March 12, 2007
From Higher Ground music festival to newly released CD
By Linda Scherer
Silent Substitute is a Christian rock band made up of brothers and sisters Meghan, Ryan, Becca, and Willie Mahoney.
They were featured at Higher Ground Christian Music Festival last year, and have been performing at other various events together since the summer of 2004.
The brothers and sisters are from Hamburg and are the children of Michael and Maureen Mahoney. They have two younger siblings, a sister Stasia, 5, and a younger brother Joey, 3. Joey appears on the cover of their newly-released CD “Lovely . . . is not as it should be.”
The group writes all of their own music. Their grandmother, Dianne Mahoney, long-time Winsted resident who taught elementary music at Holy Trinity and Winsted Public Elementary School, said, “I am really amazed at their ability to write and arrange music at such a young age.”
What is more amazing is the difference in their ages and their ability to all be equally involved with each of the songs.
“One of us will come up with an idea and the rest will contribute. A lot of the inspiration comes from the Bible,” Ryan said.
Meghan is attending Crown College majoring in worship arts music with a church music emphasis. She has been playing the keyboard since she was about 7 years old, taking lessons from her mother, and she has continued those lessons at Crown College. She began playing the acoustic guitar about five years ago, and she sings with the group.
Ryan is a high school senior taking post-secondary courses at Northwestern College. He has been playing the drums since he was 10 years old, and he also sings.
Becca is a ninth grader who is home-schooled. She has been playing electric guitar for almost four years, and she also sings. She can easily recite Bible verse.
She said their band’s name, Silent Substitute, came from Isaiah 53:7. Becca said the entire verse from memory and then Ryan explained.
“Jesus was a substitute for us and did not complain. He took the place of our sins silently and willingly,” Ryan said.
Willie is the youngest of the group, but the older members agree he has the best memory of all of them and they refer to him for confirmation on facts about the group and their events, dates, and times, past and present. He is a seventh grader who is home-schooled, and has been playing electric guitar since he was nine years old.
The group began by playing for their church services at Delano Assembly of God.
Their first real performance was at a coffee house night sponsored by the Delano Assembly of God in the summer of 2004.
Presently, the band is excited to be participating in a band tournament at the Club 3 Degrees at 113 North 5th Street in Minneapolis. They have made it to the third round of a four-round contest that is scheduled for Thursday, April 5.
Last year, they only made it to the third round, but there were scouts from Higher Ground Music Festival in Winsted who were in attendance. They liked what they saw and asked the group to play at the Christian rock music festival last summer.
The idea to start the band was Ryan’s. A few years ago, when he was about 12 or 13 years old, he had a chance to play drums for the Shaw Brothers at an outdoor event in Hamburg.
He had been watching the group because the lead singer, Trent Shaw, was his music teacher, and who had been giving Ryan drum lessons.
“He invited me up to play a song on the drums. I just had a ton of fun,” Ryan said.
The song Ryan played with the Shaw band was Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.”
He came home after that experience and really began to encourage his brother and sisters to work together and start their own band. Since they began, they have remained focused on Christian music.
“Our faith is everything to us,” Ryan said. “We are excited about our songs and hope people get something out of them. We hope they are uplifting and can touch people’s lives in some way. A way to minister to people. That is our whole goal.”
Silent Substitute, according to Willie, has written between 20 and 25 songs some they feel they have outgrown.
New CD out
Their newly-released CD has 12 songs. The name of the CD is, “Lovely . . . is not as it should be.”
Becca said the CD name comes from Philippians 4:8, which she was able to recite word for word.
Ryan interpreted the verse to mean, “What the world sees as lovely and good isn’t necessarily what God thinks is lovely and good.”
The CD has a variety of songs. All four band members decided together which of their songs to place on the CD. They also added a song that was their mother’s favorite.
The band’s favorite rock song on the CD is “Consistently inconsistent.”
The favorite ballad was harder for the group to agree on.
“One of the most dear to us is a bonus one on the CD,” Ryan said. “We weren’t going to put it on the CD. We actually recorded it at our house and then sent it in later to have it added to the CD. It is called “Child of the King.”
Ryan went on to explain that the song is about adoption, and the reason it is so special to the group is because their younger sister and brother are both adopted.
The group has some upcoming events, one at a church in Hinckley and another at a Christian club with a youth focus in Duluth.