Although you certainly won't hear them complaining, Article One's Nathan and Matt Piche didn't really have a choice when it came to pursuing music. Unlike a lot of families, their parents were both music teachers.
"We were brought up in a musical household with parents who obviously believed in musical education," Matt says. "I started playing violin at the age of five, and Nathan took up piano a year later. We also have a younger sister who plays classical guitar. She's amazing."
In addition, Nathan and Matt's dad toured as a solo Christian recording artist and served as a worship leader. "He traveled a lot around Canada, so we were exposed to Christian music from a young age."
Now as Article One, Nathan (vocals, guitars, piano, bass) and Matt (violin, mandolin, vocals), along with Dave De Smit (drums, vocals) and Mark Laidman (bass), are using the skills they honed early on to follow in their dad's musical footsteps, albeit with a more current musical approach.
Inspired by U2, The Beatles, their classical upbringing, as well as Top-40 radio faves like Keith Urban and John Mayer, their diverse influences, not to mention relatable insight on the joys and trials of Christian life, is what makes Article One's music stand out.
"While I don't think U2's sound comes across in our music, I've always been drawn to Bono's lyrics," Nathan shares. "He's not afraid to talk about what is on his mind. And I've always loved The Beatles, ever since I was little. Their music was accessible yet clever, and I love their harmonies. All of those were things we wanted to incorporate in our music, too."
Aside from the music, however, it was important that the band have a sure sense of purpose, something it even wanted to reflect in its name, which was inspired by a speech Bono gave during U2's "Vertigo" tour.
"Bono was talking about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and what it meant... and we were like 'Hey, is there any way we can use this?' We looked [the Declaration] up and article one [of the Declaration] talks about how everyone is born equal and how we should all be treated equally," Nathan explains. "We loved the message it had, so we decided to use it for our name. Not only does it sound good, but it brings more meaning to what we do. It's another way we remind ourselves that Jesus calls us to love others (Mark 12:31). Whether we're hanging out with friends after a show or explaining how our audiences can help the world's poor, it's important for us to remember that God's called us to more than our guitars."
And while there was no doubt in his mind that music would somehow figure into his life, Nathan wasn't always sure it was something he'd pursue professionally. But that all changed the summer after he graduated from high school.
"I was at this camp, and it was a cool experience for a number of reasons," Nathan remembers. "There was a speaker who challenged us to give 100% of our life to God, not just settling for the half-hearted Christian faith. I remember going up to my counselor about halfway through the message and saying, 'This has been on my heart for a long time. Now is the time to make things right.'
"I'd always been a good kid growing up, but I had reservations about jumping in wholeheartedly. And that was actually the summer Matt and I formed Article One. From there, it's been a gradual progression of doors opening and us just really being called to pursue music, which has led us to where we are today."