Live From Belton: We are Pioneers

We Are Pioneers is a band emerging out of the stress of classes and life in general, sending a message of hope in the darkness. The group hopes to get its point across through the melody of drum beats and guitar strums.

Junior English major Austin Fields plays guitar and initiated the idea for the band.

“The overarching theme to all of our music is hope. A lot of the music starts very quiet and subdued but builds into a soaring crescendo,” he said. “I actually wrote most of the skeletal parts of the songs in my room during finals week last semester on a loop machine … These songs were kind of birthed out of stress and desperation.”

Sam Billew plays bass for the band during their song “You Could’ve Been Everything.” Photo by Brittany Montgomery

The patterns of the musical are vital since they rely on these to portray their message of  optimism.

“It’s a constant build, really. We are trying to provide a soundtrack to the life of the lost, sick, lonely and under appreciated,” Fields said.

With a focus on the melodies, the sound of the group is different from many other bands because they don’t use lyrics to portray the meaning of their music.

“We play post-rock music. It’s sort of like a cross between (the bands) Explosions in the Sky, Caspian, This Will Destroy You and Russian Circles.” Fields said, “(It’s) basically loud, atmospheric music with no singing.”

The idea of the melodies building and growing in each song is that they will push people beyond where they are.

“I want the band to just kind of continually create music that moves and motivates people to be a part of something bigger than what they may have been given,” Fields said.

Junior music education major Jonathan Bautista plays drums for We Are Pioneers and realizes the importance of composition in any musical group.

He said, “The instrumental band concept is to make the music … the focal point.”

There is a message coming out of the music the group writes and performs — a message that needs no words to be expressed.

“The melodies of our songs become the vocalist of the song,” Bautista said.

He anticipates listeners will be encouraged and find faith through the music they create.

“I hope those who listen may know our music is inspired through the gifts and talents God has given us ….  All I hope for is to be a reflection of Christ through this band,” he said.

Not only do the musicians work to send out a message of hope to others, but they also enjoy the camaraderie that comes with making music together.

Bautista said, “We, the line-up now, have not known each other that long, but it already feels like we have for years.”

Other members of We Are Pioneers include Jeremiah Gunderson of Killeen on guitar and Harker Heights resident Sam Billew on bass.

Some find their music a good display of  talent and an appropriate soundtrack for any occasion.

UMHB alum Mark Rojas said, “It’s just a really great sound that brings out a lot of emotion and takes you places as you listen.”

Rojas also likes that the music is different from what you would normally hear in popular music.

“The Pioneers style is free to move where it needs to and doesn’t fit in a mold,” he said.

Their pieces are lengthier than average, but this is a feature that Rojas loves most about the music.

He said, “A lot of their songs are more than six minutes long, which is really long, but I love when music isn’t rushed to fit a certain time limit.”

Author: Brittany Montgomery

Bio info coming soon!

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