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The Insyderz

Ska
Detroit, Michigan, USA

The Insyderz were a Christian ska-punk band from Detroit, Michigan. They formed in 1996 and disbanded in 2005. The band reformed in 2009, but have not been actively playing shows in the last few years. The Insyderz are one of the “big three” bands which represented the Christian ska scene, alongside The Supertones and Five Iron Frenzy.

The Insyderz began from Joe Yerke and Nate Sjogren who led worship together at their church. Many members have associations with the Salvation Army, and throughout the life of the band support has been reciprocal, with the band playing at SA sponsored youth rallies. The band found their break at the 1996 Cornerstone Festival. They began playing on their campsite, and wound up garnering the attention of Michael Sean Black and Gene Eugene, who signed them to his label Brainstorm Artists International. While that label folded soon after, the band's first album, Motor City Ska (1997), effectively established a presence in the Christian music marketplace and garnered the attention of Steve Taylor's Squint Entertainment.

Their subsequent release, Skalleluia!, became their most successful album and ranked the highest in record sales for the band. The album consists of contemporary praise and worship songs in ska and ska-punk renditions. Guest performances include Gene Eugene, Terry Scott Taylor, and Steve Taylor. Despite the fact that their initial formation centered around turning praise and worship songs into ska the album faced criticism for “jumping on the bandwagon” on praise and worship music's growing commercial appeal. Beyond charting on Billboard's “Hot 200” and “Heatseekers” charts and spending six months on their “Top Contemporary Christian” chart, their rendition of Rich Mullins' song “Awesome God” won the band a Dove Award for “Hard Music Recorded Song of the Year” in 1999. Some commercial success for the album was due in part to the use of recently written and widely known contemporary worship songs. Covers on the album include Twila Paris's “We will Glorfiy” and Keith Green's “Oh, Lord, You're Beautiful”.

Skalleluia! became an unexpected hit for the band but differs from the sound the Insyderz had displayed on their own original material. Skalleluia! broke the band into the national limelight, but somewhat restricted their audience to the church. For the Insyderz this was somewhat problematic; their stated goal was to attract a mainstream audience in order to, in the words of Joe Yerke, “reach the unsaved.” In mid-1998 trombonist Mike Rowland got married and left the band; he was replaced by Sang Kim, who appeared on their next release. Later the same year they released their third album, Fight of My Life, which contains original songs and returned the sound of their debut release.

In support of Skalleluia! the band toured with Plankeye and Morella's Forest. In 1999 they made an appearance on The 700 Club and embarked on an all-ska with the Skeletones and Jeffries Fan Club. On this tour the band held daily Bible studies where two members of the Skeletones converted to Christianity. Also following this tour Jeffries Fan Club guitarist Sonnie Johnston left to join Five Iron Frenzy. Late that year they were a part of the “Holy Roller Tour”, which was held in roller skating rinks across the nation. Other bands involved included Five Iron Frenzy, The W's, and Justin McRoberts.

In 2000 Skalleluia Too! was released. Within the next few years the band's website featured rare updates and touring seemed to halt which led to rumors of the band's demise. However, The Insyderz had become tired of record label politics and until business had been sorted out continued to perform on a much smaller scale. Many of the members of the band married including Nate Sjogren (drums), Bram Roberts (trumpet), Beau McCarthy (bass), Kyle Wasil (guitar), and Joe Yerke (vocals). The band decided to spend more time working and ministering through other projects while never fully disbanding. Nate Sjogren, for instance, left to start a youth oriented church in Michigan with the help of the Salvation Army.

In 2001 a compilation CD entitled The Greatest & The Rarest (or alternately Tails of a Comet) was released, which consists of fifteen popular songs from their first four albums and six rare songs.

In 2003 they re-activated, appearing at Cornerstone, and releasing an album entitled Soundtrack to a Revolution. After the release the Insyderz went through another lineup change adding Royce Nunley (Suicide Machines) and Dan Powers (Blueprint 76) on bass.

In the first half of 2005, the band announced on their website that they would be playing their last three shows in August and September of that year, which led to confusion on whether they were the band's last three shows or the tour's last three. Later, in August of the same year, the site was updated to announce that the band would be breaking up after their final show on September 24, 2005, as a part of the I'll Fight Fest presented by The Salvation Army. The show was performed with The O.C. Supertones who were also in the midst of a final tour.

In August 2009, The Insyderz played a reunion show at the I'll Fight Festival, and have recently started a Facebook page which states that the band is back together, as well as playing several shows locally. In October/November 2010 The Insyderz went on a short European tour, playing shows in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria.

During 2011, The Insyderz launched a KickStarter campaign to fund their next album, The Sinner's Songbook, and succeeded in raising the funds to do so. In April 2012 The Insyderz began recording at Al Sutton's Rustbelt Studio in Royal Oak, MI with Producer/Engineer Eric Hoegemeyer, and released The Sinner's Songbook publicly on Labor Day, September 3, 2012.

Discography

1995 Demo
1996 Rockin' the Hubcat Beat Hotel Records
1997 Motor City Ska KMG Records
1998 Skalleluia! Squint Entertainment
1998 Paradise (single) KMG Records
1998 Fight of My Life KMG Records
1999 Skalleluia Too! KMG Records
2001 The Greatest & The Rarest KMG Records
2003 Soundtrack to a Revolution Floodgate Records
2012 The Sinner's Songbook

Demo

1995 Independent

  1. The Walking Dead
  2. Buddy Boy

Rockin' The Hubcat

1996 Beat Hotel Records (BH003)

  1. The Walking Dead
  2. Buddy Boy

Released as a cassette and 7“ record. The record says “This Hi-Fi recording plays from the inside to the outside of this record.”


Motor City Ska

1997 KMG Records (KMGD 9707)

Joe Yerke - Vocals
Kyle Wasil - Guitar
Beau McCarthy - Bass
Nate Sjogren - Drums
Todd Miesch - Drums, percussion
Mike Rowland - Trombone
Al Brown - Cornet

Produced by Gene Eugene and The Insyderz

  1. 1 Carnival (2:46)
  2. 2 Compadre' (3:00)
  3. 3 Trigger Happy (3:02)
  4. 4 I Say (2:43)
  5. 5 2:3,4,5 (This I Know) (3:32)
  6. 6 Common Riddle (2:11)
  7. 7 Enthos (3:45)
  8. 8 House For Sale (3:01)
  9. 9 Buddy Boy (2:37)
  10. 10 Funktified Brother Love (1:38)
  11. 11 Walking Dead (2:43)
  12. 12 Sacrifice (4:11)
  13. 13 Weebles (5:17)

Skalleluia!

1998 Squint Entertainment (7017035615)

Joe Yerke - Vocals
Kyle Wasil - Guitar
Beau McCarthy - Bass
Nate Sjogren - Drums
Mike Rowland - Trombone
Bram Roberts - Trumpet

Produced by Gene Eugene and The Insyderz

  1. Oh, Lord, You're Beautiful (2:29)
  2. He Has Made Me Glad (2:23)
  3. Awesome God (3:08)
  4. Lord, I Lift Your Name on High (3:24)
  5. Jesus Draw Me Close (3:10)
  6. Ancient of Days (2:36)
  7. You are My All in All (3:12)
  8. Jesus, Name Above All Names / More Precious Than Silver (2:45)
  9. Joy (1:53)
  10. We Will Glorify (2:45)
  11. Mourning Into Dancing (8:39)
  12. Untitled (0:22)

Paradise

1998 KMG Records (KMGS0402)

  1. Paradise
  2. Our Wars
  3. Just What I Needed
  4. Our Wars (Dark Fader Mix)
  5. Paradise (Karaoke Mix)

Fight of My Life

1998 KMG Records (KMGD0403)

Joe Yerke - Vocals
Kyle Wasil - Guitar
Beau McCarthy - Bass
Nate Sjogren - Drums
Bram Roberts - Trumpet
Sang Kim - Trombone

Barrett Jones - Keyboards, backing vocals

Produced by Barrett Jones

  1. Jigsaw (2:57)
  2. What Happened to Joe? (2:52)
  3. Paradise (3:23)
  4. The Hunted (4:18)
  5. Game Day (4:04)
  6. Forgive and Forget (3:21)
  7. Trinidad (2:25)
  8. Rat Race (4:13)
  9. Just What I Needed (3:15)
  10. Fight of My Life (4:04)
  11. Paradise (Barrett's Version) (3:18)
  12. Untitled [hidden track] (3:29)

Skalleluia Too!

1999 KMG Records (KMGD0406)

Joe Yerke - Vocals
Kyle Wasil - Guitar
Beau McCarthy - Bass
Nate Sjogren - Drums, percussion, vocals
Bram Roberts - Trumpet
Sang Kim - Trombone, tuba, euphonium, vocals

Produced by Dan Garcia, Gene Eugene, and The Insyderz

  1. Peace of God
  2. When I Look Up
  3. I Could Sing of Your Love Forever
  4. Shout to the Lord
  5. Who is This
  6. True of You
  7. All That I Am
  8. Old Rugged Cross
  9. In the Secret
  10. Psalm 121
  11. Psalm 139
  12. Steadfast Love
  13. Step by Step
  14. Pour Out My Heart

The Greatest and Rarest

2001 KMG Records (KMGD8981)

  1. Here We Come (1:08)
  2. Jigsaw (unreleased mix) (2:56)
  3. Carnival (2:48)
  4. Trigger Happy (3:05)
  5. The Hunted (4:20)
  6. Walking Dead (2:44)
  7. Enthos (3:48)
  8. Paradise (unreleased mix) (3:28)
  9. Awesome God (3:08)
  10. Peace of God (4:19)
  11. I Could Sing of Your Love Forever (4:39)
  12. He Has Made Me Glad (2:24)
  13. Shout to the Lord (5:10)
  14. Who is This (5:30)
  15. Oh Lord, You're Beautiful (2:31)
  16. Walking on Sunshine (2:33)
  17. Only a Sailor Knows (4:09)
  18. Our Wars (2:52)
  19. Memorial Song (3:38)
  20. Forgive and Forget (Hardcore Mix) (2:41)
  21. Manual Transmission (3:29)

Tracks 1, 16, 19: previously unreleased
Tracks 2, 8, 20: previously unreleased alternate mixes
Tracks 3, 4, 6, 7: from Motion City Ska
Tracks 5, 21: from Fight of My Life
Tracks 9, 12, 15: from Skalleluia!
Tracks 10, 11, 13, 14: from Skalleluia Too!

Track 21 is the hidden track on Fight of My Life. The song title was unknown until this release.


Soundtrack to a Revolution

2003 Floodgate Records (080688629229)

  1. Soundtrack to a Revolution
  2. Call to Arms
  3. Testimony
  4. God Almighty
  5. Shoot Out
  6. Seeing Voices
  7. Chosen Few
  8. Another Sleepless Night
  9. Better Half
  10. Shame on Me

The Sinner's Songbook

2012 Independent

Joe Yerke - Vocals
Matt Darcie - Guitar
John Miller - Bass
Nate Sjogren - Drums
Al Brown - Cornet, trumpet
Eric Hoegemeyer - Synthesizer, keyboards, timpani, B3
Tim Reynolds - Trombone, mandolin, piano, organ, penny whistle, fiddle

Produced by Eric Hoegemeyer and The Insyderz

  1. The Nevermind Kids (3:12)
  2. Sinner's Songbook (3:48)
  3. Our Darkest Hour (4:05)
  4. All Creatures (4:10)
  5. We Come in Peace (3:18)
  6. The Dirty Work (4:19)
  7. Tension Prayer (0:50)
  8. Like Drawing Blood From a Baby (3:34)
  9. Insyderz Shuffle (2:36)
  10. Jesus is a Friend of Mine (2:48)
  11. The Snake (2:23)
  12. Patron Saints of Underdogs (3:10)