Friday, October 2, 2009

Yours For Mine Interview by Great Unknowns Music Expose

(Click the title to download this episode)

From Harrisonburg, Virgina, comes a most unconventional Christian rock band called, Your For Mine. After performing together for nearly four years, Yours For Mine released their first full length album this year entitled, Dear Children. While this band represents the Christian faith, it is not what one would expect from the typical Christian rock band. In fact, Yours For Mine brings listeners a fusion of God meets industrial emo-punk rock.

Yours For Mine brings constructive creativity that makes their music extremely unique. This mastery of melodies and rhythms gives this band vitality which is showcased in tracks like, “Absence of Elegance” and “The Angry End”. Every track by Yours For Mine is slightly different from one track to the other including a few instrumental scores and the lyrical track are infused with the screams of Joey Testa, which are perfectly placed throughout the album. Yours For Mine does not fail to entertain.

I met with guitarist and vocalist, Chad Altenberger and we spoke of the past, present, and future of Yours For Mine:

Originally, you started out as “The Red Letter Days” what happened? Why the name change?
Well, we pretty much just consider that a completely different band now. Joey and I are the only two that were in The Red Letter Days. But at that point when we did change the name to Yours For Mine we had realized that there were a lot of other bands with the same name or a variation of it. Plus, we didn't really like it anymore. Ha-ha!

Where did you get the art work for your album cover?
Two of our good friends worked together on the artwork. Tyler Dowdy of Deep Sea Design (who was actually the original bass player in The Red Letter Days). And, Charlie Wagers of Three Bears Design. They're both Ashland University graduates with art degrees. They both have their own Design Companies and we happen to be good friends with them and they did an amazing job with artwork in my opinion.

You guys seem to have collectively come from other bands like “Addressing
Athens” aka “Strawzeus” and another band that you were in “One Bullet Short of a Massacre”. Do you feel this is the one that will last? Well yeah, Stephen Minnick and Jonathan Woods were both in a band called Addressing Athens way before we started this band. AA broke up and the two of them started another band with some other dudes called One Bullet Short Of a Massacre. They were a hardcore band. That didn't last long. Not long after that fell apart Jon and I decided to start a little acoustic project which then turned into The Red Letter Days with Joey and Tyler. Tyler moved to Ohio for college and Stephen started playing with us. About a year later our friend Benjamin Cooley joined the band. That was in 2006. At this point Jon is no longer in the band but we are all still really committed and I do think YFM will last. It's already lasted a pretty good while.

You recently had a big change in your line-up with the lead vocalist Jonathon Woods leaving the band. That’s a dramatic change to your band. Since he was the focal point of your band, are you going to be doing some auditioning to replace him? Do you have anyone in mind to replace him? Right, well Jon was definitely a big part of the band but I wouldn't say he was necessarily the focal point. Joey and Jon switched between drums and lead vocals a lot. On most of the new stuff we've been working on Joey has been singing lead. So when Jon decided to leave the band the logical thing to do was to find a drummer and have Joey just take over as the frontman. We were very fortunate with the timing of how everything worked out actually. A friend of ours, Dan Rolen, who plays drums in the worship band at the church I go to, was completely ready to step in. I talked to him about it and it just seemed to fit so well that we didn't waste any time getting him in the mix.

Who wrote the lyrics for your songs? Jon wrote all the lyrics aside from what Joey sings/screams, which was written by him.

In many of your songs, you preach praises to God. Does your faith still motivate your music? Our songs convey a message of love and faith because that's what drives all of our lives. We can't help but have it come out in our music. That, among all sorts of things, will always be motivation for writing songs.

Is the common message in your songs about overcoming the trails and difficulties in
everyday life? The common message in our songs now is heavily based on scripture which, in a nutshell, is a love story. We try in our own lives to simply love people. We just try to be honest in what we sing about and hopefully it can encourage people somehow.

I might be way off, but was the album title, “Dear Children” meant as a prelude to
your songs as a message from God and your songs are the message from God?
The title Dear Children comes from scripture in the bible. 1 John 2:12 "I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name." (NIV) It's really a cry to all of God's children, whether they believe the same thing we do or not. We believe that everyone's life is extremely valuable to God and if one of our silly songs can help someone come to a realization of that, then God can be glorified through that and we can really find joy in that.

In the song “Absence of Elegance”, it seemed like when the song was about to
end, then suddenly the music is transported in almost a jazz club scene. Although, artistically speaking, it was creative and fun, that piece felt like a psychotic lapse of reality. Who did the saxophone instrumentals? Yeah, a lot of people comment on that jazz section of the song. Honestly, I think it's the coolest part of the album. It's just really fun. And if something is fun and we all enjoy it, then we're going to play it, you know? We don't see any "guidelines" stick to when we're writing songs. We just write and play what we like and what sounds good to us. Benjamin's brother Nathan actually played all the saxophone parts in the album. He also played in the song "The Instrumental".

Who are your biggest influences for getting into music? Well I have always loved music for as long as I can remember. My grandfather was a big influence, he used to teach me how to play on a little Casio keyboard I had when I was like 7 years old.

Who are your top 5 bands? That's a tough one. It changes. At the moment I'd probably say (in no particular order): Muse, MuteMath, Thrice, Radiohead, As Cities Burn

You and Benji mentioned a tour coming up in November, where about will you be performing at? We're not sure of the venues yet, but we know the cities. We'll be playing in: Raleigh, Charlotte and Mill Spring NC, Nashville TN, Lexington KY, Cincinnati OH, Detroit MI, Pittsburgh PA, Bluefield WV, and Richmond VA

Are you satisfied with your current status as an indie rock band or would you like more
recognition in the music industry? Well I think we'll always be satisfied as long as we're doing it for the right reasons. And I believe that we are. But yeah, we do work hard and if we can play music and travel more then that would be awesome.

Last question, are you working on any new material for a new album? Yes. We have a lot of new songs. Hopefully you can hear some soon.

If you'd like to listen to a 4-track preview of Yours For Mine's new LP, go to The Great Unknowns Presents.

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