against the rising
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against the rising

Band Christian Christian


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Nine months can seem long or short depending on the context. It’s how long it takes to give birth; it’s just about a year in high school or college; and it’s close to the length of an entire season of baseball. These are all long, grueling passages of time.
When it comes to music, nine months is more like a sneeze or a game of rock, paper, scissors. Bands can toil for years and years without ever writing a compelling song or playing a show. But in nine months, four guys who met and started playing music in church, formed a band, came up with some songs­ and advanced to the finals of the FTF Concert Series Back to School Battle of the Bands—in what was their second show ever at the time.

Then they won the whole thing.

Against the Rising took the stage on Saturday, October 11 and defeated five other bands at the Outpost in Kent. The battle was a fierce competition featuring everything from one-man acoustic acts to mosh-inducing metal bands. In the end, after three weeks, this pop/rock act that started as a worship-song group at the Ravenna Assembly of God stood out from the pack.
Divine intervention? Perhaps. But we at Saw*Kick prefer to chalk it up to talent.

Mike Beck (lead singer), Nate Bradley (lead guitar), Rusty Nottingham (drummer) and Cody Swinger (bass) come from a variety of influences. Nate and Cody are into heavier stuff, Rusty prefers 311, reggae-type bands and Mike admits (a little sheepishly) that he didn’t listen to anything growing up. To this day, although he’s starting to change, he doesn’t really like (or know) any music other than worship music.

Two metal guys, a reggae guy and a guy that hated music. It’s not your typical Behind the Music episode, but Against the Rising doesn’t try to be a typical band. Sure, the sound is a palatable pop/rock vibe in the Yellowcard, Story of the Year realm, but as Mike’s musical background illustrates, it’s not necessarily about the sound with Against the Rising. It’s the message. It’s a message that first brought them together, and it’s a message that drives their music.
“People nowadays are turned off by Christianity because maybe they’ve had bad dealings with it, like they think [the church] just wants your money and that… Christians have to live their life boring and according to the Bible and everything that’s in it,” Mike said. In fact, that’s what their band name refers to. “It’s like the rising against stereotypes that people have of Christianity. You can have just has much fun as everyone else. It’s not just hell, fire and brimstone.”

If it’s anywhere near as fun as their new song, Vegas, then they may be onto something.
A few months ago, before winning the battle, Against the Rising went all the way to Nashville, Tenn., with 300 other bands to play for a Christian record label. They were given a six on a scale of 10 and sent home. At the time they were disappointed, but then came to realize a six is pretty good score to get from a record label after only playing for a few months. Flash-forward to today, and the band pulled down 8s, 9s and pats on the back from the judges at the Outpost.

By our math at Saw*Kick, in three more months Against the Rising will be around a 12 or 13. Impossible, you say? Maybe. But that’s what we would have said about them winning the battle of the bands nine months ago.

(And remember, don’t rule out that divine intervention thing.)

We encourage you to listen and learn more about Against the Rising by going to and
- saw kick media


We have put out one EP including 4 songs:

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Against the Rising is a bit of an odd ball. We all have come from different backgrounds yet all share in the same goal as musicians. We started out as a church youth group worship band and from there decided to turn it into what it is now. From winning battle of bands to traveling to Nashville, we have been through quite a bit in the short time God has had us together!

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