Written by Courtney Mason.

Our Darker Purpose, a progressive metal band, began with Jack Harrell, a faculty member of the English department, and Matt Hansen; two old friends with a passion for music.

Harrell, the band’s lead singer and bass player, said the idea to create a band began with an old pal from the 90s on the way to a concert.

Harrell said there are three bands members: Matt Hansen, the guitar player; Clint Johnson, the drummer; and himself.

“We’re a three piece band — guitar, bass and drums — so each of us has to be on top of our game,” Johnson said. “There’s nowhere to hide if you’re having a bad night on stage.”

Harrell said they draw their inspiration from other bands.

“We play harder rock/melodic metal, in the vein of Tool, Opeth, Porcupine Tree and similar,” Johnson said.

Hansen said they wanted to replicate bands that had something to say.

“All the bands we look up to really play music for the love of music,and that’s why we do it,” Hansen said.

Hansen said they do this for the sake of music like their inspirations.

“We sound nothing like them, but we draw a lot of influence from them,” Harrell said.

Harrell said there tends to be a negative tone to heavy metal music.

“There’s a lot of metal music where life is dark, and that’s all there is to it,” Harrell said.

Hansen said the band plays original music which contains depth through personal experience.

“I’d like to say it’s thoughtful metal where you got good lyrics,” Harrell said. “It’s more thoughtful and it’s more musically complex.”

Harrell said writing their own lyrics has been part of the fun. He said he wants to inspire life.

“I would say life is hard, but it’s worth it,” Harrell said.

Hansen said the band’s music is an expression of art. He said everything they do means something.

“We have darkness but we also have a lighter element,” Hansen said. “It has a good feeling about it.”

The band performs at Skizzy’s here in Rexburg on Friday, March 18 from 9:30-10:45 p.m., according to the band’s flier.