By Michelle Nikolai
Remedy Drive: Running After Hope
Front man David Zach, the songwriter/vocalist for indie rock band Remedy Drive, didn't actually hear rock music until he was in junior high school. Growing up in a conservative Christian family with no TV, he listened to the music of Keith Green and studied piano, as did his three siblings in the band. By the time he heard someone play an electric guitar, he was 14 years old.
"You can imagine, something just woke up inside," Zach remembers. "I started writing songs when I was 13. I knew that this was what I was supposed to do, and then it became this massive drive. "
David, Paul, Phillip and Dan Zach - the four-piece brother group from Lincoln, NE - came together in college officially and toured under the name The Aslan Band. They recorded their first independent rock album, Remedy, in 1998. After changing their name to Remedy, four more guitar and piano-driven albums ensued, and again they changed their name, this time to Remedy Drive.
Rip Open the Skies was released in 2006 and sold over 20,000 copies through word of mouth and relentless touring. With influences as diverse as U2, the Killers, Coldplay, and Phish, their infectious melodies appeal to their audiences with both a message and a groove. They had a piano band before Coldplay ever hit the charts, but their music definitely draws comparisons, with ringing guitars that sound like they could come straight from U2's guitarist, the Edge.
Word Records took notice and signed them to the label in 2008. Daylight is Coming, their national debut produced by Dove award-winner Ian Eskelin, debuted at No. 5 on Billboard's Top Christian Albums chart on Sept. 13, 2008. In July 2009, the single "All Along" landed at the #1 spot on Billboard's Christian CHR chart where it remained for six weeks.
"The way a human being partners with all this mechanical stuff to bring his soul out, not knowing what the longing is - that's what I love about rock and roll," David explains. "The result hopefully is a community. The 'American Dream' is never going to be enough for us - we long for validation outside of capitalism. "
Zach is troubled by some of the Christian ministries he sees on television, and the stigma that sometimes comes with being identified as a Christian rock artist. He feels compelled to ask questions through the band's music, to sustain themselves and others with messages of hope.
"What we're trying to make is something that includes everyone, not excluding anyone. I want to follow in the footsteps of my Savior, not these guys on TV saying they have all the answers," he says with frustration. "I want people to walk away and say, "You know what, these guys definitely don't have all the answers, but it seems like they're running after hope."