Arts and Entertainment

Local musician goes on tour with Christian rock band

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Standing over 6 feet tall with dark sunglasses, spiky hair and hoop earrings, Justin Forshaw looks every bit the role of a rock star. He walks with an air of confidence and strums a guitar like he was born with it in his hands.

It’s with a laid-back enthusiasm that Forshaw shares the news of his recent contract with the major Christian hard-rock band We As Human.

Forshaw, 28, heard the band was looking for a new guitarist and sent an e-mail last Mother’s Day. Less than 24 hours later, he was hired without so much as an audition based on the video footage of him playing the guitar on My Space.com.

We As Human, according to Forshaw, is comparable in sound to bands like Breaking Benjamin and Korn. The lyrics, however, are Christ-centered and intended to make listeners feel good about themselves.

“We all follow Christ and try to have positive lyrics that build people up instead of tearing them down,” Forshaw said.

“We preach the Gospel and we put on a good show while we’re doing it.”

Forshaw was born in Port Orchard and graduated from South Kitsap High School but considers Sequim home. After all, it’s where he met and fell in love with his wife, Stephanie.

“My life is crazy but this is my home base,” he said, speaking fondly of his wife, 7-year-old son Eli and “Pastor Mike” of The King’s Way Foursquare Church who “saw a potential in me and gave me the opportunity to play.”

Forshaw recently returned from an East Coast tour and is giving guitar lessons out of Cays Recording Studio until he hits the road again.

“I’ve always liked teaching,” Forshaw said. “It’s a casual atmosphere where I help people develop their styles.”

The next stop for Forshaw: Austin, Texas, in the fall.

Come October, Forshaw will return home to Sequim, at least for a couple days, when the band is scheduled to perform Halloween night at The King’s Way Foursquare Church’s pumpkin bash.

“It’ll be fun to come home and destroy the hometown,” Forshaw said, casually stretching out a lean leg complemented with a zip-up brown cowboy boot.

We As Human is most well-known for its hit single, “Dead Man” and EP “Burning Satellites,” a collection of songs about hard-hitting topics such as false prophets, dying and abortion.

Regarding the messages within the lyrics, lead vocalist Justin Cordle states on the band’s My Space web page, “When people put in a ‘We as Human’ album, I want it to challenge their thinking, challenge their mentality a bit because if you can get people thinking, they’ll do the rest.”

“What I would hope people take away is a whole lot of things to think about,” Cordle continued, “and what they do with those thoughts, emotions and feelings is completely up to them.”

The five-man band is planning to release an album soon, hopefully within the next six months, Forshaw said.

He does a lot of musical composition and helps write song lyrics, too. Forshaw describes himself as a “progressive” player known for “awesome” guitar riffs.

He’s not, however, very good at the game Guitar Hero, Forshaw admitted with a hearty laugh, insisting that the buttons on the toy guitar are “all wrong.”

“I’ve had a passion for music my whole life and fell in love with the technicality of the guitar,” he said, sipping from a 16-ounce Rock Star energy drink.

“This is my life now and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it.”

For more information about We As Human and upcoming concerts, go online to www.weashuman.com. Links to purchase music or view the Facebook and Myspace websites are listed at the bottom of the homepage.

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