Archers Rise (formerly Becoming an Archer) is a Christian Rock group from Corvallis, Oregon. The band is headed up by Tom Cox, formally of the band Falling Up. Cox formed Archers Rise in 2009, and self-released a song titled "Be Alive" on iTunes and Amazon.com.
The band released their self-titled EP on February 1, 2012, which was produced by Jessy Ribordy (Falling Up) with Kelsey Smith engineering.
Their self-composed story follows:
Archers Rise began as a dream in the heart of Tom Cox in 2009. Tom had been hard at work writing songs that expressed the metamorphosis he had experienced since his departure from Falling Up (Tooth and Nail Recordings). He began the project under the name Becoming An Archer, which he felt reflected the season of his life where he was learning the aiming, the timing and the drive to hit the mark, to press toward his calling with an undivided heart. As with all dreams, Becoming An Archer proved to be an arduous journey; including several member changes, a long and difficult road to finishing a demo, last minute performance cancellations and a struggle to be heard amidst a sea of bands all competing for even a few seconds of attention. Through it all there proved to be a resiliency of purpose and enthusiasm about Becoming An Archer, as if moved by an invisible hand through the strong winds of adversity. “It was tough throughout the entire time. I pressed on, I persevered. I knew my experiences and songs could potentially bless and encourage others. Then there was the sheer love of music and of God; that drove my music and song writing,” says singer and guitarist Tom Cox.
In the winter of 2011, after a rather intense season of change, Becoming An Archer was truncated to two original members; Tom Cox (guitar and vocals) and Luke Buchanan (lead guitar), whom Tom had met through a mutual friend. During the previous year Tom had befriended Jeremiah Wilson, a young drummer whom he met as a student in Corvallis, OR., the two connected instantly and inseparably. During that same period Tom and Lee Edward (bass) also became friends through mutual contacts in the local musician community. At the time Lee was playing in the band In Pursuit Of and Tom was giving them feedback on their sound. Later Lee backed Tom on drums for a few local performances around the Corvallis area. “I wanted to support and nourish Tom's dream so I filled in for him casually on the drums for a couple shows when the current drummer for Becoming An Archer was unavailable. That's just what friends do,” said Lee of his first musical involvement with Becoming An Archer. Several months after Lee and Jeremiah were in the picture, the group was introduced to a quiet but brilliant young keyboard player, Matthew Flood. With the newly found relational momentum the group set out to record an EP in the spring of 2011. Regarding the recording process, Lee commented, “It was stretching. For the most part, we were all still meeting each other so when we showed up to record this EP it was almost an experiment. We literally coached each other through the process of writing different parts in the studio and agonized over the arrangements.” Producer Jesse Ribordy (Falling Up) came to the groups aid and helped to shape their dynamic sound. The group collaborated well with Ribordy and felt at ease working with him; another critical piece of the puzzle was added and a new and strangely beautiful picture was emerging through the group's investment and sacrifice.
Before the EP was yet finished, several delays prevented it's completion. Financial and time constraints seemed to keep coming up again and again like endless hurdles. During the process yet another member change happened. Recently married, Luke resigned from the project on good terms after relocating to the Portland area and the band supported his decision. But with increased determination to complete the EP, the now foursome continued to press forward. During the time Luke moved on from the group they had been discussing whether the name Becoming An Archer really captured what the felt purpose of their relationships and music really was and after much deliberation the group settled on changing the band name to Archers Rise. They felt the name represented a new movement of powerful people and a captivating sound that would bring out the best in any situation and the lives touched. And finally, after almost a year of setbacks and struggles to maintain momentum, the newly named Archers Rise self-titled EP was released on February 1st, 2012. The group decided on a self-titled EP because they felt it reflected the season of rising they were in and also to let the music speak for itself without adding any hype. New fans and loyal supporters over the previous years alike celebrated the release. As a band, Archers Rise makes a concerted effort to connect with their listeners personally, believing they are crucial to the success and purpose of the bands music. When asked about this, drummer Jeremiah Wilson said, “The listeners are the most important part of Archers Rise. We, as a band, could not be where we are today without the incredible feedback we receive from fans. They have helped to shape us. Their approval of what we do, has given us the drive to keep moving forward. They have fueled us for success and we couldn't do this without them.”
The group was pleased with the finished product represented in the EP. Their goal was to create something authentic springing forth from the relationship and unity that was at the heart of Archers Rise. Tom commented, “I wanted to have a family atmosphere, close relationships. There is a powerful movement when you advance in unity. I feel like this group of people has such a strong unity and love for one another. Even if the EP didn't go anywhere, I would say I was proud to be in a project with these guys.” The result was six diverse tracks ranging from arena rock to enchanting ballads to Paul Simon-like acoustic story-telling. The band cross-pollinates with influences such as Switchfoot, Coldplay, One Republic and Mutemath producing a kaleidoscope of sounds and textures that seem to intensify each time a track is played, like getting to know all the subtleties and beauty of a city after living there many years. To be sure, each song has its secrets but at whatever level a listener chooses to engage this heartfelt sound they are bound to be dazzled, intrigued and left awaiting the next release and live show.