By Linda Scherer
Four brothers, who make up the band Lightswitch, hope to encourage this generation to walk with God through their music.
The band is a Christian alternative rock band that has brought a positive message to thousands of young people in concerts throughout the US, including an appearance at Higher Ground Music Festival in 2006.
As part of the kick off to this year’s Higher Ground Music Festival, Lightswitch will be performing at a free concert Wednesday, April 30 at Holy Trinity School gym from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
The band will perform again at the festival Saturday, Aug. 16 at noon.
The brothers, Abe, 26; Gabe, 21; Moy, 19; and Sam, 15; have been playing music together for more than seven years.
They became serious about their band in the summer of 2005, when they named their group “Lightswitch.”
The band’s name represents switching from darkness to light as lives are turned over to Jesus based on Romans 13:12, according to their web site www.lightswitchband.com.
The boys live on a farm in a small town in western Wisconsin.
“Yes. The cheese state! There are a lot of cheese factories around here,” Abe said.
They were home schooled, which allowed them to work and stay together as a band. Sam, the youngest in the group and the last one in school, sometimes does his studying on the road with the band.
Although the brothers have had some individual music lessons, they have picked up most of their musical talent on their own and by teaching each other.
Abe, who sings and plays the keyboard for the group, began playing an old piano, that was set by the dinner table in their home, when he was 10.
“That resulted in my always being the last one done eating,” he said.
By the age of 12, he was playing for his church, and has been into music ever since.
The rest of the brothers followed their older brother’s example and started to play instruments.
When Gabe was 12, his dad bought him a saxophone and he took lessons for awhile. When he was 15, he began playing the guitar.
“I never had a lesson on the guitar. Most of what I know I learned from Abe,” Gabe said.
Moy, who plays the drums, had taken some lessons when he was 7 years old and again when he was 11, but said, “It was my brother, Abraham, who taught me a lot of what I know.”
Sam plays the bass and he did have a few lessons in the beginning, but has really improved his playing on his own.
The band may possibly increase in size in the future, as the brothers have a younger brother who plays guitar and trumpet. They also have four sisters who like to sing. Their younger sister is 6 and she is getting pretty good at the drums, too, according to Abe.
“When the family is all together, there is hardly ever a dull moment,” Abe said.
One popular question the brothers get asked is how well they get along. “We definitely have our moments, but we do get along well 99 percent of the time,” Abe said.
When things do not work out, Abe usually makes the call, but everyone has a say in what happens.
The group writes all of its own songs. Abe mostly writes the lyrics, and the rest of the group puts in their part for the music.
“We believe that God inspires the music we play and the songs we write,” Abe said. “It is amazing to see the doors that he has opened for us.”
There have been many great places the band has had the opportunity to play at in the past year including:
• June 16 at Bash on the Farm with Steller Cart in Garner, Iowa;
• June 21 in Ocean Springs, Miss.;
• July 13 Sonshine Festival in Willmar;
• July 14 at Hills Alive Music Festival in Rapid City, S.D.;
• Oct. 13 with Todd Agnew and Rush of Fools at Club 3 Degrees in Minneapolis;
• Oct. 26 at Edge64 in Lincoln, Neb.;
• Nov. 30 at Rocketown and Nashville, Tenn.;
• Dec. 28 at Wintertainment, Camp Forest Springs, Westboro, Wis.
The band’s future plans are working in the music ministry full time. It is currently working on new songs for a CD.
The group is looking forward to meeting those attending the concert at Holy Trinity School.