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Sky Harbor Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and Sky Harbor lyrics)
Sky Harbor Biography
For its debut release, Phoenix-based Sky Harbor taps the most universal of songwriting themes. Girl trouble.
Yet, in doing, so the four-piece band proclaims unmistakably a most universal of Christian theological convictions-that the world needs love. The love found only in Christ.
Who Would Have Guessed loudly illustrates that adrenalinized music need not be shallow or self-indulgent to be attractive. It distinguishes itself as a substantive rock record uncharacteristically built on the fundamentals of the singer-songwriter tradition, thematically exploring how love and hope trump doubt. This 10-song original project dynamically represents Sky Harbor's tight, high-energy live set, one it pounded out on more than 150 dates last year as an indie band opening for notables like Pillar, East West, Justified, Benjamin Gate, Switchfoot and Bleach. As some of Christian rock's biggest acts are thick with adoration for praise & worship offerings, Sky Harbor bucks trends representing hope seekers who every day step anxiously through self-doubt and self-discovery, finding God at the heart of love.
Four young guys showing out for musical sophistication. A rock band anchored by songwriting depth. Questions pointing to hope in God's love. Who Would Have Guessed.
Garth Bostic, who pulls triple duty as singer, songwriter and guitarist for Sky Harbor, discusses the inspiration behind the title. "I originally got it from a quote by C.S. Lewis where he mentions that part of Christianity's validity for him was the fact that he never could have guessed it." Garth continues, "There are many topics I think we deal with in our songs that fall into the category of things one might have 'never guessed' but are, actually, true."
Garth (19) is joined in the band by his younger sibling Willie Bostic (bass; 18), their childhood chum Steve Houser (guitar, vocals; 18) and the group's final puzzle piece, Jonathan Russo (drums; 18). "A big theme in our music is the idea of growing up and trying to discover your identity and what your place in the world is," says Garth. "For us, because we were raised in the church, growing up means discovering the process to find out how you can use love to change the world."
"We want to get the point across that the world doesn't need rock stars or another rock song," says Willie, referring to the electric track "Welcome." "That might seem ironic, given that we're a rock band, but our point is that people need love-God's love. Music is our way of conveying that message in a way that people will hear it."
Hear it-and feel it-music fans will! Sky Harbor's music is like a shot of adrenaline. From a steady, balanced diet of classic rock (like old U2, Queen and Journey) and Christian powerhouse acts (like MxPx and Newsboys), the guys roll out a distinctive, punk-influenced rock-pop sound, saturating a room like crashing waves to a beachhead. Underneath, there's a rip tide of meaning, pulling listeners into an unexpected but cool depth of mind and soul. And with a knowing wink, the men play with a nod to the '80s, a period producing some of their favorite mainstream and Christian music.
Just a couple of years ago Sky Harbor was a garage band playing wherever it could set up its gear. Adults on the sidelines furrowed their brows inquisitively, wondering how a skinny group of fresh-faced suburbanites could summon such blistering, razor-sharp music. But Sky Harbor's peers-high school and college-aged students-got it. In the band's music, they heard a rally cry to the difference God makes in life. They heard important questions they were asking themselves. And though answers didn't come quickly, if at all, there was solidarity in the search. A following was born.
In early 2002, Jonathan Russo became Sky Harbor's first permanent drummer. He was a timely addition. By then Garth, Willie and Steve, who grew up together attending church, had their sights fixed on taking their message across the country as a band, a goal they'd had since they started playing instruments. With the drum kit finally anchored, the four hit the road, traveling in a dilapidated, salmon-colored 1992 Ford Econoline van.
For its first national release, the guys agree Who Would Have Guessed pulls together an album of snapshots and scribbling about their own experiences growing up and finding God. "Another theme on the record is how no matter what you're going through, God is always there," says Steve. "Our song 'What if I Doubt' recalls those times everyone has when they're doubting their relationship with Christ or doubting if they can do something. But God is always there to lift you up and get you back on track.
"'Where'd You Come From' says something like that, too," he continues, citing the album's dramatic, power ballad-like closer. "Some people don't think there is any hope and then God just sort of moves into the picture and changes everything. He just sweeps you off your feet, and you ask, where did God come from?"
"We're using the things we've learned and putting them into songs that have become the anthems of our lives right now," says Jonathan. "An anthem is a song that contains a strong message you believe in," explains Garth, unpacking the inspiration behind the band's moniker. "When you sing an anthem, people listening know personally what it means to them. It's their song, too. We want to be like a stadium full of people representing what we believe."
"Sky Harbor is four guys encouraging people to live lives that are anthems for Jesus Christ," says Steve. "We want people to join in, singing anthem with us and creating their own."
"We'd like to start the hamster in people's wheel, you know?" Willie says chiming in. "We'd like to get people thinking. And we'd like them to walk away with a sense of refreshment, to have them thinking, 'Wow, that's a good rock band!"
And what of the aforementioned girl trouble, from the smart and contagious "Who Needs a Girl?"
"It's about how relationships with other people that care about us are really important," explains Garth, revealing the girl as metaphor for human relationships. "We all need someone to miss when we're away. We all need love, and God is the source of it."
Following its summer of one-off dates, Sky Harbor will tour this fall with Newsboys on Festival con Dios. But on the eve of fulfilling its dreams, connecting with their peers remains the band's preoccupation. "I hope this album is the beginning of building good relationships with the listeners," Jonathan says. "I remember when I was younger, I'd get a CD I really liked and it was as if I knew the musicians personally. I want people to feel as though they can approach us as people. I hope we can walk through this together."
"I'd love to have people sit down and listen to the record straight through and feel as though they just reread their favorite book," says Garth, himself an avid reader. "I want them to have that cleansing feeling of knowing they've gone through the things those guys were singing about."
He continues, "We are a group of four guys, 18 and 19 year old, trying to make rock music that deals with life and love and so much more than guys doing rock music at our age are supposed to think about. Who would have guessed that?" It's a fair call-with a welcomed response. Who Would Have Guessed is a crib sheet from a band of young men becoming who they're meant to be. It's a road map leading from adolescence to adulthood, making stops at all the popular attractions: love, doubt, relationships and hope in Christ. Girl trouble optional.