Through hurdcore we have met artists, bands, promoters, fans, supporters…individuals who are teaming together to support local music. Its always inspiring to meet people who are actively chasing their dreams and using the tools they have to make a difference in their community. Of this caliber, there are few people working harder at the ground level for local music than Kit Day and Daniel Langenberg, whom hurdcore readers may recognize from their work with getting TreeHouse Venue up and running in Eugene, Oregon. So, we take pleasure in sharing our recent interview with Kit Day, of The Great Exploration, as he shares a bit of the story of how these man-students stepped out to add writing and playing music to their already robust efforts in promoting and hosting it at the local level.
The Great Exploration is fairly new as a band, how would you describe your sound?
TGE mixes progressive/experimental/and alternative all under the same roof.
You’ve played a few select shows and had some great turnouts, what is one of the coolest things a fan has ever said to/about your band? TGE Wow, that’s a tough question! We recently read an article in the paper where we were compared to Coldplay, Seabird, and Danyew. We thought that was pretty cool.
What was your favorite memory as a band from 2009?
TGE Honestly, our favorite memory was recording! We work with a close friend who is a recording engineer and had a blast with him.
TGE has a polished sound and you all play well together, as a band you’ve said, “Musically we strive to grow in the creativity God has given us and to give it back to Him through worship.” Is The Great Exploration a worship band, as in you play regularly for a church on Sunday mornings?
TGE I hope I don’t confuse you with my answer! Is TGE a worship band? Yes and No. When I say no, I mean we don’t “sound” like a typical worship band. We are beginning to progress more towards a experimental/progressive sound. When we create music, we try to be unique. When I say yes, our lyrics are completely geared towards worship.
Alright, so for those who still have trouble understanding the distinction, what’s the difference between a worship song and worshiping God?
TGE Music in general is worship. When you come to the realization that God is the one who has given you the talent and creativity to play music, you in turn give it back to Him. This is worship. Giving yourself in complete surrender. This is the difference between a worship song and worshiping God. It’s funny, we all go to different churches. Some of us play on worship teams, others don’t.
TGE had a strong upstart in 2009, what are you all looking forward to most in 2010?
TGE As for 2010, we were looking forward to playing at Tom Fest. Unfortunately we just read that the owner is revamping some things and will be postponing Tom Fest until next year. Oh well.
What has been your favorite show to date?
TGE Our favorite show was last Saturday night (Feb 6th)! We played with some fun bands and had a HUGE turnout of 500 people!
Have you had the chance to tour yet?
TGE Ha, no tour. We’re all in school full time, so a tour is kinda out of the question. Maybe someday!
At the time of writing this interview, your TGE MySpace profile quote reads, “Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation.” What do you mean by this?
TGE As a band, we believe God has sent us to love, not condemn people. You will find this mindset deeply rooted in both our hearts and our music.
Your song “Comforter” is obviously a spiritual tune, is this a general song about God or is there a specific circumstance that inspired the writing?
TGE “Comforter” actually was inspired from scripture:
Ecclesiastes 4:1 (NIV) Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed—and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors—and they have no comforter.
John 14:16 (ASV) And I will pray (to) the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever.
It’s a song to remind us that we have a comforter who is watching over us no matter what situation we may be in.
How is He [God] a comforter? Is He only a comforter to those who believe/obey Him?
TGE He is our Comforter in this crazy world. Not only is He a comforter to those who believe in Him, but he can be a comforter to those who choose to let Him in. It all starts with a personal choice.
A lot of people say that they believe in God or some kind of higher power. Saying that you believe in God, and maybe even being a Christian, doesn’t necessarily tell a complete story, what specifically do you believe about God?
TGE We believe God is love. Absolute, complete, pure and perfect love. God is truth. He created us. He inspired creation. He is in us and around us. He chose to love us so much that He gave his son Jesus Christ to die a gruesome death so we might live forever with Him.
You’ve stated, “As a band, we don’t want to be surface Christians. We want to continue to grow deeper in our relationship with Christ and spread his love in every way possible. Every day we aim to discover more of this incredible God who has shown us so much love and grace.” When did you become a Christian?
TGE This is a hard question! Only because there are 6 of us and we all came to Christ at different points in our life. I personally (Kit Day) grew up in a Christian household. I will admit, when I moved away to college I slipped a little. It’s funny how when you have absolute “freedom” to do whatever you want you tend to give into the pressures of society. I can tell you I hit a point where I asked myself, “Is this really how you want to live?” My answer, of course, was no. I sensed I was distant from God and it felt horrendous. Once I made a point to turn back, God swooped me right back into His arms. It felt, for a lack of a better word, monumental.
What are the origins of TGE? Can you pinpoint the moment when you knew you wanted to get serious about being in a band?
TGE When TGE was formed, it wasn’t meant with the intentions to last. Dan and I needed a 3rd band to play at Treehouse, so we thought why not put some songs together? We collaborated with some of our music buddies and put some songs together in a month’s time. After that, we realized we loved playing together and it took off from there.
We thought we recognized some of your faces from The Treehouse Venue (see hurdcore article from 2009 on THV) how is this effort going?
TGE Daniel Langenberg and myself (Kit Day) operate a local music venue called Treehouse Venue. It’s been open for about a year now and slowly getting its feet off the ground. We’re in the middle of a transition phase (new building, new sponsors, and lots of other new stuff!). I can’t really go into details because nothing has been finalized, but we’re exhilarated with anticipation!
So, you have become a two-headed monster with your efforts in TreeHouse Venue and now The Great Exploration, are you all native Eugeneians? What makes Eugene special?
TGE I think I am the only one who is not a Eugene native. I come from different places in Oregon, California, and Washington. I finally ended up in Oregon after moving away to college. Our favorite feature in Oregon is how beautiful and green everything is! The summer’s here are also amazing!
Who has been the greatest influence and/or support in getting you to where you are now?
TGE My greatest support would definitely be my wife! She has been amazing during this process and I thank God for her every day. Our close friends also supported us tremendously.
What are the weapons of choice for TGE?
TGE Uh-oh, now you’re asking for a LONG list! Where do I start? We love having as many instruments on stage as possible. I won’t post everything we use because the list will tire your eyes. Here are the important brands we enjoy:
Fender! (Fender guitars, fender tube amps); Taylor Acoustic Guitars; Boss, MXR, Fulltone, Vox, and Ernie ball Pedals; Furman Pedal board; Schecter Bass; Ampeg Bass Amps; Pixiphone; Xylophone/glockenspiel;
Lots and Lots of percussion
As a fan of music, who are you digging right now? What would be the top 5 on your ipod playlist?
TGE Here are our the 5 that inspire our music the most: Future of Forestry, Deas Vail, Glorious Unseen, Mutemath, Danyew.
…A few quick questions: If I had an extra $1000, the first piece of equipment that I would purchase for the band is a massive glockenspiel!? Currently reading Come Thirsty by Max Ludado, listening to This Will Destroy You and watching Ice Age (yes, all at the same time!)?
Our thanks/kudos to Will Foster Photography for the pics of TGE.
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