Thicker Than Water
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Thicker Than Water

Fenton, Michigan, United States | INDIE

Fenton, Michigan, United States | INDIE
Band Christian Rock

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"Family, faith come together for Thicker than Water"

It isn't surprising that local up-and-coming Christian rock band Thicker Than Water didn't have much trouble finding a musical rapport upon forming a few years ago. In many ways, the group has been in the works for decades. Comprised of brothers Daniel, Joe, Andrew and Dave Schmit, the quartet is able to draw on a lifetime of musical experience. "Both of our parents were musicians, so we've always wanted to do this," said Joe, who serves as guitarist and main songwriter. "We all started with piano lessons," bassist Andrew said of the brothers' upbringing. "And if it took off from there, great."

While Dave, Andrew and Joe have worked together in previous bands, Thicker Than Water marks the trio's first musical collaboration with younger brother Daniel, who is currently pursuing a degree in music education at the University of Michigan-Flint.

Daniel's also a classically trained pianist, which came in handy as the group began honing its heavy, yet melodic, sound.

"I grew up watching these guys," Daniel said of his siblings. "It was inevitable that I would do music in some form. "Now, I've got my classical world, and my rock world," he said. "I think I can bring a unique thing to the band."

With Daniel onboard, the group recently finished recording its debut CD, "Canyon," the result of nearly a year spent eking out studio time between day jobs and family commitments. But the group is happy with the results.

"It went well," Joe said of the sessions, "and it was a major learning experience. We learned a lot about arranging songs. "I don't know that the songs weren't written with a specific message in mind," he said. "Most of them are faith-based, because that's what's important in our lives."

Along with a regular gig supplying music for Sunday mass at their church, the brothers have lined up a few concerts to showcase the album over the next few months.

"So far it's been available at the shows," Joe said of "Canyon." "We haven't done a big push on it yet.
"We want to see where it can go, but we're not giving up our day jobs yet."

But they plan to devote as much time as possible to spreading the gospel of Thicker Than Water, a task made easier by the natural bond that exists between the bandmates.

"I think we communicate well," said Joe, "and a lot of it comes from being brothers."

"It surprises people," added Dave. "We need to play it up more, since we don't look exactly alike."

"The challenge is that we're brothers," said Daniel. "But we're very upfront with each other, and you know you can rely on every one of them." - The Flint Journal - Timothy Flynn


"feature: Thicker than Water - These brothers jam for Jesus"

The Schmit boys always have been a band of brothers.
But the four brothers – Joe, Andrew, Daniel and David – didn’t truly become a band until they discovered the baby of the bunch could sing.
After tinkering together with music for most of their lives, the brothers decided to record a CD of their favorite worship songs as a present to their parents. Little did they know God had a gift for them, as well.
Though they each took turns singing on the raw recording, one voice was consistently and clearly superior. It belonged to Daniel Schmit, who is the youngest of the Catholic family’s seven siblings.
“When we listened back to it, we were like, ‘Wow, I don’t think the rest of us should sing any more,’� said Joe Schmit, who plays guitar and piano and writes most of the group’s songs. “That’s what made the band take off. It’s been a blast.�
And an unexpected blessing for brothers who jammed in garage bands, led worship at youth ministry Masses and dreamed of playing music together for a living.
That seemed like a long shot as adult life brought day jobs, families and responsibilities. But in a whirlwind of opportunity that started less than two years ago, Thicker Than Water was formed by linking Joe and Daniel (who also plays piano) with brothers Andrew and David, both of whom play drums and bass. The foursome landed a deal with Canton-based Mediatrix Records and recently released its debut CD, Canyon.
Even the Schmits remain awed by the spotlight God has granted them.
“Where we are now, I couldn’t have imagined,� Andrew says. “I hoped we could do something musically like this. But I never thought it would happen.�
The Schmit brothers grew up in Flushing in a home filled with faith and music. Their father, Peter, plays piano and guitar and is the former music director at St. Joseph Parish in Howell. Their mother, Joan, plays piano and accordion. As a result, it seemed there was always an instrument around for their seven children to pound, pick or pluck. All the siblings learned to play the piano and the family often played and sang together.
“They always kept music a part of the home,� Joe says.
Over the years, the Schmits played in different combinations at home, with buddies in bands and at Mount Zion in Flushing. Even as the family fanned out to colleges and jobs, music helped the brothers maintain a strong bond.
“We were kicking around some ideas of what we could do with our music,� says Andrew, who teaches and coaches at Flint Powers High School. “We thought we might be able to play at some churches, maybe lead some youth Masses.�
Eventually, the four future members of Thicker Than Water made an album to thank and honor their parents for bringing music into their lives. The record was raw. But it revealed Daniel’s potential as a singer and stirred possibilities of what the brothers might accomplish together.
About the same time, Andrew got a call from Mark Cabrera, the owner of Mediatrix, a fledgling Catholic record label that was searching for studio musicians. Instead, Andrew suggested he and his brothers as a potential headline act. After a successful audition, they signed with Cabrera in May 2007 and Thicker Than Water was born. The name, of course, is a dual reference to their shared blood as brothers and the redemptive blood of Christ.
“We didn’t really have a game plan when this started,� says Joe, a product manager for an insurance company who lives in Holt. “God got it this far, which is a lot further than we thought.�
Thicker Than Water made Canyon over the course of a year, squeezing two or three Saturday recording sessions per month into their family and work schedules. The sound was inspired by rockers such as U2, Coldplay and the Red Hot Chili Peppers – and Christian artists such as The Newsboys.
Joe was the creative force behind Canyon, penning the lyrics and nearly all the music.
“In general, the songs come out of my life experiences,� Joe says. “I don’t know that I’m always looking to write a religious song, but they all have that focus just based on my beliefs as a Catholic Christian. A lot of the songs are about giving God control and maybe some of the struggles people have as Christians. I just find a good tune, a subject comes up and I kind of go with it.�
But all the brothers had a hand in shaping a debut packed with imagery, emotion and, most important, a strong message about faith.
“Because we were raised with a strong faith background, it flows naturally out of the way we write,� Andrew says. “The songs talk about our relationship with God, our experience daily and how prayer shapes us and forms us to make us who we are.�
Playing together was the fun part. The brothers say their natural chemistry allowed for both brutal honesty and patience while working through tunes in the studio.
“It comes easy,� says Andrew. “When we’re playing, we can give each other a look and we know what the other is thinking. It’s an interesting mix, an interesting bond, and it does help our music.�
Thicker Than Water played its first live concert in May at St. Pius X in Flint. About 250 people listened to a set list that featured the entire Canyon album and a cover of a Newsboys’ song.
“The butterflies were there,� Andrew says with a chuckle. “We prayed and just gave it all to God. We got some good feedback. People were pleasantly surprised with the sound and the music. We definitely want to improve.�
They have plenty of opportunities, with shows planned in Ontario, Livonia and Flint and more dates anticipated after the release of Canyon.
Joe says, “If the CD opens the door to playing bigger places and spreading His word, than we’re happy with that.�
None of the brothers is planning to quit his full-time job – yet. But they’ve already come further than they envisioned, quicker than they imagined. Thicker Than Water is poised and ready for God’s next number.
“We’re open to anything,� Andrew says. “If it gets big, God bless it. If it fizzles, God bless it for the opportunity we had the last two years. We’re trying to do this for God. We hope it’s going somewhere where we can make an impact and inspire people just as we’ve been inspired. It’s exciting.�

For more information on the band, visit ww.thickerthanwatermusic.com - Faith Magazine


Discography

Proclaim
Canyon

Photos

Bio

Hailing from greater Flint, Mich., Thicker Than Water announces the independent release of their album “Proclaim!” Band mates and brothers David (drums), Joe (guitar), Andrew (bass guitar) and Daniel (lead vocals, keyboards) together formed Thicker Than Water in 2007 and “Proclaim!” is their much- anticipated second album following their debut “Canyon” in 2008.

“Love found us and we have been called to Proclaim.” That singular message is the foundation for this latest effort and a succinct expression of the band’s passion to grow and evolve as Christians. Spiritually motivated, the boys bend and blend elements from their personal, profession and family lives into heartfelt lyrics spread out over top of spacious and melodic instrumentals – a comfortable mix of praise and worship alongside alternative and indie rock.

Asked about the genesis for this latest work, drummer David had this reflection, “We played a live show and weeks later, someone dropped Daniel a note that said our message that day saved their life. Wow. We learned a big lesson as that was the furthest thing from our hearts that day – we actually walked off the stage critical of each other and our performance. I think that’s when it hit home about what we have been called to do as a group. The song and this album ‘Proclaim!’ is simply that – we are called to proclaim Christ’s love and grace. And when we do God will work despite our human nature to want get in the way.”

“Proclaim!” is three years in the making as the guys have been singularly focused with much of their band time spent playing live music. Lead guitarist Joe explains, “Sure, we love recording music, and the second album was always in the plans but what really inspires us is playing live - the energy we get from playing together and the interactions we have with those listening and joining in with us.”

And in the past two years specifically, the band has been choosing to play events that allow them to reach their audience on a more intimate level. Joe continues, “We love to play smaller events and coffee shops where we can have a real dialogue and share our lives with those who are at our concerts. We would rather play to a smaller crowd with a chance to connect rather than a larger venue. “

That isn’t to say that Thicker Than Water can’t command a stage. Thicker Than Water was invited to play the large stage at The Big Ticket Festival in 2010 and is continually courting invitations to play larger venues and youth rallies throughout Mid-Michigan.

Feel free to follow the band on facebook (www.facebook.com/thickerthanwater) to get updates on shows and news about the band. For booking information, please visit their contact page and send them an email. Thanks and God bless!