Years ago, when complications from allergies left scarring in her throat, young Amanda Hernandez was hardly able to speak. Now, she finds herself on stage as the lead singer for an aspiring teen rock band with hopes of touring the world.
The group, which includes four members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is focused on performing positive music, strengthening others and keeping priorities straight.
Amanda Hernandez, now 15, told the Deseret News that she remembers first dreaming of becoming a singer as a sixth-grader while attending a theatrical performance at her school. “I was thinking, ‘Wow, I want to be up there!’ ” she said.
That dream would eventually become a reality.
“I put my heart into learning how to sing,” she said. “Since I could finally use my voice, I started pursuing it and it led up to what it is now."
Amanda Hernandez is the lead vocalist for the Orlando-based teen rock band Synderes, which also consists of her brother and lead guitarist, Anthony, 18; rhythm guitarist Jasper Chong, 17; bassist Pierson Lowe, 18; and drummer Alec Lowe, 18.
Amanda Hernandez says that Synderes draws its musical influence from bands like Evanescence, Flyleaf, Imagine Dragons and Muse. The band members attended a Muse concert together in 2013, which she described as “amazing.”
Music was a common interest for the teenagers, who became friends in 2011 and joined forces to create Synderes in June 2012.
“I had always had a deep love for music,” said Pierson Lowe, who picked up the guitar when he was in sixth grade but switched his focus to bass during his freshman year of high school.
It was an impromptu battle of the bands competition that set his music career in motion.
“I hopped on the guitar and played the lead solo to one of the songs,” he said. “I had the crowd going and everyone was cheering. Half the people didn’t even know that I had the capability of doing so. I thought to myself, ‘Wow, what a great opportunity this could be for me in the future.’ ”
Synderes has moved from small, local functions such as church events to bigger opportunities, including music festivals in Mexico, Venezuela and Puerto Rico. The band is currently trying to finalize details on a 60-city world tour.
The members of Synderes want to use their music to make a meaningful impact on others.
“We hope to touch people’s hearts with our music and to help them grow to become stronger and to lead better lives,” Amanda Hernandez said. “We want to inspire people to become stronger and to live better lives, and so we put our heart into it and that's just kind of what keeps us going.”
The song “Enemy Inside” carries a message of strength and improvement. Amanda Hernandez said her inspiration for writing the song came from an acquaintance she knew who was dealing with addictions. “It was causing her to lose everything,” she said. “(But) she decided to change herself, and she slowly started getting everything back and she was able to be happy again. That’s what inspired me.”
The band also draws strength from its religious roots. Four of the five band members belong to the LDS Church and three of the band members, including Pierson Lowe, are currently preparing to serve LDS missions.
“I would say most definitely, it influences the band,” Pierson Lowe said about his religion. “It keeps all of us most definitely in line to have that kind of support around us 24/7.
“It makes it so easy just to say no and to really put that impression on other people," Pierson Lowe continued. "We’re trying to live a really good lifestyle. We still go to Mutual and church. We do our best to make that our No. 1 priority, as well, on top of the band and school and all of our daily activities.”
Amanda Hernandez also agreed that faith has played an important role in her music career. “It influences our standards, so we don’t cuss or anything in our music,” she said. “It influences what we listen to for inspiration, and good morals bring good, inspirational music.”
Pierson Lowe said that keeping his priorities straight and putting an emphasis on faith is important to him. “God comes first,” he said. “I know that if I fulfill his duties and put him first that there will be a greater outcome at the end, as far as what I want to fulfill in my life.”
With music and faith both forming large parts of the band’s foundation, manager Jesslyn Hernandez says that, at the end of the day, the band members are still trying to enjoy their youth while they can. “They still go on with their everyday lives,” she said. “You have one working on their Eagle Scout project, another that just finished. At the end of the day, they’re just very much ‘teens’ with everything. They’re still humble in who they are, but they’re strong and confident in what they do.”
Synderes recently released a music video for its single “Enemy Inside,” and the band is currently working on its first full album. More information about the band can be found on its Facebook fan page and on Twitter (@Synderes).
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