EPISODE 034: Belonging and Solidarity, Through Joy and Pain: Part 1: Ezekiel Rudick

Zeke is a fantastically beautiful musician.  Hearing his songs gave me goosebumps as tears welled up in my eyes.  He’s the first former Mormon to be on the podcast but is most recently from the Mars Hill, Acts 29, Imago Dei, Missional Community type of religious institution.

Zeke Rudick

Zeke Rudick

Zeke was drawn into the Mars Hill scene when many of his musical hero’s were heading into the culture there.  Through his journey of losing religion, he has grown from a "strong" miscegenistic, “Christian” viewpoint and lifestyle.  To finding humility, community and solidarity in places that religious folks would assume to be unlikely.

We engage in a fascinating conversation regarding faith, belief, and wonder along the lines of journeying through life in the godless world.

What if I don’t believe anymore?  What happens now?  What's next?  What about the Bible?  The book that kept trying to convince us to love someone that maybe we don’t love?  So many make it a narrative about a god that is so insecure that if you call him another name he banishes you to hell.  Is there a hell?  Or have we just come up with it to fit our need for there to be a battle between good and evil?  To create an American scenario of what a winner and a loser are?

I can relate to Zeke's story of going through hell, and the only people that will reach deeply to you are those that the church would say are going to hell…which creates a whole different view of community through who show themselves to be "your people", "your crew", "your squad".


Belonging is a big deal!  Solidarity is a massive thing.  Solidarity in joy, pain, suffering, and celebration.  We can best communicate these things through art.

Pain and beauty are best seen in the art medium.  Art express's our humanity in the most transparent and beautiful ways.  Art gives suffering a voice.  Suffering Deserves Voice.


Distant, melodic, and at times, crushingly bleak — Young Elk take their musical cues from introspective songwriters, shoegaze bands, and minimalist indie rock pioneers — falling somewhere between Pedro The Lion, Low, and Slowdive. 

The songs draw the jarring conclusion that everyone lives with immense darkness. The result is true, unbridled humanity with its complex mix of goodness, depravity, joy, and despair. From the overdriven, dissonant guitars to the to the thundering crashes and moody bass line to the stark, whiskey-soaked vocal delivery of singer, Ezekiel J Rudick — every musical component that makes up Young Elk tells the truth. 

Unlike many bands, Young Elk doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of humanity. Rather, they shine a light on abuse, injustice, loneliness, doubt, loss true stories every turn in the modern world.  

Young Elk is hard at work recording their follow-up to 2016's debut "Minor Keys EP" called, "The Dark Side of the Holy Ghost" slated for release on 12-inch vinyl and digitally in the Fall of 2016.  

young elk is: 

Ezekiel J Rudick: Guitars, Vocals
Tony Reyes: Guitars, Vocals
Bruce Reed: Bass, Keys
Nic Moen: Drums