After 4 studio albums, extensive touring in the United States and 3 international tours, UnNamed Servant was going to celebrate their 10 years together as a band with a 30 date tour in Kenya, Uganda and India. The buzz the band had generated landed them a 1-hour TV special on Uganda’s premier music channel. However, on July 8th, 2011 all of that changed.
After playing a show earlier that night and making an appearance at a local club to promote their next Kampala show. On the way back to their hotel, just past midnight, the bus blew out a tire and they got out of the vehicle to help the driver change it and… while helping to change the tire of the vehicle a 2-ton safari vehicle rushed out of nowhere and at 50 mph, missing the band bus but colliding with the six men standing next to it, 5 American, 1 Ugandan.
There were no ambulances, no police officers, just a dark road with groaning and injured bodies laid out on the street. Gregg Garner, the band’s front man, was standing in the back and was hit first by the vehicle and sent 30 feet in the air to sustain multiple serious injuries, which led to an emergency surgery that night in Africa. Skylar Aaseby, the band’s guitarist, was sideswiped and thrust into the bands bus sustaining a serious concussion and serious bruising. Paul Olson, the band’s drummer and harmonist was barely missed by the vehicle, but was left to deal with the aftermath. “I thought they were dead, I could only respond by yelling and chasing after the vehicle which didn’t stop, but sped away,” Paul explained.
It had been a challenging year for the band, personal problems, family issues and the inevitable struggle that comes with trying to do things the right way, figuratively and literally hit the band real hard. Robert Munoz, the band’s bassist, was not on the Africa portion of the tour in order to stay home with his Mom who is currently enduring the final stages of a 6 year battle with ALS.
“In many ways, I feel like UnNamed Servant is still laying on the road in Kampala,” Gregg shared in one of the bands first meetings back together a couple months after the accident. “It’s like we have another chance, like it’s time for a new beginning, a re-birth of the band…”
For the last 10 years UnNamed Servant has defied expectations by consistently offering a show that is high energy and profound. Carrying a socially conscious and globally aware message, the band has matured into a solid four-piece that delivers their material with passion, sincerity and conviction.
“Over the last decade, our target group has mostly been teen-agers who were searching for the ‘more’ that is out there to find, but in this new era of the band, we are expanding our repertoire to include a broader fan base. We are diversifying and expanding our instrumentation and broadening the spectrum of our genre,” says Garner.
“We are still great at giving a good high energy Rock show,” says Munoz, “but these days we are looking leave our mark. We want to give a good show, but even more so we want to make history.”
Having shared the stage with bands like Switchfoot, Ten Shekel Shirt, Sonic Flood, Casting Crowns, December Radio and Shane and Shane, UnNamed Servant still performs the type of venues shared with these artists, but they are continually expanding their fan base to more intimate settings like small clubs, coffee shops, bookstores, record shops and mom & pop venues to explore the more musical side of their sound. “The variety of styles we can play is something not a lot of people know about, unless they get a chance to catch us in a smaller venue. Not only can we rock, but we jazz, sing the blues, R&B, Hip-hop and get ethnic on you!” says Olson.
This is the re-birth. An UnNamed Servant the world has yet to see; a bolder, more musical, more mature version of the band you’ve grown to love. “It’s like we’ve been released to be who we are. Sometimes you need an encounter with death, to truly come alive…”, says Garner.