About two years ago, Jeremy Schaeffer began to feel unsatisfied. Something tugged at him, and the calling to pursue it became a voice too loud to ignore. So he sat in his recording studio, and he started building skeletons. Track by track he began to form new creations, adding flesh and bone to near-materialized ideas. Within a week, a ministry was born.
The sound is jostling. The vocals are confrontational, the notes are often off-time, and the arrangements are unsettling and chaotic. It sounds how the world feels. “When I read Romans 8:23, which says, ‘We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth,’ I knew it was exactly how we felt and how our music made us feel,” explains Schaeffer. “Not only is the world wailing for Jesus to come back, we’re all in chaos until His return. We wanted to name ourselves something that encapsulated that feeling.” And so, within a week of responding to the voice that nudged him, Schaeffer had created the band Earth Groans.
“We all have the same vision,” says Schaeffer of he and band mates Brady Mueller, Zachariah Mayfield, and Kaden Burton. “We want to be a ministry first, and a band second.” Their debut EP proves it. Renovate, releasing May 12th though Solid State Records, is a song by song diagnosis of our need for a divine architect. “Christ is the carpenter, and all these songs have to do with renovating our old selves so we can be made new,” he explains.
The song “The Estate,” with lyrics, “Out of the cracks the snakes creep out, exposing my rot / I’m not as strong as I make you believe / As a matter of fact, beneath the skin I am crumbling,” represents the near collapse of Schaeffer’s life as we realized how broken he was. “I was totally collected on the outside, but since I refused to deal with anything, my demons slowly started to show themselves,” he explains. “This song is all about how badly I, and all of us, need God to restore us.”
Other songs, like “Driving Out” and “Price Tag,” scream for rehabilitation of the heart, tackling topics like hate and self-worth. The vocals are aggressive and antagonistic, thrusting fans into a mighty territory that showcases the band’s passion. “We’re huge fans of metal, and our sound isn’t going anywhere,” notes Schaeffer.” “People say the scene is dying, but it’s not dead until we are. We’re going to scream, and tour, and write, as long as we can. We want Christ’s love to be spread.”
Although Earth Groans emphasizes the world’s need for a better structure, they’ll always be most focused on its Cornerstone.