The Duncan Banner

February 7, 2012

Local band hopes to change view of Christian music

Rebeka Rutledge
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — While most bands form because of a shared love of music, Save the Empty had a goal to go along with its appreciation of the sound. The Duncan-based group is out to change the way people think about Christian music.

Save the Empty is the brainchild of longtime friends and musicians Kevin Wilkerson and Camron Busby. Wilkerson does lead vocals and plays the guitar, while Busby keeps the back line in rhythm on bass and also sings. Other band members include Chris Davoult on the drums and percussion and Brent McReynolds, who plays lead guitar.

Although the band didn’t form until June 2010, Wilkerson and Busby had been playing together eight years, while leading praise and worship music for a church in Waurika. Both had been writing their own songs during that time.

“We felt God was calling us to do something different,” Wilkerson said. “Then we came across Brent and it just clicked.”

The group went through several drummers before Davoult stuck, but once he did, the guys tightened their sound and signed a recording contract with Tate Music Group in October 2010. Five months later, in March 2011, they released an album titled, “No Thanks,” which will be released nationally on April 24.

“We’re pretty excited about it,” said Wilkerson. “It’s eight songs and they’re all real upbeat and catchy. I think a lot of people will enjoy it.”

Influenced by groups like Relient K, All American Rejects and Stellar Kart, Save the Empty is working toward putting a new face on Christian music. They want to bring an original sound to the genre.

“We’re trying to show that just because it’s Christian music, it can still rock,” Wilkerson said. “I try to write positive songs, because there’s enough negativity in the world. I want to show everyone there is a hope.”

While anticipating the national release of their first album, the band is working on compiling songs for a follow-up recording. Additionally, they are getting geared up for the spring and summer seasons, which is generally a band’s busiest time of year.

“We’re playing in Dallas and Oklahoma City quite a bit, and have a few things lined up in Wichita Falls,” said Wilkerson. “We played at Summer Fest (in Duncan) last year and may again this year.”

Save the Empty also made an appearance on stage during Duncan Little Theatre’s “Footloose” production last year. Wilkerson said it was fun, but doing a musical was a whole different world than concert performances.

At the moment, the band is happy writing and performing while at the same time maintaining their schedules in “civilian” jobs. However, Wilkerson said Save the Empty is much more than a hobby — they’d eventually like to perform and record full time.

Writing good music and getting their name out there to gather a bigger following is very important.

“You can write all day long but if no one hears it, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “We’re excited about where (the band) is going.”

Wilkerson encouraged folks to check out “No Thanks,” which can be ordered now from the Tate Music Group website. It will be available in retail stores after April 24.

Fans can also contact Save the Empty through their Facebook.