Local bands battle it out

Hailey Stolze, Reporter


Local bands Rectitude, Grimer, We Are The Haunted and Hopeforthefallen performed at Sokol Underground on Jan. 27th.
Three Bellevue West students make up the instrumental band Rectitude, including sophomore Elliott Gates on bass guitar, senior Luke Sullivan on lead guitar and sophomore Connor Stirewalt on drums. Junior Cole Brown from Ralston is also part of the band as the rhythm guitarist.

“Cole was a blessing. We were looking for another guitarist to add to the band. He tried out the first day and learned the first song within an hour. He learns so quickly. He was a great, awesome addition to the band,” Sullivan said.

They’ve been a band for about five months, according to Sullivan. Their influences are Volumes, The Beatles, instrumental bands, Kings of Leon and more.

They’ve put lots of thought into even the little things, such as what they’re called.

“Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘rectitude’ as uprightness or straightforwardness. We’re trying to better ourselves, put the past behind and focus on the now. With uprightness, we put God first. We focus on what God would have planned for this band,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan described their sound as “instrumental djent.” However, they don’t plan on being an instrumental band for long.

“We’ve been thinking about [getting a vocalist] for a really long time. A vocalist would fit very well with this band for a message that we could get across,” Gates said.

Sullivan also thinks that they should get a vocalist for their band. “We want a vocalist to add more energy preforming live,” Sullivan said.

Despite their search for a vocalist, they still see the perks of being an instrumental band. “When you listen to instrumental music you can create your own view of what [the artist is] trying to get across,” Gates said.

He also believes that making music helps ease his emotions. “If you play music for the right reasons you’ll find satisfaction,” Gates said.

“Most of our songs are based on past experiences. We have a song called ‘Pride’ and the melody is kind of aggressive. The whole message behind that is how being conceited and being prideful can deteriorate someone’s view on what is good,” Sullivan said. “A lot of times we get a big head on our shoulders and that usually leads to our downfall. Pride is healthy in small doses but when people take advantage of it and rely on being boastful, a lot of times that just leads to corruption.”

Although they also consider themselves a Christian band, Sullivan doesn’t want their music only about their beliefs.

“We don’t want to beat people down with what we think is right. We just want to let them know that we found strength in God and that if they give him a chance as well they might find that same satisfaction that we have by giving our lives to Jesus,” Sullivan said.

Being in a band takes dedication, according to Sullivan.

“We really do take this seriously, but at the same time our main focus is to just have fun,” Sullivan said.

Along with dedication comes practice. “Originally [we practiced] three days a week, every week. We were really committed. Lately we’ve been kind of busy with some other stuff. Lately it’s been once or twice every two weeks. It’s been hard,” Sullivan said.

On the other hand, the band being busy can be a positive thing. “We’ve been getting a lot of shows. We’re really lucky for that,” Gates said.

Rectitude has mixed opinions about their show on Jan. 27th.

“It was by far one of the most fun shows we’ve ever played, but there were a lot of things that went wrong performance wise,” Sullivan said.

Even before the show, things didn’t go as planned. “The guy who puts on the shows, Johnny [Klein], called and asked me if I could collect people’s money and mark their hands because he was running late,” Gates said. “I was doing that for a little while and then I called him to ask where the change was. While he was talking to me he got into a car wreck. He was panting and said that someone just hit him bad.”

    Although several things went wrong, the crowd helped them feel better about their show. Sullivan says it boosts his mood to see people dancing in the crowd while he preforms. “We’re always really thankful for all the people that come out.”