Never For­got­ten of­fers up mes­sages to re­mem­ber

The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis - - Music - By Michael Don­ahue

don­ahue@com­mer­cialap­peal.com

Some peo­ple don’t get the mean­ing of Never For­got­ten’s name.

They say things like, “I for­got who this band is,” and “What’s the name of your band again?”

Ex­plain­ing the ac­tual mean­ing, the metal band’s lead singer Ryan Stephens, 17, said, “We re­ally try to strive and let peo­ple see what God did for us. We want to make sure the sac­ri­fice that was made for us so we could be here to­day will never be for­got­ten.”

Al­though their songs deal with Chris­tian themes, the band mem­bers, gui­tarist Nick Hill­yar, 17; drum­mer Matt Wad­dell, 18; gui­tarist/vo­cal­ist Josh New­man, 16; and bass player Bran­don Jones, 16, don’t call them­selves a Chris­tian band.

“We say we’re fol­low­ers of Christ just be­cause there’s a lot of bands that say they’re Chris­tians and then off the stage they’re com­pletely dif­fer­ent,” Stephens said.

The band’s orig­i­nal name was Asleep at the Wheel. “That’s an old coun­try band. That’s not gonna work. So we changed the name.”

For its first gig, a bat­tle of the bands at the New Daisy The­atre, the group wrote five songs in a month and a half.

On­stage moves at that first show didn’t al­ways work.

“Like try to head bang and it would just feel awk­ward ’cause we’d never done it be­fore,” Stephens said. “The sec­ond day af­ter our first show I woke up and I could not move my head. My neck was so sore.”

But, he added, “We got in­vited to come back and play the fi­nals.”

Never For­got­ten’s first orig­i­nal was “Walk­ing on Wa­ter,” which is about “be­ing done with peo­ple say­ing one thing and then act­ing a dif­fer­ent way.”

One of their new­est songs, “Humpty Dumpty Makes a Come­back,” is about “not be­ing ashamed of pro­claim­ing Chris­tian­ity and what other peo­ple say.”

Gen­er­ally, the band has got­ten a pos­i­tive re­sponse to its mu­sic.

“In be­tween some of our songs, I talked about what we were up there for,” Stephens said.

“We touch peo­ple at the shows. They’ll have this empty space and they’re just try­ing to fill it with it with al­co­hol, drugs and sex. We just try to give them the stuff that’ll re­ally fill (them) up for good in­stead of just the tem­po­rary stuff.”

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