The Benjamin Gate
|The Benjamin Gate|
|Origin||Port Elizabeth, South Africa|
|Genres||pop, alternative rock|
|Past members||Costa Balamatsias
Marc "Mac" Pautz
The Benjamin Gate was a South African Christian rock band formed in 1998 following the motor vehicle accident and subsequent death of a mutual friend and fellow musician, Ben. Their name, which was also the name of one the entrances into the original city of Jerusalem, was chosen as a tribute to him.
The Benjamin Gate released two local, independent albums while in South Africa, Spinning Head and comeputyourheadupinmyheart. The band, along with their manager and co-songwriter Marc "Thux" Theodosiou, left Port Elizabeth and came to the United States in 2001 after David Bach at Forefront Records heard their demo that they had sent to Nashville for mastering.
Many of the songs of comeputyourheadupinmyheart were retooled and re-released on their first major-label album for Forefront Records, ["untitled"]. This album and Contact were critically acclaimed albums. They were nominated for four Dove Awards, produced two No. 1 and one No. 2 singles, and toured the United States and Europe. Their merchandise was easily recognized by their gasmask logo. They had an endorsement contract from Oakley, Inc. This success helped them to be included on three Festival Con Dios tours.
The group parted ways in 2003 due to Liesching's engagement to Christian artist, Jeremy Camp. It was noted that Liesching felt that with her new family starting, that she could not handle the duties required of her both as a musician and as a wife. Since then Liesching has married musician Jeremy Camp, and they have two daughters, born 2004 and 2006. She has also released two solo albums.
Pautz and his wife and children have relocated to southern England to be closer to his mother-in-law.
Balamatsias remained in Nashville playing with various artists until early 2006 when he relocated back to South Africa.
Volsteedt, a former Mr. South Africa title holder, went to Los Angeles to pursue a modelling career.
Marc Theodosiou currently works in the music industry in Nashville, TN, for First Company Management.
- Costa Balamatsias – bass
- Adrienne Liesching – vocals
- Justin Mulder – drums (later replaced by Brett Palmer)
- Brett Palmer – drums (later replaced by Nick Volsteedt)
- Marc "Mac" Pautz – guitar
- Chris Poisat – guitar
- Nick Volsteedt – drums
- Demalon, Tom. "The Benjamin Gate: Biography", Allmusic. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
- Jeremiah 20:2
- DeBoer, Terry (December 8, 2001). "Christian group soaring as songs climb charts", The Grand Rapids Press, p. A10.
- Thorne, Evan (November 22, 2002). "Benjamin Gate make catchy, fun pop on 'Contact'", Daily Herald, p. 6.