Here's a hot new Christian Pop/Rock band that is making a difference in this world of so many negative influences. With a fresh, hip sound and style that attracts audiences of all ages, "The Difference" can have a good time rocking out on stage while spreading the gospel through their music. While other popular bands may encourage immorality and self indulgence, this band courageously shares the message of selfless service to God and the hope found in Jesus Christ. Based out of Hampton Roads, VA, the 3 piece band consists of Josh Jones (bass and vocals), Thomas Guglielmo (drums and vocals), and Ryan Mekkes (guitar and lead vocals). Thomas, Josh, and Ryan are innovative songwriters as much as they are talented instrumentalists, and they continue to write new material for future albums. Recently, Ryan Mekkes, on behalf of his band, The Difference, made a trip to Nashville and co-wrote with many of Music City's most talented song writers, including Jon Conley, Sarah Majors, Max Abrams, CJ Watson, David Harper, Kat Korac, and Dave Tough. Ryan worked with the Artist Development Network and recorded a master demo CD of 3 songs chosen from all the co-writing sessions, produced by Dave Tough, at the famous Ocean Way Recording Studios. The result is an exciting and amazing Pop/Rock demo that makes you feel good and makes you want to sing to these catchy, uplifting songs.
Interview with The Pilot,
By Patty Jenkins
© November 11, 2010
The three members of The Difference were playing with other worship bands when they met. When those groups fizzled, drummer and vocalist Thomas Guglielmo of Poquoson, guitarist and lead vocalist Ryan Mekkes of Norfolk and bassist Josh Jones of Chesapeake got together in January and started writing songs.
During the summer, 17-year-old Ryan went to Tennessee to work with a marketing company called Artist Development Network and to work with producers who helped them record a demo. "We took seven songs, rewrote them and recorded the strongest three and put them on a demo," Ryan said. Their three-song CD waits at record labels like EMI, Tooth & Nail and Gotee Records.
To write songs, Ryan starts with a blueprint of a verse, chorus and bridge that he takes to 19-year-olds Thomas and Josh. Then they put the song together by sections. Josh, who was recently a music theory student at Tidewater Community College, puts his education to work. "I do all the mechanics. It's the stuff that nobody understands," he said, laughing.
"We try to write music that appeals to more than just the Christian bubble. Sometimes Christian music can intimidate people and they don't want to listen to it," Ryan said. For the song "Cloud Nine," about going to a homecoming dance, they incorporate everyday life.
"We play our music because of God. He gave us the ability to play. Our goal is to play our music to lift up his name," Thomas said.
The three musicians cited different influences. Ryan likes Switchfoot, Thomas praised The Almost and Josh chose Dave Brubeck.
"I really like jazz music," Josh said. "The way the bass moves and how an artist makes the melody their own has been a big influence for me."
Ryan Mekkes (Vocals, Guitar),
Thomas Guglielmo (Vocals, Drums),
Joshua Jones (Bass, Backup Vocals),
Jonathan Crowell (Guitar, Backup Vocals)