Collision's Michael "Mike" Brantley


  The story of Mike Brantley is one of those in which the hand of the Lord is obviously doing something.

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  From the band's perspective, it begins one day in 2011, before Jonathan was in the band, when Mark happened upon someone in a department store who struck up a conversation.  No one now remembers how it started, but Mark must have mentioned the band, and the shortage of players, and Mike said he was a bass guitarist and would love to audition for the spot.  You might imagine how Mark reacted inside:  Mike was missing his right arm below the elbow, yet did not seem to think this prevented him from playing bass.  Although somewhat skeptical, Mark was not going to claim that it couldn't be done, and gave Mike an e-mail address through which to contact him.

  He often wondered over the next year whether he had scared the potential bass player or offended him somehow, but in fact Mike simply lost the address.

  God was not going to give up that easily.  The next year as Mark was in the parking lot of that same department store, someone called to him, asking if he wasn't the guy with the band, and reintroducing himself.  At that point Mark was not looking for a bass guitar player--he had become the bass guitar player, had Jonathan on keys, and what he really needed was a rhythm guitar player who could sing higher than he could.  Still, he wasn't going to reject someone, and so invited him to hear them that week at their Dutch Neck Village concert.

  Mike liked what he heard, and particularly Mark's bass guitar playing, but he thought he could improve the sound particularly of the bass guitar by bringing some of his own equipment into the mix.  This was just at the time that the band was recognizing its need for a sound engineer, and Mike fit the bill nicely.  He was soon part of the band.

  Then in 2013 when everyone started leaving the band, Mike remained, and provided the encouragement which Kyle had offered on previous years.  People would come, he said; there will be a band.  God wants to use this music, these gifts.  We'll find the right people; they're out there.

  Who knows?  Maybe Mike will be the next Collision bass guitar player.  It would not be the first time one of Mark's sound techs became his bass guitarist--it happened twice before.

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