The Wedding Biography
It's the attitude and crunching guitars that typically define the genre of rock 'n' roll. In the case of Arkansas The Wedding, these elements plus punk infectiousness, emo refrains and hardcore intensity combine to create the band's distinct sound. Offering this sound for the better part of the last half-decade, it's also what has found a connection in their self-titled debut album set to release spring 2005.
"We all come from different musical backgrounds and interests, so you get these really varied results that cross into multiple territories," front man Kevin Kiehn says. "Some of us are hardcore fans at heart; others really dig punk. There's even some Johnny Cash and Beach Boys that gets played on the road, but we're all big into melodic stuff and power chords."
For the foursome of energetic teens and 20-somethings, this diverse upbringing was birthed in junior high when Kiehn, bass player Cody Driggers and drummer Clint Robinson banged around in their garages as the band Last Place and then Unknown. The latter project established them beyond just their circle of friends and into the community, gigging with local greats Easier Said, who Kiehn describes as "a lot more well known and cooler than we were." It was that group's guitarist Trevor Sarver who especially encouraged the guys in their pursuit and kept an eye out for opportunities for them.
"Eventually, Easier Said had some membership switches, and Trevor asked our drummer Clint to join up with them," recalls Kiehn of their late high school years. "I came in to play bass about six months later, and it became a pop/punk three-piece."
Meanwhile, the group got gutsy and hit the road, bringing along Cody as a roadie and all-around "hang buddy." In addition to working behind the scenes, he was also versatile as a bass player and was soon promoted to full-time band member when Kevin switched to vocals and keys.
"When Cody joined, our sound really started to develop," the singer says. "We had evolved so much by that point that Easier Said wasn't really who we were any longer. So, we started the slate clean by naming ourselves The Wedding." This name was inspired by the book of Revelation from the Bible.
Keeping with the trend of youthful freshness and a high-energy show, the group continued traveling, opening for the likes of Bleach, John Reuben, Number One Gun, Anberlin and Spoken. Inevitably, the band's music prompted Bleach guitar player Sam Barnhart to bring the band to Nashville's Dark Horse Studios to update their demo under his direction. This studio time helped facilitate introductions between the band and a few of their musical heroes, including The O.C. Supertones and acclaimed producer Mark Lee Townsend (Relient K, dc Talk, Jennifer Knapp). While Townsend lent his mixing skills to their session, The Supertones also welcomed The Wedding on tour with them. Townsend then put some of the band's music into the hands of folks at BHT Entertainment. The company's alternative division, Rambler Records, was instantly attracted to the band's chops in the studio and on the road and inked an inaugural deal with the group.
"It's incredible to trace how things have worked out in that timeline," says Sarver, who speaks highly of their newfound relationship with the label. "Their goal is to see us continue to build this from the ground up and hopefully become a household name. But, they really get behind the fact that we stand up for what we believe in, which is ultimately, our faith."
Such a stance is evident throughout the debut's impassioned nature, previewed exclusively at concerts. The themes on the dozen-track collection include perseverance, healing, forgiveness and self-esteem support wrapped around honest reflections from members' life experiences.
"We're just four guys who face a lot of the same stuff everyone our age does, but we can turn to a faith that's not of this world to deal with it," Kiehn says. "We want to provide a path to hope for this generation and let them know that there's a God they can relate to."
Take, for instance, the inspiration they provide during the anthem-like "Move this City," or the renewal focus on the inventive "Water Under the Bridge" and the sacrifice-centered "Price for Love." There's also the punk energy of "Joyride," the ode to failed romance of "Morning Air" and the militant instrumentation behind "Wake the Regiment," quite possibly the project's most forceful track on all planes.
But despite the exciting prospects ahead with such selections and the album from which they're culled, The Wedding's primary priority remains communication with their fan base. Beyond the singles, sales or subsequent rise in notoriety, members also maintain their commitment to their faith and hope. Sarver summarizes best: "When something is imprinted on your heart, it needs to be represented in your art."
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i luv the wedding | Reviewer: Anonymous | 8/9/2008
i love the wedding! i have all of their cd's. i even went to the release party at the wherehouse for The Sound The Steel. i don't know of any teenager that doesn't like the wedding. even people that arent crazy about rock music love them. they are great preformers.
Amazing Band | Reviewer: Anonymous | 12/7/2007
No matter who you are, you can find a way to relate to The Wedding. They adress all parts of life. Not only are Kevin's vocals amazing, but the music behind him is just as awesome. If their sound's not enough to sell you, their lyrics will be.
Great Band | Reviewer: Scott Champagne | 4/16/2007
This is one of my favorite bands. I can listen to their songs non stop on my ipod and never get tired of hearing them. I like the screaming parts and how they don't over do it, but they get it to make it sound good. And for people who don't like screaming, it barley has any, and makes the song better. great band.
Review of the wedding | Reviewer: Anonymous | 7/28/2005
I really like The Wedding. I went to go see them at a church in Greensboro, NC and they were really awesome! They have that punky edge to them that I like and they really know how to rock hard. they liked to jump around, and even if you can't understand a word they say half the time (unless you buy their album like i did), it's filled with encouraging words for the big world that you'll face some day.
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