Banding together for brotherhood: OBU student band ‘Soul Society’ uses music to glorify God

By Alena Blakley, Chief Photographer

While community can be found in many aspects at OBU, it can also be found beyond the boundaries of MacArthur and Kickapoo. This was the case for local band, Soul Society.

The band consists of freshman Logan Harper, junior Bailey Byers, senior Ben Burke and OBU graduate Jared Landreth . Soul Society was formed in 2015.

“I think a huge part of Soul Society is our friendships,” Landreth said.

Harper said that the members of Soul Society connect as people and musicians.

“My favorite part about being in Soul Society is the friendships we have with each other. The way we connect as people and musicians,” Harper said.

While friendship is a key aspect of the band, the members appreciate the feeling of togetherness.

“My favorite part of being in Soul Society is that we’re not just guys that play music together, but we also do life together,” junior ministry major Bailey Byers said.

Soul Society has had many opportunities to play together, but one well known place is at Canterbury, an off-campus worship experience.

“The very first Canterbury that we did together was very neat,” Landreth said.

“Being able to play in a place like Canterbury where everybody is just there to worship is really neat because even though it is small, everybody that is there is so engaged and so ready to be led in worship,” he said. “Canterbury is just a place to let everyone sing. Those moments are some of the most powerful worship experiences that I have ever had.”

Harper’s fondest memory just so happens to be from their first experience at Canterbury.

“My favorite concert we’ve ever played would have to be our very first Canterbury,” Harper said.

“The idea of Canterbury is amazing by itself but getting to be a part of that worship experience for the first time will stick with me forever.”

Those moments of Canterbury that they cherish are only made possible because of their friendship.

“Being in a band with these guys brings a whole new kind of bond between everybody,” Landreth said. “There is no level of comfort like playing with your friends. I think that level of comfort that we have with each other is what makes us as good as we think we are.”

That bond is exactly what allows Soul Society to be efficient in their playing.

“I like the community that we have outside of music because it allows us to be effective in music,” Byers said.

But while most bands generally have the goal of having a good sound, Soul Society wants to impact those for whom they are playing.

“Our ongoing goal is to form relationships with the students. We only get to interact with students for short periods of time,” Byers said.

“In some cases, we may not see them again. We want to make the most of the opportunities that we are given.”

Not only do they want to leave an impact on their audience, they also want to glorify God.

“The general goal that motivates all of us specifically is to submit to the Lord’s will for us as a band and in everything that we do, do it for His glory and not for ourselves,” Burke said.

Landreth said he and the other members didn’t start the band for personal gain.

“I think we all came in it with an attitude of what can we give and how can we serve with the talents we have been given,” Landreth said.

Although they did not expect to gain anything, what they did receive was far greater than any of them expected.

“This band has already given me so much as a musician but I hope to gain even more through friendships within the band and also with the people we encounter,” Harper said.

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