Voices Of The Underground Pt.8

voicesoftheundergroundlogo-copy2

Several weeks ago One21 Music posed fifteen questions 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 extensive 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 their 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, right?

Need to catch up?

Read Pt.1: What Do You Love About Music?
Read Pt.2: What Are Some Of Your Favorite Albums/CDs?
Read Pt.3: What Is The Best Thing About Making Music?
Read Pt.4: What Is Your Opinion Of The Music Industry?
Read Pt.5: What Impact Has The Digital Age Of Music Had On The Industry?
Read Pt.6: Who Is Jesus Christ To You?
Read Pt.7: What Is Christian Music?

This week we asked our artists what their opinion of the Christian music industry was. Before you read them, let me emphasize again that these are their opinions, and not always ours.  There are a lot of artists that are happy with the way the industry has grown over the last ten years, but their are many that aren’t. You may read some things in this installment that seem very negative, but let me assure you that these guys know what they are talking about, and this is their inside view on what is happening. I also want to take a minute and say that when many of our artists were talking about this subject, they were not talking about Christian music, but the industry that drives the majority of what you see in Christian book stores and what is on the radio.  There is a difference. I have done my best to display a balanced and fair depiction of the industry from the artist’s view, but sometimes maybe a cry for change just needs to be heard.

What is your opinion of the Christian music industry?

mahoganyjones Mahogany Jones (independent hip-hop artist)                           Mahogany Jones
I think that there is good and bad. There are people with pure motives to minister the gospel to people who need to understand the importance of a relationship with Christ, and there are people who use their gift as a means not to promote the gospel but themselves, and I feel that if we aren’t careful to ask God to keep us humble that we may be in for a rude awakening.

dewey Dewey Lybecker( independent solo singer/songwriter)                           Dewey Lybecker
I feel like the Christian music industry is beginning to come into a place that’s its needed to be in for a while. I think that a lot of Christian music was kind of cheap. It was a bunch of people that just regurgitated everyone else’s songs but added a different hook or something that made it “cool/ hip” again. It wasn’t very original, and because of this it wasn’t very respected by other
musicians. I think where it’s headed is the opposite of that, with bands like Switchfoot, MuteMath, Underoath, P.O.D., The Fray, One Republic… they’re showing the world that Christian music isn’t as lame as a lot of people think it is.

hylandjon Jon (lead singer/guitarist for independent pop/rock band Hyland)       Hyland
I think the Christian music industry is doing a terrible job of staying current. They are banking on bands that are tried and true (Newsboys, Third Day) and aren’t taking chances on new original talent, only on what has already worked in the secular scene. Where are the Audio Adrenalines and the DC Talks of THIS generation???!!! Everyone in the industry is worried about their bottom dollar instead of realizing taking a chance on originality will pay off ten-fold.

bryanblondstreakabandon Bryan (bass player for Forefront Records pop/rock band Abandon) Abandon
Honestly, it stinks that it has come down to a business plan, labels, and it stinks that it actually is an “industry”. I feel like Christians should be at the head of the line creating the best art the world has ever seen. It should just be known that we are Christians based on what we stand for and how we live. It’s weird to me that it has become it’s own separate industry.

brookewaggner Brooke Waggoner(solo indie/pop artist on SlowMoon Music)          Brooke Waggoner
It’s a shame that it’s so divided and set apart from other genres and in other ways, it’s not set apart at all.. it’s really like any other industry – they tapped into a market, create products to fit that demographic, and package it accordingly. It’s difficult to find genuine amongst alot of this, but it does exist!

brandonsayyouwill Brandon (bass player for independent pop/rock band Say You Will)
Since we’re all trying to survive in a broken industry people are starting to fight against their morals to stay afloat. As a band we’ve been ripped off, lied to, and stepped on a lot. Unfortunately, the Christian music industry has been the worst about that to us. I hate to say it, but the snakes are in the Christian music industry. That said there are also a lot of awesome people in the Christian music industry that have done wonders for us. It’s no different than the secular side I guess. They’re just selling to Christians.

echocastbandwb8David (singer for independent nu-metal band Echocast)               Echocast
I think that a lot of artists are jaded towards the Christian music industry because they might have felt slighted at some point in the business end… But, a lot of people forget that that the music business is still a “business”…

amycourts Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)
Amy Courts
Honestly? Having come and gone from a number of major Christian label opportunities and seen the ins and outs of their operations, I see the Christian Music Industry much like Jesus saw the sale of goods in the temple: an exploitation of righteousness and holiness for the sake of making money, and a tyrannical dictatorship regarding what defines “Christianity” in melodic terms.

christopherthegoodnighthorizenChristopher(vocalist for Harvest Earth Records metal band The Goodnight Horizon)
The Goodnight Horizon
They spend to much time catering to those who already know Jesus. Open the door, plant the seeds. Stop hiding.

sethinfrontendervence Seth (singer for independent hard rock band Endeverance)
Endeverance
I think the “Christian Music” industry sometimes is worse than the Mainstream industry because there is no grace in “Christian Music” I mean if your sin gets out and you’re in the “Christian Music” industry sometimes you get ex-communicated…I mean we are all humans we all sin and fail…Why does it mean when you’re a so called “Christian Artist” you can’t fail…And I think that’s horrible if anything you would think they would be more understanding. But I mean it does have good things like promoting music that has a meaning behind it…

curtisblackhighvally Curtis(mandolist/singer for Centricity Records country band High Valley) High Valley
I think it’s sad that Christian music has to be so “commercial” and surface in order to have success. I like deep songs that may possibly offend someone or really challenge them rather than telling someone that God loves them and knows there name over and over again. These are good messages but hearing it over and over again won’t change anyone’s life if they have heard that message a thousand times before. I think that Christian music good have deeper and more powerful messages. A band that I believe does an awesome job is Downhere. Lyrically the best Christian band I have ever heard.

divulgencecamCameron(guitarist/vocalist for Bombworks Records metal band Divulgence)
Its almost as though Christians have the mindset that since they are playing for God they get to slack off on their song writing. I can turn on the local Christian radio station and hear 5 songs that sound the same in about an hour. It shouldn’t be that way. If you are writing for the King of kings you should give it all you got and don’t take the easy way out by doing some overused chord progression.

corpuschristijarrodinfront Jarrod(guitarist/singer from Victory Records metal band Corpus Christi) Corpus Christi
Sadly, I find the name is often one of the only differences between it (Christin music industry) and the secular music industry.

domicballi Dominic Balli (independent Reggae/hip-hop artist)                              Dominic Balli
It’s the same as the mainstream one. At the top, there’s still a dude that is just really all about one thing. Money. That’s the industry, not the artists. There’s some artist with wonderfully pure hearts out there. A bunch of them. And there’s some labels that are the same. But as far as most of the “big” Christian labels. It’s all the same.

I think Dominic best summed it up, “it’s all the same”. That seems to be the pervailing theme throughout all the answers this week. Christ called us to be different, so why is it not?

Next week we are talking about the importance of the Christian music scene, so check back with us next week!

Voices Of The Underground Pt.6

voicesoftheundergroundlogo-copy2

Several weeks ago One21 Music posed fifteen questions 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 extensive 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 their 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, right?

Need to catch up?

Read Pt.1- What Do You Love About Music?
Read Pt.2- What Are Some Of Your Favorite Albums/CDs?
Read Pt.3- What Is The Best Thing About Making Music?
Read Pt.4: What Is Your Opinion Of The Music Industry?
Read Pt.5: What Impact Has The Digital Age Of Music Had On The Industry?

This is a very special week for us. Last Sunday, we as a company, and as believers celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The most significant historical event to take place on this earth saw God and His Son defeat sin and death to bring salvation and redemption to His people.  Our sins were forgiven, our slate was wiped clean. The Holy Spirit allowed us to have a relationship with The Creator, and we will live knowing that world is just a flash in comparison to the eternity we have in Heaven. This week we asked a very simple question to all of our artists and bands, and through their words we celebrate what God has done through so many different people. In fact, this week we are featuring all the artists who took place in this series. Newcomers include Dewey Lybecker, Royalty Jackson, and members of Our Proclamation, Neocracy, The Goodnight Horizon, Divulgnce, For Today, and Darkness Before Dawn.

Who is Jesus Christ to you?

inhaleexhalejohninveryback John (guitarist for Solid State Records metal band Inhale Exhale) Inhale Exhale
He is God, I believe he walked the earth and I believe in what the gospels have recorded.

hylandjon Jon (lead singer/guitarist for independent pop/rock band Hyland)       Hyland
JC is my support. He’s my focus and my reason for doing this. If I didn’t have the talents He’s given me I don’t where I would be. He’s a dream giver. He’s a savior. He’s grace.

a thousnd times repent dowd Dowd(guitar for Tribunal Records metal band A Thousand Times Repent) A Thousand Times Repent
Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. I have my ups and downs and my own troubles. I am not perfect by any means but I know when I fall he is always there to help me up. When we are in band practice we always start off with a prayer and end with a prayer. We invite Jesus into our practices to be apart of our writing or rehearsing.

corpuschristijarrodinfront Jarrod(guitarist/singer from Victory Records metal band Corpus Christi) Corpus Christi
The man who died to save my life.

the_welcome_wagon_-_0938-c Vito (half of Asthamic Kitty indie/folk band The Welcome Wagon) The Welcome Wagon
I believe everything the Bible says about Jesus. He is God’s Son, fully divine and fully human. And though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped. He made himself nothing, and took the form of a servant. Being born in the likeness of men, and being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

sendoutyourscudsdanielmulletDustin (trumpet player for Blood & Ink ska-core band Send Out Scuds) Send Out Scuds
Jesus Christ? Well Jesus Christ is some hippie-looking white guy in painting prints across middle class homes all over the Western world. Yeshua Barjoseph on the other hand, was a man who lived roughly 2000 years ago. He lived a spiritually perfect life, died against natural law, and came back to life having paid my irredeemable spiritual debt. To me, he is my savior and Lord, and while I’m sure that’s a cliche answer, I urge you to look up the meaning of both words in a Strong’s and a Vine’s. That’s your homework.

dewey Dewey Lybecker( independent solo singer/songwriter)   Dewey Lybecker
Jesus Christ to me is someone who I could only dream to become like. I look at how He loved people and interacted with others, and realize that I’m a huge jerk!

takeitbackdanielDaniel(guitarist for Facedown Records hardcore band Take It Back!) Take It Back - Can't Fight Robots
Jesus Christ is the single most important thing that has ever happened to the planet. His life gave us the opportunity to be free from our terrible vices. Because of Him we have a direct link to the Father God. He was the ultimate sacrifice which enabled us to live fulfilling lives in Him.

dirt DIRT (underground hip-hop artist and founder of Shadow Of The Locust) Dirt
The only person WORTHY.

hill Brett Hill (Paradigm Nashville solo country artist)                              Brett Hill
Everything. He is a mentor, a big brother to run to, help when I need help, and Salvation for those who do not deserve it. He is everything to me.

christaylor Chris Taylor (BEC solo artist/song writer)                                             Chris Taylor
Starting at the age of 15, Jesus became the central figure of my life. Jesus is my only access to God on a daily basis. Jesus is God in flesh, the one who died on the cross, bore our sin in his body, and physically rose from the dead. He will return again from the heavens, and will judge the world and all people. I do have a lot of personal experiences I could speak into this question but in a day where folks make Jesus into whatever they want to, I will stick to the above truths.

brookewaggner Brooke Waggoner(solo indie/pop artist on SlowMoon Music)                Brooke Waggoner
My Savior and Restorer

ourproclamationfrankieinstrips1Frankie (vocalist for Infantry Records hardcore band Our Proclamation) Our Proclamation
To me, Jesus Christ is more than just my God, my savior and my father. To me, Jesus is the only person that can put up with all of my crap, and still love me for who I am. Jesus is the only one who will listen to me complain about whine and not get fed up with it. Jesus is my best friend, that’s pretty much the best way to put it.

royaljon1Royalty Jackson (independent hip-hop artist)
My Savior and Redeemer. The joy and escape in my life.

johanna fellow Johanna Miller (keyboardist/singer for South Pawl pop/rock band Fellow) Fellow
Jesus is the reason why I’m alive. He has saved me from so many mistakes I’ve made in the past. I’m so grateful He thinks I’m worth loving.

runkidrundavidoneinhat David (lead singer/guitarist for Tooth & Nail pop/rock band Run Kid Run) Run Kid Run
My personal lord, my savior, He gives me a purpose in life.

domicballi Dominic Balli (independent Reggae/hip-hop artist)                            Dominic Balli
My savior. My King. My hope. My life. He’s all I need and more than I could dream.

darknessbeforedawngabeGabe(guitarist for Bombworks Records metal band Darkness Before Dawn)
Everything. He is everywhere I look He’s in everything I do He is the reason I do anything in my life.

amycourts Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)                                       Amy Courts
Savior. Friend. Lord and King. Advocate of the friendless and unwanted. The Great Motivator.

divulgencecamCameron(guitarist/vocalist for Bombworks Records metal band Divulgence)
My personal Lord and Savior of my soul. My everything and my reason for living.

sethinfrontendervence Seth (singer for independent hard rock band Endeverance)             Endeverance
Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Savior, and I try my best to live my life by what he taught…But I fail everyday…

curtisblackhighvally Curtis(mandolist/singer for Centricity Records country band High Valley) High Valley
Jesus Christ is Gods son. He took the punishment for my sin and the sin of the entire world. When I accept His gift of eternal life and begin a REAL relationship with Him I am made perfect in Gods eyes and am able to live with Him eternally!

fortodaydavid1David(drummer for Facedown Records hardcore/metal band For Today)For Today
DA MAN!

mahoganyjones Mahogany Jones (independent hip-hop artist)                                Mahogany Jones
Christ is the reason why I even get to live a life worth living. He is the savior that took a hit that I wouldn’t have been able to take. He is my best friend and I am asking for the Holy Spirit’s help in fashioning me so I am more of a suitable friend to Him.

bryanblondstreakabandon Bryan (bass player for Forefront Records pop/rock band Abandon) Abandon
He is my Lord and Savior… My best friend, Companion, Healer, Provider. He is honestly everything to me. I would be nowhere without His love and grace upon my life. I have made countless mistakes and He has faithfully seen me through every circumstance I have encountered.

christopherthegoodnighthorizenChristopher(vocalist for Harvest Earth Records metal band The Goodnight Horizon)
The Goodnight Horizon
Lord, savior, best friend.

xcess Xcess (solo Darkside records hip-hop/industrial artist)
Everything. Jesus Christ is like my dad, best friend, camp counselor and even hero all in one to be somewhat lighthearted about it. But seriously what He did for me and the rest of the world was beyond what anyone else would or could do and He was the only one qualified to do it. Obviously I could never repay Him, how could any of us?

heathstripsinirons Heath (bass player for Holdfast Records metal band In Irons)                   In Irons
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit, duh.

NeocracykentKent(guitarist for independent metal band Neocracy)
He is my Lord and Savior.

daveleftpoorlybuitparachute Dave (half of Holdfast Records electro-house duo Poorly Built Parachute) Poorly Built Parachute
My Savior and best friend… I suck at being a good friend.

fortodaybranddon Brandon(bassist for Facedown Records hardcore/metal band For Today) For Today
God in the flesh. A man who came to the earth, lived a perfect life, and set an example for us.

brandonsayyouwill Brandon (bass player for independent pop/rock band Say You Will)
He is my Savior ultimately. Friend always. God and father.

echocastbandwb8David (singer for independent nu-metal band Echocast)                  Echocast
He is God.

Amen. Join us next week on Thursday when we ask What Is Christian Music?

The One21 New Series: Voices Of The Underground

Several weeks ago, The One21 contacted a large number of the artists that make up the Christ-centered music scene to get their thoughts on some of the issues we have been talking about on this site.

There were fifteen questions, 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.

All and all, the journey through the thoughts and opinions brought up by our questions proved to be truly amazing. We were able to get past the music for a moment and hear the voice of the artists.  We feel that we have gotten to know the heart and spirit of some of the performers that we tell you about everyday on this website.

We want to share that journey with you.

Over the course of fifteen weeks, we will be posting the answers to one question a week. Our hope is that you are able to experience the wealth of knowledge and wisdom that we have been so excited to read and experience. You will find that on many of the questions there is a vast amount of different answers and views. Issues of faith, career, and opinion give us incite in to the Christian music scene like we haven’t been able to see before.  You may just be surprised at what you learn.

Here are the questions we asked :
1.What do you love about music?
2.What are some of favorite albums/CDs? Is there anything people may be surprised that you listen to?
3.What is the best thing about making music? Do you prefer writing, recording, performing….?
4.What is your opinion on the music industry today? What has changed, what needs to change?
5.What impact do you think the digital age of music (MP3 stores, MySpace, etc…) has had on the music industry?
6.Who is Jesus Christ to you?
7.What is Christian music?
8.What is your opinion of the Christian music industry?
9. Do you think that the Christian music scene is important?
10. Do you think that people are more receptive or against artists of faith today? Are they being taken more seriously, or is being a “Christian musician” a hindrance?
11. Do you consider yourself a Christian musician? In what way does this affect your music?
12.What is the hardest part about being a musician today?
13.What is an artist’s responsibility (if any) to its
listeners?
14.Where do you see the music industry going? What is next?
15.What is the best memory that you have of your career so far?

You will get answers over the next few weeks from:
Inhale/Exhale
Hyland
A Thousand Times Repent
Corpus Christi
The Welcome Wagon
Send Out Scuds
Take It Back!
Dirt
Brett Hill
Chris Taylor
Brooke Waggoner
Our Proclamation
Royalty Jackson
Fellow
Run Kid Run
Dominic Balli
Darkness Before The Dawn
Amy Courts
Divulgence
Faith Child
Endeverance
High Valley
Mahogany Jones
Abandon
For Today
The Goodnight Horizon
Xcess
In Irons
Neocracy
Poorly Built Parachute
Say You Will
and many more….

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?

We hope you join us next Thursday for our first installment of Voices From The Underground