In a time when music industry success seems to be shifting from complete dependency on major labels to a greater emphasis on self-propelled ingenuity, hard work, and solid talent; Indiana-based, independent pop-rock band Attaboy is more than a little keyed up about the next chapter of their journey.
August 2012 marked vocalist, Matt Siewert’s two-years as the band’s front-man; and although live audiences have been well-introduced to Matt’s intentional sincerity, energy and talent on stage, fans of Attaboy’s recent radio hits and recording projects will recognize a distinction between Matt’s voice and the group’s previous front-man, Amos Caley, who left to pursue seminary studies.
Not only has Matt stepped into the role of lead vocalist, with what the band views as a seamless transition, he has also breathed fresh perspective into the band’s songwriting.
Attaboy has been in the studio in recent months, recording “Motion Toward the Miles,” their first full-length album that features Matt on vocals. Slated to be released on November 6, 2012, this forthcoming album will also be Attaboy’s first with 7Spin Music; but the band’s decision to release via label isn’t a total departure from the do-it-yourself methods which have fueled their success story thus far.
“Historically, we have released all of our albums independently,” guitarist Jeff Edgel said. “We have partnered with 7Spin Music to release our songs, ‘California’ and ‘Unshaken’ to radio. We will be releasing our upcoming album through 7Spin Music, as well. Our relationship with 7Spin is very non-traditional. We have worked with their in-house counterparts for booking and management for a number of years, so we decided the timing would be right to release an album through 7Spin, rather than independently.”
But enough about record labels and music industry philosophies. From the beginning, Attaboy, which initially formed from a house band for a youth conference in late 2004, has been about musicians enlisting their talents to encourage hearts, create lasting memories, inspire hope, and communicate the love of Christ; an ambitious job for buoyant pop-rock.
“It’s kind of an interesting contradiction. Pop music, by definition, is simple, straightforward. The biggest challenge is to communicate deeper truths in ways each listener can understand and relate to. You have two verses and three choruses to say a lot of important things,” Matt said. “As we’ve grown and matured over the years, it’s been more natural for us to talk about our own experiences in a way that resonates with other people.”
Equally passionate about the responsibility of creating and delivering music that is so much more than great entertainment, Jeff feels his role in Attaboy is a calling, not merely a fun career option.
“From a young age, I had the conviction to use my musical abilities for God’s glory, recognizing they were a blessing from Him. Music has a power to communicate and reach people in a way that is unique from any other type of communication. To have the opportunity to use the power of music to communicate God’s love is humbling, and a privilege that we fully appreciate daily.”
The fact is that Attaboy hasn’t just written popular music with a lot of heart, their ability to consistently generate a live show that draws audience members in, and inspires a colorful spectrum of emotions, has garnered them impressive and substantial recognition, inclusion and esteem among music fans, radio stations and major venues, festivals and touring Christian music giants.
Some of those triumphs include performing at the Hard Rock Live/Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, in February of 2011; taking the stage prior to the Rock and Worship Road Show in November of 2011, an honor for which they were handpicked by headliner ‘Mercy Me’; and seeing their songs ‘Wait On You’ and ‘Unshaken’ chart on Billboard’s Top 30 for Christian Contemporary Hit Radio (CHR) for 9 and 13 weeks, respectively.
Don’t let those accolades fool you. The guys of Attaboy are far from untouchable rock stars. Their hope is that listeners and concert-goers feel invited into their lives, to see the irresistibility of God’s love through their eyes, not only as they perform on stage, but also when the show is over, and they can meet fans face-to-face.
“While on the road we make as many efforts as possible to interact with people who hear us perform. We try to make ourselves as available as possible after each concert to meet the audience, sign merchandise, take photos, or just have a conversation,” Jeff explained. “The internet has allowed us to be intentionally relational with our audience. Whether we’re responding to emails or posts and messages on Facebook and Twitter, we purposefully prioritize communicating with our audience in these ways, attempting to communicate how much we appreciate their support and encouragement.”
Fans of Attaboy’s mood-elevating, contagious melodies won’t be let down with the release of “Motion Toward the Miles,” but the band says the depth of their songwriting has expanded and grown to produce an honest soundtrack for real life, complete not only with moments of joy, but also reflection, victory and thankfulness.
“Unfortunately, there’s no magic formula for songwriting, and it usually never happens the same way twice. But the one common thread we try to retain in our music is honesty. If we can speak honestly about our own experiences, then hopefully others feel empowered to do the same. There’s such a broad spectrum of human emotions to be captured through the medium of song. Ultimately, we want to be a vehicle God uses to communicate the love and redemption He has for everybody,” Matt said.
Continuing to endeavor to communicate that message of redemption, Attaboy is fully prepared for whatever comes next for the band. Looking ahead, the guys are taking advantage of every opportunity to bring Christ center-stage, as they release their latest album and subsequent radio singles.