Anberlin is an alternative rock band hailing from Orlando. Its tracks, posted on myspace.com, have been listened to more than 47,963,090 times. According to the band’s Web site, Anberlin has toured with bands like Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance and Taking Back Sunday. Christian, the lead singer and guitarist, is one of UCF’s own.
There are countless successful UCF alumni, but it is not every day that a Knight turns into a rock star almost overnight.
According to Christian, an unusual sequence of events that occurred while he was in college determined his fate as a musician. Christian was a psychology major and aspired to establish a nonprofit organization.
“I actually worked at a local charity in Orlando. My goal was to work with some sort of nonprofit organization after graduation,” Christian said in an e-mail interview. “About a month before I was going to graduate I was fired out of the blue, with no explanation. I was so frustrated and had no idea what I was going to do upon graduating.”
Although discouraged, Christian continued to explore his talents and options, frequently playing music in the confines of a house off of Red Bug Lake Road.
Christian said he also practiced with members of a rugby team he was a member of and spent time hanging out at the Buffalo Wild Wings near his home.
Shortly after graduation, the band Christian had been practicing with was discovered by a Seattle-based agency called Tooth & Nail Records, and the rest is history. His life now consists of writing, playing music and touring the nation living a life of fame.
Christian said his college days left lasting impressions on him and he looks back on them fondly.
“Everyone must take professor Brophy’s class,” he said. “He incorporates education with practical understanding-and a little fun-into each and every class.”
During his college years, Christian had many experiences that he continually draws from as inspiration for his song writing.
“I mean I didn’t put the “UCF Fight Song” into my lyrics, but I think the people I met there, the friends I made and the experience I had there have added richly into songs and their lyrics,” he said.
According to the Anberlin frontman, most of the band’s early songs were written within a mile of the UCF campus.
“I even wrote “Readyfuels”-the first song on our first record Blueprints-while driving to class,” Christian said.
Central Florida, especially the UCF area, will always be a place with good memories that the band enjoys visiting, Christian said.
“We are playing Central Florida in December, then doing a headline tour next spring where we will be playing Orlando, hopefully the UCF area,” he said.
Some UCF students who are fans of this genre of music and this band in particular, were unaware that the band has such close ties to their campus.
“I didn’t know that the singer of Anberlin went to UCF, and I listen to their music,” said freshman business major Robyn Spit. “Knowing of an alumni’s success is encouraging to me, especially as a freshman. It motivates me to keep working towards my goals, knowing that even famous people have gone though the same struggles.”
The Anberlin fan base among UCF students is growing as the band gains Internet popularity.
“Their music is really soothing when something happens in my life. It helps me calm down and really think about what to do to solve my problems,” said sophomore Laurel Gromatsky, a hospitality major. “It’s so cool to know that the core of the band graduated from UCF. They are an inspiration to me and to other students because success is something UCF students want.”
In retrospect, Christian said he realizes being abruptly fired from his job was the best thing that ever happened to him. He said he hopes college students learn to take life as it comes and take advantage of every opportunity they can.
“Hang out with as many new people as you possibly can, join as many clubs as you can, learn as much as you can about as many topics you can get your hands on,” he said.
“Enjoy every minute of this, and if your plans for post-college start to fall apart realize that it may be for the best.”
Source: Central Florida Future, by Lindsay DeCarlo, Monday Oct. 5th, 2009