Artist of the Year, a Vibe
award nomination for Group of the Year and a coveted Juno award for Best
However, success is
not what drives this talented group of musicians. Instead, they are driven by
their desire to make music and touch the lives of their fans. This is
represented in the name of their group.
As Jason Germain puts
it, “We wanted a name that would represent our sound. We’ve been to a lot
of shows where their seems to be a divorce between the audience and the stage.
We wanted to be real with the people and be vulnerable. We’re just down
here. Christ came down here and was with people. That’s was we want to be
about. We take ourselves loosely, but our message seriously.”
Their music reflects
the group’s commitment to the message and the medium. Their sophomore album, So Much For Substitutes, reflects a
wisdom and talent far beyond their years. In their newest album, they tackle
some of the toughest issues facing people today: loneliness, despair, pain and
faith. Yet, they do this without sacrificing lyrical and musical quality.
When asked to describe
their distinctive sound, Jason stated, “It has an element everyone can
understand. Just as Jesus spoke
in parables, we want to have two layers to what we do: both the real,
tangible, accessible element and the deeper, spiritual sense. We’ve got to
be honest with ourselves and if our hearts are with Christ and the Church, the
Truth is going to shine and rise to the top. Truth is beautiful and that is
what we sing about.”
asked to define the meaning of success, Jason quickly said that success cannot
be defined by the band’s accolades. “Everyone’s career goes down the
tubes. Everyone lands butter side down on this earth. We’re working really
hard to do the best that we can with the time, space and gifts that we’ve
been given. However, ultimately those aren’t the things that matter.”
Instead, success is
about living in Christ and being real. “God takes these little bits of your
journey and puts them together into something that is really interesting and
really cool. Loose your identity for Christ. Being real is a result of having
an identity in Christ.”
What downhere has
produced in their sophomore album is a lyrical and musical masterpiece that
will not be contained within the bounds of the Christian music genre, but will
instead break forth and inspire listeners within mainstream rock as well.
However, what separates downhere from every other pop/rock group is there
commitment to keeping it real and remaining down to earth, all of which they
are only able to do through their strong faith in Jesus Christ.
a review of downhere's new album, click