Growing up, one of my best friend’s little sister was diagnosed with Leukemia. I don’t need to get into exact detail, but I will say she recovered and is living a good life. She was young when she had to go through all the horror of finding out what she had and kept strong while going through treatment. It was an event I will never forget for as long as I live.
St. Louis act Greek Fire is pretty much experiencing the same thing I did years ago. Their drummer, Johnny Venus, was diagnosed with Leukemia. At this moment, he is still fighting to overcome it.
Greek Fire was formed in 2008 by members from Story of the Year and Maybe Today. If I had to describe their sound, I would have to say they resemble Muse and Thirty Seconds to Mars.
Once the band found out their drummer was diagnosed, they stepped up as any family would and devised a way to help pay for the treatment. Recently, the band made a video for their song “If This is the End (The Sound of Belief)” with all proceeds from the track going directly to Johnny’s medical bills. The song is full of hope and not only was created to help fund treatment, but to raise awareness to all who view it.
Over the past four years, Greek Fire has built a wide fan base through word of mouth that has been spreading rapidly in the past few months. The band recently kicked off a tour, with Story of the Year singer Dan Marsala filling in drums for Johnny, to support their album Deus Ex Machina.
From Greek Fire (as found on Johnny’s Tumblr page):
In February 2012, shortly after an amazing tour of Japan, GREEK FIRE drummer and longtime STORY OF THE YEAR drum tech Johnny Venus was diagnosed with Leukemia. As anyone can imagine, this devastating news came as a complete shock and rocked the entire camp to the core. Johnny is fighting the battle of his life, and even in these darkest of times his incredible courage and strength inspired Johnny’s fellow band mates to write a song about this profoundly difficult and emotional journey.
The song, “If this is the End (The Sound of Belief) was utilized for a video GREEK FIRE released via YouTube on May 15th, 2012. The video was made for zero dollars by a group of amazing and selfless individuals that donated their time and talents with no thought of reward or payment, and the result is a heartfelt and emotional offering of hope and support for anyone, anywhere who has experience with cancer. Greek Fire is releasing this video in hopes that it can help people find the courage and strength to fight with all of their heart, and that there are people everywhere in the world fighting with them. That is the mission: HOPE. Please share this video with as many people as you can. Nothing will make Johnny Venus and the band more proud than if it can help someone, somewhere, in some way.
Take a moment to watch the video about the song that surrounds the idea of believing. The ending is sad as hell, but is so real. Trust me on that. Share it too if you so desire.
If you would like to follow Johnny’s progress or end find out how to help, head over to his Tumblr page.
I hope Johnny’s is able to kick this illness and get back behind the drums to continue his dreams.
Stream the new Greek Fire album below: