Lea Sharpe - Lead vocals /rhythm guitar
Dan Sharpe - Lead guitar
Annemarie Guske - Drums
We’re from Lynchburg, Va
It all started on a Thursday afternoon in the basement of a local guitar shop (My Guitar Shop, in Madison Heights, Va) when we were experimenting with cover songs and wanted to write our own music. It started out just us (Lea & Dan) and then we invited our previous drummer and bassist to jam with us. From then on, we started writing and creating what is now Xenith. We started as a band a little over 2 years ago, and since then have written and recorded 2 albums (one 8 track Run and an EP, Sabotaged). At first, I (Lea) just sang and didn’t play rhythm guitar with Dan. I had been playing guitar on my own for a few years but wasn’t ready to play along with the band. My main focus in the first year of us being in Xenith was to improve on my vocals and own my vocal sound. I remember one summer afternoon I was listening to music and watching live shows. Specifically a Smashing Pumpkins show from 1993 and it inspired me to pick up the guitar along side Dan, and play rhythm for the band. It’s a crazy, electric feeling playing along side Dan. When I pick up my guitar, it’s like no other feeling. Honestly, an escape from reality into a place where I can express myself through the sounds of eclectic emotions. Lea actually started playing guitar about 6 months before I picked it up. I (Dan) had picked up the guitar, just learning simply cover songs and taking a few lessons before we started Xenith. I wanted to try some riffs and song ideas out, and the band was the best place to put those ideas out. When I play the guitar, it’s a powerful feeling. It’s warm and comforting, also very energizing and my adrenaline is high playing gigs. Even at a good practice, it’s the one that makes me feel alive. It’s that feeling when you’re about to go on to play a gig, and I’m nervous but once it starts there’s no turning back. As of now, we’re looking / trying out bass players at this time.
From October 2017 to March 2018 we were looking for a drummer who fit the band right. We were writing new music (and currently are) but hadn’t found that one drummer who really fit us right. After going to multiple shows and getting fill in drummers, we came across an old friend who we knew played drums. At first we were a little hesitate on asking because of college and the different schedules but summer came and we knew we had found our drummer. When we found Annie, we knew we had found the one. We were asked to play a gig, and weren’t sure who would be filling in on drums. The gig was a few weeks away, and we knew we needed a full band for this one. After asking around, we had remembered that Annie played drums. After asking Annie to play, she agreed on learning our songs and set list. After our first practice together, we knew Annie was the one. She’s the best drummer we’ve ever played with, great timing, instinct for making music and overall has the best attitude about creating music with us. It was the coolest feeling playing with Annie and knowing she actually wants to learn our songs, write songs with us and not just be a fill in drummer. In the past few weeks of us being a full band again, we can honestly say it’s been the best times yet.
We had gone threw about 5 names before we came to call our band Xenith. At first, none of us really knew what to call us! But the story goes, Dan was driving down the street and saw a local appliance store with the logo “Zenith” on it. He told me about it and it really stuck. The definition of Zenith is “the highest point reached by a celestial or other object.” And that’s when we knew it would stick. So instead of having a “Z” we changed it to Xenith with an X. (We didn’t want it to get mixed up with the store)
We have a wide range of musical influences and people we aspire to be like in some way. I’d say to start off with, our biggest influences are Nirvana, Flock of Seagulls, The Smashing Pumpkins, Jimi Hendrix, Sunflower Bean, Van Halen, Radiohead, Cage the Elephant, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Doors, and anything basically from the 70s, 80s and 90s rock. The most inspiring thing is going to local shows and seeing people around your age play and enjoy it so much. I can remember going to backyard gigs, gigs in the back of bookstores, coffee shops, our local record store and guitar shops and us both knowing that’s what we want to do.
Lea specifically- Grunge and alternative rock is my thing man. I can remember being 14 years old, sitting in my room and blasting nirvana like no one is listening. Then came The Smashing Pumpkins. I can say that the day I specifically listened to “Soma” off of Siamese Dream changed my life forever. I also have my dreamy, indie side, like Beach House, Slowdive and Fazerdaze.
Dan specifically- The 80s, man. My music style was originally the bands that Lea listened to, after a while I started listening to different bands specifically 80s bands (Van Halen,flock of seagulls,the smiths, billy idol, and the bad brains) after listening to those bands my music style mainly revolved around 70s and 80s music.
Annie specifically-I’d like to say my style is pretty diverse. I’m inspired by Radiohead, Pearl Jam, RHCP, The Beatles, and Syd Matters. I mostly like music from the 90’s
The underground music scene in Lynchburg,Va is alive and thriving. We’ve been around the scene for awhile, but we are new to playing gigs and getting to know everyone. The actual venues around here are very limited, which sucks in its own way. But for the most part, the venues we’ve played have been great and super supportive. It can honestly be a hit or miss with some places, I feel because people forget about the underground alternative scene. But what really matters are the people who support the music and keep it alive and well. We love you guys!
We are in the middle of writing new music! We’re always writing music even when we’re playing shows and we currently have music in progress that will be released in the upcoming year. Our future plans, we want to play more gigs of course and get our music out there as much as possible. We will be playing Lynchstock 2018 and it’s honestly a dream. We are so excited and humbled to be playing the event, it’s the craziest thing! We want to plan a small tour in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled for that. But in the meantime we’ll be playing gigs in the local area.
Our style kind of revolves around our EP Sabotaged. Our sister did the album artwork and we loved it. The stars, lightning bolts, flowers and overall a space age kind of look is how you could describe us.
Overall, music is what makes us who we are. Xenith is the creation of 2 siblings who had a dream to write music and express it with everyone who has the ear to listen. Whether it’s us getting dressed in our space age, metallic clothes for shows, or us sitting in the living room practicing and writing music, it’s what we live for.