Music: Audio Adrenaline
By: David Lyda (From: Upcoming Issue Volume 2 - Issue 4)
(Pics provided by Audio Adrenaline)
Audio Adrenaline has had a successful couple of years. Since 2012, the band has worked hard touring and recording with their revamped lineup, featuring former DC Talk singer Kevin Max. They scored a hit in 2013 with their Kings and Queens album, and the band is now ready for the next chapter. After a decision to move forward with a lyrical direction that is described as “vertical”, Kevin Max amicably parted with the group. Some may think that’s the end of the story, but it actually isn’t defeat. In 2014, Audio Adrenaline is moving forward with former Abandon singer Josh Engler. Lineup changes can always be scary for fans, but Josh and drummer Jared Byers reassures us that the band has not forgotten what it means to carry the Audio Adrenaline torch.
(Greenville In One Accord): Josh, everybody knows why Kevin left the band, but what’s your story? How did you get connected with the guys?
Josh: Oh, man! You know, I’ve been an Audio Adrenaline fan for a long time, and I’m pretty sure the band has been going ever since I was born (laughs). But, it was a call from the management company. My former band, Abandon, that I left a couple years ago is managed by the same company. So, I’ve been in contact with the management company; which we had a relationship there. We went on tour with the Newsboys’ God’s Not Dead Tour, and they saw Abandon perform live. They saw me as a front man. Doing that on stage and leading my former band. So, they gave me a call back in February and asked me if I would pray and consider this opportunity. It was after some time in prayer, that my wife and I felt good to give a “yes.” I got the opportunity to see it as a platform that God could use to inspire; something that’s on my heart is to inspire the next generation of young people coming up. Just as I was as I grew up listening to Christian rock and roll. Delirious and bands like, Sonicflood, DC Talk, Audio Adrenaline, Newsboys, and all that inspired me when I was a young teen; really forming my ideas about the world, and music, and praise & worship too, and all of that. So, that was my introduction to the process was a phone call from management saying, “Would you consider this?” So, I said “Yeah, we’ll pray about it.” We took a few weeks and felt peace in our hearts about it, about the middle of April. The band actually had come up; Audio Adrenaline played at a church here in Evansville where I’m at, or where my home base is at in Indiana. So, I saw them there that night and just kind of came in incognito, under the radar (laughs). I wore my sunglasses at night (Jared laughs). Just kind of watched the show and we were kind of feeling it out; just considering if it would be a good fit for me. I felt like we could do this, and do a good job.
Jared: Basically, Josh… We asked for who would pay the most money to be the front man of Audio Adrenaline (Josh laughs). Josh comes from a wealthy family. Don’t you, Josh?
Josh: (Sarcastically) Oh, yeah.
Jared: He was able to put up the most amount.
GIOA: I see (laughs).
Jared: So, we’re getting paid good money right now for him to be the vocalist of Audio Adrenaline. Just kidding, just kidding…
GIOA: Well, Jared, you’ve been with the guys for awhile now. You played a little bit on the farewell tour with Mark Stuart (original Audio A vocalist); didn’t you?
Jared: I did. Yeah, man. I’ve been able to see all transitions, which has been crazy. It was weird playing a farewell tour. I was new to playing with them, but I knew it was only going to last for several months, but it was awesome, man. I was a fan like Josh said. I was a fan before and knew the guys from traveling with different bands in the past. Just became good friends with those guys, and I got to experience the legacy that they started outside of the band and then inside the band with Mark. It was amazing, and it was great. All three of these transitions have been incredible and three humongous chapters in my life, and I’m glad it stayed that way. It stayed encouraging throughout this one, and it’s pretty supernatural, really how natural it persisted. With changing singers, a lot of people are like “that’s a huge step”, and it is. It’s a really big step, but with Audio Adrenaline we have such a great legacy. Mark is still working with Hands and Feet, and that’s the main reason we came back together as a band with Kevin Max. We were able to accomplish so much with Kevin. It’s been nothing but amazing and encouraging things that have happened. Thousands and thousands of people heard about Hands and Feet within the last two years that we came back as Audio Adrenaline with Kevin. Then, naturally this change over happened within the inside of the band within all of our hearts and then with Josh on the outside, how he was brought into this situation. Not necessarily looking to front a band again; which is kind of the story we love about Josh. He’s not the kind of guy that has been looking to be on stage and play in a rock and roll band, but he’s been leading a worship school and leading worship at his church in Evansville. For Audio Adrenaline to connect through our music is the most important thing, is to connect to people, because music is an amazing thing that we can connect with each other spiritually.
Jared: We’re able to play our instruments, and we have fun doing it, but the main reason and calling is to glorify God. It’s amazing to do that with friends and fans that come out to our shows.
GIOA: I’m sure you’ve heard it a million times, but why keep the name Audio Adrenaline? Why not go by another band name?
Jared: You know, I think I’ve kind of already answered that. I think I knew that question was coming. It might have been a mental thing, but that’s the main reason, man, because Audio Adrenaline… Like I said, I look at it like a legacy. It started as a band with college dudes, they were young. They got bigger and bigger. They started writing really good songs. Mark, the way he fronted the band; he just put it all on the line, and he would give 110%. He would put his heart on stage and let everybody see it, and the same for the rest of the band. That’s why people clung to those guys... Is clung a word?
GIOA: Sure, today it is.
Jared: Cling? I remember when I was in Bleach, man. It was Audio Adrenaline. It was a big band, so we’d play festivals or shows and they would headline, but we would see them a bunch, but we wanted to see them every time we got a chance to, because it was such an amazing show. It wasn’t necessarily like a Skillet show with pyrotechnics and these huge flash things and fireworks. It was just the fact that these guys are playing these songs, and they’re a great band, but I don’t know, there’s just something…
Josh: They wore their heart on their sleeve, man.
Josh: Audio Adrenaline has always been that. Been raw, been honest, and always fought for the underdog and the unloved. Really cheered them on, and it’s an encouraging thing live to connect with the people and make them a part of it.
Jared: Yeah, exactly. You feel like you’re a part of it.
Josh: This is the next progression of that. The fact that that’s what Audio Adrenaline has always been about. We’re up on stage, and it’s not because of who we are. It’s not our personalities carrying this thing forward. It’s the legacy. It’s the fact that Mark and Will (McGinniss, Audio A bassist) are still doing what they felt so called to do. It’s to be hands and feet; the hands and feet of Jesus. That’s how we feel when we take the stage every night. So, Will just encouraged. Mark is actually getting on the bus with us to the Jacksonville show. So, he’s heavily involved in this. He’s helping us write for the new record. It’s still a lot of Mark and Will’s heart. I think to call it something else would be a disservice to them and what they’ve bled and lived all these years to build.
GIOA: It’s really more the name of a ministry than a band.
Jared: It is, man. It’s hands and feet and the calling to disciple and to help the least of these. It’s just being lived out. I think for me and Josh and for anybody that’s a part of this organization that was started before we jumped in, it’s an honor to be part of such a big dream and a big ministry that they actually started. They wrote the song “Hands and Feet,” and they had people coming up to them saying, “We’re starting this orphanage.” “We’re going to the mission field for a year, and it’s because of your song.” So, the guys were literally like, “Oh, my gosh! These people are doing this stuff, because we’re calling them out to disciple and be the hands and feet of Christ, but what are we doing? We’re playing shows and doing these songs.” Mark’s family has been missionaries before. So, it’s been a part of Mark and Will and their heart for years to do something like that, and that kind of just pushed it off the edge where they actually had these ideas and big dreams, and they came to fruition. They followed through on them and did it. It’s cool being a part of that, man.