Lawrence band ‘Onward! To Glory!’ finds local success

They may have recently caught your attention as you were strolling down Wescoe beach on campus or downtown on Massachusetts Street. They are a new punk/pop band to emerge out of Lawrence that call themselves Onward! To Glory!

The group has officially been together for five months, playing around the Lawrence and Kansas City area, working hard to get their name out there.

“We hit Wescoe and Mass Street a lot,” said lead guitarist and vocalist Kyle Anderson. “We just play our music in hopes of people liking us and then looking us up.”

Originally, the band consisted of three musicians — Anderson, his brother, Kalen (drums) and recent University graduate David Shelden (bass). After putting an ad on Craigslist for a singer, the boys came across University senior Morgan Kopp from Kansas City, Missouri.

“As soon as she walked in the door and stepped up to the mic, a gear clicked into place and everything started turning,” Kalen said. “That’s how it’s felt ever since and that’s how we work.”

Aside from playing on popular sidewalks around town, social media has also been a big help, as well as friends and family.

“We get a lot of support from family members and a lot of our friends,” David said. “They push our stuff sometimes harder than we do. We can’t thank them enough for it. It really helps just having a big support group.”

What makes this band stand out in the pop/punk genre is their originality. They write their own songs and according to Kalen, their process is never the same.

“There are times when Kyle has written the whole song and all we have to do is play our parts,” he said. “Then there are times when Kyle, David and I have sat together and each of us has written a single little piece to the song and it all just comes together. Morgan brings lyrics to us and we can just instantly hear the melody and fill it in from there.”

The songwriting process can take anywhere from a day to a couple months.

They all work together and feed off of one another to create their success as a group. Kyle said that even though he will sometimes sit down, get in his mode and come up with a whole song, they all contribute and encourage one another.  He then added that before Morgan, the boys only needed the lyrics to finish some of their songs and Morgan was the perfect contribution. Being comfortable around the boys was important for her to share those lyrics.

“I feel really comfortable around them and I feel comfortable expressing myself around them,” Morgan said. “Sometimes it’s hard when you’re writing lyrics that are personal to share with strangers.”

Even though they only practice two times a week, they are able to create a catchy sound that attracts their listeners. This catchy sound is created by their unique three-piece structure. They combine three instruments — bass, guitar and drums — and back it up with two vocalists.

“We have a lot of original things going on,” Kyle said. “It’s pretty rare for the genre we’re in for there to be a 3 piece band and that’s what we do. It takes a lot of playing off each other but we’re pretty in sync. Also, Morgan and I go back and forth on lead lyrics. That’s cool because it can tell a story from two different points of view.”

The band knows there is still a lot of work to be done but they have high hopes for their future after hearing a good deal of positive feedback from their fans. They their first two successful shows last week at the Jackpot downtown and the Record Bar in Westport.  The one thing that keeps them going is knowing that they are doing what they love.

“We have so much fun just playing music in general,” Morgan said. “I was in other bands before this one and it was not the same experience. These guys just get so excited about everything that comes up so it’s easy to get excited.”

Keep up with the band and their upcoming events by finding them on Facebook and following them on Twitter at @Onward_ToGlory.

— Edited by Casey Hutchins


  • Updated Apr. 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm
  • Musty

    I caught these guys down on Mass Street and they rocked it! Onward!