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The Brocks: A Trojan Horse For Good

“We’re trying to Trojan Horse our music. We want people to pick it up because it sounds good, but stay because of its depth.”

By Zach Collier

In the basement of Grant and Dane Brock’s house, an intense and important band meeting is taking place when I walk in. The Brock Brothers, Grant (vocals, guitar), and Dane (bass), sit in a circle with their fellow band mates: Christian Derais (drums), Morgan Ence (guitar), and Johnny Patterson (keyboards). Everyone is listening intently. The topic is the future.

“All I’m saying is that if something were to happen, I’d up and leave right now. I’m ready to go,” says a passionate Darais. His intentions are clear: he’s ready to give his all.

“Me too. We just need to follow our connections and make it happen. Play a show every night,” says Dane.

“We could show up to Hilary Duff’s next birthday party,” quips Derais.

Without missing a beat, Dane says, “Yeah! We actually know what the date is now!” Everyone in the room erupts in laughter. Despite the monumental decisions in front of them, this indie rock act from Provo, UT is all grins and smiles. There is a feeling of camaraderie and support in the air – with a hint of comedy for good measure. They are all in good spirits, and they have every right to be.

This talk of expansion and determination is not idle daydreaming. The Brocks are going places – and they’re going fast. One of the heavy hitters in the Provo area, The Brocks regularly play to sold out audiences throughout Utah County. “We have good, loyal fans,” says Dane. “Since this group got together, we’ve had incredible things happen. It’s been an incredible last year and a half.”

This incredible year and a half includes playing at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, working with 2009 Grammy nominee and producer Nate Pyfer, collaborating with the critically acclaimed DJ Kaskade, and the use of their song “Circles” in the advertising campaign for Kenneth Cole’s new scent.

“Kenneth Cole has a new scent called Mankind,” says Ence. “Our song is the song for the entire ad campaign. The CEOs of Hunter & Gaddy, the company contracted out to do the campaign, were at one of our shows. They asked us for the song – a new song from our upcoming album. Grant wrote it.” A quiet Grant humbly nods in acknowledgement of his contribution. 

The ad encourages mankind to “Be the evolution,” and The Brocks are leading the way.

The Brocks formed in September, 2012. “Grant and I started playing music together right after his mission – in 2010,” says Dane. But a permanent group didn’t materialize until much later. Grant and Dane hail from Bend, Oregon. They moved to Provo to attend Brigham Young University, with Dane coming specifically to pursue a career in law. The band credits a tragic but providential accident with their formation.

Grant (left) and Dane (right) Brock.

“One time I was swimming in a lake and a boat ran over me,” says Dane. “We were visiting my wife’s family on the east coast. I went for a swim, and then a boat ran over me. It broke my femur twice, cut my abdomen open – it was pretty scary. I should be dead. But it’s good because I probably would have been off to law school and stuff. It kept me around just long enough to start playing with these guys.” 

During this time of recovery, Dane’s brother was able to reconnect with Darais – a former partner from a mission trip to Mozambique for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The three started playing together and began looking to flesh out their sound. Dane turned to Ence, whom he had also met through missionary service. “He taught me in the Missionary Training Center,” said Ence.

Dane would later discover Patterson during a solo performance in downtown Provo. “I was doing a solo show, and Dane was running sound,” said Patterson. Having heard their music on a separate occasion, Patterson accepted an opportunity to play with them “Friday at 8 PM.” The rest is history.  

Their mission is clear. Above anything, the Brocks want to make a positive difference in the world. “I want our music to be more than to make people ‘feel good.’ I want them to be inspired to actually be better. A lot of bands just want to write music that makes people feel happy, that makes them feel good in the moment – music that sells. But we want people to improve. To be better,” says Dane.

“Each of us have very unique characteristics: amazing qualities and pursuits other than music. But as we all come together and use that one shared talent, music, we’re able to show people that there’s so much you can do with life when you put your mind to it. You can find your way to express yourself and to share it with others,” adds Patterson.

“We have a song called ‘Phoenix.’ It’s about having responsibility and not being able to deal with it – you know, growing up. I think it’s a more real scenario than the YOLO music out there – about drinking and partying. We want people to rise to the occasion, even when it’s hard,” says Ence.

“We’re trying to Trojan Horse our music. We want people to pick it up because it sounds good, but stay because of its depth,” says Darais.

The Brocks are young, confident, and talented. Their catchy hooks and insightful lyrics reflect the goodwill and friendship found in their group. From tragic circumstances and through growing success, they place their faith and goals to inspire others before anything else. This musical Trojan Horse is finding its way into hearts everywhere.

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