The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


The passion behind a traveling Christian band: Surviving August

Group dedicated to Christ, music, touring

Jeremy Jaqua, a 20-year-old drummer for the thriving band Surviving August, leisurely sits down in the brown crushed velvet La-Z-Boy across from the dining room of his Dallas apartment. Where a visitor would usually find the typical dinette set with table settings, they instead find an empty open guitar case, a bag full of light brown wooden drumsticks and a mini Christmas tree with its star shaped topper drooping down. Keep in mind it is February.

Jaqua discovered his talent for music at age six and his love for the drums shortly after, in eighth grade. If he wasn’t out playing baseball Jaqua was playing his drum set in his Norman, Okla., home with mom Jennifer, dad Bill, brother Aaron, little sister Shannon and two dogs Sashi and Abby. After a high school career of playing baseball was abruptly ended by an elbow injury, he found his love for music to be even more prevalent than ever before. He was able to curiously pursue this dream through playing gigs at the local church for the youth group and at local school events.

For Jaqua, at the youthful age of 20, playing to crowds of 2,000 in his hometown high school in Norman, booking and performing shows across southern America on a regular basis and having already written and recorded their first album are just a few of the successes he and the band have come to already achieve.

“Not only was it a dream of mine to go and be a rock star, or whatever, but we [Surviving August] truly felt like [this] is where God had called us to go. I have been blessed with the fact that God has allowed me to serve him while pursuing my dream. If God wants to bless me enough, where I can make a living off playing drums, that will be the greatest day of my life.”

Saying this, Jaqua realizes that he still has a long road ahead of him on his journey to success.

“ If God has me playing to 50 people in Deep Ellum for the rest of my life, if that’s where he wants me, that’s where I am going to be.”

When asked about being in a band that is sometimes condescendingly called “Christian,” Jaqua likes how Tim Foreman, bass guitarist for his favorite band Switchfoot, put it: “We are Christian by faith, not by genre.”

It’s the story of having faithfully excelled through the trying times of the month of August when they lost a good friend in a car accident and had a close family member in critical condition in the hospital, on top of having to endure the pressures associated with releasing their new album. The probing name helps them to publicly emphasize how God pulled them through that tough time.

Thus far, they have been able to spread this message across the nation from Texas to Tennessee, Louisiana to Oklahoma and even New York.

Jaqua wants people to see something different in both him and the band as a whole. Through his aspiring gung-ho, no-looking-back attitude, Jaqua hopes that people will “notice something different in me. See God through me, through the way I act. If they notice, wonder, and ask about it then it opens the flood gates … and I’m going to tell them” about it.

Holly Jarma, a devoted follower of Surviving August and local resident of Dallas, saw something different in the band from day one. “When I first meet them they were so personable and intriguing cause of their strong faith in the Lord. It was real encouraging to meet musicians with that deep love for the Lord and for people in general.”

When asked what he feels when he is performing, Jaqua answers with a simple, “peace.” For Jaqua, it is a time for not having to worry about anything as he gets to play the songs that they wrote and love, while at the same time conveying the meaning behind them.

Routinely chomping his gum and drumming on his knee in the living room of his apartment, he talks about how he looks forward to the day that he doesn’t have to set up his own equipment for shows. Maybe then he can pay off his car, buy more cymbals and drums, and buy a new bed, so he doesn’t have to be content with his half a bunk bed. He would ultimately like to donate more to “Gospel for Asia,” an organization he supports for $30 a month that gives 100 percent of the money raised to supporting evangelists in the mission fields of India.

Until then, Jaqua will try his hardest to be content with his managerial drum department job at Guitar Center. He will continue to find joy in the little things in life like Subway sandwiches, Whoopee Cushions (“is it bad that I’m 20 and still laugh at a Whoopee Cushion?”) and grass, something he discovered he missed while playing for a showcase in Manhattan, N. Y.

He will continue to go “as far as God wants [him] to go” in his journey to achieve his dream of musical success. He will continue to keep his priorities of God, family, friends and the band at the forefront of his agenda.

And he will continue to exude this passion that so many people don’t get, don’t understand. “Just imagine something that you can do all the time and not get tired of it. You just want more of it, can’t really get enough of it. I can’t get enough of playing the drums. I can’t get enough of playing shows.”

More to Discover