Audio Adrenaline is a Christian rock band that formed in the mid 1980s at Kentucky Christian University in Grayson, Kentucky. The band has received two Grammy Awards and multiple Dove Awards. They were regular performers at the annual Creation Festival, Spirit West Coast festival, Agape Music Festival, and Alive Festival. In 2006, the group disbanded due to lead singer Mark Stuart's spasmodic dysphonia. After a six year hiatus, the band reformed in 2012 with Kevin Max, formerly of DC Talk, as the new lead vocalist.
The band was formed as A-180 in 1986 by Mark Stuart, Barry Blair, Will McGinniss, David Stuart, and Phil Vaughan, who all attended Kentucky Christian University. The band went on hiatus the following year when Mark traveled to Haiti for a semester. Upon Mark's return to Kentucky, the band reformed with Ron Gibson on drums. They became a popular local band, booked by the school nearly every weekend and traveling as far west as Texas, north to Chicago, and south to Florida. The band did over 100 shows during this time and recorded two independent releases under the name A-180. The first was You Turn in 1989 and Reaper's Train in 1990. Reaper's Train featured the original version of the song "DC-10", which is also found on the first Audio Adrenaline release.
The band's big break would come in the form of Bob Herdman. Herdman approached A-180 with two songs he had written, one of them called "My God", and asked A-180 to record it. After "My God" was recorded at Landmark Recording Studio, in Ohio, A-180 asked Herdman to join them as their songwriter. The demo tape was sent to radio stations and quickly scaled the charts. Following this, the song caught the attention of Toby McKeehan (from dc Talk), who brought it to the executives at ForeFront Records. The label decided to offer a record deal to A-180 but had them change their name to Audio Adrenaline a name that Herdman had come up with previously.
After signing their deal with Forefront, the band started writing and recording demo songs with some similar to "My God" for the first album. However, the edgy demo songs were not what Forefront was looking for. Although being signed for because of their edgy rock sound, Forefront wanted a hip-hop act. As a result Dave Stuart and Ron Gibson left the band. Their first Forefront album was the self-titled Audio Adrenaline, released in 1992. The debut was less Audio A and more the work of a producer. Filled with drum machine beats, rap and hip-hop it eventually went out of print. It included "DC-10", the only track from the original A-180 recordings (live drums) and was well received selling 75,000 copies. The follow-up album, Don't Censor Me, came the next year and featured what is considered the biggest hit of the band, "Big House". The album sold 250,000 copies and launched the band into stardom. The album also includes the song "We're a Band", which remained one of their live staples. Next the band released a live album titled Live Bootleg.
In 1996, their third studio album, Bloom, was released. The album featured the band returning to their original rock roots, as opposed to their experiments with rap music. The album was a huge hit becoming (in 1999) the only album of the band to be certified gold by RIAA. It also marked guitarist Blair's final album, who decided to become a music producer. Blair contributed to a song from their next album.
With Blair gone, Audio Adrenaline needed a new guitarist. They found a temporary fill-in with Brian McSweeney (from Seven Day Jesus), but he decided to stay with his full-time act. They then turned the guitars over to Tyler Burkum, who joined the band at only 17 years of age, just in time to record some guitars on the band's next album, Some Kind of Zombie. The album, released in 1997, included a song from Barry Blair and was the first to feature Ben Cissell as the band's full-time drummer, though Cissell had played percussion on their previous album. In 1999, the band released Underdog, its fifth studio album, and opened for dc Talk on the Jesus Freak World Tour.
After a short break, Audio Adrenaline released their first greatest hits compilation, Hit Parade, in March 2001. Included in the album are three of their most popular songs, "Big House", "Hands and Feet", and the live staple "We're A Band", as well as a song with The O.C. Supertones, "Blitz", from the album Some Kind of Zombie. It was at this time that Herdman left the band to become president of a new record label, Flicker Records, which he co-founded along with Stuart and McGinniss.
In November 2001, the band released a new studio album, Lift which several critics have classified as the band's best.Lift also marked the first time that guitarist Burkum shared lead vocals with Stuart. The band then followed with their ninth album, Worldwide, released in 2003. Worldwide went on to win a Grammy Award for Best Rock Gospel Album in 2004, the first of two Grammys for the band. In 2004, the band, along with Herdman, founded a project in Haiti called the Hands and Feet Project, in which the band built an orphanage for children.
The band's tenth studio album, Until My Heart Caves In, was released on August 30, 2005. The album featured most of the lead vocals by Burkum, with only a few sung by Stuart. Until My Heart Caves In received another Grammy Award for Best Rock Gospel Album in 2006. "Clap Your Hands" was also played on ESPN with football game highlights.
On January 18, 2006, Audio Adrenaline announced that they were retiring from active music ministry and cited Stuart's "ongoing vocal challenges" stemming from vocal cord damage as the primary factor. On July 27, 2006, the band played at the popular Christian music Creation Festival, where they had performed every year since the group formed, for the last time with their original lineup. On August 1, 2006, they released their final compilation album, Adios: The Greatest Hits, a farewell album containing two new tracks as well as a selection of the band's greatest hits to date.
For their final national tour in Spring 2007, Audio Adrenaline opened for MercyMe on their "Coming Up To Breathe Tour". The band performed their last live concert on April 28, 2007, at the Waikiki Shell in Honolulu, Hawaii. Their final project, which was released on August 28, 2007, is a live CD–DVD combo entitled Live From Hawaii: The Farewell Concert. The album earned two nominations at the 39th GMA Dove Awards, winning Long Form Music Video of the Year. The group's final performance, a one-off reunion performance, was at Easterfest '09 in Queens Park, Toowoomba, Australia.
Return with new lineup
In 2012, the band reformed with an altered lineup, featuring Kevin Max, formerly of DC Talk, as the new lead vocalist, Dave Ghazarian of Superchick on the guitar, Jared Byers of Bleach on the drums, Jason Walker on the keyboard, and returning member Will McGinniss on bass. On March 3, 2013, Audio Adrenaline released Kings and Queens. The album peaked at No. 70 on the Billboard 200 chart, and No. 4 on the Christian Albums chart. In 2013, Dave Ghazarian and Jason Walker left the band, replaced by Dwayne Larring formerly of Sonicflood.
- Kevin Max — lead vocals (2012–present, former member of dc Talk)
- Will McGinniss — vocals, bass guitar (1986–2007, 2012–present, founding member A-180/Audio A)
- Jared Byers — drums (2012–present, former member of Bleach and Relient K)
- Dwayne Larring — guitar, vocals (2013–present, former member of Sonicflood and Kelly Clarkson)
- Mark Stuart — lead vocals, guitar (1986–2007, founding member A-180/Audio A)
- Dave Stuart — keyboards, vocals (1986, 1991, founding member A-180/Audio A)
- Ron Gibson — drums (1988–1991 - drummer for A-180 & original Audio A drummer)
- Bob Herdman — keyboard, guitar, vocals (1991–2001, founding member of Audio A)
- Barry Blair — guitar, vocals (1986–1996, founding member A-180/Audio A)
- Ben Cissell — drums (1995–2007)
- Tyler Burkum — guitar, vocals, keyboard (1997–2007)
- Dave Ghazarian — guitar (2012–2013)
- Jason Walker — keyboards, vocals, guitar (2012–2013)
- Brian Hayes — drums (1993–1995)
- Brian Whitman — guitar, vocals (2005–2007)
- David Stuart — keyboard, vocals (1986–1991 "You Turn" and "Reaper's Train")
- Ron Gibson — drums (1988–1991: "You Turn" and "Reaper's Train" drums on original "DC-10")
- Jonathan Schneck — backup guitar, backing vocals (2003–2005, Now with Relient K)
- Brian McSweeney — guitar, vocals (1996–97, replacing Barry Blair; 2007, filled in for Tyler Burkum for final shows)
- Jared Byers — drums (2007, filled in for Ben Cissell for final shows)
- Mike Biddle — keyboards, backing vocals (2009)
On September 1, 2003, the band released its first book Dirty Faith: Becoming the Hands and Feet of Jesus, with Think Books. Co-written with Mark Matlock, the book discusses reaching out to the needy and features an organization called Mission Year.
In 2003, Mark Stuart was involved in !Hero the Rock opera, playing Petrov. !Hero was a modern adaption of the story of Christ. Also involved in this production were then-dc Talk band member Michael Tait (presently the frontman of the Newsboys) as HERO, CCM pop vocalist Rebecca St. James as Maggie, Skillet's John Cooper as Kai, the chief Rabbi, and rapper T-Bone as Jairus.
On September 5, 2006, the band released Hands & Feet: Inspiring Stories and Firsthand Accounts of God Changing Lives, with Regal Books. It takes the reader on a journey to Haiti with the band as they build houses for the children there. The reader also meets Drex and Jo Stuart, the parents of frontman Mark Stuart. The book gives an explanation of life in one of the poorest nations on earth. It also tells of the band's building of The Hands and Feet Project (an orphanage for poor, hungry children).
in 2007, Stuart and Will McGinniss launched a post-retirement speaking venture titled "Audio Unplugged" (also known as "Audio Talks") and offer "a night of encouragement, testimonies, Audio A classics and worship."
|Year||Album title||Record label|
|1989||You Turn||Landmark Recording Studio|
|1990||Reaper's Train||Landmark Recording Studio|
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certifications
Don't Censor Me
Some Kind of Zombie
Until My Heart Caves In
Kings & Queens
|"—" denotes the album failed to chart or was not released.|
|Year||Album title||Record label|
|2007||Live From Hawaii: The Farewell Concert||ForeFront|
|Year||Album title||Record label|
|2006||Adios: The Greatest Hits (Special Edition CD/DVD)||ForeFront|
|2007||Live From Hawaii: The Farewell Concert CD/DVD||ForeFront|
|Year||Album title||Record label(s)|
|2006||Adios: The Greatest Hits||ForeFront|
|2009||The Ultimate Collection||Chordant|
|Year||Single||Christian peak chart positions||Album|
|1991||"My God"||—||—||—||—||5||Audio Adrenaline|
|1992||"Who Do You Love?"||—||—||13||—||—|
|1994||"My World View"
(featuring Kevin Max of dc Talk)
|—||33||3||—||—||Don't Censor Me|
|"We're a Band"||—||—||—||3||—|
|"Can't Take God Away||—||—||1||—||—|
|"Don't Censor Me"||—||—||—||18||—|
|1995||"A.K.A. Public School"||—||—||14||—||—|
|"Righteous Rocker #3"||—||—||—||1||—||One Way: The Songs of
|1996||"Never Gonna Be as Big as Jesus"||—||—||3||—||—||Bloom|
|"Walk on Water"||—||38||1||—||—|
|"I'm Not the King"||—||—||—||1||—|
|"Man of God"||—||—||2||—||—|
|"Some Kind of Zombie"||—||—||—||1||—||Some Kind of Zombie|
|"People Like Me"||—||—||1||4||—|
|"Hands and Feet"||—||7||1||6||—|
|2001||"Mighty Good Leader"||—||—||—||14||—|
|"One Like You"||—||—||2||—||—||Hit Parade|
|"Will Not Fade"||—||—||—||2||—|
|2005||"Start a Fire"||—||—||—||—||—|
|"King"||17||—||17||—||—||Until My Heart Caves In|
|"Melody (Lost Inside the Wonder)"||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006||"Goodbye"||—||—||29||—||—||Adios: The Greatest Hits|
|2012||"Kings & Queens"||4||7||4||—||—||Kings & Queens|
|"King of the Comebacks"||—||—||—||22||—|
|2014||"He Moves You Move"||—||—||28||—||—|
|"—" denotes singles that did not chart.|
- "PDA" (Audio Adrenaline, 1992)
- "AKA Public School" (Don't Censor Me, 1993)
- "Big House" (Don't Censor Me, 1993)
- "We're a Band" (Don't Censor Me, 1994)
- "Never Gonna Be As Big As Jesus" (Bloom, 1996)
- "Free Ride" (Bloom, 1996)
- "Some Kind of Zombie" (Some Kind of Zombie", 1997)
- "Blitz (featuring The O.C. Supertones)" (Some Kind of Zombie, 1997)
- "Get Down" (Underdog, 1999)
- "Hands and Feet" (Underdog, 1999)
- "Ocean Floor" (Lift", 2001)
- "Rejoice" (Lift, 2001)
- "Church Punks (live)" (Worldwide, 2003)
- "Leaving 99 (live)" (Worldwide, 2003)
- "Kings & Queens" (Kings & Queens, 2012)
- "Believer" (Kings & Queens, 2013)
|1997||Best Rock Gospel Album (Bloom)||Nominated|
|1999||Best Rock Gospel Album (Some Kind of Zombie)||Nominated|
|2000||Best Rock Gospel Album (Underdog)||Nominated|
|2003||Best Rock Gospel Album (Lift)||Nominated|
|2004||Best Rock Gospel Album (Worldwide)||Won|
|2006||Best Rock Gospel Album (Until My Heart Caves In)||Won|
GMA Dove Awards
|1996||Long Form Music Video of the Year ("Big House")||Won|
|1998||Modern Rock Recorded Song of the Year ("Some Kind of Zombie")||Won|
|2000||Rock Recorded Song of the Year ("Get Down")||Won|
|2002||Rock Recorded Song of the Year ("Will Not Fade)||Nominated|
|2003||Group of the Year||Nominated|
|Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year ("Ocean Floor")||Nominated|
|Rock Album of the Year (Lift)||Won|
|2004||Rock Recorded Song of the Year ("Dirty")||Nominated|
|Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year (Worldwide)||Nominated|
|Long Form Music Video of the Year (Alive)||Nominated|
|2008||Rock Album of the Year (Live from Hawaii: The Farewell Concert)||Nominated|
|Long Form Music Video of the Year (Live from Hawaii: The Farewell Concert)||Won|
- Van Pelt, Doug (November–December 1998). . HM Magazine (74). ISSN . Retrieved April 24, 2007.
- [www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Music/2006/09/Adios-Audio-Adrenaline.aspx Adios, Audio Adrenaline] Interview of Will McGinniss on Beliefnet.com