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>> DEEP SPACE NETWORK IS A LOCAL BAND POISED TO REACH ESCAPE VELOCITY
Local rock band has its sights set on the heavens

 The debut album shows a band on the way up.
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Date published: 4/26/2012

BY JESSE SCOTT

FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR

Some bands have "it" and some bands don't.

The Deep Space Network has "it" and it's paying off.

Nearly two years into its existence, the Fredericksburg-based rock quartet of tight-knit pals is set to share the stage with one of the Christian rock genre's most renowned bands.

The Deep Space Network will play alongside The Afters at Salem Fields Community Church on Friday.

"It's rewarding to see a couple years of consistency and hard work pay off," said lead singer Aaron Rayford. "To play with The Afters is such an awesome opportunity and shows us firsthand what that next step is like and what we'd like to do long-term."

The Afters is a Dallas-based Christian rock band that has, since 2005, placed eight singles on Billboard's Hot Christian Songs chart. Most notably, the band's hit single, "Beautiful Love," was used as the theme song for the hit MTV series "8th & Ocean."

The Deep Space Network shares a similar story to The Afters, one rooted in friendship, dedication and bringing hope to others via meaningful music. The band consists of Rayford, the 2010 winner of WYSK's "'Burg Idol," guitarist Tim Wirtala, bassist Tyler Northrup and drummer Brandon Weadon.

Together, the Deep Space Network churns out an innovative, modern brand of alternative rock, chock-full of strong riffs and lyrics about the most meaningful moments in life. The band is stellar at bringing genuine energy to each and every second of a set.

"Our music is a lot about our life experiences, from relationships to love to heartbreak," said Rayford. "The majority of these songs are seen through a Christian lens and what these situations mean to us as Christians."

The Deep Space Network now has two albums under its belt. The band released an EP in 2011 and, in February, released its first full-length album, "Deep Space Adventure." The album is a unique hybrid of optimistic rock, with subtle hints of Switchfoot and the arena vibe of U2.

Over time, the band has carved out a niche of its own in the Fredericksburg community and hopes to branch out even more.

"Most of our goals involve playing further away from our area," said Wirtala. "We really want to focus on the area from Florida to New Jersey. Fortunately we have a good group of core fans here to build off of."

In addition to two albums worth of tunes, the band has several more songs that are waiting to be recorded. Rather than rushing into recording mode, the band is simply focusing on enjoying one another and building on their existing bond.

"Our No. 1 definition of success is staying together," said Wirtala. "We've all committed ourselves to this band and we're going to keep putting it all out there."

Jesse Scott is nothing if not a tremendous fan of Fredericksburg music.


What: The Deep Space Network with The Afters and FM Williams Band Where: Salem Fields Community Church, 11120 Gordon Road, Fredericksburg When: Friday at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $15 Info: 540/786-6212; face book.com/tdspacenetwork