Local band My Heart to Fear is gearing up to release its first album on a record label, "Into the Maelstrom," on Solid State Records. But the journey to the group's success hasn't been an easy one.
Members Trevor Pool, Dale Upright, Jay Graham, Taylor Pool and Luke Brady have been working at this for seven years.
"Taylor and I met when I was a freshmen at Jersey Shore and he was in 10th grade," Brady said, who has been playing the drums since he was nine. "He had a friend who played guitar, so we met up and jammed. I was 14 when we started the band. I had played drums in church before, but basically we were starting all together."
My Heart to Fear is seen.
"The wheels really started turning when I joined the band," Graham added.
After a member left the band, Graham, who is from Elkland, joined My Heart To Fear.
"I became family with them instantly," he said. "We got contacted by Micah from Tooth and Nail. He had seen an old video of the band. He let us know, 'I've heard of you.' Right there we were like, 'Oh yeah, this is awesome.' Then things got more serious. We went to Texas and met up with them. They loved us and we've been able to build a relationship with them."
The band made itself memorable to the record labels, going as far as actually mailing a toilet with their EPs inside of it with a note that said, "Listen to our music, it's not crappy."
For My Heart to Fear, it worked. The label told them they needed a bit more work and asked to see them in a year.
The band feels at home with Solid State, saying that the label is like family.
"The cool thing about Solid State is that they are really down to earth," Upright said. "There are a lot less bands on the label than with major labels. All the bands are intertwined, more like a family. A lot of labels were like, 'Sign this contract now!' and trying to take advantage of us."
Although the band has had a little bit of a member change up, they still remain friends.
"The one thing I take a sense of pride in is the fact that we've kept all of our members, except one that left two years ago," Trevor said. "There are some bands, like recently, that we've heard of, that have had 30 member changes. For us, we don't know how that's possible. We're all best friends."
"That isn't even a band anymore, it's a corporation. Mindless fiends to do your work," Graham said, jokingly.
If My Heart To Fear could be cornered to a genre, they identify with Christian metal. Lead singer Trevor said he writes a majority of the lyrics.
"I base it off of ethical, political, religious and controversial topics," he said. "The world is begging for equality and respect, be tolerant of each other's beliefs. That's what Christ stood for. People will comment on our videos and say, 'I'd like them more if they weren't Christians,' but how does that make sense?" Trevor and his brother, Taylor, were kicked out of their church because of their band, but that didn't stop them.
"The thing that we've always dealt with is Christianity and Christianity as a way of life," Brady said. "We are all talking together constantly and praying together constantly and reading our Bibles. 'Christian' is defined as 'Little Christ' and if you look at the way he lived and did things, he was bold and confident. He didn't go up to people and say, 'Oh I'm the son of God.' We try to hook people in with our music, but we're going to give them us and what we are. We are followers of God."
"The one thing I love about this genre, is that we're not a worship band," Trevor said. "We like to go to places where people question who made God and why is there suffering and give them answers."
The band has come up against other adversities, including vehicle problems while on the road.
"We've had vehicle issues almost every tour we've been on," Upright said. "We were stranded in New Mexico for two and a half weeks one time. And when we went to Texas, we had to stay there for two extra days."
The band turned to their fans when they were stranded in a parking lot during a tour.
"We put on Facebook, we don't have money to do anything to our car," Brady said. "We posted that at 10 p.m. and we had $1,700 donated the next morning. We were not expecting that, it was awesome."
"It's the fans letting you know they are there," Graham said.
"The fans make the band," Upright said. "It helps build your faith, you have to believe that God's going to take care of you. There's literally nothing you can do to help yourself on the road. You have to rely on God."
All the members of the band are still determined on making this a full-time venture. "I'm most excited to work up to doing this as a full-time job. All of us right now have part-time jobs. But if we could, we could spend more time making us better and better," Upright said. "As long as we can pay our bills. We're not trying to get rich."
"It's humbling to still work at McDonald's even though I'm signed to a label. I'd like to think that's going to change," Trevor said.
"The funny thing is about being in a band and working at a grocery store in customer service is that on the weekends at shows, kids are running up to me and saying, 'Wow, Look at you!' I'm just doing what I love. But then I go to the grocery store and people are like, 'I hate you'," Brady said.
The band has seen immense growth in their fanbase in Williamsport. "We just want to do nothing but support the scene. We really want to see Williamsport have awesome shows," Graham said.
All the members commented about the energy of the crowds, which, in turn, pumps them up. Knowing most of the concert-goers helps the atmosphere for the band as well.