Fellow American, a band with several LCU alumni, continues to serve the community, both at LCU and beyond.
Early in June, LCU hosted Encounter, a summer camp for high school students, during which the campus hosted over 500 campers. Each evening of the camp different entertainers—comedians, illusionists, or bands—give performances for the campers. However, on Tuesday even during the camp this year, Josh Stephens, one of the camp directors, had a challenge.
“On Wednesday night of Encounter, the original group who was planned for entertainment unfortunately couldn’t make it,” he said. “On incredibly short notice, we called Fellow American to see if they could help us out, and they rose to the occasion.”
Some of the members of the band drove nearly 200 miles to make it for the performance that evening, Stephens said, after being asked to play only hours before they would need to be ready to go. Even so, they were ready to go on time, on the steps of the McDonald Moody Auditorium, where they played what Stephens called “an awesome show.”
“What was really neat was that they were already a part of the LCU community—several of them are alumni and have been around the campus for years—so having them back here was really neat, not only for us, but for our campers and the community as a whole.”
Aaron Parrish, who graduated from LCU in 2013 with a degree in psychology, plays guitar and also performs some of the vocals for Fellow American. For him, playing at Encounter was a special experience. “I grew up going to Encounter, seeing all sorts of awesome bands play there. I never dreamed that I’d be up there playing on that stage myself.”
Fellow American really solidified into the group it is today in 2014, but Parrish and vocalist/keyboardist Clint Scott (’13) began collaborating as early as 2011 at LCU. Parrish feels LCU has been a big part of Fellow American’s journey. “Without LCU, Fellow American wouldn’t exist. I’d be writing music, sure, but I wouldn’t be with such a great group of guys. And the content, I mean, without the guidance and support that LCU gave me, it wouldn’t be at all the same.”
The spiritual guidance that LCU gave him and his fellow band members while they went to school was, according to Parrish, critical to their direction and purpose.
“We’re not a ‘Christian band,’ but our lyrics are definitely influenced by our faith and beliefs…. I see this as a venue to go out and give encouragement and hope to the world. That’s why we play in bars and other venues where people may not ever hear some of the things that we promote. For us, it comes down to love, and showing that to a world where that isn’t necessarily evident all the time.”
Fellow American also played at Camp Champion, a camp experience for middle-school students, later in June. For Fellow American, Parrish said, these shows are some of their favorites.
“They treat us like rock stars, going crazy for autographs,” he said, laughing. “What was really neat was that later in the week, the kids were walking by in my neighborhood doing some service work as part of the camp, and they recognized me and ran over wanting to meet me. That was a really cool moment.”
Parrish and Scott are joined in the band by their fellow alumnus Elliott Metherd (’14) on bass, as well as friends Kyle Cotton on drums and Grady Benton on lead guitar and keys.
“Going back to LCU is a homecoming. We’ve done shows in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and all over Texas, but coming back to LCU really feels like coming home.”
Fellow American’s EP “From Me to Shore” is available on iTunes, and they are currently working to release a full album next year. To visit their website, click here.
For more information on LCU’s camp experiences, click here.