The Modern Post, one of the bands at Mars Hill Church Orange County, are known for their upbeat, synth-laden and bass-heavy sound that leads the congregation to praise the creator with freedom and joy.
Their name connects to the idea of how the Gospel is news to be declared, with content that is relevant and current regardless of what era one is living in.
The musicians in The Modern Post come from extensive and diverse musical backgrounds. Deacon Dustin Kensrue, their frontman, played with the acclaimed rock band Thrice for fourteen years, releasing eight albums and touring internationally. In addition he has released two solo albums and has lead various worship bands at Mars Hill and other churches. His testimony speaks of God breaking him of “intellectual hubris”, and coming to see God’s sovereignty in his salvation. The lyrics in both his previous musical endeavors and his worship songs communicate this, pointing people to the God who owes them his justice, yet gives them his grace.
Brothers Phil and Lee Neujahr comprise the rhythm section of The Modern Post, playing the bass and the drums, respectively. They both played music together for six years in Pacific Hurt, a band formerly known as Aushua. Prior to serving at Mars Hill Church, the Neujahrs were roommates with Pastor Nick Bogardus, the lead pastor of Mars Hill Orange County. Dustin had also expressed interest in playing worship music with them years prior. In his timing, God reunited them at Mars Hill Orange County. They had missed playing music together, and at Mars Hill both brothers came to see the importance of serving with their gifts. The Neujahrs now provide the driving rhythm that lies behind The Modern Post’s songs.
Jonny Sandu, the synth player, has played the piano since he was five. Classically trained, Jonny has performed internationally, and played in other bands and churches as well. Although initially apprehensive at the idea of playing in one of the Mars Hill bands, Jonny came to see the value in serving after hearing one of Pastor Mark’s sermons on that very topic. Using the skill that God has given him, he simultaneously accentuates and brings atmosphere to the band’s music.
Dustin, and the other members of The Modern Post, appreciate the stylistic freedom that Mars Hill music provides. The band’s sound was not one that was originally planned for. In Dustin’s words, “it happened”. Having the perspective that much worship music can be overly sentimental, they choose to push against that by creating music that is celebratory and upbeat. As a result, The Modern Post’s sound is one that bespeaks robust joy, and leads people to exult in the good news that Jesus is relevant for all generations.