Our First Single is Starting to Chart!

Exciting times for Light45 these last few weeks.  Our first radio single, “Steeped”, is starting to get some national play.  We have, at last count, been added to 3 stations in addition to our local KNLW.  These stations are in Reno NV, Santa Clara CA, and St. Charles, MO.  Because of this, we got on our first Billboard chart! It’s a small one called “most added” for the Christian rock world.  But it was cool to see our name up there with some of the big boys. 🙂

The first of many such charts, God willing.

It. Is. HERE!

Ladies and gentlemen, we couldn’t be more pleased to present to you the sweat of our brow, “Decibels”.  This is our debut EP.  Every song was painstakingly produced to give you maximum enjoyment for years to come.

You can listen and purchase here.

We told you it would be worth the wait. 🙂

Song Mixes Sound GREAT!!!

So we are back from Nashville – I’ll post more of our exploits there in a different post.  I just wanted to give a quick update on the songs.

In short – they sound INCREDIBLE!!!  Seriously – you’re going to flip!!

We have all 5 in a nearly final mixed state, and Skidd is committed to seeing them through to being perfect.

Thanks for hanging in there with us.  It will be worth it. 🙂

Light45 to Record with Grammy Winning Producer

October 13, 2015


Contact Justin Hawley, (507) 202-0715, justin@light45.com

Rochester, MN local rock band Light45 will be recording with Grammy award winning producer Skidd Mills for their first professional audio recordings.

“I was able to get some examples of our music to Skidd through a friend in the industry,” said Justin Hawley, lead-singer and guitarist for Light45.  “He listened to it, and decided to work with us.  It’s an opportunity 99.9% of bands never get, and one we have dreamed about as a band since we started.”

Light45 will be recording on historic “Music Row” in Nashville for two weeks in November.

“Our goal is quality over quantity.  We would rather have Skidd take one song and put us on the map than 10 songs that are average quality.  Skidd believes we can get 4-5 songs completed, though.”

These songs will be combined with locally recorded content to complete Light45’s first full-length album since the band’s creation, and released in the following months.

Light45 will be live-streaming parts of the trip over the Periscope app, blogging it on their website, and interacting in real time with their facebook subscribers.

Light45 is accepting donations to fund the project on their website, light45.com.

For more information, follow Light45 on Facebook at www.facebook.com/light45music


Thanks for the Disciple Concert!

Wow.  What a concert!  Possibly our best yet.  200+ people, and the opportunity to open for Disciple and Decyfer Down.
Really an amazing time, and we can’t thank you all enough for coming out.  Especially great to see the guys from Rochester Teen Challenge.

Here a few photos from the event if you missed it.

First Major Opening

Hey all!  We have played festivals, but this is the first time we are the sole opening act for a major headlining tour.  We are proud to open for Disciple and Decyfer Down  on May 23 at Hope Summit Church in Rochester, MN.  This will be a truly incredible concert.  High energy, good old-fashioned face-ripping rock for the glory of Jesus.  We are completely excited for this, and will play nothing but our best songs, better than we have ever played them before, including a new never-before-heard rock song that is currently the band’s favorite.

Rock on.

Why U No Blog?

You may notice some spotty blog posts over the last few years.  Yes, we are still active and playing!  Here’s a few important tidbits…

  • We took the winter of 2014-2015 off to write, record, and pay off debt.
  • We have made most of our announcements on our Facebook page.  Click here to follow us on Facebook.
  • We have some unique opportunities as of late.  We can’ t get specific, but they include:
    • A radio station that wants to put us in rotation
    • A grammy-nominated and 4-time Dove Award winning producer who wants to work with us.

I once had a preacher tell me that while things may look dead, it’s just winter.  All of the trees were very much alive.  It was just a season.

We understand the importance of seasons.  And spring is here.  Both for our neck of the woods, and for Light45.

It’s going to be a powerfully awesome year!

Brandon’s little “Joke” and new bandmate hazing.

Our new drummer Brandon is deathly afraid that we are going to fire him.  (He was also afraid that we wouldn’t hire him in the first place.)  So Mark and I (Justin) are constantly making jokes about how he is fired, and even when we were meeting with him to ask him to join the band we made our phone calls real vague and almost like it wasn’t going to be a good meeting.

Well, I guess he had enough because I got a text today saying he was sick and puking all over, and couldn’t make a show tonight.

I don’t know if you understand what it means to a band when a member can’t make it.   It means months of planning are for nothing and all of our fans that come out are disappointed at best.

Needless to say I immediately tried to call James to see if he could drum with us, but he didn’t answer.  I sent a text.  Then I called Brandon.

He told me they ate and then he just started throwing up all over.  He couldn’t stop.

Then he told me he was just kidding.

And I told him he was fired. 😉

Turning a Corner…

We are finally at a point where we are not asking for all of our shows.  They are starting to come to us.  We’ve had at least 4 occasions in the last month where we’ve gotten calls asking us to play, and all of them are paid gigs, most headlining.  That feels really good! It also opens up the future possibilities as we will have income we can reinvest into the band to keep making better and better music!  We are coming up with some new band logos/merch ideas as well.  Can’t wait for that!

The other day I had to make some mp3 files of our live show for our standby drummer Brandon.  Brandon is filling in a lot for James on drums, as James is working at a camp this summer and can’t play very often.  So far he has risen to the challenge marvelously.  Listening to the music was a revelation to me.  I think we are really, genuinely a good rock band.  I’m not saying that with pride or anything, I was just struck with the idea that I would actually go out of my way to hear our music or see our show.  It surprised me to an extent, because I’m a perfectionist, for better or worse.  We’ve worked really hard to help create great music, and now I can see some of the fruit. It’s like these grape vines I planted 4 years ago at our house.  They just had their first fruit come up this year.  I believe it’s the importance of deep roots.

Other rants- bummed that Cloud Cult won’t be at the St. John’s Block Party this  year.  Was looking forward to seeing them again!  We had a blast playing with our buddies from “End of December” and also met an awesome minister of the Lord named Dave Decker with “Lights Out” at Bash on the Farm.  He has a unique call in that he goes to every festival he can to be a travelling pastor to bands on the road.  We sat in his Winnebago, had communion with him, and asked him to pray for us.  I really recommend his ministry to other bands and he can be found at www.lightsout.me

We also had the opportunity to hang out with my professor Mark Newcom and his son Stross.  Stross gave us an awesome tour of Waldorf and they both came out to the show.  Mark gave me one of the best compliments of my life in comparing us to Pearl Jam.  Seriously, Mark- you are WAYYYYY cool!

Music update- I go back to the studio tomorrow to continue the tail end of mixing our first single “Too Beautiful” with our good friend Jeff Lien.  We are discussing internally whether we should release it when complete or only release it with a creative music video as well.  If we can think of an incredible music video idea our bang for our buck is way greater.

One last note- we absolutely love it when people come out to see us and hear our music.  We will be putting lyrics online soon, and are honestly thrilled at the opportunity to play for you guys.  Just know, from our heart of hearts, that we love nothing more than seeing you all and playing our heart out for you.

Allow yourself to be loved by God today,



Local MN Band

Right now we are a local Minnesota band.  Maybe someday we will have a regional or national following.  Who knows?  It is really cool to see our fan list grow, and even without having released a song we seemed to have gained a following that doesn’t just include our friends and family.  For now it really is amazing just seeing our fans come out to support us and getting to know and play for new people.

I think one of the coolest things, personally, is seeing great people like Ken at KNLW who just supports us with everything he can.  Or when we have other bands come up and give us demos and tell us how good they think we are.  That kind of stuff really makes it feel like we are not the only people enjoying our music (and trust me, we are!)

We are planning, slowly, on if and how to proceed beyond where we are at.  We know there are areas we can work on.  For example, we have played with all kinds of marketing gimmicks, from literally dripping ourselves in paint to holding out on our release until we have a music video.  We are almost done with the mix for “Too Beautiful”, (although at the rate we mix it could be another year!), but we have talked a lot about not releasing it until we have a great idea for a music video so we can release it on YouTube and Facebook as well with a link to the song.

What else…  One fun thing for me (Justin) is that we got booked at a festival I used to be the booking agent for. Lol!  Sort of fun to come around full circle!  We will be playing at Bash on the Farm this year- Friday night on the shed stage.  It will be GREAT!

That’s it for now!  I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing all of our friends and fans at the upcoming concerts!  Especially the one in Lake City with my old college buddy Ryan Daniel.  Should be a blast!

Until we meet again– God bless you.



Recording of “Steeped” has begun!

Over 3 Fridays (1 of them already done) we will be recording Steeped with our good friend Travis Caudill at Hennipin Technical College.  I love these gigs.  The guys are just breaking in to the industry and very eager to make a good song and show their stuff.  Makes it a lot of fun, and it’s even fun giving some helpful thoughts here or there.  Got to meet two cool new people as well.  Craig, serving as engineer in this project, and a second Travis, serving as 2nd engineer.  Both are really cool guys and we get along great with them.


One of the weird things is that because of scheduling conflicts, James was able to be there but only supervise the drums (had to get “checked off” on the studio drum set- don’t get me started) but our good friend Cole lived up to our expectations admirably.  Beats those drums like they owe him money as well!

Anyway, I have high hopes for this and hope it is good enough out of the can that we feel comfortable releasing it.  We will get the original tracking files, so even if we are not thrilled with the mix they have to relatively quickly make for school we can spend the time necessary to make it sing.  Having said that, I sincerely believe these guys have what it takes to make a good mix.  Mixing is just such an art form.  I have met SOOOOOO many people, including house engineers in major studios, that just simply don’t understand that a good mix isn’t only about hearing all the parts, but about making the entire song shine.  It’s an art, a weaving in and out of parts, frequencies, and tones to create an amazing song.  This is something that I believe could be taught in school somehow, but it can’t be taught with the standard pen and pencil alone, or a “yeah, I can hear that part equally as well as this part”.  It takes a qualified person who understands the art as well as the science.  Anyway, I am rambling…

As I was saying, we have two Fridays left, and I couldn’t be more excited.  Cool people, cool music, good friends and a whole lot of fun make this one of our best recording experiences ever!

Fight the good fight-


Getting our Groove on

It seems like every show is better than the last.  We played a show last night where we shortened our set because my amp kept blowing the power in the place and I had to use 3 Pill Morning’s Mesa Boogie amp instead.  Regardless, it was arguably the best show we’ve done yet.

There is a fun progression to watch in ourselves as well as other bands.  It seems either a band starts with great music or a dynamic live show, and then the other one suffers- at least at first.  With us, we have always focused on writing great music.  Some would say to our detriment, but ultimately, it’s the recorded version of a song we want you to be able to eventually have.  And that all starts with songwriting.

But for us that meant our live show needed to be caught up for a truly great balanced live set.  Recently, we’ve really been getting’ it.  Part of it is because we know the music better now, but I think an even bigger part is that we are practicing with the live audience in mind now.  At least I am.  Mark hasn’t really had an issue with a good live show- he moves like a deranged Gumby onstage and it looks great.  But I personally have had to work on it a bit.  The good news is that when you practice with the live show in mind, as we now have the ability to do, when you actually play live the “coolness” just comes out naturally.

It seems our fan base is increasing rapidly as well.  Sort of neat to see those numbers climb.

Anyway, time to go.  Peace to you and yours.

More shows…

After our last awesome show in the Peace Plaza, Rochester, we decided to take on a couple of more.  Check out our events page for some cool shows with Children 18:3 and Silverline!

The super cool thing is that I used to book both of these bands when I managed a club called “Brick and Amp”.  Now they have a great deal of success on their own, and although some of the members have changed  it’s exciting to see what they have done!  Another person I helped give a start to is Owl City (back when he was in Windsor Airlift).  It’s really kind of neat to see how people grow and what God does in individual lives.

I can’t help but think about my old guitarist in a previous band named Jim.  He committed suicide after one of our concerts.  We were all so young then.  Who knows what he would have went on to do and who he would have been.    Life ALWAYS gets better, people.  With Jesus, it always gets better.  Just hang in there.  I remember in junior high when I thought I didn’t have anything to live for either.  HOW MUCH I would have missed out on!!  Now I’m married to the love of my life, the one who was SO worth waiting for.  I have a great job, a cool band, and the respect and love of true friends and family.  The BEST years of my life were ahead of me, and by all accounts still ARE!  And it is all, literally, due to Jesus.

It’s never worth giving up on everything.  Giving up on yourself, yes, sometimes that is necessary.  But then we need to rely on God.

Crazy things…

Crazy things are in the works, ladies and gentlemen.  We can so clearly see God’s hand at work, and some of our more extravagant  ideas for a live show are in the process of being implemented.  I can’t reveal too much right now, but let me just say, hold on to your hats.  It’s going to be a fun ride!

Thoughts on the first show!

I don’t know what the best part of the night was for me.  Maybe when the merch showed up and we saw how awesome the photo of our faces looked on that t-shirt?  Or maybe seeing how excited Sarah was after so many years of watching Mark practice in my basement?  Maybe the friends that came to support us?  (Probably that!)  Or, actually, maybe for me it was those instances on stage where everything just felt- right.  It felt like, at times, “this is what it is supposed to be like”.

We recorded the show (we’ll probably post it at some point) and watched it as a band.  We had a few rough spots, of course, but in general I was pretty impressed with how we sounded and worked the show, despite feedback concerns at times.  Man, that yellow smoke around me looked KILLER!!  😀  Thanks to Robb, Ken (KNLW) and everyone who helped in putting this show together!

I was really surprised with how well “The Maze” sounded, and had some thoughts on “Walk On” as well.

FYI, we have most of “Too Beautiful” recorded, and are figuring out the best way to add drums right now.  Pretty excited about this, as God has given us a MIDI drum set to more easily insert samples with Reason.  He is sooooo very good to me!

Peace, my little rays.

Birth Stories

Well, here we are.  10 years or so after Brick and Amp.  8 years since God told me to get out of the music industry.  Wow.

Here we go again!

I don’t know if anyone will ever read the blogs on here, and so maybe this just is good therapy.  But either way, I want to make one commitment to myself.  To be real and enjoy the time for what it is, an opportunity to know people and have fun.  After “band life” is long gone, I will look back on this time period.  And I want it to count for something more than just a stab at the bloody music industry.  I want it to be filled with relationships, with restoration, with amazing spiritual times with people I never imagined I would be friends with!

God, please give this music a life beyond what Mark or I or James could ever imagine.  My biggest request is that it touches people.  And that it touches us!  And that it touches you.