Pillar is a Christian rock band currently located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Their sixth studio album, Confessions, was released in 2009.
Formation and independent albums:
Pillar started in Hays, Kansas in 1998, when Fort Hays State University roommates Brad Noone and Rob Beckley got together with friends Travis Jenkins, Dustin Adams, and Michael Wittig, known as Kalel. In 1999, Pillar released their first album, Metamorphosis, on their own independent label, Shadrach Records. After some more touring in Kansas, they released their second independent album, Original Superman, in 2000. Around this time they relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to try to find a larger fan base.
Flicker Records and Above:
Soon after the release of Original Superman, Pillar became noticed by Flicker Records, who signed them in mid 2000. After the signing, Pillar re-cut many of the tracks from Original Superman as well as a few new tracks for release on Above,their first major label album. The album had medium success, selling almost 60,000 copies. The song "Open Your Eyes" won a Dove Award in 2001 for Hard Music Song of the Year. Also, The songs Original Superman and Live For Him also helped in Pillar's success
In 2002, Noah Henson took over guitar duties and Pillar released their breakthrough album, Fireproof. Fireproof sold over 300,000 copies, and launched national tours. It also won two Dove Awards. A year later Pillar went back into the studio with Fireproof and released a newer, richer sounding version with little tweaks in songs, including a Bonus DVD; this resulted in two versions of Fireproof on the market. Soon after the release of Fireproof, drummer Lester Estelle, Jr. joined the band.
Where Do We Go from Here:
In 2004, Pillar released their next album Where Do We Go from Here. Where Do We Go from Here was as an instant hit among Christian rock fans everywhere, capturing #1 on sales in the genre for weeks. The album featured multiple hits, including "Bring Me Down", and, "Frontline" which topped the charts for months, and was also one of their most popular songs. Not only did Christian shows and stations play "Bring Me Down", it was requested heavily on secular stations as well. "Bring Me Down" was also featured on the sound track for Mx vs ATV: Unleashed.
Nothing Comes for Free and The Reckoning:
Pillar released an EP called Nothing Comes for Free in June 2006. It featured 3 new songs (including "Everything") and 4 live tracks. The other two new songs, "Our Escape" and "Dangerous", are not available on their following album, The Reckoning. The EP was only available at live shows and at their webstore. A limited number of copies (10,000) were created.
Pillar then recorded their fourth album, The Reckoning, in late 2006. Travis Wyrick (P.O.D., We as Human, 10 Years, Disciple) produced the new album, as he produced all of their previous albums, and it was released on October 3, 2006. In support of The Reckoning, Pillar embarked on "The Days of the Reckoning Tour" throughout October and November 2006. Other Christian bands on the tour included Day of Fire, The Showdown, and Decyfer Down. The Reckoning received a Grammy Award nomination December 6, 2007 for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album. This was the first Grammy nomination that Pillar has ever received.
For the Love of the Game:
Pillar has played at both Cornerstone Festival and Creation Festival. It was revealed at Soulfest 2007 that the name of their next project would be For the Love of the Game, which was eventually released on February 26, 2008. They brought back the Pillar logo from "Where Do We Go from Here" and "Fireproof" for this album. ESPN used the new Pillar song, "For the Love of the Game," during montages highlighting the 2007 World Series on its program, Baseball Tonight. "For the Love of the Game" is the last Pillar record produced by Travis Wyrick.
Pillar recently helped Eowyn record her latest album "Silent Screams" with Beckley contributing vocals to the title track and Henson and Estelle also playing on the album. Pillar toured on the SHOUTfest tour with After Edmund and various other artists from September to November 2007. They also had a tour for For the Love of the Game from February to April 2008, with Brooke Barrettsmith, Wavorly, and Building 429.
In the fall of 2008, Pillar embarked on the For The Love of The Fan Tour, which enabled the fans to decide their own ticket price for the show. The tour lasted for three weeks and ended on September 26, 2008 in Dallas, Texas. Lester announced the For The Love of The Fan Tour would be his last tour with Pillar. Kalel was not seen playing bass for Pillar, but was being filled in by Josh Gleave (formerly with Jeremy Riddle). Later, Kalel announced on his Myspace page his decision for leaving Pillar was due to Lester's departure from the band, and because Kalel was involved with helping independent bands such as One Minute Halo and Stars Go Dim. Making singer Rob Beckley the only original member of Pillar. Kalel also stated that he wanted to be at home with his wife and two children and not be on the road all the time.
Kalel's Bass part was filled in for a short time by Josh Gleave. Richard Gilliland met Pillar while preparing for the Creation Festival tour (at the time he was playing for KJ-52); he then joined Pillar as bass player and subsequently stopped playing for KJ. Gilliland's first show with Pillar was at Creation Festival. Pillar attempted to replace Lester several times. James Holloway was hired to play drums for the Creation tour. Chase Lovelace then joined the band; however, for unknown reasons, Lovelace left the band after only being a member for a couple months. Pillar's now current drummer is Taylor Carroll who joined around March 2009.
Confessions to present:
Pillar announced on their personal website that they will be working on a new record. Rob stated that Rob Graves, who has worked with Red and Wavorly, will produce the new album. This will be the first Pillar record that was not produced by Travis Wyrick and the first album with Pillar's new lineup. Rob also stated that Graves is working with them while they tour and that they are looking at a September 22, 2009 release date. Pillar has additionally announced that this album will be the "best one yet". It was announced on May 18 from their Facebook group that the album will be called Confessions. Insiderevolution.net claims to have access to the track list.
Pillar's first singles from the album, "Secrets and Regrets" (AC) and "Fire on the Inside" (CHR), were released July 17, 2009. Confessions was released on schedule. Pillar is touring to promote the album and they are planning to support Red on their "Nothing and Everything tour", which will also feature The Wedding.
Pillar is now releasing the cover of Collective Soul's song, Shine, as the third single from the album. Pillar's fourth single, Whatever It Takes, reached number one on 6/6/2010.
Pillar tweeted on January 27, 2011 "Working on new songs!". The band has also left Essential records and is currently unsigned.
On February 2, 2012 it was revealed that Rob Beckley is going to release his first solo record through new label idefi Music on March 14, 2012.
Rob Beckley: lead vocals (1998-present) rhythm guitar(2008-present),
Noah Henson: lead guitar, vocals (2001-present),
Rich Gilliand: bass, vocals (2008-present) (formerly with KJ-52),
Taylor Carroll: drums (2009-2011),
Michael Wittig (AKA Kalel): bass (1998-2008),
Lester Estelle II: drums, vocals (2002-2008),
Brad Noone : Drums (1998-2002),
Travis Jenkins : guitar (1999-2001),
Dustin Adams : guitar (1998-1999),
Former touring members
Joey Avalos : guitar, backing vocals (2006-2007) - Filled in as second guitarist during "The Reckoning" era,
James Holloway : drums (2008) - Filled in for Lester on Creation Festival tour,
Josh Gleave : bass (2008) - Filled in for Kalel on For The Love Of The Fan tour,
Chase Lovelace : drums (2008-2009) - Filled in for Lester for short time until Taylor joined the band, now in Superchick,
Dove Awards of 2001 for "Hard Music Album of the Year" - Above by Pillar (Travis Wyrick; Flickerrecords.Com),
Dove Awards of 2002 for "Hard Music Recorded Song of the Year" - "Live For Him" by Pillar (Rob Beckley, Travis Jenkins, Brad Noone, Michael Wittig),
Dove Awards of 2003 for "Hard Music Album of the Year" - Fireproof by Pillar (Travis Wyrick; Flicker USA),
The following are nominations that did not result in a win for Pillar, or those nominations that a winner has not yet been announced:
2003 Dove Award Nominee for "Hard Music Recorded Song of the Year" - "Fireproof" from the album Fireproof by Pillar (Rob Beckley, Michael Wittig, Brad Noone, Noah Henson; Flicker USA),
2009 Dove Award Nominee for "Rock Album of The Year" - "For The Love of the Game",
2009 Dove Award Nominee for "Rock Recorded Song of the Year" - "For The Love of the Game",
2008 Grammy Award Nominee for "Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album" for The Reckoning by Pillar.