High Flight Society hit the CCM scene with high expectations and an intense, anthemic modern rock sound. The members of the four-piece group grew up together in small Cedartown, GA. Drummer Scotty Lockridge and guitarist Michael Packer eventually added Michael's brother John on bass and vocalist/rhythm guitarist Jason Wilkes. After leading worship music for years, the band wrote and rehearsed the 11 tracks on its self-titled debut in the Cedartown Church of God. The sound was sure to get them noticed among fans of heavier modern rock, as their debut was a cross between Anberlin, Kutless, Hoobastank, and Foo Fighters.
“I grew up in a family of musicians,” says lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist and Gaither Vocal Band fan Jason Wilkes. “My mom, brother, sister and I have always sung Southern Gospel songs as the special music in our small Baptist church, and I still sing Southern Gospel on the side. In middle school I was introduced to pop music, which molded my voice more. When I joined High Flight Society, I eventually developed more of a ‘rock voice.’"
“God has called us to ‘be a light in the darkness,’” Jason notes. “We want to use our music to tell people about Jesus, people who might not hear the conventional way. We make music that could, because of its sound, easily make its way outside the walls of the church. There are so many songs out there portraying so many negative things. We want our music to be played alongside those songs, but we hope to send a positive message of hope and forgiveness to people who are hearing that message less and less.”
John adds, “My top priority is to see people come to know Jesus because of something they hear in one of our songs or by something we say from stage or whatever platform we have. Just to change lives really. One thing that’s always been in my mind is to change what people think about Christianity and God. Some people view Christians and Christian bands as a joke, and I want to show people that we as Christians are real people living a real life through God and subsequently make them realize what we have is real and what they ultimately are longing for.”
After releasing their national, self-titled debut under Nashville 's RKT records in June 2007 and touring the country from Georgia to California to support the album, the four guys in High Flight Society had accomplished just about everything a young band could hope to. Radio success with songs like "Sweet Redeemer" and "Time is Running Out," playing shows in front of crowds of thousands and being named one of the top 100 releases of 2007 by itunes were crowning achievements. The road to success, however, is never an easy one. After working with two labels, both of which dissolved prior to releasing High Flight’s debut, most bands would have simply given up. But the lessons learned from those difficult circumstances have served to sharpen their character and strengthen their faith.
Michael says the song “Learn to Let Go” reflects those lessons. “This song is about everything we went through as a band, how we had to learn to let go of situations that were out of our hands and give them over to God and be patient.”
Scotty adds, “God has been teaching me that His timing is the best. Everything happens when and how God wants it. When you let God take over your life, He has the best strategy for it.”
“We are just four country boys from a small town where nothing ever happens beyond the occasional high school state football victory,” concludes Jason. “We stick to our roots even if it means being hassled constantly for our ‘goofy accents.’ But we do what we do because we want people to know that we are really just like them. We mess up and we're not perfect, but we are out here doing this thing to try and use what we've been through in life as means to encourage and help out others.”