The band Reilly jumps out at you like a pop-up book among a library of textbooks, especially when their dueling violins hum and scream at each other as the band rocks the songs of John Reilly, lead singer and songwriter.
The bandmates met at college, through Campus Crusade for Christ. Behind lead man Reilly, Jordan Lenhoff and bassist Matthew Bomberger provide the rhythm and husband and wife duo Dan and Noele Huie play violin, among other things.
Emerging from the city of brotherly love, Reilly integrates a mini orchestra into their positive, worshipful rock and catches the audience's attention by opening their concerts with the violins. The energetic group of rockers keeps all eyes and ears on the stage thoughout the show. The talent of Reilly's musicians adds to its multi-faceted sound. The Huies play multiple instruments, with Dan sometimes picking up the electric guitar and Noele singing and playing the keyboard.
Reilly tours mainly the East Coast, playing at churches and Christian festivals. Currently, they're promoting their third full-length record, "Wake Us Up," which came out in June 2010. They've shared the stage with notable artists Switchfoot, Lecrae, Newsboys, Jars of Clay and BarlowGirl.
Below is a Q&A with Reilly members, John Reilly and Dan Huie. Reilly is the main songwriter and lead singer. Huie plays the violin and handles the booking for the band.
What topics do you think are most prevalent in your songs? Why do you think this is?
Dan: Treasuring Christ in life. Trying to convey Christ's Lordship through different life experiences.
John: Lately, as we have been writing, the topic of God's faithfulness is frequently popping up. I think it's because I have really been touched by how God has been faithful to me and my wife over the years, as I've looked back.
Have there been certain venues that you've not played because of your beliefs?
Dan: No. We have played many churches, but also colleges and sometimes music clubs and bars. On the other hand, we don't get invited to play a lot of places that are "questionable."
What was your worst experience performing at a show?
Dan: We played in a torrential downpour outdoor at a festival in Michigan once. We got drenched from head to toe and so did our violins, guitars and pedal boards. There was damage to a lot of our gear. We played about 20 minutes, and since the stage manager didn't cut us off, we kept rocking out for some die-hard fans. Although we absolutely love the festival itself, it was a pretty bad experience.
John: Hands down it was few years ago during a fourth of July performance at a Pennsylvania camp. We were in an outdoor pavilion with raised seating. During our fifth song, I felt something fall on me from up above. I looked at my shoulder and it was covered in guano (bat poop). I couldn't recover so I basically just called a timeout in the middle of the song and let the audience in on it. We all laughed about it.
What's in your refrigerator?
Dan: Anyone who knows me knows that I love mayonnaise. I put that on mostly everything I can. No mayonnaise, no burger. Know mayonnaise, know burger.
John: Organic Yogurt, fresh fruit (lemons, apples), squash, carrots, onions, various cheeses, baked chicken, eggs, bacon - nothing too unusual.
What's happening for Reilly in 2012?
Dan: We're coming out with a new live album this summer. We're also writing new music for a new original album to be released in 2013. We're also playing shows of course. Come see us and say "hi."