Rough Draft

Rough Draft

BandChristianRock

Powerful. Impactful. Life changing. These are just a few words – words directly from the mouths of Rough Draft fans – that describe the band's music, message and ministry.

Biography

Powerful. Impactful. Life changing. These are just a few words – words directly from the mouths of Rough Draft fans – that describe the band's music, message and ministry. Already generating a buzz in Nashville and beyond, Rough Draft is putting its mission of "reaching the lost and encouraging the found" into practice through a hard-hitting alternative rock sound and well-crafted lyrics that both challenge and inspire.

"It's been a crazy ride so far," says singer/guitarist Andrew Wittenauer, "and the craziest part is that it feels like this is just the beginning. When I look back at what God has done through this band and the four of us it just blows me away. I don't think anyone – except for God – could have predicted it. We feel truly blessed to be doing what we're doing and we can’t wait to see what God has in store."

No stranger to success, in 2006 Rough Draft was a semi-finalist at the Gospel Music Association's annual Music in the Rockies competition in Estes Park, CO. Soon after, the band was sharing the stage with the likes of Leeland, Stellar Kart and 25,000 kids at the 2007 National Lutheran Youth Gathering in Orlando, FL. Averaging 150 shows per year – all the way from Florida to Alaska – Rough Draft has sold an impressive 4,000 plus copies of its demo and debut album as an independent band.

But perhaps most impressive, all of this was accomplished while the band was still in high school – something that Wittenauer and drummer Pedro Quinones couldn’t have imagined when the two first met back in junior high. Already playing together in the praise band at church, they decided to form a band of their own and Rough Draft was born. Lead guitarist Adam Woodroof and bassist Dave King round out the rest of the group.

"Not Far Away," Rough Draft's debut album, features 11 songs ranging from the punk-influenced, hard-hitting title track, to the challenging acoustic ballad "Awaken Me," to the fun, upbeat "Yours Forever," to the intense and powerful "Alone," to the fan favorite and band anthem "I'm Not Ashamed." The album was recorded at the legendary Fort Collins studio The Blasting Room with engineer Andrew Berlin and mastered by Jason Livermore.

"All of the songs follow the same pattern," Wittenauer says. "I'll sit down to try and write a song, but nothing will really come out – until something happens in my life. And in that moment – when the emotion is there – the lyrics start to pour out really fast. The song comes when it's time. If I try to write just for the sake of writing, I find the words are not as powerful as when my heart is really bleeding out onto the paper."

Take for example the song "Awaken Me," co-written with Nashville songwriter Erica Harvey and recently featured on the nationally syndicated radio show Total Axxess. The song encourages believers to be weary of complacency in their faith: "Awaken me/If I ever take for granted/Awaken me/To all that's good and new/Awaken me/To the blessings I've been handed/Awaken me to you."

"I could not get this melody out of my head," Wittenauer explains. "The music was finished, but I didn't have any lyrics. It was at a time in my life when I was really struggling with being ungrateful for a lot of God's blessings. And then Erica sent the lyrics and they just hit me in the face. They fit perfectly with the music and with what was going on in my life at the time."

Rough Draft isn't afraid to take on issues facing today's youth. On the song "Alone," Wittenauer sings of an alcoholic and abusive father and a son's struggle with suicide. The final chorus offers hope and the unconditional love of a heavenly Father: "You're not alone and you've got a home/Where you are loved and you're the pride and joy/You'll live your dreams and as strange as it seems/You'll be daddy's little boy."

The band also has a sincere heart for worship. Rough Draft can often be found leading the next generation in worship at events throughout the country. The band is very passionate about worship, combining its own unique sound with today's cutting edge worship music. The result is a worship experience that is powerful, dramatic and authentic.

The heart behind Rough Draft lies in a simple statement adopted by the band: "reaching the lost and encouraging the found." Rough Draft is a band with a mission. That mission is to communicate the Gospel in a way that is real and refreshing. Rough Draft is a band that is above all else, authentic. The band is not afraid to be real, often sharing both struggles and triumphs from behind the microphone. While the band loves being on stage, they are more excited about what happens after the show – the opportunity to connect and build relationships with people.

"We of course want to spread the Gospel to those who don’t know Christ," Wittenauer says, "but we also don't want to forget about those already in the church. All people need encouragement and just because you're a Christian d

Lyrics

Alone

Written By: Andrew Wittenauer

A hundred tears are gone
With a single drop of blood
All it takes is one time
And I can cut away the pain
I step through the front gate
My daddy looks at me with his blinded gaze
He doesn’t realize the tears that fall from my eyes
Why can’t he see, why can’t he see who I want to be?
Why does he keep pushing me away?

I am alone, trying to find a home
Where I can be the pride and joy
He beats my dreams and he rips the seams
Of what used to be daddy’s little boy
This is who I am
Why won’t he love me?

And everyday I come back
To a home filled with longnecks
And the man I’m supposed to look up to
Is passed out in the living room
All I want is to be accepted
Instead of pushed down and rejected
What do you want from me?
Can’t you see I won’t be the man you want me to be?

He has his plans for me
He tries to make me see
What he has in store is so much better
Why won’t he let me be the man I want to be?
‘Cause now I’m stuck inside of his shadow
This is who I am
Why won’t he love me?

He sits alone by the telephone
With his daddy’s gun in hand
What he doesn’t know is that he’s loved
And he’s got a home
But nothing’s gonna stop his plan

With the gun to his head
With plans of being dead
There’s a knock at his door
And he waits a second more
And in walks his best friend
He grabs the gun and sets it on the bed
He looks at him and smiles
And this is what he said

You’re not alone and you’ve got a home
Where you are loved and you’re the pride and joy
You’ll live your dreams and as strange as it seems
You’ll be daddy’s little boy
This is who he is
He can live in you
This is who I am
Can you love him?
Can you love him?

A thousand tears are gone
With a nail through the palm
All it took was one life
And our pains are bled away

Awaken Me

Written By: Ericka Harvey/Andrew Wittenauer

If my eyes wide open fail to see
And my tongue hides away in apathy
And I’m sleepwalking through a heart so true
Awaken me to you

If this flame inside me starts to grow dim
And coldness floods a heart that would rather sink than swim
If the times that we embrace start to become few
Awaken me to you

Awaken me
If I ever take for granted
Awaken me
To all that’s good and new
Awaken me
To the blessings I’ve been handed
Awaken me to you

If my heart only beats so that I may breathe
And to feel anymore would be too hard to conceive
If I start to forget you in all that I do
Awaken me to you

You are my reason for living
You heal, restore, and you’re giving to me
You’re giving to me
And I don’t want to lose
My longing to see and if I do
Awaken me, awaken me

I'm Not Ashamed

Written By: Andrew Wittenauer

If my eyes wide open fail to see
And my tongue hides away in apathy
And I’m sleepwalking through a heart so true
Awaken me to you

If this flame inside me starts to grow dim
And coldness floods a heart that would rather sink than swim
If the times that we embrace start to become few
Awaken me to you

Awaken me
If I ever take for granted
Awaken me
To all that’s good and new
Awaken me
To the blessings I’ve been handed
Awaken me to you

If my heart only beats so that I may breathe
And to feel anymore would be too hard to conceive
If I start to forget you in all that I do
Awaken me to you

You are my reason for living
You heal, restore, and you’re giving to me
You’re giving to me
And I don’t want to lose
My longing to see and if I do
Awaken me, awaken me

Last Prayer

Written By: Pedro Quinones/Brent Thayer

I’ve found myself and I’m such a mess
Please explain this to me
How can your beauty love this beast?
I’ve done nothing for you

This is more than love
More than words can explain
With you I belong
In your eyes I see my heart

When I fall from here will you catch me?
When I hit the ground let me know
If I cry tonight in your arms tonight
Will you hold me closer?

I’ve let this world change my heart
I’ve turned my back on you
And yet you take my hand and lead me by your side
Straight up to the stars

In you I find peace
In you I find release
From all that I am
Your grace, it saves me

If I call to you will you answer?
If I don’t listen will you let me know?
If I die tonight with your name on my lips
Will you carry me to heaven?

With you I belong

Not Far Away

Written By: Pedro Quinones/Drew Torres/Andrew Wittenauer

I’m broken, I’m falling apart
Piece by piece life takes me
I’m bound, I’m locked up
In a prison of my decisions
The light of day is blocked away
By these walls, by these stones
There’s no way out, no way in
Love has left, this is sin

Why try
When my feet can’t leave the ground
I can’t fly
With these chains holding me down

But I believe there’s a light
Somewhere near, somewhere, somewhere
And I believe I will fly
Someday soon, someday, someway
And I know I’m not far away

My sin has destroyed me
I built these walls, made these chains
I’m burnt out, I’m hopeless
I need redemption
Thirst and hunger won’t go away
They feed me lies
My darkness consumes me
My light is gone, I’m worthless

So I run
So I run to you
So I run
Into your arms
Into your arms
Into your arms
Into your arms

I have seen, I have seen the light
Grace and love, grace and love will let me fly
Into your arms, into your arms
I know I’m not far away

Rich Man

Written By: Andrew Wittenauer

Everyday they had the simple needs
But everyday was a struggle
They didn’t have the possibilities
Had no one but me and each other

And everyday I’d ask them
Is it worth it in the end?
Then my father turned and said

Every year I make a living
And though the rich may call me sad
I’ve got my family beside me
I’m alright with what I have
I’m a rich man

And everyday I questioned if it was true
I didn’t believe until the day
I met the family with a lot of money
But they had no unity

Then I realized
Who I was and what I have
And what my father had meant

Throughout the years and for my son
I will teach of how we held on
Trust in God and one another
Just reach out to your brothers

Soar

Written By: Pedro Quinones/Brent Thayer

Every time I try and find my way
I lose myself instead of finding a place to stay
Sitting there inside my loneliness
A stranger calls to me and offers forgiveness

Come lift me up into your hands
Reach down and lift me to my feet
Stay here and walk beside me Lord
And lift me higher

You see I’m trying to find my way up to eternal life
But it seems that I can’t help myself
I need some help from somewhere else
‘Cause every time I fall more weight is added to my back
Savior I’m repenting now
‘Cause I don’t know how

I will run and not grow weary
I will walk and not grow faint
If I put all my hope in the Lord
I will soar on wings of eagles
I will soar

Trust

Written By: Andrew Wittenauer

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And lean not on your own understanding
In all your ways acknowledge him
And he will make your path straight

Is your path straight?

Unworthy

Written By: Andrew Wittenauer/Brent Thayer

My heart was black and blue
Beaten was my soul
You broke into my life
And rescued me from the cold

I don’t understand
Why you have chosen me
I am unworthy
Of your love
I’m unworthy

I was alone in a flood of tears
My bed was soaked, the air was cold
You heard my cries and came to me
You opened my eyes and let me see

The cowards they ran from the light
The cowards they ran from my life
They turn and run from my God
They turn and run from the Son

I don’t understand
Why I was in that place
I want you by my side
All of my life
For I know
For I know
I’m unworthy

Winded

Written By: Drew Torres/Andrew Wittenauer

I’m running blind chasing silhouettes
I’m feeling trapped in the enemy’s nets
It’s the never ending battle of dark and light
Seems cloudy and gray and it’s hard to tell what’s wrong or right

I hate the feeling like I’m alone
I hate the feeling like I have no home
I need for you to rescue me
Before this rut gets deeper than six feet

I’m winded, I’m breathless
I’m trying to find my way
I’m trying to find you
I’m winded, I’m breathless
I’m tired of running
Running from you

I can’t seem to find you in this place
And you’re the only one who can fill this space
The darkness always feeds me lies
Of no hope and uses sin to tantalize

You’re the only one I need
This hunger I have only you can feed
This wrong way of life has taken its toll
What I really need is you to fill my soul

So I cry out for you
To absolve me and make me new
Through you I know I’ll never fail
Show me the way, show me the trail
Because right now

Yours Forever

Written By: Andrew Wittenauer

I went away, I went away for a long time
I went away to try and find me
I went away, I went away for a long time
Doubting you

Couldn’t seem to find a reason to be
Couldn’t seem to find your reason for me
Couldn’t seem to find the one to hold on to
So I ran from you

And I
I felt the tears run down my face
And I
I felt the ground hit my knees
I knew I had made a big mistake
I had to make it better
So I promised you
I’m yours forever

Though I made the promise
I didn’t come back with a full heart
‘Till I met the child with the kindest smile
He told me all about how his life is ripped apart
A story to break anyone’s heart
For the first time in a long time
I felt you were calling me

And I
I felt the tears run down my face
And I
I felt the ground hit my knees
I knew he had made a big mistake
I had to make it better
So I promised him
He’s yours forever

So we sat down and we prayed
Who knew such a young life had so much faith
To change a young man’s life
To determine the path, either dead or alive

And I
I felt the tears run down my face
And I
I felt the ground hit my knees
Now that I have made a big mistake
And tried to make it better
I know understand that the blood that you gave
Is the only thing that matters
That you promised me
That you promised me
I’m yours forever

Discography

Not Far Away - 2007