Giant Rising EP
The lights were dim and the music was loud as Andrew Kluck, along with his twin brother and best friend, played with their band at a youth conference for Andrew's home church in the fall of 2002. It was during this conference that Alicia Wells and her family decided to visit the church for the first time. After the conference Alicia became a faithful member of the church youth group where Andrew led worship, and the two became friends but they didn't really sing together until almost 2 years later. 'I was sitting in the youth room, and I think I was playing 'Your Grace is Enough' by Chris Tomlin,' remembers Andrew, 'anyway, Alicia comes walking in the room and I said, 'hey come sing with me!' and so she did, and I'll never forget it. She walked over, sat down, and started singing perfect harmony! I was so shocked; I almost dropped my guitar on the floor! I knew she could sing because I heard her once or twice before, but she was really shy about it, so it was a real surprise. I had never heard someone my age sing a harmony part so perfectly on their first try.' Andrew and Alicia sang together on and off for about a year, but it was on a mission trip to Guatemala in the summer of 2005 that the two began to get an idea of what God had in store for them. It was then they started working on harmonies that are now a staple to the bands dynamic sound. Andrew met Eric Bourgeois in the winter of 2004 at a young adults group that had just started at Andrew's church. Eric had recently moved back to Michigan after living in Alaska and then California for over 10 years. He decided to stop in since he had visited the church twice before and wanted to get connected with people his age. Eric and Andrew talked that night and soon after became friends with plenty of common ground in their passion for Jesus and music. 'Eric was a man after God's heart if I'd ever met one,' comments Andrew, 'It was his intense passion for God and for preaching the gospel that caught my attention. I remember thinking, 'wow, I want to be as on fire for Jesus as this guy!' The two ended up performing together regularly since Andrew was a worship leader at the church, and Eric played drums in the worship band. Something happened when they began to worship together which can only be described as a spiritual connection that was marked by the presence of God. The days that followed found the two worshiping God for hours at a time as they practiced songs from bands like Delirious? and worship leaders like Matt Redman. 'I remember the first time a saw Andrew play with his band' says Eric, 'and all I can remember thinking is; I wanna be in a band with him!' At the time Andrew was playing with his brother and their two best friends in a band called Exodus 343, which they had formed 6 years before, and Eric was playing with a band called Holliday with two young adults from the church. In spite of Andrew's college schedule, Eric's work, and practicing with the other bands, the two found time to start recording. With some previous experience, the two quickly began mixing and burning CD's of what would become early samples of many of the sounds you can hear today in the group's EP. In the fall of 2005, Brandon Surowiec, drummer for his band named after their front man Owen Hurter, (TACF worship leader and recording artist) came to play at a conference put on by the youth group at Andrew's church. Just a few months prior to this event the church had brought Andrew on staff as a youth leader, and as such he was very involved in the planning of the conference and also served as an MC. Brandon and the band played an amazing rock/worship set that really ministered to the teens at the church and before their departure Brandon, Owen, and Andrew talked of getting together again in the future. At the time none of them knew how soon this would happen but just two months later Owen's bass player quit to focus on his schooling and immediately God reminded Owen of Andrew. Owen was to leave for New York in just a week and needed a bass player, so he called and asked Andrew who was honored by the opportunity. In the months that followed Andrew would travel with Brandon all over the East Coast ministering music in churches and youth groups. It was on these trips that God connected Brandon and Andrew with a passion for Him and a deep desire to bring God's presence to people through music. 'I remember when Andrew first asked me to play with his group,' explains Brandon 'I wasn't sure if I'd be in the band at the time, but I wanted to play, and they didn't have a bass player. Since I had never played the bass but was familiar with the piano, we decided to go buy a keyboard synthesizer that was capable of bass sounds.' Brandon's melodic keyboard/bass synth playing has been a driving factor in setting the group apart from the basic sounds of today. All four members of the Andrew Kluck Band played their first show in August of 2006 at a festival in Andrew's hometown. 'We had only been playing together officially for 2 weeks,' says Brandon, 'it was a lot of fun. And as we played I couldn't help but feel that we would be doing more together in the future.' A month later the band played for Right to Life of Michigan's 'Teen Life Night' and soon after, began recording again. It was late in 2006 when Andrew and Eric walked out of Guitar Center with an EMU 1818 8-track recording interface for PC and grins on their faces. It had been a year of recording with friends and oddly patched together setups when the two decided that if they where going to do this then they where going to do it right. Previous recording had brought success in the way of shows and demo sales, but Eric was convinced that they could get a better crisper drum sound if they could only spend enough time working on it. It was this interface that the group used to record their cover of Skillet's 'The Thirst is Taking Over', which won a national competition, and got them into Ardent Studios where bands like 3 Door's Down, Skillet, Led Zeppelin, Big Star, and Todd Agnew have recorded. 'Recording at a professional studio was a real desire for all of us' tells Alicia, 'it amazing to see God bless our hard work and faithfulness to Him.' In the past year, the band won a national competition with the Gospel Music Channel, recorded a four song demo at the nationally acclaimed Ardent Studios in Memphis, TN, and ministered in worship to a crowd of 25,000+ people in El Progreso, Honduras. 'We are so thankful to God for having the opportunities we did this year, and we are very hopeful and expectant to see what He is going to do with us even in these next few months,' says Andrew, 'We'll be sending our EP out soon, and we're trusting God to continue to bless us with favor in everything we do!'