When you know the statistic that 88% of those who commit their lives to Christ do so BEFORE they turn 14 years of age, AND then you see young adults 18 and over leaving the church in droves, you begin to realize there's no evangelism without reaching our youth. Add in the lifestyle pressures that our children and young adults face each day with their peers, in their schools and at home with the many conflicting media messages seen on TV, heard on radio and experienced online, you start to see that without support, encouragement and mentoring, our youth are struggling in their faith. When you know these things, What do you do? When you're a member of Jupiter Wind…you go after them big time! It's that target the guys in JUPITER WIND are after…students who are trying to make sense of faith in today's world!
Jupiter Wind consists of Shane White (guitarist), Matt Hawkins (vocals/bass player), Heath Rankin (vocals/guitarist), and Jack Eason (acoustic/lead vocals). "I think back to the time that Shane White walked into our church looking for hope and was instantly connected through the music that night. God used the music to reach him and out of that experience that night our friendship was formed," says Matt Hawkins, bass player for Jupiter Wind. The guy sharing the music that night was Jack Eason, now guitarist/vocalist/songwriter for the Spartanburg, SC –based group Jupiter Wind, then just a solo act sharing songs and his testimony.
"God is obviously up to something, all the time, but the last few months, he has been impressing upon our hearts', that it's time to "kick it up a notch"," says Jack. "We feel like God has given us an increased passion for this generation, a generation that for the most part, people are not helping to grow up to be people of God."
As the years passed, Hawkins, Eason, and White continued their friendship, and added guitar player Heath Rankin to round out the team. The last few years they have been sharing what has brought them all together, the hope that comes from Jesus Christ. Each of the guys is thankful for the unique team of people God has put around them, a team that wants to go out and continue to impact students through their musical talents. That fusion that brought this musical group together seems unlikely given the randomness of their meeting. But it is obvious God has brought them together with a common purpose. "We have played lots of shows and and played together and worshipped together. All these things have really pulled us together with a like mind and heart. The more students we see (and adults) the more challenged we have been to help effectively communicate how important it is that we live for God everyday. As students, it's so easy to live for God on Wednesday or on Sunday or at church camp, but how do we do it everyday? That's what we want to help people learn how to do," White, guitarist for the group, shares.
It's that heartbeat that produced the first single, EVERYDAY, that surfaces at radio in Early 2009. Jack had the opportunity to hook up after a GMA "guitar pull" in 2007 with producer Dale Oliver (Casting Crowns, Josh Bates, Bucky Covington) and share some of his music. The two hit it off because of their like hearts and Oliver took an interest not only in the music but the message that would become a part of Jupiter Wind's ministry.
"Jack and these guys are serious about reaching people for Christ. That is why I am in the Christian music industry. I have worked with the (Casting) Crowns, toured as an artist with Geoff Moore, Steven Curtis (Chapman), you name it...what drives me is working with people who want to do something with eternal value," says Oliver, a Dove Award nominee, Grammy award winner, Christian music veteran himself. The increased passion for sharing Christ has also come from each of the guys' desire to go out and reach as many people as possible. Each member of the group leads worship at their respective churches when they are not on the road which is something they really love.
"Being able to lead worship at home has tons of advantages. I get to see what songs work with an audience; people who know me get to remind me who I really am; and the accountability that comes from being plugged in at home when we aren't out on the road is huge," says Heath Rankin, guitarist. The band hopes to do what their name Jupiter Wind implies: be a wind of change not only in the music industry but cause a wind of change in the hearts of people who will experience their music. "As most people know there is a big spot on Jupiter. That spot is a huge storm with winds that pull everything into its path. The winds move in a counter clockwise direction. As we started thinking about a foundational band name, we felt like that describes who we want to be. People moving in a counter-direction, against the flow of culture, and creating change. That really is the prayer of our heart,' says Hawkins, bass player for the band.