From Grammar to Guitar – Q&A with Dove Award Nominated Bethel Grad

Members of the band Satellites & Sirens, from left to right: Dave Willey, Jonathan Dimmel, Geoff Hunker and David Troyer ('03). The group will play in Goshen, Ind. on July 20 at the Goshen Theater.

When David Troyer (’03) attended Bethel, his world revolved around playing on the baseball team and getting a degree in English education. It never occurred to him that one day he’d be playing guitar in a band called Satellites & Sirens, and would get nominated for two Dove Awards – Rock Recorded Song of the Year and Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year.

To learn more about the band and their upcoming album “Frequency,” set to be released on Sept. 6, you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on their official website. Their first single from the new record was released this summer. The song is called “Ready to Save” and you can support the band by requesting it on your local radio stations.

We caught up with David, thanks to the wonder of Facebook, and he graciously agreed to answer a few questions for us.

1. You graduated from Bethel with a degree in English Education. How did you go from that to being a guitar player in a band?

Good question! It’s especially good considering that I also played baseball my entire time at Bethel, and I had sparing involvement with music while on campus! At that point guitar was just more of a hobby that I loved.

Around 2005 I started taking my guitar playing, and music in general, much more seriously. By 2008, I had made quite a few friends who I knew through music, so I decided to move to Nashville knowing that God was leading me there, and I believed He had a purpose for my move. Some of my new found friends helped me with the move, and ultimately helped me land my first job in music in mid 2009 when I joined Satellites & Sirens full time as lead guitar player. It’s been a whirlwind ever since!

2. What was your time at Bethel like? Any funny or special memories you want to share?

Wow… I have so many good memories from Bethel. I’ll say my favorite is when the baseball team won the 2002 NCCAA National Championship. We had such an awesome group of guys as players and an amazing coaching staff. I’ll never forget it.

Funny memory…I may or may not have had involvement in building a raft out of water bottles and taking it for a ride on one of the ponds… I’ll just say I was witness to the event. Other contributors will remain nameless…

3. Any similarities between life in Oakwood and life on the road with a band?

Dorm life is similar to road life in the sense that you form a strong bond with those with whom you are sharing life. Frankly, being on tour is pretty much living with three other guys in the same room nearly 24/7. You learn each others idiosyncrasies pretty quick.

Also… joking and pranks happen frequently on the road just as it did in Oakwood. Although, I have yet to see someone on the road get dowsed in powdered Gatorade while they are in the shower…

One MAJOR difference is that we don’t have group showers on the road!!!

4. What was it like to be nominated for a Dove Award and be up against artists like Third Day and TobyMac?

The Dove Award Nominations were a huge surprise, and a great honor. We were nominated alongside so many great artists that we respect for their accomplishments and careers. We can only hope and pray that we can even sniff some of the overall success that artists like TobyMac and Third Day have achieved.

Attending the Dove Award ceremony was a LOT of fun. We are still very early in our career as a band, so we were admittedly a bit star-struck by the whole event.

5. What’s currently on your iPod?

Mmm… good question. A short list of current goodies…

7. Any advice for students who want to work in the music industry?

Have fun with it!!! Work hard, and don’t have any regrets. You really have no idea what God has in store for you. He can do things through you that you would have never thought possible.

Additionally, be what we like to call a “good hang”. What that means is… be a normal, fun person to hang out with, that people want to be around. If you’re awkward and pushy about your music, chances are that people in turn won’t take you seriously.

8. Anything else you’d like to add that I forgot to ask?

Mmm… if you’re a student…

1. Enjoy your time while you’re at Bethel. College is a period of life that you’ll never have again, so enjoy it while you have it.

2. Matthew 22:37 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” With God, anything is possible.

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