Share & Connect
If you are looking for high-energy music with just as intense of lyrics, A Past Unknown is the band is for you. Consists of Grant Lilly, Dirk Wiese, Nick Powell, Trevor Rozendaal, and Jack Van Gent. Toonari Post recently had the opportunity to see A Past Unknown perform for their CD release show in Waterloo, Iowa, as well as a chance to interview them.
Toonari Post (TP): For starters, where did your band’s name come from?
A Past Unknown (APU): A Past Unknown refers to a new life with Christ. Once a person comes to know Jesus and repents, their old life is gone and God forgives their sins. It is very fitting with our band because it has happened to all of us individually and it is our central message.
TP: How do you describe the music your band creates beyond the genre label? Why did the band choose this genre; in other words, what is it about this type of music that helps portray what you guys stand for?
APU: Our music is heavily passionate in a way that we all pour ourselves out into the music and fans to show them love and what we’re really about. Heavy music is filled with different passions throughout the entire scene, whether its straight edge, satanic, posi, etc., but we are fueled with the passion of Jesus and see this as a golden opportunity to pour out that passion into a scene full of broken lives that are searching for Jesus whether they want to accept it or not.
TP: Is there a specific message or goal you have for your band? Anything you really want your fans to take away from your music?
APU: To be brutally honest, this band is completely about telling the world about the love of Jesus Christ. Jesus commands believers to go out and make disciples of all nations and that is something we take very seriously as a group. Not telling people about the Gospel would not be showing love at all. How much do you have to hate someone to not tell them the greatest news of all time? Our music is a way of telling people about the hope in Christ and the healing that He brings to the broken people of the world.
TP: Who or what continuously inspires you as a band whether it is while you’re writing, recording, or touring?
APU: Ultimately, Christ is the only one that holds this band together. If we didn’t find our identity in Christ we would have broken up a long time ago. Being able to do this for the glory of the King of Kings and knowing that He personally came down and gave His life for us is endless inspiration. No other person, event, or feeling can replicate or come close to it.
TP: Album talk: How do you continue to grow as a band each time a new EP or album is made?
APU: Our first full-length album, To Those Perishing (TTP), fit more of the typical metalcore sound. At that point of our career we hadn’t found our true sound yet so the album sounded mediocre at best and it lacked in many areas. The album was written over a year’s span so it wasn’t very fluid with style. When it came to start writing for the new album, we came together and decided what areas needed improvement and what elements from TTP were favored. During this time our musical tastes changed from the previous year. Going from bands like Of Mice & Men and We Came As Romans to more core influences such as Norma Jean, Deftones, Coldplay, Ascend the Hill, and Legend to just name a few. Over the following months the newly forming songs took on a darker feel with lower tunings, heavier breakdowns, and minor chord progressions, but it still retained some of the memorable elements of TTP. We were honing in on our sound.
TP: In what way do you think your past as a band has influenced you today (lyrically, musically, personally)? Or what has been the most influential thing from your past that has made you the band you are today?
APU: We all joined the band being very young in our faith. Getting to grow together over the last few years has been utterly amazing to see each other grow in our relationships with Christ. Stemming off of that comes our lyrics, musical talent, etc. Personally, we have grown up to take on the responsibilities of touring musicians that share Christ, or musicianaries as some like to call it. We’ve learned to budget, live minimally, and have gotten used to being on the road away from loved ones. Seeing where we were and where Christ has brought us leaves us in awe.
TP: What is your favorite part about being in the band? Least?
APU: The best part about being in this band is being able to meet all of the kids at the shows and tell them about the hope and love of Christ. Its what we’re all about! Everyone has their own life story and being able to hear them and show them love is amazing. On top of that, getting to see lives changed and hearts transformed at the shows has been the greatest blessing of our lives.
Being apart from loved ones is definitely our least favorite part of touring. Grant and Nick are married and we all have a ton of great friends back home so being gone for so long can definitely take its toll, but we see it as worth the sacrifice.
TP: What is the first thing you do when you arrive in the city you are playing a show at?
APU: It honestly depends on the situation. On a typical day, we’ll arrive at the venue and load in all of our gear, set up our merch table, and make sure everything is ready to go for the night. After that, we try to explore the city that we are in which may include hitting up the beach, parks, sweet landmarks, or camping out at Panera for hours on end. Exploring can be difficult at times since parking a 15-passenger van and trailer in a big city is a difficult endeavor to accomplish.
TP: When preparing for a show, how do you choose your set list and its order?
APU: Before every tour we get together to practice and form a set list to keep for that entire tour. We go by what songs the fans already know and love, and in this case we chose our favorite songs off of the new release that no one has heard yet.
TP: Speaking of shows…should we be on the lookout for a tour in the future?
APU: As of now we are on the “Vainglory Tour” to support our new album, “Vainglory.” The album will be out October 22. The shows have been awesome and the people have been fantastic! We have some tours in the works during the winter, but we are not able to say quite yet.
TP: In the meantime, where is the best place to find your latest music and updates?
APU: Physical copies of our albums can be found at Hot Topic, FYE, and Hastings. They can also be found online on Amazon and iTunes. Anyone can see our activity on our Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts. There we will have important updates, tour announcements, and it can be a great place for the fans to keep in touch with us!