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The Young and Talented Lines in the Sky

posted Jul 29, 2011, 9:02 PM by Sarah Brehm   [ updated Jul 29, 2011, 9:13 PM ]

Originally, Lines in the Sky was simply a side project, an escape for front-man Jesse Brock from the progressive metal bands he played in. Though Lines in the Sky has some metal undertones, like the use of a double pedal, their sound is much more melodic, ambient rock in the vein of Switchfoot and MUTEMATH.


Playing music has always been a part of Jesse’s life. At the age of four he began his musical career with group piano lessons. “I hated practicing,” admits Jesse. “It was really classical based. It was just really difficult to get into it and for the longest time I just hated playing. But my mom kept me in it, and eventually I learned to like it.”


As he got older, Jesse added guitar and violin to his musical repertoire, and he began singing in fifth grade. It was in the fifth grade that this Belmont college student, who is majoring in piano, remembers writing his first songs. “We got a big synthesizer in, I want to say fifth grade,” says Jesse. “And I just kind of started fiddling around with the sounds that were on the keyboard. I figured out how to change this sounds—basically use the synthesizer for what it’s made for. I just make this weird, kind of electronic, minimal, goofy music for the longest time.”


Throughout middle school and some of high school, Jesse’s focus was on metal. He played in metal bands and listened to a lot of metal. Wanting to try something different, Jesse enlisted his younger brother, Bowman Brock to play drums.  “He was like, ‘Dude, you need to play drums, man! You’d be so good at it,’” says Bowman, mimicking his brother. “I thought about it, and I was like okay, cool. I don’t like the mandolin—that’s annoying.”


“We used to be bluegrass kids,” explains Jesse. “And mom wanted Bow to play mandolin, and he thought it was kind of dumb.”


Zach Wakefield was friends with Jesse prior to Lines in the Sky. “I used play guitar with him in the progressive metal band,” says Zach. “And when this band first started out, he needed a bass player, and I told him I’d give it a try. I’d never played bass before this. Ever since then I’ve just been playing bass.”


The previous guitarist and Jesse had a falling out his senior year of high school, and Jesse needed a new guitarist. “I played with all these different musicians in high school, and Steve [Bates] was one of those guys where I was like, ‘I should probably play with him and some point.’ I never really got around to it till after high school.”


Jesse approached Steve at a high school football game “He came up to me and was like, ‘Hey, would you mind coming to some of my shows, man?’”As they continued talking about it, Steve realized that what Jesse wanted was for him to play shows with him, not just come and be in the audience. “When he was talking, he said he wanted to sound like Circa Survive, and I heard Confide—that’s like a punk, metal, screaming sort of band . I thought it was really weird. I went to his house, and it was sort of awkward because the music was completely different from what I thought it was going to be.”


The current line-up has been hard at work for about the a year, writing songs with meaning and thought. “Well, he writes them,” says Bowman, pointing to his brother. “I just learn.” Inspiration for songs comes from past relationships, feelings, personal beliefs, and even language. The title track from their The Double Plus Good EP is a reference George Orwell’s literary classic, 1984. In the book, language is being stripped to a minimum. The song voices the frustration of seeing that happen in the real world, of seeing people not care.


“The thing that I think is cool about this band,” says Jesse, “are influences from really random, random genres.” Jesse lists Coheed and Cambria, Circa Survive, and even A Perfect Circle among his favorite bands. “And it’s cool because when you put all those together—especially in Nashville right now you’ve got this big indie, country, folk theme. Nobody is really doing this kind of music in Nashville right now.”


Sure recognition and money would be great for the guys in Lines in the Sky, but that isn’t their focus. “I do this for the music,” says Bowman. Jesse agrees: “That’s such a musician thing to say, but when it all comes down to it, we just want to play music. Right now it’s just about writing the best music I can write with these guys and trying to get more people to hear it. “

Words by: Sarah Brehm
Live photos and video by: Sarah Brehm


Jesse Brock, Bowman Brock, Steve Bates, Zach Wakefield

Live at the Honest Pint, July 28, 2011



Live at The Honest Pint, July 28, 2011


Live at The Honest Pint, July 28, 2011



Lines in the Sky "Double Plus Good" live at The Honest Pint