Hey all! Rylee McDonald here for another round of over indulgent,  seldom read nonsense. Not sure exactly what i’m going to write, but I just noticed it’s been about a year since my last post, and I figure I owe it to my reader(s) to supply them with their annual Advent Update. Or Ad-date if you will.

Stagehound was released over a year ago now (closer to a year and a half if I’m being honest). Whoa!!!!!!!!!!!  How does the old cliche go again? “Time flies when you’re playing drums.” Something like that. Anyways, this past year has been incredibly productive for us as a band, and as individuals. So, who doesn’t love a good ol’ recap!?

Our dear friend Levi Benjamin Shell left the band in August of 2015. We miss him greatly, but let’s be honest, we all knew it wouldn’t be long before he left to start a Goat cheese yogurt comany in Wyoming. – in case you’re curious, it’s called “Goat-gurt”. Hasn’t taken off quite yet, but we all believe in him, and wish him the best of luck.

Mike Lofgreen recently started his own entrepreneurial venture called “WOK N ROCK”, catering practice sessions for bands who are too busy to prepare their own meals. He shows up with a propane stove and a Wok and cooks made-to-order gourmet dishes for his clients as they write music. All while making a tidy profit. Clever, huh? Yeah, that’s Mike for ya. Always coming up with ways to profit off of other’s inability to take care of themselves.

“What about Cason?” You ask? Well, it’s a rather long story that really deserves its own page on our website. But here’s the short version: In April of 2015, Cason was on the phone with his internet provider (who for legal reasons shall remain nameless). During this conversation, the call center representative “Devin” in “Hartford, Connecticut” had a nervous breakdown, and started telling Cason all sorts of very sensitive information about the aforementioned internet provider. As is expected, that call was overheard by the Call center supervisor, who quickly shut off the connection. But not before Cason happened to hear one critical detail about this company’s evil plan to buy up every phone company in America, and charge top dollar for everyone’s service. Cason immediately set to work to stop them and their plans of digital domination. He hired a team of brilliant (though a bit inexperienced) tech students, set up headquarters in an abandoned office complex, and spent all their time working to sabotage the evil ISP. They weren’t having any luck, and were just about to give up when “Devin” from “Hartford” – Also known as Aadhi Kumar from Bombay India – decided to join the team. Aadhi was the secret weapon that allowed them to turn the tables, and, long story short, they achieved their goals. Cason, exhausted from months of work, and now wealthy from the money he was paid by AMC to  turn this story into a new hit TV drama, decided to retire early, and now spends his days helping Rylee write the new Advent album.

Then there’s Grant – “The new guy”. When Benny left the band last year, Mike and Rylee (hereafter referred to as Milee for humors sake) set out to find a replacement. As you all know, Benny left some mighty large shoes to fill, and Milee knew that they couldn’t choose just anyone for the part. They needed someone who could sing, play guitar, make swirly-vortex-of-terror noises, wander off at every possible opportunity, and do a killer Cristopher Walken impression. After much discussion and research, Milee determined that the only place on earth where such talent could be found is, of course, New Jersey. For three long months, Milee traveled the streets of Trenton, looking for just the right fit. They, however, continued to have no luck. One night (cue dramatic music) Rylee decided he’d had enough. “The right person doesn’t exist” he insisted. “We’re wasting our time!”. Mike, being the hopeless optimist that he is, fired right back saying “Fine! Leave! Go home! Give up on the band! But i’m not giving up! I won’t go home until I find our new Benny”. With that, Rylee stormed out, and caught the first plane flight back to Salt Lake. Mike sat alone in the hotel room late into the night, wondering if he was making the right decision. Finally, a thought occurred to him. They had only been searching within the METAL and PROGRESSIVE scenes in New Jersey for Benny’s replacement. But we all know that Jersey is best known for its MARIACHI scene. With that, Mike set out on foot to find the nearest fiesta. He didn’t have to go far before he heard the signature strummed classical guitar and trumpet sounds of traditional Mexican music. Without hesitation, he walked into the party, and took a seat in the corner to watch the show. He was immediately impressed in particular by the talents of the Tuba player. A tall, lanky man with curly red hair, and a beard as red as a sun kissed pepper. He wore sunglasses, suspenders, and an oversized sombrero. Mike noticed that while he played the tuba, he was also triggering samples on a keyboard, and dancing about the stage pressing various pedals with his feet to engage specific drums and effects. He also would occasionally take a break from the Tuba to sing lead vocals in a rich tenor that sounded suspiciously similar to Freddy Mercury.  Despite all of this,  Mike wasn’t completely convinced that this Gringo could really rock the prog. However, a couple minutes later, in between traditional Mexican folk songs, the band broke into their rendition of “The Widow” by The mars Volta, and followed it with “Desert of Song” by “Between the Buried and Me”. Mike knew then that he had found Advent’s newest member. He approached the Tuba player, who introduced himself as “Alfonso De La Corazon”, and inquired as to his availability, and willingness to move across the country, put down the Tuba and switch to electric guitar, lead vocals, keyboard, and sound effects in a progressive rock band. Alfonzo replied that he would accept the opportunity only if Mike could beat him in a Traditional Mexican dance competition. I will spare you the confusing details of what happened over the next 15 minutes, but the bottom line is that somehow, Mike won the competition. As they were catching their breath after the dance-off, Mike said “One last requirement. You must change your name to something less Mexican. We need a name so stereotypically American that no one will ever question your nationality. How about Grant Matheson?” Grant sighed deeply and replied “As you wish”. The rest is history.

Okay, i’m getting tired of typing now. Hope you enjoyed!

Till next year!

Ryles