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Cover Story

 Cover Photo by Meredith Kaminek

There are no “Rock Stars” in Headstone 118

By Robin Noll
Jeremy Rohrbach started taking guitar lessons at the age of 9. He was born with a desire for all things musical. Over the years he has been in several bands and musical ventures. He attended Geenville Music College in Illinois and was involved in all types of music from jazz to country to rock. He settled down and taught guitar lessons for years when his wife realized he needed to do more to fulfill the call to music God had placed in his heart at such an early age. She encouraged him to start a band. He wanted it to be a Christian band that rocked so he found some fellow Christians that wanted to play similar types of music but after a few years they all left accept for Mark Lackman. Jeremy and Mark had formed a bond and Mark hung in there. Mark’s goal was to record a CD, at least one. He didn’t want to give up until they had accomplished that goal.
   Mark and Jeremy wanted to have a band that would get the message of Christ out to the public through the music they wrote and performed. They weren’t called to be preachers but they both felt the calling to use their music to share their faith. Mark had taken drum lessons at Fred’s Music in Shillington under the teachings of Martin Bradfield from 1989 to 1993. Music was always a part of his life as well and one of the many reasons Jeremy and him were drawn to each other.
   In 2000 the band started with the name of Metamorphosis but after a few line up changes they came up with a new name that better explained what both felt about their lives and their music at the time. They wanted to die to their own musical ambitions and glorify Jesus, therefore they changed the name of the band to    Headstone 118. Based on Psalm 118: 22 – The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. Dying to self and letting Jesus Christ be the cornerstone of building the band to share their beliefs through the music that God had gifted them with.
   Their first goal, as a unit, was to write originals and produce a CD. In 2007 they released their first CD self- titled “Headstone 118” All music and lyrics were written by Jeremy Rohrbach – guitar, vocals, bass and Mark Lackman – drums and backing vocals) except for ‘Direction’ and ‘Fade’, music and lyrics by Mike Fry and Jeremy. It was self-produced and was recorded and mastered by the Ryker Brothers in Muhlenberg.
   Later in 2007 Headstone 118 accomplished another goal. They had been searching for a solid bass player that would fit in for quite sometime so they could perform their music live. They had posted a flyer at Zeswitz Music in Reading and in walked Bill Dilks. Bill called for an audition and Jeremy asked how long he had been playing bass, when Bill answered over 30 years Jeremy thought, oh this guy might be a bit old. When they got together for the audition the sound and vibe were spot on and Bill said he felt like he was finally home and Headstone 118 had the bass player they had been seeking. Bill has performed with many musicians over the years but said that getting together with Jeremy and Mark filled that musical void he had and he now feels fulfilled as a musician and enjoys the sounds they create. Jeremy stated that over the years they have all developed a true love and respect for one another and the reason they have been able to stay together as a unit is that there are no “rock stars” in Headstone 118, they are just three simple guys that know what they want to accomplish with their music and know what to do to get it done and with the help and favor of God they know that nothing is impossible.
   When going to a Headstone 118 show one will not only hear originals but also covers for they know that people want to hear songs they recognize. Criteria for covers include songs that contain no vulgar language and have a positive message. They do covers such as; “Really Got Me” by Van Halen, “Drift and Die” by Puddle of Mudd, “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder, “Rocky Mountain Way” by Joe Walsh, “Blue On Black” by Kenny Wayne Shepherd, “Kryptonite” by Three Doors Down plus many more. Because of their positive message and being a 3 piece band, they are hired to perform in family friendly venues. They mix in their originals with the covers. They hope that one day people will recognize their originals and request them as well.
   In 2012 Headstone 118 realized another goal when they released their second CD entitled “Left Behind”. It was recorded by Viking Camel Studio with Jeremy Simon and mixed and mastered by The Dome Studios. Richard D. Gavalis was the sound engineer with Marc Brand being editing assistant. “Left Behind” has 10 songs that speak volumes. Jeremy pours out his soul and his heart cry through the lyrics and his guitar playing and vocals. Mark keeps a steady and pounding beat and Bill fills in with his excellent bass work. They truly become one as they endeavor to express their deepest thoughts and feelings in the music that they create and deliver to their listening audience.
   Jeremy has his children help out on a few songs. “Mckenzie’s Song” has a child’s vocal performed by his daughter Mackenzie Rohrbach and “No Compromise” has children saying the Pledge of Allegiance.
   The last song on the CD, “The Abyss” is the reading of the ‘Word of God” put to the intense sounds of Headstone 118. A very interesting combination of words and music that makes one stop and reflect and think. If you’re one who is into the heavier sounds of music with very thoughtful and soul searching lyrics than you should order a CD on line at www.headstone118.com or on Itunes or you can pick up one from any Headstone118 gig. “Left Behind” has received airplay for two of the songs, “I Believe” and “No Compromise” on Y102, 105.7 the X and 101.5 Bob Rocks.
   Headstone 118 would like to first and foremost thank their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “Nothing is possible without you and everything is possible with you.” They thank Christ for bringing the three of them together to write and play music. They thank their families for putting up with their dreams, long hours away from home and giving them the time to create. They also went to send out a BIG thank you to GLS Music (Steve, Lorraine and Greg) in Bernville for their continual support and for all the help they have given over the years.
   Headstone 118 is an independent rock band from Reading, PA whose desire is to play music for one and all to enjoy. You can find out more about them by going to www.headstone118.com. You can follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook. Email them at headstone118@gmail.com and if you want to talk to Bill about booking the band for benefits, charities, church venues as well as bars they have been received well in all areas, call him at 610-420-9401. I will warn you… they rock hard and they rock heavy with a positive message that will bless you.