‘Shine Like Stars’ releases ‘Victory Anthem’, the band’s latest video via YouTube. I had the pleasure of getting to preview the video before it goes live and was also able to squeeze in a few questions with the band’s front man, Dale Huntington.
‘Victory Anthem’ is a fun, upbeat, punk, rock, worship song with a strong Irish pulse and a creatively catchy tune. It’s upbeat tempo accompanied by an acoustic and electric guitar, bass, drums, keys, fiddle, and even some cheerful, almost on the verge of swashbuckling whistling, is complemented further by the solid positive lyrics and clearly Southern Californian-born punk vocals.
The band, ‘Shine Like Stars’, makes no attempt to hide their Christian faith with lyrical codes in the ‘Victory Anthem’. Huntington made it clear to me that they’re a worship band first, and that’s his primary passion.
Me: “Why worship when you clearly have a great sound that could easily tap into the fairly large fan base for your Irish sound?”
Dale: “I wanted to write worship songs that sounded like the punk and rock music I was listening to at the time. I'd say the Irish feel is a bit of an anomaly and just something fun we wanted to do after playing a few Mumford songs, but the SoCal pop punk sound is in my veins. I grew up listening to pop punk and when I became a believer at 16 I felt like I wanted to keep listening to that style, just not the lyrics. I was in punk bands for most of High School and a bit of College, but I really found myself looking forward to leading worship on Sunday, way more than our gigs on Friday's and Saturday nights. “
Victory Anthem, was primarily filmed in downtown Wichita Kansas. The music video starts inside of the Wichita Orpheum and features other clearly recognizable Wichita businesses and landmarks including, The Exploration Place, the Spice Merchant, and the Keeper of the Plains.
As an ‘Anthem’, the concept begins with Dale and wife Ashley (vocals and keys) walking down the street downtown by themselves and, throughout the song, the number of followers begin to build and build until the end when they’ve gathered a mass of people who've all come together under the ‘Victory Anthem’. Exactly what you’d expect from an ‘Anthem’ song, and I suspect that once, ‘Victory Anthem’ goes live, they’ll see the same kind of reaction from old and soon-to-follow-fans.
Me: “As a Northern California native myself (near Chico) now living in Wichita, I have to ask: Why the move from Southern California to Wichita Kansas?”
DH: “God has obviously called us to Wichita. First off, we love love love our Church. Secondly it's a great place to raise a family and it's dead center in the USA so super easy for touring. By the way we've played Chico!”
Shine Like Stars was born in Orange County, California in 2004, which was also the birthplace of other popular Christian bands including the OC Supertones, Project 86, and Stryper. Shine Like Stars, is a worship music love-child of husband and wife team Dale and Ashley Huntington, both from San Diego. After moving to Wichita Kansas new members Doug Biggs, Seth Duncan, Joey Menninga, and most recently Jake Smith, joined the band.
Me: “What has been the biggest highlight for Shine Like Stars so far?”
DH: “Well it's been super fun leading worship at Churches in about 15 states. I love seeing the way the Body worships in different ways. The biggest highlight would still have to be our last music video, the overflow. It got us on Television stations all over America and even in New Zealand. We've been told people are viewing it all over the country. Also one of my favorite worship songwriters, Tim Hughes, called it ‘Lovely, beautiful lyrics and voices.’ I definitely had a bit of a fan boy moment there.”
In late 2012, this, now Wichita based punk, emo, rock, worship band found many new fans and followers after their late 2012 release of the music video,‘The Overflow’. It was the first to be shot of their most recent CD, ‘ Beauty in the Storm’ and has been featured on The Gospel Music Channel, NRB, Shine TV, and CMV.
Me: “Where does Shine Like Stars go from here?”
DH: “Wherever God takes us. We've tried to make success. Not going to happen no matter how hard we work. It has to be a work of the Lord. We are going to continue to make songs we believe the Church desires to sing. We are going to keep making albums. We are going to keep touring. We are loving making music videos. Also we are going to serve in our local Church.”
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