By Terry Deboer | The Grand Rapids Press
Modern rock band AG Silver is coming out of an extended hibernation. But the group is not emerging empty handed.
“It’s been two years since our last local show,” said lead singer and co-founder Jon Ornee, 30, in an interview from his Holland office. “But we’ll have 10 new songs at this one, and we can’t wait to get back out there.”
They will also mix in fan favorites such as “Now or Never.”
The band — Ornee, guitarist Chris McKellar, drummer Craig Vanderwier and bassist Josh Blom — have spent time off the road regathering creative energy to produce new music.
“We love touring and have a blast together,” Ornee said. “But writing new music didn’t happen naturally for us while we were traveling.”
AG Silver toured extensively from 2007 to 2009, doing shows as far away as Alaska, Massachusetts and Texas, logging 35,000 miles in 2008 alone.
During a several-month break, they wrote and recorded an EP to have new songs to take with them when they revisited some of the same concert venues on the road. But, creatively speaking, the band was ready to do something different.
“This time, we decided to take some time and really craft something more elaborate,”
Ornee said about the band’s latest batch of songs.
Friday’s show will be a preview of their forthcoming CD, which should be ready for release in the spring.
Two of the new songs can be heard on the band’s website, agsilver.com: the melodically driving “Fixed On You” and the anthem “Rise.”
“Fans of our first two albums will like this one as well,” said Ornee, who works as a graphic designer.
“The new one is more piano-driven, but true to our goal of trying to write timeless rock songs and not just following (musical) fads.”
Ornee is the band’s chief lyricist and is still completing the lyrics on several of the new songs. One of the new favorites has the working title “Hold On.”
Ornee and McKellar first teamed up while students at Grandville High School, choosing their name AG Silver in a chemistry class (AG is the notation for silver on the Periodic Table of Elements).
The developing band won the Aris Hampers Hometown Rock Search in 2003, and released its first full-length CD (“Wake Up and Smell Reality”) at a 2006 DeVos Fieldhouse show in which they opened for the Grammy-winning band Jars of Clay.
Then came their whirlwind touring schedule before their more recent off-stage sabbatical.
But now the band is itching to return to performing once again.
“Not only will this will be the first time people have heard these songs, but also the first time we’ve played them in front of an audience,” Ornee said. “It will be sort of a cool, raw, vulnerable and fun concert.”