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Olivia the Band

Up At Nite Records

CBN.comWhen it comes to making music, some bands do it for the fame. Others do it for the money. And then there's Olivia The Band. The quartet that hails from the sunny shores of Hawaii has a higher calling. 

"We’re just a group of friends that love to play music and have a heart for the kids," says guitarist Justin Abilla. “It’s always been about having fun and writing songs that will hopefully encourage and make people happy when they hear them.  Ultimately, we want people to know that it’s God’s love that brings us the true happiness that we are all searching for." 

Since their 2005 breakout self-titled debut, the boys of Olivia The Band have enjoyed the good life. Fans of their no-frills, happy punk rock music flock to their raucous shows across the country and around the world. 

"The last two years, we’ve been on the road constantly, playing shows, hanging out with cool kids at concerts, the beach, skate parks, etc.," Justin says. "Aside from America, we’ve gotten to tour Australia three times and just got back from Japan. It was sick!" 

In addition to a crazy non-stop tour schedule, they've made some major moves, including picking up their gear and their lives to move to San Diego. "It was definitely God telling us to do it or it would have never been possible,” he recalls. “We’ve spent the last four years living and touring out of San Diego. We’ve had our ups and downs like everyone else, but overall, it has been a huge blessing and an amazing experience that we could have never dreamed of being able to be a part of." 

The greatest story that they get to tell of their experiences is that of their namesake. Justin explains, "The band is named in memory of my little sister Olivia Grace who passed away about 17 years ago. It was really hard on my family, but through the peace that passes all understanding that only God can give us, we managed to pull through. As a band, we want to encourage everyone that, through the roughest times, God is always in control, and if we keep our eyes on Him, something good will always come from it." 

Though the message is the same, they've framed it in an all new way with their latest album, Where We Come From, It Never Snows. "This time around, we just want to get back to having fun playing music and not getting caught up in all the craziness that exists in the music industry,” Justin shares. “It’s all about loving on the kids." 

Olivia The Band shares that love courtesy of their new label, Up At Nite Records. The rock imprint of Syntax Records was co-founded by Aaron Diello who felt, along with Justin, that Up At Nite was the perfect home for these surfer rock stars. 

“I've known the guys in Olivia for several years. I love their hearts and sound,” Aaron says. “The new project is amazing. It’s so fun to listen to. It’s been stuck in my car CD player for the past two months straight. It’s a great driving companion!” 

The title of the record describes their home on the North Shore of Hawaii. Justin says, "We never have and never will see snow there. A lot of our new songs are about Hawaii and all our family and friends there that we miss so dearly." 

Justin and Reed Cromwell, lead singer and bassist, teamed up to write the music and lyrics respectively. They also collaborated with friends. The end result is a collection of songs of pure rock energy to lift your hands and your spirits. 

The opening riff on “808” hits you like a tidal wave of sound. The powerful “It’s On” is relentless in its driving drum beats. And you can’t deny the quiet sincerity on the closing ballad, “So Much Going On”; its warmth exudes like a bonfire in the sand. 

Where We Come From, It Never Snow isn’t all party rock. Their lyrics constantly strive for the deep side of the ocean. For example, “Are You Out There” is a desperate cry for a savior: “Are you out there? Can you hear me / Got a message signed with urgency / I’m a lost soul; can you help me? / Someone’s got to rescue me.” 

"My favorite song on the record would be 'Letters In White Lines',” says Justin. “For me, it’s really about surrendering whatever it is that’s keeping me separated from God.  Whether it’s something little like watching too much TV or something major, I need to quit putting it off and give it to God today so that I can truly see what He has in store.” 

While Olivia The Band transports their listeners to white beaches and fun in the sun, the guys ultimately want to make a difference in eternity. 

"It’s become pretty common for kids to tell us that they wish they were from Hawaii so that they could be stoked like us. That’s where I tell them that the only reason we are the way we are is because we know Jesus. He is way greater than any relationship, fame, fortune or whatever it is we think is going to bring us happiness in life."

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