Defying Belief
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Defying Belief


Band Rock Acoustic


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Believe It Or Not, Here They Come"

by David Brewer

For many people, summer is prime time to get out and see live music all over North Carolina. Whether the big amphitheater shows in Raleigh or Charlotte or the free concerts at the Jones House, the balmy weather seems to bring people out in droves. But for some, summertime means a time to relax, regroup and get ready for a busy fall.

Boone-based quartet Defying Belief has more in common with the latter group. Since the beginning of summer, the band has been taking it easy and regrouping after the recruitment of new drummer Jack Foster and the recent nuptials of guitarist and vocalist Ryan O'Callaghan. After a laid-back July, the band is ready to swing back into action.

Beginning as an acoustic duo with O’Callaghan and guitarist and vocalist Andrew Henderson in 2003, Defying Belief’s acoustic rock personality became more fully realized with the addition of bassist John Tomasevich and former drummer Alex Johns. Since adding the rhythm section to the equation, Defying Belief has been playing all over Boone, as well as hitting the road for shows in Greensboro, Chapel Hill, Burlington, Wilmington and Asheville.

While not knowing exactly what to call their music, O’Callaghan concedes that the moniker of acoustic rock isn’t that far off the mark. “It’s pretty nondescript but people seem to accept that as a good answer,” said O’Callaghan.

While that description might do in a pinch, Defying Belief’s full-throttle live shows feature the band in their alternative rock-based element. While Tomasevich provides a big punch with his aggressive bass playing, the intricate guitar interplay between O’Callaghan and Henderson keeps the songs moving. Together, the band proves that you don’t need distortion to have a powerful sound.

Defying Belief also sports a powerful trio of singers with O’Callaghan, Henderson and Tomasevich sharing vocal duties. Not afraid to experiment with challenging arrangements that add considerable depth to the music, the harmonies produced between the three often soar above the band’s original songs.

While adding a new member always creates a new dynamic within the band, O’Callaghan has nothing but praise for their new drummer. A percussion major at Greensboro College, Foster has been involved with the band’s recent push for new material and provides a solid beat for their “fast-paced rock mixed with jazz and alternative.”

“We’re crossing genres all over the place,” said O’Callaghan.

Henderson echoed O’Callaghan’s sentiments about the direction of the band, as well as about their newest member.

“It’s kind of to the point where we’re getting into entirely different genres,” said Henderson. “It’s amazing how much of a difference it makes having all four of us into it one hundred percent.”

While the band released an EP entitled Tears Of A Nation shortly after their formation, Defying Belief is sharpening their skills to reenter the studio some time this fall to record a full-length follow-up. Like most regional bands, the quartet is pinching pennies and practicing to prepare for the experience.

“We’re shopping around right now and trying to save money,” said O’Callaghan.

While Tomasevich and Henderson are looking to graduate and possibly relocate within the next year, Defying Belief will undoubtedly be making several appearances in Boone this year. The band will be The Library on Friday August 4.

For preview music by Defying Belief, click to - High Country News

"Artist of the Week: Defying Belief"


Defying Belief is a band with a social consciousness and is on top of current events. The [members] are currently promoting their self-released, extended play CD, with songs that speak to people of all walks of life, across the nation and the globe.

Defying Belief, while influenced by [many] genres, is overall an acoustic rock band, albeit a unique and creative addition to this flavor of music. The group's repertoire of over thirty original works (plus a few worthy covers) makes each of their shows a rewarding experience. The band's songwriting is all about melody and harmony, both in regards to instrumentation and vocalization. As each member of the group can claim several years of instruction in musical theories, together they are performing the most intricate acoustic sound in the region. Lyrically the band's songs cover such content as relationships, personal experiences and everyday events, but they also cover, in a very meaningful way, such historical events as the Katrina disaster. The latter is a moving work that speaks for the victims and challenges the modern political scene -- it is a work that should be included in high school and college poetry textbooks.

Defying Belief consists of Ryan O'Callaghan (guitar, vocals), Andrew Henderson (guitar, vocals), John Tomasevich (bass, vocals), and [Jack Foster] (drums). Together they are the cream of the crop of the region's Acoustic Rock scene. The band is based in Boone and began as an acoustic duo in 2003 with Ryan and Andrew both playing guitar and writing the songs. The two performed around Boone at such local venues as Canyons, Boone Saloon, and all about the Appalachian State University campus. In the fall of 2004 the duo, seeking a fuller sound for their performances, added [bass guitar and drums] to the line up. Each member's musical background spans the various genres of music with as much as ten years of professional experience in the music industry. United, these talented artists have created a sound that is completely their own. In fact, Defying Belief is determined to distinguish themselves with a deliberate concentration on originality and creativity.

Defying Belief is getting around and making a name for [itself]. The group's talented arrangements and powerful lyrics have won Defying Belief bookings across our region, from [Green Street] in Greensboro to Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, to Legends in Boone.

Over two hours' worth of original Acoustic Rock make any Defying Belief performance an exceptional audio event. The group is dedicated and serious about their sound and their lyrics, and that always makes for a great show.

Congratulations to Defying Belief for being our Artist of the Week for the week of 09 APR 06. - Musicians of Mayberry


2005 - Tears of a Nation EP
2007 - Epiphany LP

Has received radio play in Greensboro, Boone, Wilmington, NC and select stations in VA.



Defying Belief is an acoustic rock band out of Greensboro, NC that began as an acoustic duo in 2003 with Ryan O’Callaghan and Andrew Henderson both songwriting and playing acoustic guitar. In the fall of 2004 the duo, looking to acquire a fuller sound, added John Tomasevich and Alex Johns, bass player and drummer respectively, to the line up. The resulting sound was a mix of alternative rock, jazz, folk, and pop, which has become a trademark sound of the band. Especially prominent is the intricate guitar work, melodic 3-part vocals, and the tasteful use of brass. Working to develop a unique sound that would stand out among the metal/pop punk that permeated the area, the band crafted a blend of high energy rock with an intimate coffee shop performance to make a live-show experience that few could easily forget. Add to that the refreshing, well-thought out lyrics and you have a formula for success.

The band went into the studio to record a demo after only 2 practices, and the 5-song EP “Tears of a Nation” was the product. The band played many shows around the state but in the fall of 2005 Alex left to pursue other interests. The band immediately replaced Alex with Jack Foster and picked up where they left off. Continuing to play shows around NC, the band began work on their first full length.

Having gone into the studio in the fall of 2006, the band released their debut LP "Epiphany" in April of 2007, an album whose sound is distinctly Defying Belief’s. Over the past 4 years, the band has received many positive reviews and has frequented such venues as Greene Street (Greensboro), Cat’s Cradle (Carrboro), The Brewery (Raleigh) and Ziggy's(Winston-Salem). They have headlined many shows and have opened for such bands as Corey Smith, Paulson (NJ), and Daphne Loves Derby (WA).

In the fall of 2007 Defying Belief recruited James Taylor, a resident of the Charlotte NC area, as their new drummer.