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Born From the Garage


Rilee McDonald
Rilee McDonald

The origin of the band Advent Horizon occurred in the shadow of Rush; equipped with a spot on chronological memory of every song that Rush ever wrote, Rylee McDonald and Mike Lofgreen, both 13 years old at the time, decided that playing music could be fun. The two recall that Mike wanted to play lead guitar; after a short time, it was clear to them that Riley had no talent for keeping time. Mike was made the drummer and Rylee decided to pick up the electric guitar. Both amateurs, Mike and Rylee spent the next year playing together with several of their friends.

They confessed that Advent Horizon didn’t officially exist until the addition of Peter Zabriskie, who acted as their bassist. Shuffling through different names “Vulcarius”, “Split”, “Drift” the band searched for an identity; Peter’s brother, knowing of their search for the perfect name suggested a term that describes the closest distance light can be from a black hole before it can’t escape. Later the band members found out that the correct term used to describe this particular phenomenon was actually “event horizon”, but with the existence of so many other garage bands,and a movie, named Event Horizon, they decided to stick with their misconceived, yet innovative name Advent Horizon.

Mike Lofgreen
Mike Lofgreen

The band continued to progress, but in 2009 Peter left Advent to dedicate more time to school. Rylee found their next bassist in High School. Sam Hopkins had a very musical family, and although he didn’t have very much experience on the bass, he grew into the instrument very quickly upon joining Advent Horizon. With Sam, the band found a sense of cohesion that it hadn’t had before. Rylee and Mike agreed that the biggest turning point for the band came at the words of Sam’s brother. Andrew Hopkins had been the drummer for the local band Melodramus for years, with years of previous experience under his belt. He had no reservations about picking the members of Advent Horizon apart for all of their weaknesses, and it affected no one more dramatically than Mike. Mike called it a coming of age moment. He said he began to see the difference between being a drummer and being a guy who looks like he plays drums. He began studying and learning his part as the backbone of the band. Just as Mike began truly learning his craft, Rylee was confronted by Tom Hopkins.

Cason Wood
Cason Wood

Show after show, Tom would come to the band with very detailed critiques of their performance, focusing especially on Rylee’s short-comings. In the same way Mike found a new attitude about drumming, Rylee was driven by Tom to improve his performance. The band began to learn what they needed to do to set themselves apart from every other High School band. After months of perfecting their practice methods, they finally felt prepared to showcase their work and compete in the High School Battle of the Bands. With the Led Zeppelin song “Good Times, Bad Times” which they practiced excessively. Advent Horizon won, and later took the State title. After winning Utah State Battle of the Bands, the Advent was awarded recording time and instruction from producer Steve Auerbach.

Benny Shell
Benny Shell

They used the opportunity to produce an EP. Soon the band gained the interest of Alpine Innovations who agreed to sponsor the band. It was the first time that Advent members felt they could make it out of the local music scene. The band began to gain momentum. Winter 2010 to

Spring 2011 was used by the band to rehearse their music in anticipation of recording their first full-length album with Matt Winegar. As recording progressed, though, it became clear to the members of Advent that Sam’s interests didn’t truly exist in music. They parted ways in the Summer of 2011. Soon after, the band welcomed Cason Wood as their new bassist. As recording drew to a close, it occurred to Rylee and Mike that many of the recent nuances of their music added during the production stage could not be recreated without a supplemental musician. Advent found Levi Benjamin Shell; who not only sang and played guitar, but knew the mandolin and keys as well. With this addition, the membership of Advent Horizon was completed. Advent continues to play in hopes of expanding their musical scope in the United States and throughout the world stage.

 

 

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