In a time when music has become big business, and success is measured by notoriety and money, downhere breaks the mould. Despite their notable talents and many successes, the guys maintain their down to earth attitudes and desire to connect with people on a personal level. The name downhere is a reflection of the band‟s desire to challenge their listeners to live life “down here” on earth in light of eternity, or life “up there.” downhere is committed to working alongside the local church as they engage in a relational ministry that uses their music as a platform. And what a platform! Writing their own music, downhere demonstrates the artistic integrity of dedicated musicians. Their own brand of guitar-driven folk rock that shifts between smooth acoustic melodies and forceful guitar riffs, delivers a sound that is both unique and pop friendly. Drawing inspiration from scripture, downhere possesses the rare gift to communicate emotion and conviction through powerful vocal delivery. In essence, downhere is authentic. They take the need to model the message of their music seriously. The passion for ministry and spiritual growth that is evident in their lyrics is modeled by their lives. Encounter downhere: a musical portal to a world that reflects the goodness of God, the reality of Christ, and the deep human need to encounter salvation.
Marketing and Promotions Briercrest Bible College
downhere was born in January of 1999 at Briercrest Bible College in Caronport, Saskatchewan, Canada. The band formed to tour the debut album that Jason Germain and Marc Martel had put together as a school project. After touring for a month in the summer of „99, they all returned to school to either continue studies, or work. Throughout the 1999-2000 academic year downhere played nearly every weekend and did two 14-day tours while continuing their studies. After their two-and-a-half month tour in the summer of 2000, all members but one have committed to continuing the ministry full-time as a career in order to take things to the next level. In order to understand what is meant by “taking things to the next level”, one must first understand where the ministry is currently. As of December 2000, downhere will have played approximately 160 shows, having toured across Canada twice and across the United States once. Since September of 1999, these shows have been done on weekends, or during scheduled breaks in the academic year. To date, CD sales have almost topped 3,500 units including sales in Germany, Russia, and Australia, with offers to distribute the album both in Australia and Russia. Radio airplay continues to expand, with stations across Canada (both secular and Christian) and in the United States (KFSG 96.3FM in Los Angeles, California and KWU 107.1FM in Waco, Texas, for example) requesting material for airplay. “Breathing In” climbed as high as #12 on the Top-20 Christian music charts in Los Angeles, California, staying there for 5 weeks – and all this without US distribution. downhere has just finalized a recording contract with Word Records out of Nashville, Tennessee and has moved to Nashville to begin recording their second album – the first with Word. downhere has brought on board a number of support staff to help pursue their next level of ministry more effectively, positioning themselves to be as well-prepared as possible for what the Lord has in store for them.
Marc Martel – lead vocals, electric guitar, and sometimes harmonica
I'm Marc. Marc with a "c" because of my French Canadian background. And Marc with a capital "M" cuz, well, that's just proper grammar. I was born in Montréal, Québec, but my father's work as a pastor kept us moving and I eventually ended up in eastern Ontario, which I now consider my home. I've been into music pretty heavily for most of my life, taking up my first piano lessons at the age of six... started self-taught guitar at age fourteen. And my love for music has brought me from there to here - musically. Growing up in a Christian home has been what I consider to be one of the biggest blessings of my life. And as I learn to live as I go (as we all do), I want to reflect the One who has been with me every day since I committed my life to Him at nine years of age. Playing with downhere, I've made friendships with three guys who I can't speak highly enough about. I'm trying to make the best of this opportunity I have at this point in time to play music, travel, and meet tons of great people, all the while serving my God Jesus Christ, who is the inspiration for so much of the music I write.
Jason Germain – lead vocals, keyboards, and sometimes-acoustic guitar
I'm twenty-two years old, married and living in Caronport, Saskatchewan. My days are filled with music. When I'm not out with the band I'm working at Port Trax Studios where I am either engineering and producing various albums or writing music with my co-writer and good friend Marc. Music is a wonderful thing. Probably the most subtle art form, but for some reason music has the ability to reach deep into our emotions and change the way we feel. God has placed me in a position now where serving Him is as simple as picking up the guitar and walking on stage to share my heart with people. Marc and I try to write music that everyone can relate to (regardless of their personal beliefs), eventually tying our human experiences into a life lived in the knowledge of salvation, truth, and God. My chief goal is to live a life that demonstrates Christ-centeredness, being held accountable by my peers and always choosing now to follow where God is calling me.
Jeremy Thiessen – drums
Hi! I‟m the one in the back who makes a lot of noise and pretends to be in charge! <grin> I just graduated this April from Briercrest Bible College in Caronport, Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Arts in Sports Ministry. I have an awesome family - two younger brothers and a younger sister. We are quite close and love to do many things together. They have been very supportive of my involvement with downhere, which has been a total blessing. The guys with whom I have the privilege of traveling and ministering are awesome too, and have been very influential in my life. It's been really neat to see how the Lord has been using each and every one of us to minister to different people in different situations. As a group we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and in his saving grace, and it is only by the strength He gives each one of us that we can continue to serve in this fashion for as long as He deems necessary.
Glenn Lavender – bass guitar
Hey! I was born and raised in Cambridge Ontario along with my younger and older sister and all of my many cousins. In 1998 I finally married the woman I had been in love with since I met her at camp at the age of 16. Sherri was born in Newfoundland to parents that are Officers (Pastors) in The Salvation Army. I grew up in The Salvation Army too which meant they had a cornet (much like a trumpet) in my hands by the age of 6. I continued to play this instrument right into college and spent three years there studying jazz. So now you're wondering when did downhere get a trumpet player? Well, I started to learn some classical guitar at the age of 14 or 15 and at the same time picked up the bass. Now is it starting to make sense? For the past five years I have been playing and writing for a band named Hot House. Through Hot House I was able to see what incredible work God can do through music and really felt that this was what God wanted for my life. How I got from playing with Hot House to joining downhere is an awesome story of how God directs and guides those that seek his will. Please ask me some time!
“Festival Act of the Year” at the 2000 Prairie Music Awards “Outstanding Christian Recording” at the 2000 Prairie Music Awards Nominee for “Outstanding Christian Recording” at the 2000 Juno Awards Performed “Raincoat” during the Prairie Music Awards, a nationally televised gala event The song “Breathing In” was on the Top-20 Christian music charts in Los Angeles, California… for 12 weeks Included on the $100,000 Western Economic Development “Go West” compilation project, a federally funded 30-track CD showcasing Western Canadian talent and distributed to all Canadian embassies worldwide Have been granted corporate sponsorship by organizations such as World Vision Canada, Briercrest Family of Schools, and Campus Crusade for Christ Opened for Audio Adrenaline in two locations on the Canadian segment of their “Underdog” Tour Showcased at the 2000 World Vision Artist‟s Retreat in Orlando, Florida Partnered with the Power to Change campaign in Saskatchewan, playing various concert venues Signed with WORD Records in Nashville Tennessee
The “We Ain’t Seen Jack” Tour summer of 2000 (April 20 to July 9) 80 days on the road approximately 40 dates, including stops in 6 Canadian provinces, 13 American states, and Mexico Reading Break Tour spring of 2000 (March 3-11) 9 days on the road 8 date tour including shows in Manitoba, Ontario, and Orlando, Florida done during the College Spring Break The “Stir Crazy” Tour fall of 1999 (November 5-13) 8 days on the road 10 date tour consisting of shows in Alberta and British Columbia done during the College Fall Break The “Our First Ever!” Tour summer of 1999 (April 20 to May 30) 40 days on the road approximately 25 dates, including stops in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Michigan