Vance Purdy Lead vocals/Guitar
Josh Louis Bass/BGV's
Matt Thompson Drums
Ben Sailors Lead Guitar
Marshall Smith Piano/Keys
The initial idea for The Seen and Unseen was formed shortly after an open mic night, when Vance and Ben realized some of their favorite people and musicians weren't playing in bands currently. After one rehearsal it was obvious that there was something to this that needed to be explored.
It's really our guys night out bowling.
Matt grew up in a hippie family. Raised around drum circles and hand percussion, he has been playing drums for as far back as anyone can remember. He picked up his first pair of drumsticks in middle school and continuing through high school becoming lead snare on the drum line his sophomore year. He got his first drum set as an early graduation gift his senior year of high school. This same kit is the one he still plays today (with a few modifications). His freshman year of college he started playing with some friends which would become a band called High Wire Walker, and eventually simply Highwire. Matt departed from the group in 2014 after playing with the band for 5 years. Throughout those 5 years Matt also played for the worship team at Vineyard Church of the Rockies. This is where he had meet and played with the musicians that came to form Seen and Unseen in 2015. His main influences include Josh Eppard from Coheed and Cambria, Chris Guglielmo from Bayside, Riley Breckenridge from Thrice, Alex Rodriguez from Saosin, and Tony Thaxton from Motion City Soundtrack.
Joshua has never known a life without music. Starting young, he performed in church choirs from the age of 4 all the way through high school. He started taking piano lessons when he was nine, which then lead to starting on the viola a couple years later. He first picked up a guitar freshman year of high school. He was taught the basics by his dad, and once he knew a few chords starting learning by doing as his dad would pull him up on stage to join his band with little to no rehearsal time. He formed his first band with a friend in his Junior year named By The Way. This consisted of the two of them singing along with an acoustic guitar at a local coffee house. In 2009 he Joined Matt Thompson and a few other friends in forming High Wire Walker, later known simply as Highwire. Shortly after Matt's departure the group disbanded and later reformed under the name Window Pane Jane and the Walls. This group is still active today. Picking up the Bass for the first time, Josh Joined The Seen and Unseen in the summer of 2017 and his incredibly excited to be apart of it.
Vance started playing music as a child, in a house where music was always on. Inspired by artists like Paul Simon, Elvis Presley and Bob Dylan, he picked up the guitar and tried to emulate the sounds of the songs he could hear his mother singing along to in the kitchen.
As he grew older, his tastes turned toward the music coming out of the Pacific Northwest. Bands like Soundgarden, The Screaming Trees, Pearl Jam and Nirvana became hugely influential for Vance. He started his first band, To What End, with school friends and they mostly played and wrote in private.
Vance always held an affinity for playing bass, so he joined with another group of friends as the bass player in a metal band called Black Rose (haha) that covered bands such as Pantera, Metallica, Megadeath and Guns And Roses. It was fairly soul crushing. Vance knew that he had to get back into the more intricate and intimate expression of acoustic music, so he quit Black Rose and started playing and writing with a group of friends in a band called Chasing William. Chasing William gained momentum playing around college campuses and smaller venues as an opening act for many nationally recognized artists. After a few years of dedicating his life to songwriting, Vance met the love of his life and best friend (and now wife), Erin. He slowed down the music process to pursue a more family-oriented lifestyle and took a job at a local church where he was responsible for the Sunday morning music.
Through the Vineyard Church, Vance has been on nationally released recordings, played and wrote with many influential Christian artists and preformed internationally with Vineyard Music.
Now Vance is extremely excited about working with The Seen and Unseen, bringing a unique mix of Americana, Folk, Rock, Jazz and Blues sounds to whoever wants to experience honest, real music. Drawing from life experience and the ups and downs of what the world can bring, Vance writes from a place of true passion. Whether it is the carefree days of youth, to the joys and pitfalls of love, to the elation and challenges of parenting, Vance's songwriting expresses them as they are.
Marshall first played his grandma's grand piano at age 3. It was cute but frankly he sucked so his dad got him lessons. In college, Marshall played Timpani in the concert band mostly to show those arrogant trumpet players what loud really sounds like but also because years of listening to John Williams soundtracks instilled an insidious penchant for the dramatic. Since then he has played in churches and bars, available for weddings, funerals, and Bar Mitzvahs, solo or as accompaniment. No matter where you might find him, Marshall blends classical and improvisational styles with any genre that people will let him drag a piano to. His influences include Rachmaninov, Beethoven, MuteMath, Nickel Creek, Count Basie, and all the amazing musicians that he's played with over the years.
Ben grew up in musical home. His father played keys, guitar, sax, and was also a singer songwriter. Ben had always been enamored with guitar since he was little. He began playing at 11 and soon fell in love. He grew up playing on church bands, and at 15 started playing in his first band. After high school Ben went to college for music. During his college years he studied classical and jazz. He played in a local blues group for three years, until he, and the lead singer moved away. He has appeared on albums with Skyler Choice, and has done a lot of work with various singer songwriters for the past five years. Sailors’ pulls from a rich background in blues, rock, jazz, and experimental music.