“We are not alone.” In a nation full of young people feeling increasingly isolated and hopeless, it’s a powerful message. It’s also the driving force behind Columbus, Ohio-based band Pray For Sleep, who aims to be
a positive influence in the hard rock genre. Today, the on-the-rise band announces a series of activities for May to promote mental health awareness month.
On May 1, Pray For Sleep will self-issue the digital release of their debut album, “Behind Our Eyes”, which aims to bolster a generation racked by anxiety, depression and suicide with a message of solidarity and a cathartic roar on 10 powerful songs. The digital release features two unreleased tracks—“Blood Is Not Blue” and “Off Track”—as well as a new acoustic version of anchor single “Scream Back.”
See the official music video of the acoustic version of “Scream Back” below.
“Scream Back” shares the name with the group’s initiative addressing mental health issues plaguing the nation’s youth. Established in November 2019, the Scream Back program aligns the band members—vocalist Grant DeCrane, 23; drummer Reno Houston, 20; and guitarist Hayden Kissler, 19—with the educational messaging of Nationwide Children’s Hospital‘s On Our Sleeves™ movement, as well as Columbus’ active rock radio station 99.7 The Blitz (WRKZ) and SJC Custom Drums.
Scream Back largely utilizes in-school appearances to deliver peer messaging and personal stories that challenge fellow young people to have an open dialogue about mental health. Most recently, that includes Pray For Sleep promoting On Our Sleeves™ resources for helping teens and kids through the COVID-19 crisis, as seen here.
In addition to contributing all proceeds from their first headlining show to On Our Sleeves™, Pray For Sleep also submitted their lyrics to the hospital’s mental health experts for their input prior to the release.
Next month, Pray For Sleep will also perform “Scream Back” as part of the annual “We Are The Majority Rally” that brings thousands of young people together to promote the idea that most youth choose not to do drugs and instead are making responsible decisions. For the first time this year, the statewide Ohio rally will go virtual and invites youth across the country to participate. It will be held as part of National Prevention Week on May 15 at 5:00 pm ET, hosted by the Prevention Action Alliance with support from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services as well as the Ohio Governor’s Office. More details about the event, including how to sign up and where to watch, will be posted at this location.
Of the digital release for “Behind Our Eyes”, drummer Reno Houston says, “We know that everyone has been stuck inside and could be dealing with mental health issues (like all of us in the band), and we hope that releasing these songs will let people know that ‘We Are Not Alone.’ This is especially important with the COVID-19 situation and May being Mental Behavioral Health month. We hope people know there are resources out there and hopefully we can help shine some light on a dark situation.”
Adds vocalist Grant DeCrane, “We’re so excited to be able to release the album in its entirety. We want people to hear the whole message, and we want to know what people think of the project. We started working on it a year-and-a-half ago so it’s wonderful to finally see it all come together after so much work and time.”
“Behind Our Eyes” marks the band’s debut album and is a follow-up to their self-titled EP in 2017 that followed a whirlwind of events, which led to the band’s formation. That same year, rock band Papa Roach had invited Columbus’ Olentangy Orange High School Marching Band to be part of Papa Roach’s performance of hit single “Born For Greatness” at the Rock On The Range festival. Hayden Kissler was one of the marching band members who got the chance to be on stage for the performance. Soon after, he and friends Reno Houston and Grant DeCrane started Pray For Sleep.
The band returned to the Rock On The Range stage in 2018 where they hand one of their earliest performances, with several members missing out on their high school graduation to participate in the memorable moment. After spending their teenage years finding solace in heavy music, shouting along with bands like fellow Ohioans Beartooth as well as Bring Me The Horizon, Pray For Sleep has since shared the stage with We Came As Romans, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Silent Planet, Fit For A King, and Counterfeit.