Definitions

Godspeed (Christian Band)

Pillar (band)

Pillar is a Grammy-nominated Christian rock band currently located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Pillar has moved between different genres, including hard rock, rapcore, and nu metal.

History

Formation and independent albums

Pillar started in Hays, Kansas in 1998, when Fort Hays State University roommates Brad Noone and Rob Beckley got together with friends Travis Jenkins, Dustin Adams, and Michael Wittig, known as Kalel. In 1999, Pillar released their first album, Metamorphosis, on their own independent label, Shadrach Records. After some more touring in Kansas, they released their second independent album, Original Superman, in 2000. Around this time they relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to try to find a larger fan base.

Flicker Records and Above

Soon after the release of Original Superman, Pillar became noticed by Flicker Records, who signed them in mid 2000. After the signing, Pillar re-cut many of the tracks from Original Superman as well as a few new tracks for release on Above,their first major label album. The album had medium success, selling almost 60,000 copies. The song "Open Your Eyes" won a Dove Award in 2001 for Hard Music Song of the Year.

Fireproof

In 2002, Noah Henson took over guitar duties and Pillar released their breakthrough album, Fireproof. Fireproof sold over 300,000 copies, and launched national tours. It also won two Dove Awards. A few years later Pillar went back into the studio with Fireproof and released a newer, richer sounding version with little tweaks in songs, including a Bonus DVD. Resulting in two versions of Fireproof on the market. Soon after the release of Fireproof, drummer Lester Estelle, Jr. joined the band.

Where Do We Go from Here

In 2004, Pillar released their next album Where Do We Go from Here. Where Do We Go from Here was as an instant hit among Christian rock fans everywhere, capturing #1 on sales in the genre for weeks. The album featured multiple hits, including "Bring Me Down", and, "Frontline" which topped the charts for months. Not only did Christian shows and stations play "Bring Me Down", it was requested heavily on secular stations as well.

Nothing Comes for Free and The Reckoning

Pillar released an EP called Nothing Comes for Free in June 2006. It featured 3 new songs (including "Everything") and 4 live tracks. The other two new songs, "Our Escape" and "Dangerous", are not available on their following album, The Reckoning. The EP was only available at live shows and at their webstore. A limited number of copies (10,000) were created.

Pillar then recorded their fourth album, The Reckoning, in early 2006. Travis Wyrick (P.O.D., We as Human, 10 Years, Disciple) produced the new album, as he produced all of their previous albums, and it was released on October 3, 2006. In support of The Reckoning, Pillar embarked on "The Days of the Reckoning Tour" throughout October and November of 2006. Other Christian bands on the tour included Day of Fire, The Showdown (band), and Decyfer Down. The Reckoning received a Grammy Award nomination December 6, 2007 for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album. This was the first Grammy nomination that Pillar has ever received.

For the Love of the Game to present

Pillar has played at both Cornerstone Festival and Creation Festival. It was revealed at Soulfest 2007 that the name of their next project would be For the Love of the Game, which was eventually released on February 26, 2008. They brought back the Pillar logo from "Where Do We Go from Here" and "Fireproof" for this album. ESPN used the new Pillar song, "For the Love of the Game," during montages highlighting the 2007 World Series on its program, Baseball Tonight.

Pillar recently helped Eowyn record her latest album "Silent Screams" with Beckley contributing vocals to the title track and Henson and Estelle also playing on the album. Pillar toured on the SHOUTfest tour with After Edmund and various other artists from September to November 2007. They also had a tour for For the Love of the Game from February to April 2008, with Brooke Barrettsmith, Wavorly, and Building 429.

In the fall of 2008, Pillar embarked on the For The Love of The Fan Tour, which enabled the fans to decide their own ticket price for the show. The tour lasted for three weeks and ended on September 26, 2008 in Dallas, Texas. Lester announced the For The Love of The Fan Tour would be his last tour with Pillar. Kalel was not seen playing bass for Pillar, but was being filled in by the bass player of Addison Road, one of the bands on the tour. Later, Kalel announced on his myspace page that he was no longer in Pillar because of his involvement with helping indie Christian bands such as One Minute Halo as well as Lester leaving the band. Kalel also stated that he wanted to be at home with his wife and two children.

As of October 4, 2008, Rob Beckley and Noah Henson are the only original members of Pillar from the Fireproof era and will continue on with new band members. As of this time, the new band members have not yet been announced.

Members

Former Members

  • Michael Wittig (AKA Kalel) (1998 - 2008)
  • Lester Estelle II: Drums (2002 - 2008)
  • Brad Noone : Drums (1998 - 2002)
  • Travis Jenkins : Guitar (1999 - 2001)
  • Dustin Adams : Guitar (1998 - 1999)
  • Joey Avalos : Touring Guitarist (2006-2007)

Awards

Winner

  • Dove Awards of 2001 for "Hard Music Album of the Year" - Above by Pillar (Travis Wyrick; Flickerrecords.Com)
  • Dove Awards of 2002 for "Hard Music Recorded Song of the Year" - "Live For Him" by Pillar (Rob Beckley, Travis Jenkins, Brad Noone, Michael Wittig)
  • Dove Awards of 2003 for "Hard Music Album of the Year" - Fireproof by Pillar (Travis Wyrick; Flicker USA)

Nomination

The following are nominations that did not result in a win for Pillar, or those nominations that a winner has not yet been announced:

Discography

Albums

Released Title Label(s)
1999 Metamorphosis

Shadrach Records
2000 Original Superman Shadrach Records
2000 Above Flicker Records
2002 Fireproof Flicker Records
2004 Where Do We Go from Here Flicker Records
2006 The Reckoning Flicker Records
2008 For the Love of the Game Essential Records

EPs

Year Title Label(s)
2003 Broken Down: The EP Flicker Records
2006 Nothing Comes for Free Flicker Records

Singles

Year Song Album
2000 "Open Your Eyes" Above
2002 "Fireproof" Fireproof
2002 "Further from Myself" Fireproof
2004 "Bring Me Down" Where Do We Go from Here
2004 "Frontline" Where Do We Go from Here
2006 "Everything" The Reckoning
2006 "When Tomorrow Comes" The Reckoning
2008 "For the Love of the Game" For the Love of the Game

Related bands and side projects

  • Godspeed (1992 - 1994): In high school, Michael Wittig (Kalel) was the founding member of the band Godspeed. They had one album, Godspeed, which was recorded December 1993 and released in a limited edition of 200 copies in January, 1994 in cassette format only. It contains 3 tracks: "Searching" (written by Michael Wittig), "Your Life" (written by Michael Wittig), and "Her Tears" (written by Robert Brouhard and Michael Wittig). The band's name changed from Q: The Source (named after the Q document) to Godspeed during the recording of this 3 song EP. Band Members at the time of the recording included: Michael Wittig on guitar and bass, Mahlon Tobias on bass, Robert Brouhard on vocals, and David Shawn Valcárcel on drums.
  • Stars Go Dim (2007 - current) is a current side project band that Lester Estelle Jr., Michael Wittig, and Joey Avalos are a part of. Sweet Memorial's frontman, Chris Cleveland, is the lead singer. They have released three songs on iTunes ("Come Around," and "Crazy," and "Walk On," which are also available on limited edition promo CDs). Stars Go Dim are currently recording a full length album.
  • Eowyn's 2008 song "Silent Screams" features Rob Beckley on guest vocals.

References

External links

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