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The best kept secret in music


"Reclaiming His Voice"

Jacob Dement recalls a time when pills and needles left him "soaking in misery" and desperate for Jesus' guidance, in afterEIGHT's fevered rock cut "The Only Way to Kill a Ghost."

"I want everything inside of me out, get it out!" the Christian outfit's lead singer declares as his brethren sear through the Story of the Year-esque cut, off the band's debut full-length CD, "Better Late Than Never", Dement fell into that dark state back when afterEIGHT - the current lineup includes guitarist Brett Admire, bassist Bryson Phillips, drummer Michael Phillips and guitarist Justin Lamproe - broke up for a year, between 2004 and 2005.

During that grim period, the 20-year-old artist said he experimented with drugs and sunk deeper into a lifestyle far from the one he lives now. In the inspirational cut, "Midnight Sky," Dement chronicles those dark
times when he was a self-described idiot who felt pathetic.

"That's basically what the whole song is about," he said. "I had it so good and I basically trashed it just because I was stupid and selfish." Dement grew up in the church, but veered away from it during that time,
he said.

"I gave myself all kinds of reasons why I didn't want to go, and stuff like that," he said, "but during the time when the band was broken up, I was brainwashing myself into believing that there was more out there. I was just blinded ... I just woke up one day and was like, 'What am I doing? Why am I doing this?' because it was so good, and calm and peaceful before that time in my life. I realized that was back when I had something to believe in, back when I had faith.

"When I lost faith, it was like I lost everything else." AfterEIGHT sometimes punctuates its propulsive, in-your-face rock tunes with tormented screams, but on "Midnight Sky," afterEIGHT opted for synthesized strings rather than screams.

Six songs into the disc, the band gives the listener a breather from the full-on rock with a 1:12 interlude. It's an abrupt change of pace featuring a soft piano melody and acoustic guitar accompaniment. The overall vibe has the feel of something recorded in a coffee house, where the band members' almost indistinguishable chatter is heard in the background.

Live in concert, the band has been known to change pace mid-show via the completely unexpected interludes of "My Girl" or even "Afternoon Delight."

After Dement is heard saying "It's kind of weird" in the recorded interlude, the rock band kicks back in for "Where Did the Music Go?" The song begins with Mourning September singer Tony Chavez's "Whoa-ohs" that lead into one of the most intense screams on the record. Dement goes on to prod the listeners to "scream your voices oh so loud…bringing forth to life the punks of the past."

On "Something for God," Dement's most overtly Christian song, ghoulish screams and propulsive rock energy help the singer pay homage to the Almighty, who he thanks for "a million things that he's done for my life and
the faith that he's placed in me." Dement said the only reason he wrote the song was "so everybody could understand that's why we were there - not for anything else."

The band closes out the disc with "Chanc," a heartrending acoustic ballad that finds Dement remembering his late classmate, Rustin Chanc Davis, who died in 2004, at the age of 18. Dement hardly knew Davis, who
was captain of the Charles Page High School baseball team and who died not long before graduation day. Dement was moved to write the song the day he heard of Davis' death. In it, Dement wonders whether he'll
see Davis in the hereafter, and laments that he never really got to know the friendly jock who always greeted him as a friend.

The day before the funeral, Davis' mother, Julie, called Dement to tell him she wanted him to play "Chanc" at the funeral. After his moving performance, Davis' father, Sonny, made Dement promise he would one day record it. With the release of "Better Late Than Never," Dement will finally make good on that promise to a grieving father. As a final tribute to Davis, "Better Late Than Never," features 13 songs, the same number that Davis wore all those innings ago. - Tulsa World

"afterEIGHT Brings The Rock"

There are plenty of good things that can be said about the members of afterEIGHT, the up and coming rockers from Sand Springs: They are solid musicians, put on a great, high-energy rock show, have a strong and loyal fan base, and write great songs.

Perhaps head and shoulders above all else, though, they are just great guys. There are no false pretenses or masks and no huge egos, just five, down-to-earth guys with a healthy (if sometimes odd) sense of humor, whose love of life pervades everything they do.

Unfortunately, when discussing a band, that usually doesn't translate well as a compliment, but instead sounds like you're searching for something nice to say about your blind date (you know who I'm talking about: the girl with the "great personality"). That sucks, because it's not the case with afterEIGHT.

This is a band that truly rocks and could share a stage with a pop-punk act like Relient K or Bowling for Soup, an emo band like Story of the Year or My Chemical Romance, or a screamo/hardcore act like Underoath or Project 86 with equal aplomb. In fact, they've shared the stage with a few of the aforementioned bands already.

While the band's musical influences and aspirations lean closer to Story of the Year, lyrically they have more in common with Relient K, Project 86 and Underoath.

Yes, in case you didn't already know, afterEIGHT is a Christian band; and while the group tries to balance its stage show and not be preachy, the band members also aren't afraid to share their faith - onstage or off.

Walk the Walk

"It's what we are and what we live for" says lead singer Jacob Dement, when explaining the band's intentions. "We want to show people that you can be a Christian and still enjoy life. You don't have to party and get sloppy drunk to be cool and have fun. At the same time, being a Christian doesn't mean that you have to sit at home on your couch watching a movie and eating popcorn on Saturday night, either."

"Sometimes it can seem hard to show people, but what we want people to understand is that you don't have to be cheesy to be a Christian - it's not all suits and ties. You can really believe and still be yourself."

The group has played its fair share of shows at churches and Christian venues, but it has also played regular bars and nightclubs, setting an example of having faith in an everyday world. And while the band members admit to receiving mixed reactions from the bar crowds, for the most part, response has been positive and supportive of a band that doesn't just talk about faith, but lives it out.

Jacob does admit that at one point he wasn't sure how the audience would react when the band was playing a club in Missouri and decided to splice a portion of praise and worship song in the middle of one of their own songs. "I'll admit, I was scared - I didn't know how they would react.

"When we were done, though, you could just see the change on people's faces. A lot of them were smiling, and they were all clapping--even the bartenders in the back were clapping and cheering for us. Ever since then, I'm not scared to do anything, swap in a song or whatever we feel like we should do . . . "

Rock the rock

Whatever you do, be careful not to brush off and dismiss this band just because its members aren't afraid to wear their faith on their sleeve. afterEIGHT has become one of Tulsa's must-see live bands with a compelling, high energy show that proves these guys haven't forgotten what playing rock & roll is all about: having fun and blowing off steam.

The band's live performance provides that release for both the band and the audience and is punctuated by guitar spins, instrument swaps that frequently see guitars flying across the stage, and inside jokes - including the occasional pop nugget, just to make sure you're still paying attention.

(The group's April appearance on this year's UTW NewVo concert series featured a snippet of Starland Vocal Band's "Afternoon Delight", revised to become "afterEIGHT Delight".)

Having recently completed its new CD, Better Late Than Never, the band now has a disc that measures up well next to its stellar live show. Given a casual listen, it is a solid rock album that leans into emo and screamo territory without becoming too dark or depressing and should keep any local modern-rock fan happy. Pay more attention, though, and the lyrics are deeper than most commercial radio fare.

The disc's final song, "Chance", is a tribute to a fellow student and Sand Springs High School baseball player who died the week before graduation in 2004. In reflecting on the life and countenance of a star athlete who got along with everyone and always wore a smile, the song also examines the legacy left behind by our actions and words once we're gone.

Elsewhere, the anthemic "Midnight Sky" soars over a foundation of acoustic guitars and "Falling From A Star", which was the last track completed (Jacob revised the lyrics and re-recorded the vocal track), are standout tracks on the album.

Arguably the strongest cut on the disc, however, is opener "The Only Way to Kill a Ghost". Written as part of the auditioning process when drummer Michael Phillips joined the band last fall, the song's driving energy and swirling guitar lines grab your attention and drag you along for the ride.

Lyrically, it's a smack between the eyes from the outset: "You're murdering my God / in the midst of all this pain / driving stakes right through his wrists / keep it to yourself and don't tell a soul / is it obvious to me / is this really what it means to live?"

Examining inner turmoil and how to escape its grasp, this goes way beyond your standard, whiny emo material. "The Only Way . . . " may very well be one of the best rock songs, especially lyrically, that I've heard all year.

The next step?

If the afterEIGHT boys continue down the path that this album paves, it shouldn't be long before they get noticed and receive some serious attention from a label like Tooth & Nail, Solid State or Razor & Tie. In the meantime, the band has a new CD ready to satisfy established fans and win over new ones.

The release party for Better Late Than Never will be this Friday night, September 1, at The Hive. Admission is $10 at the door and includes your copy of the CD and a line-up that includes St. Dexter, Something to Prove, Sweet Memorial, and Fighting Tomorrow, with afterEIGHT capping the bill. Doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 7:30.

Yes, you read that right: your $10 admission includes the new CD and five bands in concert. With a deal like that, you've got no excuse for missing this show and finding out why afterEIGHT is winning over fans whenever it plays.

As for all that stuff about being great guys? Bassist Bryson Phillips says that the group's goal as a Christian band is to be "real" and not present themselves differently off stage than on.

So far, that hasn't been a problem and given the guys' level heads and humility, I don't foresee it becoming an issue. That makes it that much easier to want to see them reach the next level of success. With any luck, that next step won't be too far off. - Urban Tulsa Weekly

"Sandite Rockers Making Waves on Christian Rock Music Scene"

Seething, writhing, and releasing a furor of passion impregnated with despair, sorrow, wonder and grace, which sears from the depths of their soul as they artistically "let go", exhausting themselves shamelessly for God. Brett Admire, Bryson Phillips, Justin Lamproe, Jacob Dement, and Michael Phillips collectively create the Alternative-Christian Rock Band afterEIGHT. They claim they've "found the formula" and are "taking it one step further;" to reach the youth of today's society with a new flavor of praise and worship.

These fellas are Charles Page High School graduates and are all current residents of the Sand Springs Community.

afterEIGHT came together full circle about a year and a half ago. The band was tagged "afterEIGHT" because of their relentless search for a place to practice - without disrupting the neighborhood. Their search ended at Lee's Diner where they weren't allowed to practice until after eight. Each of them, for the most part, are self-taught musicians that have been playing musical instruments since middle school.

Guitarist, Brett Admire, 22, attributes a lot of his talent and inspiration to his departed grandfather who not only showed him a thing or two about the guitar, but encouraged him to put his talent to work for the Lord. In addition to his musical talent, he also has a real aptitude and zeal for photography and has done some freelance work for the Tulsa World.

Admire is employed full-time for U.S. Investigation Services, a full-time student at OSU of Tulsa pursuing a major in marketing, and is currently a member of Word of Life Church in Sand Springs. Admire's all-time favorite band is Anverlin.

The band's 20-year-old lead vocalist, Jacob Dement, writes all of the band's lyrics including the last song on their newest CD. The song, entitled "Chanc," is on track #13, in honor of a young Sandite baseball player. Chanc Davis, who wore jersey No. 13, passed away just before his graduation in 2004. Dement is also a member of Word of Life Church in Sand Springs and a part-time student at TCC.

Bass guitarist, Bryson Phillips, 22, is employed full-time at U.S. Investigation Services, a full-time student at TCC majoring in aviation, and is also a member of Sand Springs Christian Fellowship. Phillips' all-time favorite band is Fair to Midland and is deeply fascinated with ghost lore and longs to visit the notoriously haunted Crescent Hotel in Arkansas.

The band's drummer, 18-year-old Michael Phillips, is also Bryson Phillips' younger brother. Michael currently works full-time at the Sand Springs Med-X, is a full-time student at TCC studying to become a pharmaceutical technician, and is also a member of Sand Springs Christian Fellowship. Michael's all-time favorite band is Jimmy Eat World.

Guitarist, Justin Lamproe, 20, has an acoustic project in the works and expects it to be finished and released by late November. Lamproe and Bryson Phillips both write the music for afterEIGHT. Lamproe is a full-time employee at a local machine shop.

Ironically, this high-octane, guitar slinging band consists of humble, modest young men with a shared interest; their immense love for God and their undying mission to persevere in spreading their message abroad. Although they are a Christian rock band, they mainly perform, with great success, in public bars and night clubs explicitly spreading their love for God and implicitly sending the message that you can love God and still rock.

Make no mistake; it would be a devastating injustice to dismiss afterEIGHT as the stereotypical fist-pumping band raging aimlessly out of control or even a Bible-pounding sermon masked by the strapping beat of a drum. On the contrary, afterEIGHT primarily demonstrates their love for God by utilizing their talents through passionate music that can be easily understood and accepted by all.

Despite every obstacle, they released their first full-length, 13-song album September 1 on Yeah Siam Records titled "Better Late Than Never" and were featured in the Tulsa World, the Tulsa World Spot, and Urban Tulsa. They have also won a Spot Award for Best Christian Act of 2006 in opposition to Steven Speaks, Edinbergh, Anna Dilemma, and Before Sunday.

The band has sold more than 500 albums since the release of their CD. afterEIGHT is highly supported by bands such as Bowling for Soup and Pillar, and plan to go on tour in March. They can be heard on 104.5 The Edge and 100.3 The Kross. - Sand Springs Leader

""Better Late Than Never" CD REVIEW"

AfterEIGHT isn't into oh-that-mean-girl-broke-my-heart- so-now-I'll-(insert guttural, tortured scream here) ditties.

Instead, Jacob Dement's local Story of the Year-esque outfit uses the genre's impassioned whoa-ohs, and the occasional sandblasting scream, to praise not the nubile heartbreakers but -- get this -- their creator.

The good news is that the Christian act's debut full-length "Better Late Than Never" is light on preaching and heavy on the rock.

God bless 'em.

Anyway, the lead, and perhaps best, track, "The Only Way to Kill a Ghost," is a full-on, pump-your-fist rocker that comes complete with the Christian punk rallying cry "We'll! Bleed! For! Grace!"

Hey, Christians can be punks too, you know.

"The Only Way to Kill a Ghost" is one part critique of Christians who leave their faith at the church door, and one part cry out to God.

It's chilling as the song's hero recalls shooting up while yearning to quit.

It's not until the second track, "Falling From a Star," that afterEIGHT unleashes the first volley of ferocious screams.

The only time those intestine-twisting hollers seem out-of-place is at the end of the Jimmy Eat World-esque "Coping."

Why mar such a great cut?

The remaining blowtorch howls are usually quite effective as they bloody tracks like "Leaving the Pain Behind."

Halfway through the disc, the band inserted a 1:12-minute interlude of acoustic guitar and piano played over a coffee house's random chatter.

It's an unexpected break that gloriously makes peeling into the intense we-love-punk ode "Where Did the Music Go?" that much more whiplash-inducing.

AfterEIGHT slows things down for the heartrending acoustic ballad "Chanc," an ode to a dead classmate, and the string-laden gem "Midnight Sky."

Whining about girls is boring. Calling out -- nay, screaming out -- to God for redemption and solace makes for one heavenly, hellacious record. - Tulsa World


"Better Late Than Never" - 2006, Yeah Siam Records
"Will Rock For Food" - 2005, Fat Lip Entertainment
"EP2" - 2004, Independent


Feeling a bit camera shy



Won the 2004 Wherehouse New Band Tournament (Bartlesville OK) earning them a performance slot at Cornertone 2004 (Bushnell IL)

“Something For God” appeared on the 2005 compliation “Will Rock For Food from Fatlip Entertainmnet

Selected to showcase at DFest 2005 (Tulsa OK)

Signed to Yeah Siam Records in summer of 2006

Selected to showcase at DFest 2006 (Tulsa OK)

Full-length album “Better Late Than Never” is released in Sept. 2006 on Yeah Siam Records

Won the 2006 Tulsa World SPOT Award for “Best Christian Act”

Single “The Only Way To Kill A Ghost” in full rotation on Z104.5 (Tulsa) and 100.3 The Kross (Tulsa)

By popular vote, beat out Hinder, The Ataris, underOATH, The Black Maria, Skillet and Relient K on Z104.5’s “COCKFIGHT”

Endorsed by Rebel Strap Co. (

Have shared the stage with Anberlin, Kutless, Falling Up, Skillet, SonicFlood, Relient K, subseven, Kids in the Way, Hawk Nelson, Project 86, Dizmas, Rooney, The Academy is.. ,The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, The Vanished and Bowling for Soup.