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‘The Resilient’ Band Of Wounded Veterans Shares Their Story And Future Plans With The Daily Caller

YouTube screenshot/ CBSN

The Resilient, a Pennsylvania-based band made up of four wounded veterans and one professional musician, has big plans for the future.

The band is currently working on their first album, as CBS News first reported, but they’ve already garnered a decent social media following due to their unique story. Nearly 2,000 people have liked their Facebook page, their Instagram page has about 400 followers, and their YouTube videos have thousands of views.

Their early yet dedicated following comes as no surprise, given their exceptional outlook on music and its overall purpose in life.

 

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As The Daily Caller reported last week, “its members include guitarist Nate Kalwicki, who lost his leg in Afghanistan; bassist Marcus D’Andrea and lead vocalist Tim Donley, both of whom lost their legs; drummer Juan Dominguez, who lost an arm and both legs; and professional musician Greg Loman.” Nate is an Army veteran; Marcus, Tim and Juan are Marine Corps vets.

The men met at Walter Reed Hospital, where four of the five band members were receiving physical rehabilitation treatment for combat wounds. Two of those four — Kalwicki and D’Andrea — were taking music lessons through a program called MusiCorps, a program to help veterans adjust to regular life after coming home from war through music. The other two veterans — Dominguez and Donley — were not receiving lessons through MusiCorps but had prior musical experience.

Dominguez told the Caller, “Guitar was my passion,” but after becoming a triple amputee, he chose a different instrument to tackle: the drums. He was interested in mastering the drums before his injuries, but after surviving combat, they were an instrument he just naturally “gravitated toward.” Since transitioning from his guitar to a completely different instrument, he says “it’s been a learning curve.”

The five men came together as an official group when the MusiCorps Wounded Warrior band first performed with Roger Waters of Pink Floyd in New York City in 2012.

“From there, we played good together,” Dominguez told the Caller. “We got along. It was kind of a natural fit. … The thing that unites us is the fact that we’re all injured, we were in the military, and we got a band together.”

But Dominguez says the band doesn’t want to use their injuries as a way to promote their music: “We’re not trying to get publicity from our injuries, but we’re not trying to hide them, either.”

And while members of The Resilient have their injuries in common, their individual musical tendencies are all very different. When asked what kind of sound listeners can expect to hear on their first album, (which they’re aiming to release in “about a year”), Dominguez said it will be a mix of rock-based sounds since the band’s roots started in rock, hip-hop beats and possibly some bluesy undertones.

“Everyone comes from a different background, so there will be a unique sound from … a whole variety of ingredients. We’re not really sure what’s going to come out [for our first album]. We’ve got a lot of tasty songs right now,” he explained.

But despite their ranging musical tastes and backgrounds, they have one common goal for their music: to have a conversation about PTS syndromes and feeling disconnected from the rest of the world.

“We want to bring light to that. That’s our main goal,” Dominguez said. “We’re all weird and mess up. We’re not making music to please people, but hopefully, to connect. Some songs will be happy, some will be sad, some will be truthful. We’re not willing to sugarcoat things. We want to be raw and unfiltered. We want to [consider], ‘How can I be there for my brothers? How can I spread light on their stories?'”

Or maybe just: “Here’s a love song.”

Before they come out with an album, which you can expect to see on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music once it’s released, you can catch them in concert. They’ve already played covers as an official group twice, but for their next two upcoming shows in Texas and Pennsylvania, they want to incorporate some of their original work.

“It’s a little bit stressful because now we’re going to be introducing a few of our originals,” said Dominguez. “The band knows people are watching now. People are focused on the music. … But, a lot of us work great under stress. We have a military background. We’re not focusing on the military in this band, but those disciplines carry on.”

The Resilient be playing at the Redneck Country Club in Houston, Texas, on April 12. You can get your tickets on the country club’s website or call 281-809-4867. They also have a show coming up in their home state of Pennsylvania on May 18. For more information, visit Operation First Response‘s website.