When it came time to name their second album, the three guys in the Prineville-based band Ergo Rex went with “Breathe in the Roar."
“We’re all strong Christians," said vocalist and keyboardist Preston Carmack, 22. “And the title is really about coming to the place where you lose yourself in something bigger."
Faith aside, it’d be easy to lose yourself in Ergo Rex’s big sound. The trio — which formed in high school — plays muscular-but-melodic pop-rock a la the Christian crossover band Switchfoot. Carmack’s younger brother Anthony, 17, plays drums, and guitarist Nathan Henry, 23, rounds out the lineup.
The band will play a CD-release show tonight in Prineville (see “If you go"), but otherwise doesn’t play a lot locally, instead focusing on gigs in the Willamette Valley (Preston attends Northwest Christian University in Eugene) and playing at summer camps.
“We go in and spend a week and get to hang out with the kids there," Preston Carmack said. “That’s what we love to do."
The band incorporated more electronic sounds on “Breathe" than it did on the first Ergo Rex album, 2010’s “The Risk of Tragedy." The trio writes collaboratively, with an eye toward connection, Carmack said.
“We love people. I think that’s honestly why we’re making music," Carmack said. “Because we love getting to connect with people, to sit down and talk. Music’s great, but I think if you lose sight of people’s stories and you lose sight of connecting with people, you’ve lost what music’s about."
Joining them on the bill tonight will be Da MAC, a St. Louis, Mo., rapper who describes his thing as “spreading the passion of The Christ with my passion on the mic," and Kasen Flegel, a Crook County native whose music we know little about.