Across waters is history in the making. When four not-so-average guys from a small town known as Denton, TX band together to create an amalgamation of progressively styled music, nothing magical or profound happens instantaneously; this takes practice and the work of a Greater Power, if you know what I mean. Indeed it takes four insane, Jesus-loving men: Sterling Archer (guitar), Tyler Burditt (guitar), Leighton Pustejovsky (drums), and Levi Shultz (bass).
It all started with two guys and a dorm room during the fall of 2008. Leighton Pustejovsky and Tyler Burditt began a rampage of jam sessions only to find that their love for music would not cease. A year later after being approached by the rambunctious duo, Sterling Archer made his way into the ongoing embryonic stages of Across Waters. Finally, Levi Schultz, once a fill-in for shows, became the last addition, thereby completing the awkward quartet of talented musicians.
To say that these men had to overcome several adversities is certainly an understatement. One such case is the first time they ever performed, a day that will be remembered in infamy. "We stumbled through our set as Leighton couldn't hear anything, me and Tyler were out of tune, and our fill-in bassist had forgotten 75% of his parts… When we stopped it had turned out that most people had ventured inside for snacks and silence. We felt like great shepherds. Interesting enough, our name was My Great Shepherd", says Archer. Several venue and house shows later, the instrumental post-rock outfit has blossomed into maturing spiritual leaders of a broken generation. They are story tellers and music is their medium.
"Originally our intent was to just play together for fun and for the camaraderie that comes through playing in a band, but over time through observation of the culture we found ourselves in, our own convictions/intent shifted from personal enjoyment to a sense of calling. Our purpose now is to declare the story of God's redeeming work in places and to people who would otherwise never hear or be engaged with this narrative; to tell and reflect the beauty of our Creator and the wonder of His creation", declares Archer.
After three years of engaging the community in the artistically confused city of Denton, Across Waters has finally decided to release their first full-length album entitled More Light is Never Ending, all-encompassing of melodic guitar riffs, intricate drum beats, steady bass lines, and impacting spoken word. The upcoming album focuses on "the story of God's great narrative… in the creation story," says Archer. In a sense, the album is a multi-translatable version of what occurs on stage, which any show-goer will find to be a unique, challenging and spiritual encounter. "Our album is just a capturing of what we do on stage. Declare and reflect," claims Archer. Along with sharing a metaphoric story through music, Across Waters uses spoken word to convey a more specific message, reinforcing what is already happening in the music. Archer describes, "Much like a song does in inspiring the mind to wander and get caught up in something much more abstract, we use spoken word to direct where those thoughts are going in setting the stage for what is about to take place in the song itself."
With a melodramatic flare and an impeccable ability to perform the narrative of the Gospel, Across Waters continually cultivates a spirit of love towards all they come across. With the release of their debut album, the wacky men of Across Waters seek to relish in the gospel, sharing it with larger audiences and opening doors to minister to the lost. After all, they have always wanted to be great shepherds.
-Joanna Lugo (Hopecore.com)
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