Voices Of The Underground Pt.2


Several weeks ago fifteen questions were posed to a number of music artists in the Christian music scene, ranging from the light-hearted to the deeply spiritual. We received many responses, some very helpful, and some…. not so much. Some of the answers were short and sweet, some were very drawn out and eloquent. Many expressed frustrations with the current landscape of the music industry, while others were hopeful for a future of uncertainty. We heard from guys who had been performing for years, and bands that are just now starting to get names heard. From indie rock to hip-hop, from hardcore to worship, the Christian music scene spoke back to us.

Realize that these answers are by the people making the music that you are listening to, and these are un-edited and real. The opinions expressed don’t always reflect ours, but we aren’t perfect either, right?

This week we look in to the musical influences and preferences of some of our favorite performers. What is interesting this week is how many artists don’t listen to the style of music they play. Most don’t even listen to music from this decade. Like last week, this question allows a glimpse past the noise ,and into the heart of the artist.

What are some of your favorite albums/CDs?

hylandjon Jon (lead singer/guitarist for independent pop/rock band Hyland)            Hyland
Favorite albums… I’d say the blue Jars of Clay CD was one of my all time favorites. I wore that thing out… DC Talk’s Jesus Freak and Supernatural are right up there. Anything by Anberlin. I’m huge on the Beatles. People would be surprised to find that I love Michael Jackson. He’s a genius. I have a rare B-side track of his that is just the vocal tracks soloed from the song. It’ll leave you speechless

christaylor Chris Taylor (BEC solo artist/song writer)                                      Chris Taylor
Kevin Prosch and the Black Peppercorns win the prize! Kevin was such a huge influence on me early on as well as early Vineyard music. My wife Gileah is currently my favorite artist. Can’t lie, Paul Simon makes me smile:)

the_welcome_wagon_-_0938-c Vito (half of Asthamic Kitty indie/folk band The Welcome Wagon) The Welcome Wagon
Around our house, we tend to listen to a lot of classical music, usually on WQXR. I especially love English choral music: nearly anything from King’s College Choir is great. I also like a lot of traditional country music.
My wife spends a lot of time with our two-year old son, so in addition to classical, she listens to things he likes. Current favorites are Woody Guthrie, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Aaron Copland’s Billy the Kid….

Finally, we just got our record player fixed, so that means we’ve been listening to old records that have been in the closet for a long time (The Carpenter’s Christmas Portrait and The Smith’s The World Won’t Listen) as well as new records we just bought (Radiohead’s In Rainbows).

inhaleexhalejohninveryback John (guitarist for Solid State Records metal band Inhale Exhale) Inhale Exhale
Some of my favorite records:
Billy Joel – The Stranger.
The Beatles – Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Radiohead – The Bends.
The Eagles – Desperado/One Of These Nights – TIE.
Janes Addiction – Nothing’s Shocking.
Bruce Springsteen – Born In the U.S.A.
And more…

daveleftpoorlybuitparachute Dave (half  of  Holdfast Records electro-house duo Poorly Built Parachute) Poorly Built Parachute
Dieselboy is by far my favorite DJ. I’ve always loved ZAO to, it’s Dan’s screams… sounds like murder.

fortodaybranddon Brandon(bassist for Facedown Records hardcore/metal band For Today) For Today
A lot of the stuff I listen to on tour isn’t metal or hardcore at all. I get sick of it after seeing so many bands that sound like that every night. Lately I’ve been listening to Between the Trees, Copeland, Sigur Ros, We the Kings.. stuff like that

dirt DIRT(underground hip-hop artist and founder of Shadow Of The Locust) Dirt
Most believing people tend to be surprised that I listen to a lot of secular music. When it comes to Music I don’t differentiate between who it belongs to, God or Satan, and for a few reasons. In my travels I have witnessed some critically acclaimed ‘Christian Artists’ who spread God’s message on stage but live a wholly different way backstage. At the same time I have fellowshipped with some purely hedonistic, secular bands that have, what I feel, horribly anti-God beliefs, yet they are the nicest, warmest, considerate people you will ever meet off stage. To add, I don’t believe Satan has the authority to create anything. All he does is manipulate what God has already created. So anything deemed as ‘his’ music is just a rip off of the divine (and usually a poor carbon copy at that). I find it challenging to found out what people like about secular artist (which means I have to listen and study a bit), find the God in their music, and remind people of that! Remind them that GOD IS THE ORIGINATOR. To add, its a form of respect given. How can I expect anyone, who is NOT a believer, to listen to my music, if I close myself in a box and refuse to listen to ‘their’ music (opinions, beliefs). Just because I listen to someone else with differing views on faith doesn’t mean I agree with it. I do, however want to offer them the same respect that I expect out of them and let the Holy Spirit I believe in do the rest of the work. To add further, and with a bit of regret…. the Christian Industry, in my humble opinion, seems to always be a bit behind when it comes to current, relevant sounding music. To clarify, I do NOT mean that God’s people aren’t making culturally relevant, explosive, dynamic music. I am simply pointing out that I feel the industry does not do well in supporting these acts. I can testify to the unbelievable talent God’s people have in music. But in a lot of ways I think the ‘Christian Music Industry’ has copied the ways of the world’s industry in the fact that it seems to invest in the ‘poppy, sugarcoated’ make money quick acts over the envelope pushing, relevant acts that could push the Good News, creatively, into the limelight.
To end, and answer your question simply…. well… I couldn’t answer it simply because I am an audiophile and there are a TON of albums/artists that I listen to that would surprise you.

takeitbackdaniel Daniel(guitarist for Facedown Records hardcore band Take It Back!) Take It Back - Can't Fight Robots
I think there would be alot of things people are surprised we (Take It Back!) listen to, we listen to everything under the sun. We pretty much listen to Blink 182′s Enema Of The State on a daily basis when on tour

brookewaggner Brooke Waggoner(solo indie/pop artist on SlowMoon Music)                  Brooke Waggoner
I looove my Blossom Dearie albums. She’s incredible. I’m a huge Antony & the Johnsons fan. I have every Simon & Garfunkel project ever recorded. I’ve recently been into the Penguin Cafe Orchestra. I’m also a big ELO dork..

corpuschristijarrodinfront Jarrod(guitarist/singer from Victory Records metal band Corpus Christi) Corpus Christi
People would probably be surprised to know I’m a big Alison Krauss fan.
Some of my favorite albums:
Zao’s Where Blood And Fire Bring Rest and Liberate Te Ex Inferis.
And In Flames’ Clayman

curtisblackhighvally Curtis Rampell (mandolin player/singer for Centricity Records country band High Valley) High Valley
I am crazy about bluegrass music. Bands like Cadillac Sky, Ricky Skaggs, Ron Block, and a thousand other BG bands. I also love the sound of people like Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, and Deirks Bentley. I also love the 90′s vocal bands like Black Hawk, Diamond Rio, Shenandoa, and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

xcess Xcess (solo Darkside records hip-hop/industrial artist)
I listen to all kinds of music although now I’m weaning myself off the secular stuff. I’m a huge fan of Mindy Smith, her album One Moment More was great. I listen to Ani Difranco, Sinead O’Connor, PINK but mostly the Mizzundastood record. I was really surprised and pleased with Brian “Head” Welch’s record “Save Me From Myself”. I was always a fan of Korn so this was a great record from that style. By the way, HUGE RedCloud fan. I listen to alot of underground and local stuff like Sadville and Bears. Garage/indie/screamo/post hardcore music is pretty rad.

amycourts Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)                                  Amy Courts
I love pretty much any music that means something and moves me, whether “Christian” or “Mainstream.” From favorite local artists like Matthew Perryman Jones, Paul Koopman, Kate York and Robby Hecht, to national artists Patty Griffin, Jennifer Knapp, and Derek Webb (whose lyrics and melodies near always move me to tears), to giants like Queen, U2, and Bruce Springsteen whose power and excellence in performance just floor me every time. But I am, sadly, a (not-so) closet fan of Britney Spears and Avril Lavigne, and other pop princesses who sing about nothing but cheese. I really can’t help myself.

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