A mixture of emo-metal and hard rock is probably not what you'd expect to hear from four guys who grew up in Mennonite homes. Frontman Corny Bartsch jokes that the music could be classified as "Heavy Menno", a lighthearted description of music in which both lucid melodies and rasping screams share a common space. Although they are from small-town southwestern Ontario, Surface 2 Air has grown a significant following by delivering consistently passionate performances and excellent quality recorded material, often traveling to nearby Toronto and to various international music festivals to perform.

2008 promises to be a busy year, with a new album and a string of live performances at clubs, festivals, and showcases planned. Their third release "Victory for the Dying" is set to hit stores early in the year. The band keeps busy performing and recording in the fully equipped recording studio that occupies much of lead singer and guitarist Corny Bartsch's house. Surface 2 Air likes to maintain control of their destiny as well as the quality of their recorded material.

As a band, they exhibit a work ethic and a dedication to their music that is uncommon in artists their age. Formed as a group of close friends, they are committed to both broadening the reach of their music and inspiring their audience. In their own words, Surface 2 Air was formed "on a foundation of broken spirits and searching hearts and has been driven by a desire to share our experiences in every song."

The entire span of their six-year history has been marked by a desire to play tighter, sound better, and deliver more passionately. Verifying these goals, world record- holding drummer Karl Fitzgerald Sloman remarked that they are "one of the tightest bands that I've heard in a long while."

Frontman Corny Bartsch is the primary lyricist, while lead guitarist Johnny Guenther also makes significant lyrical contributions to each project. When it comes to creating the music around those words, the band relies on a dynamic group environment that is both critical and supportive. There are certainly elements of bands like Tool, 30 Seconds to Mars, and Linkin Park to be heard, but S2A has taken this style to another level with more musical diversity.

Lyrically, the band scours the depths of brokenness, and then rises from the darkness with the light of hope for the future. Because of this element of hope, there is more in common with the Psalms of the Bible than the utterly hopeless and narcissistic offerings of many bands who inhabit the genre.

Michael Krahn