New Song From Preson Phillips

Preson Phillips is working on a new cd for release this fall.  Watch Preson Phillips perform “Wandering Soul” at Cornerstone 2011. If this is an example of what is coming, we are very excited.

State of The Music Business:Cornerstone 2011

Music executive John Thompson took an enrapt crowd of 50 aspiring musicians through a fascinating monologue on the history and the current state of the global music business.

John Thompson is the Creative Director for EMI CMG Publishing, the founder of Tru Tone Etc and the creative leader of The Wayside.  John Thompson has been a musician, music executive and music industry entrepreneur for nearly 30 years.  So he has lived through meteoric rise of the music industry in the late 90′s and the subsequent collapse of the entertainment juggernaut in the 21st century. John longingly refered to that as the “troubadour age.”

All of that changed in the early 20th century when mass production and distribution enabled sheet music to spread new songs rapidly across the country.  That is when an industry begin to develop around music and musicians began to make money from far reaching sources through royalties.

The entire process accelerated with radio, then mass produced phonographs with vinyl records, then television and then digital music until musicians became society’s wealthiest and most influential. That engine was tying to feed an ever bigger appetite by rushing artists to the front who had not fully developed.

In short, music moved from being about the craft to being about fame and fortune, so everyone wanted a piece.

The onset of effective digital distribution through the Internet brought all of that to a crashing fall.  With the loss of musical craftsmanship, the ease of creation and distribution have fed a pipeline of musical gold rushers into the market and consumers have responded by taking what they like and paying for virtually nothing.

According to John the music industry has shrunk by 65% in the past 5 years.

I think John Thompson is relishing the return to the troubadour orientation to music.  He encouraged the musicians to focus on their craft, build a tribe of fans and develop a lifestyle that will enable them to life on less than $25,000 a year.  He pointed to Gungor, Over The Rhine, Phil Keaggy and The Civil Wars as examples of artists who have followed the trobadour model to a level of success that will enable them to sustain their music careers for the rest of their lives.

Sitting in the middle of a field in in Illinois we were able experience a tour de force assessment of the music industry through the eyes of a true expert.  Only at Cornerstone.

Phil Keaggy Brings Order to Cornerstone 2011

Christian music pioneer Phil Keaggy proved last night at Cornerstone 2001 why extraordinary musicianship, an adventurous heart and commitment to craft transcends trendiness and commercial gimmickry.

We started the day at the main stage for the the first installment of the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase with great sets from Fue, Beggars, Sam Roberson and MilanoFue‘s piano driven art rock was followed by Milano‘s big multi-layered arena indie rock.  Sam Roberson changed pace with a multi-layered folk and the morning concluded with Beggars post-rock wall of sound.  Check out our Cornerstone 2011 new band showcase interview series to learn more about these bands.

A power outage took our opportunity to see 20 Shades and A Wayward Heart, but the quiet, rest time was appreciated. Kind of like when you were in kindergarten.

We re-engaged the music with Bare Branches, Ben+Vesper, Dennison Witmer and a new favorite, Insomniac Folklore. We then had a tough decision.  One of our favorites and one of the most respected bands of Christian musicians on the scene today, Paper Route was playing at the same time as Christian rock legend Phil Keaggy.  We left Ian and Rebecca at Paper Route to catch Phil Keaggy.

We were amazed at the artistry displayed by the guitar slinger, Phil Keaggy.  The machine gun shredding, tonal artistry and effortless style changes place Phill Keaggy in a category with any guitarist I have ever scene (SRV, Clapton, Richards).

He made 30 year-old songs sound thoroughly modern. He has never stopped creating new music and it showed. He fronted a traditional 3 piece rock band set-up and created a thoroughly mesmerizing 40 minutes of pure slamming rock music.

Phil Keaggy was one of the great artists who blazed the trail of Christian music 30 years ago, before their was Christian music. He created the scene we cover on One21music today.  Most Christian musicians of today are aspiring to his musical genius and all Christian musicans today are standing on his shoulders.

Sean Michel Rocks Cornerstone 2011

After a day of checking-in, setting-up camp, organizing our schedules and enjoying some iced chai coffee while listening to some very good music at Chelsea Cafe, we were rewarded with a steamy, smoking set from Sean Michel at the Arkansas Stage.

Sean Michel

Sean Michel Cornerstone 2011We first saw Sean Michel five years ago when he was featured on one of the American Idol audition shows. His waist length beard, soulful voice and daring version of “God Gonna Cut You Down” rocked the AI producers. We saw Sean Michel again a few months later at Cornerstone 2007. He was doing acoustic blues because he did not have a band with him. We fell in love with his aggressive evangelistic faith and music.

We have as many of his recordings as we can get our hands on but nothing prepared us for his full band onslaught of smoking delta blues. Sean Michel was rocking slide guitar while his backing band drove the rhythm and added a second guitar. Sean Michel is running The Arkansas generator stage and are playing the stage every night. From the classic “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” to originals like “Change Who I Am” Sean Michel rocked a small audience that drew more and more listeners as their show unfolded. By the time they launched into the original “Hosea Blues” the crowd was crammed into the Arkansas Stage dancing like mad men.

Sean Michel’s gut bucket blues drove a fiery passionate faith that inspired 50 year old men to unashamadely jump around with 20 year blues fans. I love artists who are not too cool for their faith. Sean Michel is not only cool enough, he is so passionate and so committed that he may be one of the coolest artists unsigned artists on the planet. 

Cornerstone New Band Interview: The Sacred Eternal

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One21music, in our quest to find the best up and coming Christian musicians, is featuring the bands from the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase. The Cornerstone New Band Showcase has launched many huge careers for Christian musicians including P.O.D., Sixpence None The Richer and Over The Rhine. The Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase features sixteen bands who will be performing on the Cornerstone Main Stage from Thursday, June 30th through Sunday, July 3rd. In the two weeks leading up to Cornerstone 2011, One21music will be featuring interviews with 11 of the showcase bands and a 10 song free music sampler, which will be available, exclusively on One21music.com on Wednesday, June 22.

We continue the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase interview series with The Sacred Eternal. The Stribling brothers, joined by Brian Bolton play metal that is unrelenting musically and lyrically.

The Sacred Eternal

The Sacred Eternal are about passion, honesty and the creation of a sound that both moves the body and stirs the soul. Started in 2007 by brothers Dan, Darrell & Devon Stribling, The Sacred Eternal have been honing their craft for years with recordings such as Demo-Liton in 2008. In 2010, Brian Bolton was brought on as bassist, and has brought a huge amount of energy and drive to the band. In the midst of a deep and rooted passion for heavy music, as well as relying on a steadfast faith in Jesus Christ for guidance, The Sacred Eternal focuses on combining the greatest elements of the hardest metal with the intense emotion of beautiful melody to create a sound that is uniquely their own.  The Sacred Eternal released a single “The Reckoning” and an EP Three Days in 2010. But in 2011, The Sacred Eternal‘s unique sound was finally encapsulated in their debut CD release, Dead To Sin. Ferocious vocals and bone-crushing riffs along with a precision double-bass attack are guaranteed to move a pit or a lone listener. The soulful melodies, expertly intertwined within the songs, reach into the very heart of the listener while the lyrics both provoke and inspire. Each lyric, derived from the band’s own experience, explores the struggles and victories we all experience in forgiveness of ourselves and others, redemption of the soul and the convictions we so firmly uphold.

The Sacred Eternal

Interview with Christian Musicians The Sacred Eternal

O21: Tell us what we need to know about The Sacred Eternal that is not in your bio:

TSE: we are extremely dedicated to the music that we’re making. Ever since we got together back in 2008, we’ve pushed ourselves to write songs that will stick with the people who hear them.

O21: How would you describe your sound? What artists influenced you?

TSE: Hmm… our sound is probably best described as Melodic Metal. We’ve tried to incorporate many different sounds and “flavors” on the album because we didn’t want to just be another “Deathcore” or “Metalcore” band. When you listen to the album you’ll hear some death metal, some thrash, hard rock, metalcore, and even a softer ballad. It felt pretty natural to shoot for diversity in our sound, partially because of the aforementioned reason, but also because all four of us have such varying musical tastes! Yeah, we all like metal, but we all have different roots, standbys, and styles that have spoken to us over the course of our lives. But in our opinion, that’s good! It keeps it interesting. That makes it hard to figure out which bands are the biggest influences. We love Demon Hunter and Living Sacrifice, as well as bands like Skillet, Flaw, Rush, Van-Halen, you name it.

O21: Tell us about your recordings?  What is your favorite The Scared Eternal song?

TSE: Recording’s been a serious ride for us man. From the time we cut our first demo in 2008 until now in 2011 with our first full length LP Dead To Sin we have come a long way.  The new recordings are polished and crisp, excellently mastered and powerful.  It was a ton of work, and an extremely long process, but now we’ve finally got the full length disc released and we are incredibly proud of the result. My (Darrell’s) favorite song is probably “Dead to Sin”, Dan’s Favorite song is “Remember Me”, Devon’s favorite song is “Dark Tonight”, and Brian’s favorite is “The Reckoning.”

O21: What is the best thing about making music?

TSE: The best thing about making music is a little different for all of us. I love it because I get to be expressive and share my love of Jesus Christ all in one swipe.

O21: How does your faith influence you musically and lyrically?

TSE: I don’t know if you could open up our lyric book and be able to miss what this band is about. All of us are believers in Jesus Christ, and we’ve done our very best to make that clear in every song. We aren’t going to slam you in the face with some sort of “turn or die” attitude, but at the same time we’re not ashamed of Jesus, and He is an inseparable part of who we are, and that comes out on every track of the album.

O21: What is your view of Christian music?

TSE: I think Christian Music is a pretty broad label. I’ve seen a lot of bands under that title come up and put out some great tunes, but then I’ve either gone to see them live or read some interviews about them and they turn out to be a lot different than I thought at first. And for me, that was a huge letdown! As a younger kid, I wanted those Christian bands that I could look up to, those guys who played the music I loved, but gave me some Jesus in their message too! 10 or 12ish years ago, “Christian” bands in the Heavy music scene typically had a lot of their lyrics steeped in ambiguity (excluding certain bands like Living Sacrifice, NIV, and others).  And so it was really easy to ride the fence and be the “Christians in a band”. To me, that’s a horrible outlook to have on your band. Christians are called to be Christians no matter what they’re doing, and saying that “I’m a Christian, but this band is just to be expressive and whine about how the world is unfair” is pretty cheap. Now, that’s changed a lot in today’s industry. Bands have become incredibly bold in what they’re saying and how they are living, and I think it’s awesome. Bands like For Today and War of Ages are, in my opinion, giving the kids today what I wanted when I was their age. Bands that Love Jesus, and aren’t afraid of it.

O21: How do you think the general public and the mainstream music industry view faith based music?

TSE: I think that the mainstream culture views Christian music pretty much the same way they always have: “It’s an imitation of “real” music because they’re a bunch of copycats”. “They don’t really live out what they say anyways” and so on. But then again, that’s another reason I’m so excited about how some of these newer bands have been breaking out. They are writing some great Jesus music, but at the same time I think some people are beginning to realize that it’s not so much a copycat act anymore. That excites me.

O21: How do you think that will impact your career?

TSE: Who knows? Can anyone really predict this industry? The best thing we can do is keep our eyes on what’s happening around us, and rely on God for Guidance.

O21: What responsibility do you think an artist/performer has to its listeners?

TSE: That’s a tougher question than you might think. Is it all about my personal expression, or is it my responsibility to tailor my sound and songs to what my listeners want to hear?  It’s a tough balance I think. When you look at a band like Skillet, who started out as a grunge band in the 90’s and now you look at them where they are, you can see how they’ve tailored themselves to their audience and mainstream success, and good for them! I know a lot of kids who’ve benefited from what they do. Then you can look at some hardcore or punk bands on the other side of the spectrum, who’ve traveled the ups and downs of popularity with their style regardless.  My opinion is that each band needs to decide it’s purpose. How effective do we want to be? Is this an active pursuit of a career? If it is, than you better be concerned with what people want to hear. If it isn’t, than write the tunes that you want to hear and let it benefit those who dig it with you.

O21: In today’s music scene, with the demise of record companies and mySpace, how does an artist develop a large enough following to sustain a career?

TSE: The Internet’s a blessing and a curse. We can get our tunes across the world and only have to pay a miniscule amount of money in comparison to worldwide physical distribution. Then again, we live in an age of soundbytes and musical overload because of it. Record companies are in deep trouble because the Internet makes it so easy, and yet the bands are in trouble because now people can just grab the three tracks they want off iTunes, ignore the rest of it, and the band sees 70 cents by the time everyone else gets their cut.  If you’re gonna hook your audience and retain them, you have to play, and play a lot. People remember it when a band blows their mind at a show, and it’s always been that way. You’ve got to give them something that isn’t prepackaged headbanging. You’ve got to give them exactly what the music means to you, each night you’re on stage.

O21:What are your road traditions?

TSE: Our Road traditions? Eat. Legend of Zelda. D&D. METAL.

O21:What is the best live show you have ever seen?

TSE: The best live show I’ve ever seen? Living Sacrifice on the Stronger Then Hell tour, at Bogart’s in Cincinnati OH .

O21: What is one thing people don’t understand about your music?

TSE: I’m not sure actually. I’ve never been asked that before.

Thank you Darrel. Your passion and your deep thinking make for an interesting interview and compelling music. I look forward to catching your show at Cornerstone 2011.

The Sacred Eternal play unapologetic melodic metal with deep meaning. You can easily check out The Sacred Eternal clicking through to Amazon and buying the band’s latest release, Dead To Sin.

The Sacred Eternal hit the main stage at the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase on Friday, July 1st at noon.

Cornerstone New Band Interviews: Gatlin Elms

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One21music, in our quest to find the best up and coming Christian musicians, is featuring the bands from the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase. The Cornerstone New Band Showcase has launched many huge careers for Christian musicians including P.O.D., Sixpence None The Richer and Over The Rhine. The Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase features sixteen bands who will be performing on the Cornerstone Main Stage from Thursday, June 30th through Sunday, July 3rd. In the two weeks leading up to Cornerstone 2011, One21music will be featuring interviews with 11 of the showcase bands and a 10 song free music sampler, which will be available, exclusively on One21music.com on Wednesday, June 22.

We continue the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase interview series with Gatlin Elms. This four piece alternative folk band is a rising star in today’s music scene.

Gatlin Elms

Mixing alternative with folk Gatlin Elms, has emerged from the Houston, Texas indie scene with their debut full length album, Carry Me Home. After two years of writing, playing shows and recording, Gatlin Elms has truly realized their passions through the release of the album. Gatlin Elms (writer and front-man), the album focuses all the emotions that go along with trying to fight against life, only to finally accept what you can’t change. Gatlin Elms features Neil Sandoz on bass, Andrew James on keyboards, Gatlin Elms on lead vocals and guitar and Tigh Holmstrom on drums.

Gatlin Elms started out as a solo project, teenager in love with music and even more in tune with creating his own. The Oceans & The Stars album was his first project; one he had worked solely on before meeting with the other three members. He had finished it in 2007 and had it released in 2008.

Gatlin Elms

Interview with Christian Musicians Gatlin Elms

O21: How would you describe your sound? What artists influenced you?

GE: All of us grew up listening to a pretty wide variety of music but together, we all draw from a lot of Alternative, Folk Rock, Brit-Pop bands.. Travis, DCFC, The Frames, The National, Athlete, Aqualung are all probably played on our iPods each week. We’d like to think we’re in the Alternative Folk area.

O21: What is the best thing about making music?

GE: Man, there’s really so much. We just really enjoy getting to create songs. Gatlin will usually write out the lyrics and melody and then getting to add to that and have four of us giving input and making sure the song is going to be it’s best is so much fun.

O21: How does your faith influence you musically and lyrically?

GE: We want our faith to have everything to do with our music. Musically and lyrically we want every song to be covered with our passions for the Gospel. Between the four of us, every song we play is worship and we want to do our best to portrait that every time we play.

O21: What responsibility do you think an artist/performer has to its listeners?

GE: I think an artist’s main responsibility when performing is to play the music just as well or better than your recording, and make people believe that you believe in what you are singing and playing every time.

It sickens me when a show doesn’t go as well as you know it could have.. or a piece of equipment craps out during the first song.

O21: In today’s music scene, with the demise of record companies and mySpace, how does an artist develop a large enough following to sustain a career?

GE: We’re trying to figure that out too.. definitely connect with the people that even slightly appreciate your music and thank as many people as you can that might have been in listening distance to your set.

O21: What is your best memory of your career so far?

GE: Our tour in London back in March of this year is definitely one of our most fond memories as a band. We also won a contest last month and one of our songs, “The Secrets” will be included in the soundtrack of a movie called “Renee” coming out in 2012 with some artists we really really love. We’re honored to have that opportunity. Definitely opening the first box of a new record when it comes in the mail. Both of our release parties have been two of the best nights of our careers.

O21: What are your road traditions?

GE: We have one tradition called ‘Brothers to Brothers’ that we could explain but you would think we were really weird..

O21: What do you love about music?

GE: My favorite thing about some of my favorite music is how it can bring you back to the season in your life when you first heard it, every time you listen to it.

O21:What is your favorite song?

GE: I don’t normally have a favorite song.. but right now, Death Cab For Cutie‘s “You are a Tourist” might be the most perfect song ever written and recorded.

O21:What is the best live show you have ever seen?

GE: I feel like I have said that after many shows.. but definitely one of these.. The Swell Season, The National, Josh Ritter, Coldplay, U2, Snow Patrol, Jonsi (That was a show on an entirely different level though).

Thank you guys. It is always fun to talk with upcoming Christian musicians for Texas.  I look forward to catching your show at Cornerstone 2011.

Gatlin Elms play atmospheric folk rock with a twist that you can easily check out by clicking through to Amazon and buying the band’s latest release, Carry Me Home or Gatlin Elms’ solo debut The Oceans & The Stars

If you just want a taste of Gatlin Elms’ music check out “Carry Me Home” from the One21music Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase sampler that will be released on One21music on June 22nd.

Gatlin Elms will be playing the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase on Sunday, July 3rd at 12:35. See you there!

Cornerstone New band Interview- Josiah James

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One21music, in our quest to find the best up and coming Christian musicians, is featuring the bands from the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase. The Cornerstone New Band Showcase has launched many huge careers for Christian musicians including P.O.D., Sixpence None The Richer and Over The Rhine. The Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase features sixteen bands who will be performing on the Cornerstone Main Stage from Thursday, June 30th through Sunday, July 3rd. In the two weeks leading up to Cornerstone 2011, One21music will be featuring interviews with 11 of the showcase bands and a 10 song free music sampler, which will be available, exclusively on One21music.com on Wednesday, June 22.

We continue the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase interview series with Josiah James. This young, but seasoned singer/songwriter is wrapping up an ambituous EP trilogy project over the past year which has grown his audience and revealed more of the depth of his musical talent.

Josiah James

Josiah James is a multi-instrumental Christian artist who was called to his singer/songwriter career at the age of only 14. Boasting natural vocal talents as well as advanced skills as a guitar and piano player, Josiah released his first full-length CD, Alive in the Studio at the age of 16. In the two years to follow, at only 18 years old, Josiah James delivered his second project, Awaiting the Morning.  Josiah’s faith and talent are catalysts to his unique ability to write songs that connect with his audience on a highly personal level.

In Spring 2009, Josiah James released his debut full length/full band CD, The Morning Light. Produced and recorded by Cobly Wedgeworth (Lybecker, Bidwell, Ten After Two), the CD features a side to Josiah many hadn’t heard before. The Morning Light marries the intimacy of Josiah’s singer-songwriter abilities and the dynamic sound a full band possesses.

Josiah James has now  stepped up to the plate with a new project in mind. A series of three concept EP’s all set to release, one at a time, over the span of one year. Each EP will feature an elemental theme (Air, Water, Fire), a new full band single and several acoustic songs. These EP’s are a glimpse of what to expect of his next full length set to release Summer 2011.

On May 11th, 2010 Chasing The Wind (Air), the first installment for the trilogy of EP’s was released, blending acoustic versions of some old Josiah James favorites and introducing new songs as well to catch your ears attention.. The title track of the album displayed a more mature, piano driven rock side to Josiah.

Months of more touring across the country and writing since his last release, Josiah James had accumulated several songs and headed back into the studio once again. Teaming up with producer, Ralph Stover (The Reel, Natalie Grant, Point of Grace), Oceans (Water) came into conception.   With the intention of sharing his fans with something recognizably different, Josiah James opens the EP with “Rain”, a driving rock, electronica single that swiftly is followed by a series of acoustic/piano songs. The lyrical content on Oceans hits at a deep and honest level, speaking of the struggles and shortcomings we all have to face from our daily demons.

Josiah James

Interview with Christian Musician Josiah James

O21: Tell us what we need to know about Josiah James that is not in your bio.

Josiah: I’m just a normal dude, that’s made of the same stuff as everyone else. I’ve been touring constantly since 2008 and love to share about Jesus’ love with the Church and the world. But I don’t want to, and will not, compromise the art in music to make a song simply to sell it.

O21:How would you describe your sound? What artists influenced you?

Josiah: I guess alternative/indie/acoustic/rock. Is that too many? Haha. I would have to say Caedmon’s Call, Coldplay, Derek Webb, Jon Foreman, and Keith Green.

O21: Tell us about your recordings?  What is your favorite Josiah James song?

Josiah: I’ve been recording music since about 2006, I released two raw acoustic cd’s called “Alive In The Studio” & “Awaiting The Morning”. In 2009 I released my first full length CD, “The Morning Light”, independently. The CD features 11 full band songs with an acoustic edge to it all. Spring 2010 I release an acoustic EP featuring a new single, “Chasing The Wind”, and 6 old and new songs of live in studio acoustic performances. Fall 2010 I released my 2nd EP, “Oceans”, of this EP series. “Oceans” features 8 songs, with more of a piano driven feel. Spring of 2011, I released a new single called “Open Your Eyes” on itunes about the fight against human sex trafficking. All money made from itunes sales will be donated toward organizations against human trafficking.

Out of all the songs I’ve written, my top 3 favorite songs I’ve written have to be “Send Your Heart Down”, “Open Your Eyes”, and a new tune called “Catch Me When I Fall”. “Catch Me When I Fall” will be one of the singles off of the final EP, which will be released sometime later this year.

O21:What is the best thing about making music?

Josiah: I would have to say being able to do a ministry of something I love and have a passion for. Being able to change peoples lives through song and give them a fresh picture of who Jesus is.

O21: How does your faith influence you musically and lyrically?

Josiah: My faith is mostly all I write about. I never write a song about something that’s not going on with me, or that I’ve at least been thinking about alot. If I try to write song something that I am not feeling, it comes out as crap. I love writing music when I feeling highly blessed or majorly in need of Jesus.

O21:What is your view of Christian music?

Josiah: I feel like it’s hard to find good, original, and challenging music in the Christian world. There are some bands that go against the flow of whats going on the radio, and I love that. But I personally want to hear a new song. I want to write a new song!

O21: How do you think the general public and the mainstream music industry view faith based music?

Josiah: Honestly I believe that people see it as just a cheap rip off of the mainstream world.

O21:How do you think that will impact your career?

Josiah: I am hoping that it won’t ever suck me into that flow of things. I never want to be that guy that’s just writing something to sell. But writing something I feel and to get a message across that is tangible.

O21:What responsibility do you think an artist/performer has to its listeners?

Josiah: I believe every artist should not just put on a show. But write music that moves people. Music’s the greatest tool for that. For the Christian band/artist I would say the same and not to further a name of a band or act. But to further the name of Jesus. A name will fade away in moments, but God won’t!

O21:In today’s music scene, with the demise of record companies and mySpace, how does an artist develop a large enough following to sustain a career?

Josiah: Touring, touring, touring! No band can survive as a band if they’re not touring. You can be the best band in the world, but very very rarely will you end up going anywhere with music if you don’t work for it. Be smart, organized, connect with fans, write the best music you can and don’t be lazy. Take some chances!

O21:What is your best memory of your career so far?

Josiah: I think it was growing up as a kid and seeing some of my favorite bands on this stage at a big California music festival, and then being able to play that same stage 5 years later.

O21: What are your road traditions?

Josiah: Every time I go to Portland, OR I have to get Voodoo Donuts at 2am-4am. Seattle, WA I have to go to Pikes Place and get the mini donuts. For Denver, CO, I go to a rad 24 coffee shop called Leela’s.

O21:What do you love about music?

Josiah: I love the variety of emotions and thoughts it provokes. I love how it’s such a great tool to helping others.

13) What is your favorite song?

Josiah: Gosh, I dunno what my all time favorite song is. That’s a tough one. I’d have to say for the sake of answering the question “Sing It Out” by Switchfoot.

O21:What is the best live show you have ever seen?

Josiah: Either Switchfoot or NeedToBreathe. Sadly I haven’t gone to many outside of the tours I’ve done in the past 3 years.

O21: What is one thing people don’t understand about your music?

Josiah: I dunno, most of my songs are an open book. But I guess that they’re all about the story of my life. What I’ve gone through and dealt. I would have to EVERY single one is about my walk with God and life.

Thank you Josiah. You have already had an impressive career and you are just getting started.. I look forward to catching your show at Cornerstone 2011.

Josiah James plays a complex, atmospheric folk rock that you can easily check out by clicking through to Amazon and buying his first full length, The Morning Light or his latest EP Oceans.

If you just want a taste of Josiah James music check out “Chasing The Wind” from the One21music Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase sampler that will be released on One21music on June 22nd.

Josiah James will be playing the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase on Sunday, July 3rd at noon. See you there!

Cornerstone New Band Interview:For The Broken

the one21 new band showcase interviews copy

One21music, in our quest to find the best up and coming Christian musicians, is featuring the bands from the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase. The Cornerstone New Band Showcase has launched many huge careers for Christian musicians including P.O.D., Sixpence None The Richer and Over The Rhine. The Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase features sixteen bands who will be performing on the Cornerstone Main Stage from Thursday, June 30th through Sunday, July 3rd. In the two weeks leading up to Cornerstone 2011, One21music will be featuring interviews with 11 of the showcase bands and a 10 song free music sampler, which will be available, exclusively on One21music.com on Wednesday, June 22.

We continue the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase interview series with For The Broken. These guys play a modern version of 80′s metal that is all about bringing hope to the broken.

For The Broken

For The Broken is made up of five seasoned musicians with many years under their belt!  For The Broken is on a mission to touch lives through their music, share what they have learned along the way and deliver the message that “faith without works is dead.” Don’t be fooled by the “Spiritually Fit” Christian Rock” label,For The Broken songs can be intense as well as informative. For The Broken deliver a driving hard rock sound with Joe Pluff and  Aubrey Jones leading with way with a double guitar crunch, a pounding rhythm punch from  Aaron Heard on bass and Sean Devins on drums and Adam Montgomery delivering the message on vocals.

For The Broken

Interview with Christian Musicians For The Broken

O21:Tell us what we need to know about For The Broken that is not in your bio.

Sean-We rock!

Joe-the message we give is real

O21: How would you describe your sound? What artists influenced you?

Sean-Hard rock

Aaron-Hard rock, As I Lay Dying, August Burn Red

Adam-Heavy commercial..as a singer,Paul Rogers, Sully, Brad Delp, Brandon Heath

Aubrey- I would describe us as radio-friendlly hard rock/metal. I am heavily influenced by instrumentalists and prog/rock metal bands. I try to let some bleed through to our music to make it a little more interesting than what you might typically hear.

Joe- Hard,heavy,in your face,with some groove,just good rock and roll with great message.as a guitar player influence: Stryper, Kiss, ac/dc, Judas Priest, Queensryche, Paul Gilbert, Joe Satriani and the list is a lot longer,also like the 70′s.

O21: Tell us about your recordings? What is your favorite For The Broken song?

Aubrey-We have just completed an 8 track cd with Chapman Recording in K.C., Missouri My favorite song at this point in time is “I Walk a Free Man.”

Adam-Fave is a toss up between”Aint Nobody Innocent” and “I Walk a Free Man”.  The recordings are us in our first year, satisfied but looking forward to the new stuff.

Aaron- “Aint Nobody Innocent”

Sean- All of them are my favorites

Joe-They all have different qualities, they all rock, I cant choose.

O21: What is the best thing about making music?

Sean-We get to use our God given gifts to help others who may be hurting in some way.

Aaron- It carries a message with depth and weight.

Adam- touching lives

Aubrey-using our time and talents for the Lord.

Joe-Using our God given talents to make someone else feel better and touch as many lives as we can.

O21: How does your faith influence you musically and lyrically?

Adam-My faith is my gasoline. I run on nothing else. It’s a lifestyle.

Aaron-God gave me the ability to play an instrument,so I use it to glorify Him.

Sean-I know God has given me the ability to play drums.

Joe-When I write I always give God the glory,and when the band finishes a song(and the hairs stand on the back of your neck)you know God is there.

O21: What is your view of Christian music?

Sean-To me its like any other genre of music.

Aaron- Its good

Aubrey-Tt is our opportunity to spread the truth and to provide an alternative to the mainstream.

Joe-The great thing is is that it is all very positive. The world need a lot more of that.

Adam-No different than anything else,some real good,some pretty bad. If it leads you to have a God conscience all through out the day its all good.

O21: How do you think the general public and the mainstream music industry view faith based music?

Aubrey-People always ask me”so do you guys sound like Stryper?”

Adam-Boring,pushy-but catching

Joe- They think because you have God in your life that you walk on water..(well you are wrong)..no one does,all fall short of the glory of God..we all and myself, screw up everyday just like everyone else. the only difference is…we know where we are going when we die.

O21: How do you think that will impact your career?

Joe- There is no impact. If its God’s will,it will be done, that is fact.

O21: What responsibility do you think an artist/performer has to its listeners?

Adam- To be an example even when no one is watching,but someone is always watching.

Aubrey- I think you have to write what you love first. If you gain fans doing that, then the performances and material are always genuine.

Sean- Music is an outlet. People want to hear music that makes them feel good.

Joe- To give them the best possible show you can(they paid to hear you). To not have an ego,talk with them after shows etc..listen to them as far as what songs they like etc….it matters to them.

O21: In today’s music scene, with the demise of record companies and mySpace, how does an artist develop a large enough following to sustain a career?

Aaron-facebook!!

Aubrey- Its all about promoting yourself and using every tool available.

Adam- Let us know

Joe-Promote yourself,knock on doors,hand out flyers,you have to be a sales person. Use all the internet services avaialble,they are pretty wonderful.if the music is good,and its Gods will,people will come..

O21: What is your best memory of your career so far?

Adam- Still waiting on that one. The best is yet to come

Aubrey- recording at Chapman Studios.

Aaron- Chapman recording.

Joe-Watching how God is working in our band.

O21: What are your road traditions?

Sean- Lots of Moutain Dew.

Aubrey- Watching Aaron eat two meals at Ihop after a show.

Adam-push-ups,prayer before every show,and still developing some.

Joe-What Sean said and pray before shows.

O21: What do you love about music?

Adam- It moves me

Aubrey- I think music can bypass the mess that is in our brain and speak directly to our heart and soul.

Sean- everything

Aaron- It’s a universal language

Joe- I love the way it makes me feel inside. The adrenaline is incredible when you play for God.  It is my release from the rest of the world.

O21: What is your favorite song?

Aaron- To many to write down

Sean- Changes daily

Aubrey- Too numerous to mention.

Joe-I have thousands(but you know,”Shock Me” is my ring tone on my phone).

O21: What is the best live show you have ever seen?

Adam- Foo Fighters

Aubrey- Dream Theatre “Train of Thought” tour Kansas City 2004.

Sean- Too many to name.

Aaron- As I Lay Dying

Joe- Rod Stewart, Aerosmith, Foo Fighters, Stryper, Kiss, Van Halen 1984, Cinderella, Steve Vai, JoeSsatriani, Ozzy 1981, Queensryche, Dream Theatre ,Alice in Chains, Nickelback, ac/dc, Poison, Cheap Ttrick, Def Leppard…the list is very long…pick one

O21: What is one thing people don’t understand about your music?

Adam- It’s more for non-christians than Christians. (for the broken)

Aubrey- Not necessarily our music,but sometimes people wonder how we can be a “Christain” band and still perform in bars/clubs that are not Christian venues.

Joe- That it is “for the broken” Ppeople who need lifted up,something positive. There is soooooo much angry/negative music out there we want to give them positive stuff. As for the bar scene, people don’t understand why we play in clubs…that’s where we are needed…I’m no different than the guy in the bar(I’m just not getting hammered drunk) I’m not sinless at all,no one on earth is walking on water….faith with out works is dead, God bless.

Thank you Joe, Sean, Aubrey  and Adam.  You certainly have a clear vision of who you are and what you are trying to do.

For The Broken will be playing the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase on Friday, July 1st at 1:10 p.m. See you there!

Cornerstone New Band:Interview with Sam Robertson

the one21 new band showcase interviews copy

One21music, in our quest to find the best up and coming Christian musicians, is featuring the bands from the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase.  The Cornerstone New Band Showcase has launched many huge careers for Christian musicians including P.O.D., Sixpence None The Richer and Over The Rhine. The Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase features sixteen bands who will be performing on the Cornerstone Main Stage from Thursday, June 30th through Sunday, July 3rd.  In the two weeks leading up to Cornerstone 2011, One21music will be featuring interviews with 11 of the showcase bands and a 10 song free music sampler, which will be available, exclusively on One21music.com on Wednesday, June 22.

We continue the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase interview series with Texas-based singer/songwriter Sam Robertson.

Sam Robertson

Blending smooth vocals, honest lyrics and effortless charm, Sam Robertson exudes talent and experience beyond her years. Currently calling Denton, Texas her home, the 19-year-old is taking full advantage of what Paste Magazine named Best Music Scene in 2008.  Already drawing attention from local reviewers, Sam Robertson is building on a career that began in Sarasota, Florida, where she received the title of “Best New Act” before making the move to Denton. The Dallas Observer calls Sam Robertson, “A gal with a lot to say and a [dang] pretty way of saying it.”

Sam Robertson’s natural vocals and acoustic guitar are complimented by Chase Johnson’s warm keys and Carlo Canlas’ skilled violin. The three bring their talents together, achieving a sort of melodious folk-pop that you can hear on her self-ttiled EP Sam Robertson.

Sam Robertson

Interview with Christian Musician Sam Robertson

O21: How would you describe your sound? What artists influenced you?

Sam: I would describe my sound as a mix of singer-songwriter, acoustic folk. It’s hard to pinpoint all of my influences; they’re all over the map. I know that Bright Eyes got me into writing music, but some of my recent influences would be the songwriting styles of Andy Hull, Sufjan Stevens, Conor Oberst, Ben Gibbard, Paul Simon. The list goes on and on. Like I said, it’s hard to identify where the influences come from, but anything with heart and honesty just blows me away.

O21: Tell us about your recordings? What is your favorite Sam Robertson song?

Sam: I had recently recorded a full-length album, but in the process realized there were still things I wanted to work on. It didn’t feel like it reached its potential. So, I released a four-song EP instead, and it’s a sort of a preview of what’s to come. I would say my favorite song right now is “Two Parts”, mainly because it’s my favorite to play live. It’s also a good example of the direction we’re headed in. While I’ll always be writing sad, slow, acoustic lullabies, I definitely want to start creating music that I can rock out and dance to on stage.

O21: What is the best thing about making music?

Sam: My favorite part about writing music is the unique ability to make my emotions, experiences and beliefs into something sort of tangible, something I can really turn over in my hand and examine. Its funny how much I can learn about myself and what I’m going through when I’m writing. Not only do I learn about my own walk in my faith, but there’s this amazing aspect to music that transcends all sorts of boundaries and discrepancies in experience.

O21: How does your faith influence you musically and lyrically?

Sam: Jesus is completely present in every experience I have, whether or not I realize it at the time. So though some of my lyrics don’t explicitly mention my faith, it’s always there. When I write, I’m writing about where I am, whether it’s heartbreak or joy or pain or apathy, it’s just where I am at the time. The truth is, being a Christian doesn’t mean being perfect, it’s realizing our incapability of perfection and our need for a savior. I feel that my writing reflects that exact point. I’m not perfect, and I have my struggles, so that’s what I write about. The more and more I mature in my faith I find myself writing more directly about Jesus himself.

O21: What is your view of Christian music?

Sam: I think that there are perfect times and places for music that is made specifically for Christians, music that is intended for worship. However, I think there’s also something so beautiful about Christians who make music that isn’t just for other believers. Rather, music that expresses their faith but in a way that can seem more inviting to non-believers and can appeal to a broader audience in the hopes of ministry.

O21: What is your best memory of your career so far?

Sam: Definitely the tour we went on in January of this year. It was only 6 days or so, but it was my first experience with tour. We went with a band called Western Giants and it was only through Texas. I loved it. I met so many great people who were so enthusiastic about our music. It’s such an encouraging thing to encounter strangers who legitimately care about what we’re doing. One of my favorite nights on tour was our stop in Houston. There wasn’t a soul there except the bartenders and quite a bit hesitation to even play. But we did, and we rocked out and danced around. It was a good reminder of who we’re playing for. You can’t depend on people to listen to you, there’s going to be those nights where no one shows up. And that’s okay.

O21: What do you love about music?

Sam: Man, this is tough one. What’s not to love about music? What I love about it is that while it’s just sound, just words, just melodies, just instruments, it seems to evoke this emotion that few other things can even try to. I love it because it brings this certain group of people together who automatically have something in common, the music. It’s hard to answer this question, but I love it because it’s honest. It’s so real to me; it’s what I connect with the most. My own music has led me to meet my favorite people on this earth and share things with people that I hardly know. It’s this great exchange of feeling and passion. It’s universal, there’s music everywhere. I love that.

O21: What is your favorite song?

Sam: Oh man. Ha, that’s an answer that changes way too much to have an all-time favorite. Right now, it’s “Losers” by The Belle Brigade. It’s my new anthem to life, and the music video is AWESOME and everyone should check it out. It will certainly be on repeat on our 17 hour drive to Cornerstone.

O21: What is the best live show you have ever seen?

Sam: I’ve been to so many amazing live shows, it’s hard to pick. It might be a tie between Bright Eyes’ Cassadaga tour back when I lived in Florida, and Sufjan Stevens’ Age of Adz tour in Dallas. Both were amazing shows that left me inspired and awestruck. It was my first time to see Bright Eyes’, I think I was 15. I couldn’t have been more excited to see someone perform, Conor Oberst sort of introduced me to this realm of indie-songwriter music that I didn’t know existed. Sufjan’s performance was just unexpected and blew my mind. He was dancing like a fool, and it worked. We’ve had several Age of Adz-inspired dance parties since then.

O21: What is one thing people don’t understand about your music?

Sam: It’s hard creating music that’s different or original. So, the least I can do is try to be sincere with my writing and my music. Let’s be honest here, I’m not much of a guitar player, so when I write music, it’s usually pretty generic. I’ve definitely been blessed with band mates that know a heck of a lot about music and the science of it, so they act as the mind behind the instrumentation. As much as I’m trying to discover new ways of writing and going outside of my comfort zone, it’s still hard not to use the same four chords over and over again. I think that a lot of people have a hard time looking beyond that.

Thank you Sam for sharing a little of yourself with our readers.  I think they will hear a lot more about you over the next few years.  I look forward to catching your show at Cornerstone 2011.

If you just want a taste of Sam Robertson’s plaintive acoustic music check out “Coming End” from the One21music Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase sampler that will be released on One21music on June 22nd.

Sam Robertson will be playing the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase on Thursday, June 30th at 1:10 p.m.. See you there!

Cornerstone New Band Showcase Free Music Sampler

the one21 new band showcase interviews copy

One21music, in our quest to find the best up and coming Christian musicians, is featuring the bands from the Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase.  The Cornerstone Musical Festival’s New Band Showcase has launched many a career for Christian musicians. Past performers who were selected to the new band showcase include included P.O.D., Anathallo, Ester Drang, Sixpence None The Richer, Eisley and Over The Rhine The Cornerstone 2011 New Band Showcase features sixteen bands who will be performing on the Cornerstone Main Stage from Thursday, June 30th through Sunday, July 3rd.  In the two weeks leading up to Cornerstone 2011, One21music will be featuring interviews with 11 of the showcase bands and today’s 10 song free music sampler, which will be available, exclusively on One21music.com.

Cornerstone New Band Showcase Free Music Sampler

From folk to indie rock to alt pop to rock to hardcore this ten song sampler features some of the best of this year’s Cornerstone New Band Showcase.  Click through the band name links to read interviews with these exciting new bands.

Download The Cornerstone New Band Showcase Sampler Here

“Delight In You” by Fue
“Into Your Hands” by A City Under Siege
“Coming End” by Sam Robertson
“Helper” by My Maker & I
“Beggars Become Thieves” by Beggars
“Carry Me Home” by Gatlin Elms
“The Reckoning” by The Sacred Eternal
“Chasing The Wind” by Josiah James
“Daniela de los Caballos” by Merger
“Godspeed” by Immimnent