Grand Rapids-based rock and metal band For the Universe released their self-titled debut extended play on Friday.
The “For the Universe” EP features three songs of music influenced by progressive rock artists like King Crimson and Frank Zappa. The project was completed at Amber Lit Audio in Grand Rapids.
The power trio consists of guitarist Eddie Killowatts, bassist Mike Bos and drummer Lauren Howard Davis. Bos and Davis grew up in the Wyoming area and were involved in music together through the marching and jazz bands at Wyoming Rogers High School, which merged with Wyoming Park to form Wyoming High School in 2012.
“We didn’t want to just have, you know, a basement tape,” Killowatts said. “We wanted to go into a big league studio, and Amber Lit is fantastic. (Owner and operator) Matt Ten Clay did a wonderful job recording.”
Unable to book live gigs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the band plans to promote the EP and their other music projects through Facebook and Instagram, where they post weekly clips of themselves playing music together.
“It hammered us,” Bos said of the pandemic. “We got one (live show) in, then went into the studio, and literally the day after, the pandemic hit and everything shut down.”
“This is the new normal now,” Davis added. “We’re really trying to focus on figuring out how we can just get our music out there.”
The band’s EP is available via Bandcamp as a free download with a “name your own price” donation option. The band promises that every dollar received will go toward creating more content for listeners, including funding the production of the group’s first full length album, coming in 2021. The first 25 listeners to donate $10 or more will receive a handmade, limited-edition CD copy of the EP.
Forming the band
After high school, Davis and Bos went their separate ways, but Davis eventually returned to Grand Rapids, where, he said, Bos “had a spare room with a couch and a guitar waiting for me.”
In 2014, Davis ran into Killowatts, an old friend of Davis’ parents, at a jam session. The two later jammed together, and Davis said he was impressed with what he heard.
“I was like, ‘So, that’s what it’s like to play with a guy who knows what he’s doing with a guitar,” Davis said.
Davis made a short recording of the session and played it for Bos, along with some demos of Killowatts’ music.
“I heard it and was like, ‘This is good. This is cool. And I just wanted to be a part of it,” Bos said.
The trio officially formed as a band in the summer of 2018, albeit in a limited capacity as Davis traveled a lot for work. For the Universe started weekly rehearsals when Davis moved back to Grand Rapids in 2019.