|Biography: Change is something the Louisiana-based rock band Altar’d has gotten quite used to. Since forming in 2005, the five-member group has gone through several players and backup singers hoping to find the perfect combo.
Founder Matt Johns says the long and arduous honing process was a small price to pay considering how things turned out. At last, Altar’d has created its magic mix that appears to be working like a charm.
“Each time we changed a guitarist or a singer, I considered it an upgrade,” said Johns, who formed the group with members of his praise band at Louisiana College. “Our sound kept changing for the better, too, and we found our signature style. I’d be 100% happy if we keep the lineup we have now forever.”
For Johns, music has always been his greatest joy. He grew up playing the drums in church ensembles and later learned to play other instruments and make his own recordings. His first attempt at producing a CD led to forming Altar’d, which played 50 shows its first year.
Johns said audiences quickly embraced the group and demand for its music began to rise. So Altar’d booked a studio and began recording its first full-length CD. The project has already produced the hit single “You Are There,” which remained at No. 1 on Christian Radio Weekly’s Global Chart for 10 weeks in 2009.
“Although we are a Christian band, the lyrics in many of our songs can be interpreted as simply positive messages based on the individual’s belief,” said Johns. “We’re not out to preach to anyone.”
More specifically, Altar’d is on a mission to encourage others to live life to the fullest, even in the most difficult of circumstances. Its high-energy, hard-driving songs are something that people of all ages can relate to.
Johns said the group’s signature sound is a fusion of rock, gospel and blues. Its influences range from rock to Christian artists and bands, such as Switchfoot, Stone Temple Pilots, John Mayer and Guns N’ Roses.
“The various influences for each member make for some interesting song development,” said Johns. “We also like to think that our commitment to musical excellence, hard work and high energy shows helps us to stand out among the crowd.”
Altar’d consists of Johns (vocals), Corban Calhoun (lead guitar), Kyle Robson (lead guitar), Jon Latiffe (bass) and Blake Powell (drums). The band is currently touring the U.S. and writing songs in anticipation of another recording project.