Byword (bi.wurd) n. Something noteworthy or worth hearing. With this title members of the band seek to mark a transparency in their music, glorifying the source of their inspiration and hope: Jesus Christ. Raw and energetic, filled with melodic guitar riffs, victorious baritone vocals and a sincere message, Byword is a rock group of passionate young Idahoans, seeking to lead the people of this generation into a fresh encounter with the Savior of the world.
The bands latest studio effort, Here Is Love, was released in May 2006 and proves to be an accessible collection of works, representing their desire to reflect the grace and love that Christ has made available to all. "Its about a relationship, not a religion," says Elliot Stone, lead singer for the group, "We hope this project is a clear and redeeming voice that is able to melt walls of misconception about what it means to know Jesus and embrace Him." This record offers dynamic guitar work and soaring vocal melodies while also providing tender lyrical commentary and intimate acoustic instrumentation. As you listen, you will experience the musical flavors of artists such as Third Day, Creed, and Pearl Jam. During the construction of Here Is Love, Byword had the opportunity to work with many wonderful musicians including Dale Baker, drummer of Platinum-selling recording artists Sixpence None the Richer ("Kiss Me", "There She Goes"), as well as Grammy-winning audio engineer, Richard Dodd (Tom Petty, Green Day, Jars of Clay).
Here Is Love marks yet another impressive milestone for this up and coming band who has enjoyed an exciting four year history together. Beginning as a church praise team in Jr. High, Stone (21) and Neil Young (22) later joined bassist Brent Ragan (22), collaborating in early high school. By the summer of 2002, they decided to put out their first self-titled recording. That fall, "I Give You Me," a single off of that record, won the Breakaway Talent Contest sponsored through Focus on the Family. The grand prize awarded the band a trip to Nashville, TN, where they spent time with Grammy-winning recording artists Audio Adrenaline (Worldwide), recorded a single with Grammy-nominated producer Tony MacAnany (POD, Jennifer Knapp, Nicole C. Mullen) at Dark Horse Studios, and were featured on the front cover of Breakaway, a magazine circulating to over 100,000 readers nationwide. In 2004, the band-mates decided to devote themselves to their music ministry full-time. Since then, they have traveled the Northwest, leading worship for youth events and retreats, while also self-producing the before mentioned album, Here Is Love.
Though blessed with many fond memories, the opportunities that Byword has had to join with a body of people and seek after God have given them their most meaningful experiences. "Nothing compares," says Stone, "All worries, burdens, and distractions fade away with each chance we are given to stand witness to the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of people, changing them, speaking to them and shaping their lives." As Here Is Love begins to spread throughout the Northwest and the entire country, Elliot, Neil and Brent desire to continue being a byword in this world that all might experience the life changing power found in Christ.