Tony Cummings reports on the Columbus, Ohio-based rockers EVERYDAY SUNDAY
There is no real shortcut to rock music success either in the mainstream or in the CCM niche market. Everyday Sunday from Columbus, Ohio, have been a clear demonstration of this. Since their first independent release in 2001, Everyday Sunday - currently consisting of Trey Pearson (lead vocals), Nick Spencer (guitar), Tyler Craft (bass) and Kevin Cramblet (drums) - have been slowly but surely making headway in America's crowded Christian rock marketplace. Everyday Sunday sprang from a close-knit youth group in the band's hometown of Columbus, Ohio. The group were very young when they started. Remembered Trey, "We were 15/16. People seemed to really like it, so we started writing more songs. Next thing you know, we're playing high school parties and clubs and youth groups. And then we started getting asked to open for different groups that came in like All Star United to Plumb to Earthsuit and Pax217 and a bunch of other bands (Skillet, LaRue, etc)."
In an interview at the time, Pearson spoke about the band's name. "The name comes from the idea of living for God all the time - 24/7. We came up with the name while we were in high school. You see, I grew up in this small church where there were two other kids my age. You would see them at church on Sunday morning, and then they'd be getting wasted at the parties on Friday night. That didn't make a lot of sense to me. So I guess the idea is living for God and being the same all the time whether you're at school, work, church, or hanging out with your friends on Friday night. But I think people see that and go through that whether they're in high school, college, junior high, or a grown up working class citizen."
In 2000 the band recorded their first album, 'Sleeper'. Said Pearson, "We just really wanted to make something and get it out to people. We started out by just making 1,000 copies, and sold out of them extremely quickly. It was awesome to see what God did with it as far as Radio U hearing it and sending it to Kyle Fenton, a major radio promoter in the Christian industry. It was really crazy seeing our song 'Just A Story' making it to number 11 on the National Christian Rock Charts as an independent single." The young band were signed to Flicker Records and Michael Tait of dc Talk fame was drafted in to produce the group's first national release, 'Stand Up'.
Another album for Flicker, 'Anthems For The Imperfect', appeared in 2004 though it was three years later with their 'Wake Up! Wake Up!' on the Newsboys' Inpop Records that the band really broke through, with two songs, the anthemic title track and the punchy "Find Me Tonight" making number one on the US Christian Rock Chart with the latter being the 10th most played song on US Christian radio stations in 2007. Now with the release of 'Best Night Of Our Lives' the band have put out what many critics consider to be their best ever.
One of the difficulties that Everyday Sunday have experienced is holding to a constant personnel. The JesusFreakHideout website commented, "The past few years, Everyday Sunday has been a revolving door. With practically a different lineup every year since 2005, the band finds its identity in Pearson, its longest lasting member." After experimenting with a more radio friendly pop sound on 'Wake Up! Wake Up!', Everyday Sunday have effectively returned to their roots with 'Best Night Of Our Lives' with a solid, yet rough around the edges, sound and Pearson's signature raw vocals sounding better than ever over the often aggressive rhythms of his new band. Said Trey, "There will be no doubt in anyone's mind that this is a rock record. It's more forceful in a lot of ways; it's definitely more mature. It's just the best album that any of us have ever been a part of."
Produced by Mark Lee Townsend (Relient K, Jennifer Knapp) and mixed by J R McNeely (Paramore, Jeremy Camp), the project might have a more aggressive rock approach but still displays Pearson's songwriting craft. The title track explores the theme of a life-long friendship; "Breathing For Me" is an anthem of surrender to God; while "Here With Me" takes a break from the full-on rock aggression with the deft application of an acoustic arrangement.
As well as a continually changing personnel for his band, Pearson has had to overcome another unexpected difficulty. On 13th March 2009 the band were involved in an automobile accident in Valparaiso, Indiana. Their vehicle and trailer went off the road and flipped three or four times, ejecting driver Tyler and trapping his three bandmates inside the vehicle. They were taken to a local hospital where they were treated and then released.
Despite the trauma of the crash, despite their personnel changes, Everyday Sunday remain festival favourites across America and this summer are undertaking the Acquire The Fire tour. Said Shara Katerberg-Hsu, director of marketing at Inpop Records, "Everyday Sunday has become a Christian music mainstay over the years due to relentless touring and incredible radio support. We look forward to the band's continued success with this great new album that once again raises the bar for Christian rock music."The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.