Torn From Red
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Torn From Red

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The best kept secret in music


""Red" Goes to Purple door"

EYANA ADAH MCMILLAN <i>The York Dispatch</i>
Four young York musicians took a big step of faith, and now they're about to land on stage. Their group, Torn From Red, is set to perform at the ninth annual Purple Door Arts&Music Festival this weekend at Ski Roundtop in Lewisberry.

The two-day festival of alternative Christian music begins tomorrow and is expected to attract more than 6,000 young people.

Torn From Red and more than 35 other bands from across the nation will perform on four stages, with the York band set to play Saturday morning on the festival's Gallery stage, said Mike Landis, the group's lead singer and guitarist.

"Every year I used to say, 'One day I'm going to play up there,'" said Landis, a Springettsbury Township resident. "I told God a year ago, 'If you want me to continue in this band, then let us play at the Purple Door.'

"This is like a big answer to prayer for me."

For close to two years, Landis has been a part of Torn From Red, along with Brett Shoffner, a drummer who lives in Dillsburg, and bassist Nate Jones and guitarist Matt Diehl, both of Dover.

The name: The band's name represents the members' commitment to live a life that breaks away from sin, said Jones, who works at Maple Press in Emigsville and is looking for a church home.

"Red symbolizes sin and hate, and the words 'torn from' is kind of like showing us breaking away from that," he said. "We live in a world full of sin, but you can still live and not be in that."

Torn From Red was born after Diehl, who graduated with Jones last year from Dover Area High School, met Shoffner at local gatherings of Christian youth.

At the time, Jones and Shoffner were playing together in another band, but decided to team up with Diehl to start a new musical group.

The trio performed during First Night York 2003, where they met Landis who was working the stage sound system.

"I took a big step of faith of not going to school to be a part of this band," said Landis, a 2003 York Suburban Senior High School graduate who now works at A&R Rental Center in Springettsbury Township. "I always had this vision that music was going to be a part of my life since I was a kid."

Their shot: Torn From Red -- which has played at concerts, nonalcoholic youth clubs and church-based youth gatherings in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland -- was invited to perform at Purple Door after another artist cancelled an appearance, said festival coordinator Kurt Weaver.

"I knew they had been playing in the area, so I thought I'd give them a shot," he said.

Torn from Red is the only York band performing at Purple Door. Another band scheduled to play at the festival, The Evan Anthem, started in York County, but is now based in Ohio..

Diehl described his group as a "Christian emotional rock and roll band," and he said Torn From Red has a message for young people.

Torn's message: The group's lyrics are based on band members' feelings as they experience both challenges and achievements with help from God.

Some of their selections include, "The Day That I Met You," about finding and experiencing God each day, and "Tonight," which tells listeners not to feel alone when they are down because God is there for them.

"It's not that in-your-face heavy rock and roll sound," said Diehl, a member of Eagle Christian Ministries in York City. "But we want to make people comfortable and they'll say, 'Hey, can you tell me how you got saved? Can you tell me about Jesus Christ?'"

Shoffner, a member of Friendship Community Church in Dover, said he hopes that Torn From Red helps young people gathering at Purple Door understand there are different and fun ways to worship God.

Like his fellow band members, Shoffner, 20, said he attends the festival every year, enjoying fellowship with other young people in a loving Christian atmosphere.

"It just makes me feel so much more that I'm not alone in this world as far as my feelings for God and the way I live this life," he said.

Now that Torn From Red has a chance to perform in front of thousands of young people, the band will be taken more seriously, especially in York, said Jones, 19.

"This will be like the first big show in York where people will look at us on the serious basis and the festival will show that," he said. "Yes, we're still playing in mom's basement, but we're working on it."

Torn from Red is the real deal, said Jones' mother, Melinda Jones. The band practices in the basement of her Dover home on Sundays and Tuesdays.

She said that over the last two years, she has watched them change and mature and their growth is reflected in their music, which she says is a perfect fit for Purple Door.

"I hope the boys' genuine testimony and who they are come through their music and the message they're trying to get across," Melinda Jones said. "Each one of them has an excellent testimony."

Torn at Purple Door festival

Torn From Red, a York-based Christian rock band, will be performing 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Purple Door Arts&Music Festival at Ski Roundtop, 925 Roundtop Road, Lewisberry.

The two-day festival runs from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. tomorrow and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.

Tickets are $38 per person and can be purchased at the gate.

For more information, call 1-877-PurpleD.

--Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at 854-1575 or .

(c) 2004 The York Dispatch. All rights reserved. Reproduced with the permission of Media NewsGroup, Inc. by NewsBank, Inc.

- The York Dispatch

"Torn from "Comfort""

They'll probably have to sleep in the van or trailer some evenings.

Or they may have to stretch out their meals.

But they're willing to make the sacrifices to be on stage.

Torn From Red, a York-based Christian rock band, is going on tour, performing in 10 states along the East Coast from Feb. 3 through March 5.

"This is what we really want to do, but we're giving up a lot, like all the comforts that we've known," said Matt Diehl, 19, of Dover, the band's guitarist. "We have to take risks and jump out and break away from the local band things."

Also in Torn From Red are Brett Shoffner, 20, a drummer who lives in Dillsburg, bassist Nate Jones, 19, of Dover and lead singer and guitarist Mike Landis, 20, of Springettsbury Township.

The band's name represents the members' commitment to live a life that breaks away, or is "torn from" sin and hate, which are symbolized by the word "red."

Heading out: Torn F! rom Red will be performing at churches, colleges, coffee houses and youth clubs in Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, D.C. They'll also play in Edinboro, Erie County, on March 4.

Before leaving York, the band will lead praise and worship music at 10 a.m. Sunday at their home church, Eagle Christian Ministries, 850 S. Pine St., where Landis' father, the Rev. Dean Landis, is pastor.

The Rev. Landis said that while he supports the band's ministry efforts, he is concerned about his son's well-being.

"I'm trusting that they will have a learning experience and make new contacts with many people," he said. "Whatever is the outcome, I'm concerned that they have a safe and prosperous journey."

Touring with Tragedy: The band will be touring with Jeff Tragedy, founder and director of, which ministers to youth struggling with traumatic issues like rape, abortion and suicide.
Based in Lancaster, also has a Web site that offer s devotionals, advice and an online magazine featuring interviews and reviews of Christian bands.

Tragedy also speaks to youngsters around the nation, going to youth centers, churches and schools. He takes bands with him to help with the ministry.

He had Torn From Red perform at several of those events. He said he is confident that the York band is now ready for a tour.

"They appeal to everyone of every age and they seem to understand what they're doing," Tragedy said. "They totally understand who they are as musicians and defined their own sound and they have a positive message.

"They really fit our efforts of trying to provide hope for kids."

Road to success: Tragedy said he is in the process of starting a recording company and plans to help Torn From Red record an album.

Formed more than two years ago, Torn from Red got its big break in August by being one of 35 bands from across the nation invited to perform in front of thousand! s of youngsters at the ninth annual Purple Door Art&Music Festival at Ski Roundtop in Lewisberry.

Since their performance, the band has been booked every weekend, receiving invitations to perform throughout Pennsylvania and in Buffalo, N.Y.

"We really feel this tour is the next step in the ladder of becoming a national recording artist," Jones said. "We believe God will provide for us. This is kind of like a test. If we make it through, it's going to be a sign that this is really what we're supposed to do."

-- Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at 854-1575 or .
- The York Dispatch


Beautiful and Strange EP - 2005


Feeling a bit camera shy


Hailing from York, Pa this tight emotional driven rock and roll band has been making waves with their explosive stage performances and infectious Indie rock melodies. After playing local shows for over a year Torn from Red took to the road touring the East coast up and down including many national festivals like Cornerstone and Purple Door. "We always set up our own tours, using the Internet and hooking up with bands in other states. It becomes easier each time," says Bassist Nate Jones. "It was on tour we met our Producer Sam Barnhart." In July of 2005 Torn from Red headed to Nashville, Tn and Huntington, WV to work on there EP "Beautiful and Strange", produced by Sam Barnheart (Bleach). The EP is put together by 3 Strong songs which show a good aspect of the band. "We are very excited to release the EP. We feel it's the best recording we have ever done," says Guitarist Matt Diehl. "It's always been amazing to me, when I see kids singing along with us in the crowd." Torn from Red is currently looking for the right label to call home, but not having one will not stop this band from getting there name out as much as they can. Look for Torn from Red in a town near you. Check out the official Torn from Red website at