Recently, I had the opportunity and privilege to spend a Sunday afternoon with a band that is dear to my heart. Temple Veil, is a two man worship team that travels around the globe leading worship at small and large churches, youth groups, retreats and summer camps. The fact that you don’t see many worship teams with just two guys is actually not the most interesting part of this band’s story. To get to this groups origins, I have to trace my own music roots back to high-school.
Temple Veil’s Roots
I started playing guitar and bass 12 years ago and it wasn’t six months into lessons that Brysson and his family started attending my church. We quickly became great friends as he was a fairly new guitarist as well. We were asked to put together a worship team later that year to play for a youth lock-in. We accepted and since Brysson was a more experienced guitar player I learned how to play bass. The band that lead at this lock-in later became known as 21 tribes and we played a few local shows but mostly it was a creative and social outlet for all of us. We played mostly worship songs in half-step down tuning with influences ranging from Kutless and 12 Stones to Limp Bizkit.
Brysson additionally played in hardcore band named Postmortum which was his primary focus. Yes that is correct this two piece band who plays contemporary worship, has roots in a hardcore christian rock band.
Fast forwarding a few years, Brysson and Postmortum have just finished their first large tour, on which they met DeRock a classically trained violin player with near if not perfect pitch and immense musical talent. Over the coming year DeRock was featured in many of the bands live songs as well as their new studio recording. From then on the band became much more musically diverse and mature.
After the release of that record Postmortum went through what seemed to be a revolving door of personnel. With only DeRock and Brysson remaining they put Postmortum on the back burner and formed Temple Veil.
I remember going to the early Temple Veil shows and being both shocked and in love with the strictly acoustic duo’s more intimate performances with DeRock singing and adding in Violin, while Brysson remained on guitar. Time went by and a few years later it is 2016. Brysson and I had stayed in touch this entire time but our conversations were sporadic at best. With the bands recent release of the bands 5 song EP “Give His Love Away” we decided that it was time to sit down and have a conversation about Temple Veil and what gear Brysson was using.
Stepping Into My Living Room
Temple Veil was in town for the weekend and were playing at a small church in Hartville, Ohio on Sunday night so we setup the afternoon to chat about gear and life and to go to their show.
Upon arrival to the show, Brysson’s wife Alexis, who tours with the band and handles merch and media, had a stand with coffee and small snacks setup along with the bands merch. Immediately I didn’t feel like I was walking into a production but my home where I was going to join friends and family in worship.
The small church was fairly full with slightly over 100 people in attendance. Temple veil played a long set that lasted about an hour and what stuck out to me was the band’s relentless involvement with the crowd. Often times worship bands feel sealed off from the people they are leading. This invisible wall/soapbox was not anywhere to be seen.
DeRock lead with charisma and intense focus on the audience. Brysson’s stage presence was what I always remembered, energetic and explosive while remaining connected to the audience. Numerous times throughout the show they had dance offs and other audience participation times.
The entire time of worship can be characterized as close and intimate. It wasn’t acoustic, it wasn’t boring. It was energetic and full of joy. It wasn’t a huge production of motion lights and haze but rather an extremely well put together show that was tight logistically and musically without being too scripted.
After the show Brysson and I walked up on stage to check out his gear. I was shocked to say the least. You see when Brysson and I played in 21 Tribes and Postmortum, Brysson we used full stacks and ran none of the instruments through the PA. His new rig was a small amp, a few guitars and modest pedalboard.
Brysson is currently endorsed by Sublime Guitars and he went on and on about how good they were all day. To be honest I had my doubts. As you can see on their site they are very affordable and I just couldn’t believe that they were all that Brysson was building them up to be. I was wrong. Shown in the pictures below you can see that Brysson has a Les Paul Junior style singlecut electric guitar and a Green Burst Tele Style guitar both from Sublime. His acoustic was also from Sublime and that was the one that really the one that took me off guard. Being primarily an acoustic player until the last year or so I have developed an ear for a good acoustic. More than that the feel has to be right. For $500 I don’t think there is a better acoustic guitar out there. Needless to say he changed my mind on what an affordable guitar can bring to the table.
Moving back to the back of the stage Brysson has a pedalboard case standing on it’s side and peering over it is this tiny little Gretsch combo that I believe is from the 50’s. It was mic’d up with a Shure SM-57 slightly off center of the cone and the tone he was getting was incredible. These smaller combo’s have gained a ton of popularity among bands like Switchfoot but I had yet to hear someone successfully use one in a worship setting because of the low clean headroom. This amp worked awesome with Brysson’s playing. It wasn’t too pushed and it wasn’t too clean, not too flabby in the low end and not too piercing in the highs. Not to mention it is a sound tech’s dream because at, I would guess 1-10 watts, it wasn’t window shattering loud.
Walking up to the front of the stage I see a modest pedalboard with two Dual Tap Delays, XO Overdrive, Visual Volume all by Visual Sound(Now TrueTone), a Class A Boost from Pigtronix, and a Hall of Fame Reverb from TC-Electronics. He uses a Shure GLX wireless setup with built in tuner and a Aura DI from Fishman for his acoustic. his acoustic and electric signal is split using a Morley switcher. This all sits a top a Pedaltrain Junior. Sponsored by both Visual Sound and Pigtronix, Brysson says that he switches between the Visual Sound and Pigtronix delays depending on the set.
There you have it. Brysson’s rig and some background on Temple Veil. The thing that I wish everyone could have seen and hopefully will get to see is the great worship experience and performance that can be had with a small amount of technology and gear. As I mentioned before I didn’t feel like I was walking into a national touring artist’s concert. I felt like I was stepping foot into my living room to worship with some great friends and family. There is nothing wrong with the ladder but I believe we all can take a step back and worship without all of the production. If these guys are ever in your area make sure to go check them out. You will leave inspired and refreshed.