Downhere (stylized as downhere) is a Christian rock band from Canada. They have released six studio albums to date: downhere (2001), So Much for Substitutes (2003), Wide-Eyed and Mystified (2006), Ending Is Beginning (2008), How Many Kings: Songs for Christmas (2009), and On the Altar of Love (2011) and have won several Juno and Covenant Awards.
The Early Years 1999-2001
The band was formed by Marc Martel and Jason Germain who were roommates at Briercrest Bible College in Caronport, Saskatchewan. In 1999 Martel and Germain added fellow Canadians Jeremy Thiessen and Tyson Manning, along with American Corey Doak, and released an eponymous debut album independently on Slyngshot Records. Tyson and Doak left the band, and later on Downhere signed with Word Records. In February 2001, they moved to Nashville, Tennessee. The band soon added bassist Glenn Lavender, whom they had met two years earlier, after his band broke up. Downhere's independent album was reissued with the inclusion of bassist Lavender, and released in 2001 as their international debut, downhere.
Mainstream and international success (2001–2013)
Marc Martel performing in the Queen Extravaganza Tour.
Their second album, also released through Word Records was entitled So Much For Substitutes. In 2006 they were signed to Centricity Records and released Wide-Eyed and Mystified which led to the 2007 Juno Award for Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year, and Covenant Awards for Rock Album of the Year and Recorded Song of the Year ("A Better Way").
In 2007, the band released two additional CDs that were unique. In early 2007, they released Wide-Eyed and Simplified, which contained new versions of 8 songs from Wide-Eyed and Mystified, in addition to three popular songs from earlier releases. Later in 2007, the band released Thunder After Lightning (The Uncut Demos). This album contained 15 previously unreleased demos which were considered for use on Wide-Eyed and Mystified but were not used. The CD also contained demo versions of two songs which were used on Wide-Eyed and Mystified. In April 2007, Downhere released Thank You for Coming (The Live Bootlegs), a six-song collection of live songs recorded in 2007 while on tour with Jason Gray and Lanae Hale.
Their next album, Ending Is Beginning, was released on September 23, 2008. The band released the songs for a few days and gave fans the chance to give input on which songs they should put on the album, and as a pre-release to Ending Is Beginning in June 2008 they gave away the whole album Wide-Eyed and Mystified as a free download.
In October 2009, they released How Many Kings: Songs for Christmas, a collection of Christmas songs. This included "How Many Kings", which was a bonus track on Ending Is Beginning. Between the release of Ending Is Beginning and their new album Downhere released Two at a Time: Sneak Peeks & B-Sides, a collection of older songs compiled over their career, as well as two new songs: "You're Not Alone" and "The Song You Sing". "You're Not Alone" was released as a single in May 2010.
In May 2011, the first single,"Let Me Rediscover You", from their upcoming album On the Altar of Love was released. The album itself was released August 23, 2011.
In September 2011, lead singer Marc Martel also gained attention on YouTube for his cover of "Somebody to Love" by Queen, auditioning to be part of the Queen tribute band. Martel was noted for his vocal and visual resemblance to Freddie Mercury. On December 8, 2011, Martel was announced to have been voted as one of six winners (and one of three Canadians) of the contest.
In July 2012 the members of the band announced that January 1, 2013 would mark the end of their traveling ministry for the foreseeable future. Members of the band have stressed that this is not a break up, and they are still open to playing select shows and events here and there. Each of the members have felt God is leading them all in different directions, thus logically ending this chapter of the band.
Vocalist Marc Martel released an EP, Prelude, on February 1, 2013 which includes "Up in the Air" and "8th Wonder". The EP was recorded in Nashville and Los Angeles with producer John Fields. His full-length debut, Impersonator, released on September 30, 2014.
In October 2016, the band got together for one more night to celebrate Centricity Music's 10th anniversary. The band shared live footage of the rehearsal on their Facebook page. They performed their hit song, "A Better Way" at the event.