New Releases For April 13th, 2010

deluge unshakeable
Unshakable
Deluge

Integrity Media
Pop Rock
Buy NOW:
Amazon
iTunes

Jonathan Lee Let Them Hear
Let Them Hear
Jonathan Lee

1cn Records
Worship
Buy NOW:
Amazon
iTunes

letter to the exiles the shadow line
The Shadow Line
Letter To The Exiles

Strike First Records
Hardcore
Buy NOW:
Amazon
iTunes

lmno next in line
Next In Line
LMNO

Up Above Records
Hip-Hop
Buy NOW:
Amazon MP3
iTunes

lovedrug ep part 1
Lovedrug
EP-Part 1

Street Talk Media
Pop Rock
Buy NOW:
Amazon MP3
iTunes

mikescharir let the waters rise ep
Let the Waters Rise EP
Mikeschair

Curb Records
Buy NOW:
Amazon MP3

poorly built parachute tastes like sin ep
Tastes like Sin EP
Poorly Built Parachute

Dark Habitat
Electro-House
Buy NOW:
Amazon MP3
iTunes

michellebonilla_inspiteofme
In Spite Of Me
Michelle Bonilla

RockSoul Productions
R&B
Buy NOW:
Amazon
iTunes

war of ages eternal
Eternal
War Of Ages

Facedown Records
Metal
Buy NOW:
Amazon
iTunes

woe of tyrants threnody
Threnody
Woe of Tyrants

Metal Blade Records
Metal
Buy NOW:
Amazon
iTunes

wonder-brown-sean-little-a-love-aphiliated
A Love aPhiliated
Sean Little & Wonder Brown

Independent
Hip-Hop
Buy NOW:
iTunes

for more new releases, please check out our ALBUM RELEASE DATES page to stay up to date on all the new music coming out

Free Download: See You On The Other Side…

See You On The Other Side... Holdfast Records 2006-2009

We are back on regular updates this week, and so Wednesday brings our free download, and I thought it would be cool to start things off with a Holdfast Records compilation. See You On The Other Side… Holdfast Records 2006-2009 is a chronicling of all the cool metal, hardcore, and hard rock that underground label Holdfast has been offering over the last three years. There is a little metalcore, some southern rock, and even a little electronica in there for good measure. Here is the tracklisting:

01. In Irons – Trust Not in Man (5:27)
02. Alcina – A Fist Full of Regrets (4:21)
03. Before There Was Rosalyn – A Shadow of the Things We Know (3:00)
04. Through Solace – Further from the Truth (5:10)
05. The Black Noise Party Boys – Spend the Night Party (1:55)
06. The Skies Revolt – The Transitive Deficiency (3:25)
07. The Skies Revolt – She Had To (4:29)
08. The Wolverines – From Living, to Death, Then to Life (3:32)
09. The Wolverines – I Buy Land and Timber (3:39)
10. This Love These Hands – Don’t Call It a Comeback (4:32)
11. This Love These Hands – I’m King of the World (4:27)
12. Poorly Built Parachute – The Confrontation (3:09)
13. Materia Medica – The Kilowatt Hours (2:11)
14. Materia Medica – The Awakened (3:43)

ENJOY!!!

Download See You On The Other Side… Holdfast Records 2006-2009

Voices Of The Underground Pt.14

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?
Read Pt.8: What Is Your Opinion On The Christian Music Industry?
Read Pt.9: Do You Think The Christian Music Scene Is Still Important?
Read Pt.10: Do You Think People Are More Receptive Or Resistant to Artists Of Faith Today?
Read Pt.11: Do You Consider Yourself A Christian Musician? In What Way Does It Affect Your Music?
Read Pt.12: What Is The Hardest Part About Being A Musician Today?
Read P.t13: What Responsibility (if any) Does An Artist Have To It’s Listener?

This week we begin our farewell to Voices Of The Underground.  Today’s issue seems a little like backtracking, but I thought it would be interesting to hear about what people thought was next for the music industry. In 1999, if I had told you that band websites were going to be free via a social networking site, bands could record themselves easily in their bedrooms, and that the concecpt of the MP3 album was going to be so well receieve that bands would begin to release music in only digital form, I bet you would have laughed at me. So, what’s next?

Where do you see the music industry going?

inhaleexhalejohninveryback John (guitarist for Solid State Records metal band Inhale/Exhale)
Inhale Exhale
All digital eventually I think. Bands gaining popularity on the internet first then touring and being a real band.

hylandjonJon (lead singer/guitarist for independent pop/rock band Hyland)
Hyland
That’s a tough call. We don’t know what the economy is going to bring. The word on the street is just tough it out. Ride out the storm and do what you can. The industry is going to be flipping sooner than later and it comes down to hard work and a keen business sense. The Christian industry especially is tightening its reigns, and you can expect to see more releases from already tried and true bands with set audiences. Sales are what’s needed to keep this thing afloat. Look for up and comers on indie labels and doing writing their own books on how to succeed, because there aren’t many majors looking to take chances right now.

the_welcome_wagon_-_0938-cVito(half of Asthamic Kitty indie/folk band The Welcome Wagon)
I hope the music industry goes more and more local. My favorite music is usually live music. I’d like to see networks of venues and labels and artists working together in the towns and cities where they live. I’d like to see more regional styles articulated and discovered and developed.

hill Brett Hill (Paradigm Nashville solo country artist)
Brett Hill
I think the playing field is becoming more equal to every artist. The good and bad. This should tell the Christian artists to get on the ball now, and not fool around. The main objective is to win the lost, before the enemy captures them for good. There is no time for playing around in the Christian industry. It is a spiritual war.

darknessbeforedawngabeGabe(guitarist for Bombworks Records metal band Darkness Before Dawn)
I think heavier and darker music is going to be more excepted and music is gonna rely more and more on internet.

sethinfrontendervence Seth (singer for independent hard rock band Endeverance)
Endeverance
Honestly, I have no idea. I’m just bracing for the amazing ride that it is going to be figuring that out…I’m personally waiting for music to totally implode on itself and come out of the ashes as something totally different and new…I just think that will be a great day…I just think we need more Bob Dylan’s and The Beatles’…And less Hannah Montana’s and Jonas Brother’s…

curtisblackhighvally Curtis (mandolist/singer for Centricity Records country band High Valley)
High Valley
I see the actual music being used more as a tool rather than a source of income, simply because music is very easy to get for free from things like Limewire. So I would guess that in the next few years artist will make more profit by selling advertising than selling their own product, with the exception of merchandise like t-shirts, picks, etc.

mahoganyjones Mahogany Jones(independent hip-hop artist)
Mahogany Jones
That soon the music industry will be more about merchandising than it will be about making and putting out music.

christopherthegoodnighthorizenChristopher(vocalist for Harvest Earth Records metal band The Goodnight Horizon)
Its hard telling. Every year it changes so much that its almost hard to predict. Right now the MTV era is over, and majority of people are onto all the bands in the underground. Gaining national support thanks to Myspace and a few other websites. Its no lie that everything is digital these days.

xcess Xcess(solo Darkside records hip-hop/industrial artist)
I see the industry still trying to find new ways to sell more music to the unassuming masses who prefer to go to arena concerts sitting half a football field away while they’re missing out on the house show down the street where a band is playing their hearts out in someones kitchen in the faces of the 20 kids packed into the tiny abode hoping the cops aren’t called.

heathstripsinirons Heath(bass player for Holdfast Records metal band In Irons)
In Irons
There is no way of knowing. I just hope to see more and more passionate bands come up in the near future. That’s what the industry needs.

daveleftpoorlybuitparachute Dave (half of Holdfast Records electro-house duo Poorly Built Parachute)
Poorly Built Parachute
I think the industry is going to rely on touring bands to survive. Kids dont buy CDs anymore, but they’ll spend $12 on a concert ticket and then $30 on merch.

brandonsayyouwill Brandon (bass player for independent pop/rock band Say You Will)
Down for a while more and then up up up up up. I think music will eventually all be free and they’ll use that as promotion to get people to shows and generate other sources of income for their artists. That’s essentially what is happening now. Some people still buy music on line though so they’re keeping the system barely a float. When they stop I think this will happen.

echocastbandwb8David (singer for independent nu-metal band Echocast)
Echocast
I see the music industry continuing to implode, but at the same time more and more independent artists will to rise from the ashes and continue to create the music they should be making instead of the corporate rock and roll that the major labels have forcefed the masses the past couple of decades…

deweyDewey Lybecker( independent solo singer/songwriter)
Dewey Lybecker
It’s hard to tell, with the way the economy is these days. Maybe we’ll all go back to making demo’s by pushing record on a boom box in our living room and drawing up home-made covers on brown paper bags…

Voices Of The Underground Pt.13

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?
Read Pt.8: What Is Your Opinion On The Christian Music Industry?
Read Pt.9: Do You Think The Christian Music Scene Is Still Important?
Read Pt.10: Do You Think People Are More Receptive Or Resistant to Artists Of Faith Today?
Read Pt.11: Do You Consider Yourself A Christian Musician? In What Way Does It Affect Your Music?
Read Pt.12: What Is The Hardest Part About Being A Musician Today?

The issue that we are discussing today is, in all honesty, what made me want to do this series.  In my life, I have noticed that music is very powerful in people’s lives. The people who make this music will sometimes become unknowing role models for the people listening to them. As we have seen many times in recent history, music artists get blamed for a lot that is wrong with our country.  As we talk about Christian music though, the seeming responsibility to “practice what you preach”  becomes much more intense. Is this right though? The people that are making this music are just that, people, so do we put too much pressure on them?  Or, is the job of making art that inspires people supposed to carry more weight than that?

What is an artist’s responsibility (if any) to it’s listeners?

domicballi Dominic Balli (independent Reggae/hip-hop artist)
Dominic Balli
Well, without the listeners, nobody sells records, if you don’t sell records then you don’t play shows, if you don’t play shows then you’re not much of an artist your just a guy who plays the guitar who now has a whole lot of debt from your last record. The record that no listeners ever listened to. SOOOO… I think every artist should try his best to connect with his fans in every way he can. Some artist are just naturally better at this than others. Some artist are really good at hard and really bad at relationships. Don’t trip on them for that. That’s what makes them who they are.
As far as putting out an album every other year or touring certain cities frequently or writing a type of music because the people like it… that’s up for discussion. There’s a saying at the Church where I lead worship, “We want to be a call driven Church, not a need driven Church.” The same applies, the people will always be crying out for this or that. Sometimes it’s good stuff, sometimes it’s dumb stuff, but at the end of the day you’ve got to know what you’re called to do. How you’re supposed to write, perform, tour, record, etc… No fan can tell you that.

mahoganyjones Mahogany Jones(independent hip-hop artist)
Mahogany Jones
To give the people themselves, to be transparent, to be honest, to make music that will inspire greatness and provide a real source of liberation.

hylandjonJon (lead singer/guitarist for independent pop/rock band Hyland)
Hyland
Oh man, integrity. Not just about what a musician does onstage or what songs they are writing, but how they are offstage. I’m getting so sick of C bands that are into drugs, sex and rock and roll. It’s killing me to see these bands kill their witness by just living haphazardly… I think an artist’s responsibility in the Christian industry is to simply walk the walk and talk the talk. Your music and ability to connect with people will grow or self destruct depending…

sethinfrontendervence Seth (singer for independent hard rock band Endeverance)
Endeverance
I would say the artist responsibility is to be real and not just make music that has no meaning…Also I believe that you are nothing without the listener. I would say you live your life as a musician for the listener everything you do every note that is sang or played ever is for the listener…As a musician you need to create a connection that makes the listener apart of everything on the record, on the stage, and off the stage…

runkidrundavidoneinhatDavid (lead singer/guitarist for Tooth & Nail pop/rock band Run Kid Run)
Run Kid Run
I don’t think artist have responsibility to listeners the band makes art that we hope the listener will enjoy and be encouraged, inspired by. If they don’t like the band or the actions they won’t support and that’s their decision.

ourproclamationfrankieinstrips1Frankie (vocalist for Infantry Records hardcore band Our Proclamation)
Our Proclamation
That would depend on the definition of the word “artist”.
An artist has no responsibility to their listeners. It’s supposed to be self expression. That’s what makes it art. A performer, on the other hand, has to deliver what the audience wants to hear. There’s a fine line between the two.

brookewaggner Brooke Waggoner(solo indie/pop artist on SlowMoon Music)
Brooke Waggoner
Don’t waste their time. Create a world for them to enter and feel comfortable. But challenge. Always challenge!

bryanblondstreakabandon Bryan (bass player for Forefront Records pop/rock band Abandon) Abandon
To be your fan’s best friend. We love our fans and wouldn’t be anywhere without their support. So it’s an artist’s responsibility to deliver an amazing live performance, be true to who they say they are in interviews and on the album, and spend time with their listeners as much as possible.

echocastbandwb8David (singer for independent nu-metal band Echocast)
Echocast
Maybe I’m from a different school of thought, but I personally don’t feel that an artist has a “responsibility” to its listeners… Its just music, I think the “listeners” will listen to what they enjoy and might like 1 record an artist puts out and not like the next one… I think a true artist’s “responsibility” is to continue to make music that they themselves believe in and not to conform to what they think people might want to hear…

xcess Xcess (solo Darkside records hip-hop/industrial artist)
An artist’s responsibility to its listeners depends on what the artist is going for. I tend to be a little more unapologetic with whatever it is I do because it’s what I want to do so bringing the kind of integrity I do is a my main focus in that regard. I’m not here to write catchy tunes anyone will like. Ultimately the artists responsibility is honesty complete with a passion for their are doing. Unless its to write a catchy single, then you gotta worry about topping that last wonderful dance number that will show up on a NOW collection at some point. Maybe they’ll get lucky and Weird Al will do a parody.

daveleftpoorlybuitparachute Dave (half of Holdfast Records electro-house duo Poorly Built Parachute)
Poorly Built Parachute
To be 100% honest and try to be as original and revolutionary as possible. If you are only trying to sound like everyone else and just want to tour and meet chicks… you’ve lost the point.

amycourts Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)
Amy Courts
I don’t know that I have any responsibility to my listeners other than to do what I do – which is apparently what they love – to the best of my ability with as much honesty and authenticity as I can offer. I can’t be what everyone expects less I become nothing of myself. So I write what I write and stay as true to my calling and passion – true to God, in the end – as is humanly possible, and those who are meant to hear will hear and be moved. And I will give them the best of myself, with excellence.

the_welcome_wagon_-_0938-cVito(half of Asthamic Kitty indie/folk band The Welcome Wagon)
The Welcome Wagon
We think of our chief responsibility as a band is to serve Jesus Christ. We want to please him, and we like to sing about him. But in so doing, I think—I hope!—that makes us somewhat accountable to our listeners. We believe every person in the world, Christian or not, is made in the image of God. Thus we are called to honor and respect them, to love them. We hope we are doing that through our music.

dirt DIRT(underground hip-hop artist and founder of Shadow Of The Locust)
Dirt
I have always found myself frustrated with anyone who thinks an artist does not have any responsibility to his/her listeners. If you hold that opinion then make music for yourself, play it to yourself, buy your own CD and keep it to yourself. Music should motivate. We all have to decide what messages we really want to convey through our art, but at the end of the day, if it doesn’t motivate someone from one place to another, then what good was all our effort.
Sometimes people need to hate something… and music can make that happen.
Sometimes people need to realize something…. and music can make that happen.
Sometimes people need to be in love with something, fear something, grapple with something, revolt against something, embrace something… and music can make that happen.

Only two more weeks left in our series, come back next week!

Voices Of The Underground Pt.12

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?
Read Pt.8: What Is Your Opinion On The Christian Music Industry?
Read Pt.9: Do You Think The Christian Music Scene Is Still Important?
Read Pt.10: Do You Think People Are More Receptive Or Resistant to Artists Of Faith Today?
Read Pt.11: Do You Consider Yourself A Christian Musician? In What Way Does It Affect Your Music?

It is no mystery that it is hard to be a professional musician. Despite the very few success stories, most of the bands you love right now will not be around in ten years due to a number of reasons. The funny thing is that so much has changed since the birth of rock’n'roll: recording costs are lower, equipment is easier to come by, and the digital music age has allowed marketing your band to become as easy as logging on to the internet.  So why is it still so hard to “make it” in the music world? Really, why is it?

What is the hardest part about being a musician today?

heathstripsinirons Heath(bass player for Holdfast Records metal band In Irons)
In Irons
Being a musician, overall, is hard. Its hard learning to play an instrument, finding people to play with, writing music, getting a band off the ground, finding transportation and just holding it together. It boils down to how bad you want it to happen. But if you’re able to get it all worked out, it can be some of the most fun you’ve ever had.

runkidrundavidoneinhatDavid (lead singer/guitarist for Tooth & Nail pop/rock band Run Kid Run)
Run Kid Run
Staying motivated can be our hardest thing which sounds horrible because we have been blessed so much. but just like anything do it for long enough and you can get lazy and apathetic.

echocastbandwb8David (singer for independent nu-metal band Echocast)
Echocast
I think the hardest part of being a musician today is simply just trying to make ends meet… The market has been so saturated due to the fact that virtually anyone can buy a computer and protools and record music and put it up on the internet… There are more bands than ever now and with the economy in its current state, concert venues and promoters can’t afford to put on as many shows as they used to… Everything costs so much more now than it did 10 years ago, yet promoters are still paying midlevel bands the same as they did in the 90s…

daveleftpoorlybuitparachute Dave (half of Holdfast Records electro-house duo Poorly Built Parachute)
Poorly Built Parachute
Making money, and then working a part time job or going to school while trying to take your music serious.

ourproclamationfrankieinstrips1Frankie (vocalist for Infantry Records hardcore band Our Proclamation)
Our Proclamation
Telling your parents you’d rather go on tour than go to college. Haha

brookewaggner Brooke Waggoner(solo indie/pop artist on SlowMoon Music)
Brooke Waggoner
The emotional involvement with the business side of things. It’s difficult to learn how to market your heart, and soul, and passions, and art. But it’s a MUST to figure it out.

christaylor Chris Taylor (BEC solo artist/song writer)
Chris Taylor
Deciding when to try and make it your living. Maybe harder is deciding when to stop making it your living.

curtisblackhighvally Curtis (mandolist/singer for Centricity Records country band High Valley)
High Valley
For me the hardest part is remembering to give the glory ALL to God because he is the only reason we are able to do what we do. It seems pretty easy to forget about God and focus on income or success in the eyes of the world. I continually have to check my motives and make sure that the reason I do what I do is to reach as many people as possible with the most important message out there.

sethinfrontendervence Seth (singer for independent hard rock band Endeverance)
Endeverance
The hardest thing for musicians today is getting people to actual shows. I mean right now with the economy and everything it is getting harder for people to want to come to shows and everything…And another thing that is hard is getting genuine fans and not just a bunch of fake myspace friends…that don’t really care about your music…they just added you because they click yes to everyone…I think the true fan has of become a lost art form…

deweyDewey Lybecker( independent solo singer/songwriter)
Dewey Lybecker
I think the hardest part about being a musician today is trying to stick your head above the clouds. There’s so many good artists out there, how do you make yourself stick out beyond everyone else ?

hylandjon Jon (lead singer/guitarist for independent pop/rock band Hyland)
Hyland
Having all your bases covered. It’s not just enough to have a good song anymore. It’s not good enough to be a tight band anymore. It’s not good enough to have a great look and a good online presence. With the amount of competition out there, you need the whole package. Making your you don’t have any weak links is definitely the hardest part about being a musician. You don’t get to focus on the music half the time!

xcess Xcess(solo Darkside records hip-hop/industrial artist)
For me it’s just being me since I’m pretty different. There’s alot of politics where labels and venues will want to play it safe and stick with their genres of preference even though I know for a fact I work well in any capacity. If I was in a band I’m sure I’d get booked left and right but dedicated people are hard to find so I do this solo and its quite the hindrance.

amycourts Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)
Amy Courts
Because independent music is on the rise, every person who ever thought to play a chord on guitar is writing songs and trying to tour and sell music. But the pond hasn’t gotten any bigger; There are just more fish in it. So it’s a much more dog-eat-dog world than it ever was before, which means we who love what we do and believe we’re meant to do it have to work that much harder to stay in the game. But it’s worth it!

Not much has changed I guess. Only two more weeks left in this series, check bakc next week when we talk about artist’s responseablilty to it’s listner. Should be good!

Voices Of The Underground Pt.11

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?
Read Pt.8: What Is Your Opinion On The Christian Music Industry?
Read Pt.9: Do You Think The Christian Music Scene Is Still Important?
Read Pt.10: Do You Think People Are More Receptive Or Resistant to Artists Of Faith Today?

If you have been reading this series at all, our question this week may seem a bit redundant. After all, it is hard to imagine that many of the people who have been talking with us on this series wouldn’t consider themselves Christian artists. Many of the topics we have been covering seem to make that point obvious, but as we (The (ONE)21 Music) have been doing research to find new music for you guys, we have found that the next question is either extremely resented or not ever asked of anybody anymore.  We wanted to find out why no one seems to be comfortable being called a Christian musician anymore, so we decided to ask ourselves.

Do you consider yourself a Christian musician? In what way does this affect your music?

deweyDewey Lybecker( independent solo singer/songwriter)
Dewey Lybecker
I’m not sure if I consider myself a “Christian musician,” but maybe more of a musician that happens to be a Christian. I feel like if you label yourself as a Christian musician, then there’s this expectation that everything you write or release has to be about God. For me, I just want to sing about life and the struggles I have, or the dreams I want to achieve… If that happens to be about God, then it is… but if it’s not, then that’s ok too.

corpuschristijarrodinfront Jarrod(guitarist/singer from Victory Records metal band Corpus Christi)
Corpus Christi
Yes. It affects you because you realize that your songs are not entirely yours. God’s hand is in your songs, and it comes through in the way you write and the lyrical themes thay show up in your music.

inhaleexhalejohninveryback John (guitarist for Solid State Records metal band Inhale/Exhale)
Inhale Exhale
No. Because I have to say I would write music for anyone. Not just Christians. But I do believe in God and I do have a faith in Jesus Christ which I am willing to share.

echocastbandwb8David (singer for independent nu-metal band Echocast)
Echocast
I consider myself a Christian and I consider myself a musician… I’m not a worship leader though… That’s the problem that I’ve come across through the Christian music industry, so I’m not really sure anymore… Different people have different definitions of what being a “Christian Musician” means… I am a Christian and I pour myself into all of my songs, so I believe Christian views and values come out in all of them, but at the same time, I don’t have the calling to be a worship leader and when we play a show at a church, we play our set and that’s it…

daveleftpoorlybuitparachute Dave (half of Holdfast Records electro-house duo Poorly Built Parachute)
Poorly Built Parachute
I am a Christian that plays music. I try to walk the Christian walk as best as I can. I’m not perfect however. I do pray over our shows sometimes, hoping that the music moves in a spiritual way through people. We really don’t have lyrics at all so our emotions are the only thing that speaks through the music. But yes, our CD is available at Christian bookstores because we’re good Christian dudes… most of the time

the_welcome_wagon_-_0938-cVito(half of Asthamic Kitty indie/folk band The Welcome Wagon)
The Welcome Wagon
“Christian musician” is not a label I use or seek out, but it’s certainly not a label I’m ashamed of, or that I would deny. I am a Christian, and my vocation is as a Christian pastor, and my band plays music that is primarily about Christ. So anyone who says we are “Christian musicians” certainly has a lot of valid reasons to do so.

hylandjonJon (lead singer/guitarist for independent pop/rock band Hyland)
Hyland
I am definitely a Christian musician. This makes me focus on my craft even more. I have to be that much better. If there is a cliche’ I’m going to break it. My music needs to have double meanings, word play is even more important.

bryanblondstreakabandon Bryan (bass player for Forefront Records pop/rock band Abandon) Abandon
Do you call a plumber who happens to be a Christian a Christian plumber…? NO. You call him a plumber. If he is living out his life in a Christ like way, you will see that and it will be evident that he is living for something more than this world. So we are most certainly Christians who are musicians, and our music most certainly is about our Lord and savior. But me personally, I think labeling someone a Christian version of whatever career they have is pointless. Christ is alive in me and every member of our band. Everything that we do is for Him alone!

amycourts Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)
Amy Courts
I’m a Christian. Everything I am is, because of that faith, seasoned with Christ. So whether I’m writing about love, work, social justice, or spirituality, it is a “Christian” work. I can no sooner escape that defining part of me than I could escape my humanity.

johanna fellow Johanna Miller(keyboardist/singer for South Pawl pop/rock band Fellow)
Fellow
Yes, I consider myself a Christian musician. I want God to use me to minister to others. After praying over a new song, I try to let Him speak what He wants to get out instead of only my own feelings.

takeitbackdanielDaniel(guitarist for Facedown Records hardcore band Take It Back!)
Take It Back - Can't Fight Robots
Absolutely I do. This affects my music because everything in my life is based around that, so it shines through in our music because it is the most important thing in the world to us.

dirt DIRT(underground hip-hop artist and founder of Shadow Of The Locust)
Dirt
I consider myself a musician. If you find Inspiration to better yourself and, more importantly, move yourself closer to God in my soundscapes then I consider myself a musician that accomplished my goal.

sethinfrontendervenceSeth (singer for independent hard rock band Endeverance)
Endeverance
I guess first off “Christian” is not a genre of music…to me. It is my personal belief and my faith. Does my faith and beliefs affect my music? You bet, but my band doesn’t promote ourselves as a “Christian Band” we are a band who sing songs about everything. Our beliefs, struggles, and even so called “secular” topics…But I don’t think this is wrong I think this is the right way to go about it…

runkidrundavidoneinhatDavid (lead singer/guitarist for Tooth & Nail pop/rock band Run Kid Run)
Run Kid Run
I hate this battle people put too much emphasis on this sure Christan musician whatever you want to call me..I’m a christian I play music our band plays tons of Christian events churches etc. So I guess you would say yes…but you wouldn’t label a doctor or a roofer saying yes I’m a Christian roofer..not that it’s a bad thing see it doesn’t matter people can call me a Christian musician or not it doesn’t matter.

christaylor Chris Taylor (BEC solo artist/song writer)
Chris Taylor
Yes. More importantly I am a disciple of Jesus. I was called to Him before I knew what or how to sing unto the Him. It affects me every time I go to write or sing publicly. I cannot shake what the Lord has done for His people. I want my life and music to reflect the Greatness of the Glory of His Grace.

In the end, it is up to the artists themselves to choose how they wish to be perceived.  Many of the artists will disagree with each other, but we know God is using them to create His sweet, sweet sound.

Join us next week when we talk about what is the hardest part about being a musician today.

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?

Voices Of The Underground Pt.4

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?

This week we start to brave more serious territory.  In the last ten years, we have seen a dramatic turn in the music industry as a whole. With the birth of companies like Napster, iTunes, and a rise in interest for more independently made music, the whole model of how business works concerning music has been spun on its head. The music industry, be it the Christian market or mainstream, is no longer what it used to be. We asked out artists what they thought, and their answers were….well, see for yourself:

What is your opinion of the music industry today? What has changed? What NEEDS to change?

johanna fellow Johanna Miller (keyboardist/singer for South Pawl pop/rock band Fellow) Fellow
The music industry doesn’t always make sense to me. My band (Fellow) has played with so many talented musicians that work hard but they don’t ever make it to the next level they’re striving for. Then you see bands that have “made it” and they don’t even realize how blessed they really are for being given that opportunity.
I wish there was a better way for artists to do what they’re called to do without having to work three jobs and then be expected to perform for free because it’s a ministry.

amycourts Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)                                      Amy Courts
I think the music industry, in general, is in the midst of both its worst and best times. Major Labels are fighting to survive, and the Machine is breaking, and yet they still control so much of the radio waves and distribution outlets. Add to that the “American Idol” culture which can make anyone, talented or not, a worldwide superstar overnight (and giving them a piece of the pie earned by artists who’ve spent years working hard to get what’s been arbitrarily given away), and you’ve got a pretty ugly business market that doesn’t favor the bottom-rungers at all. In that way, it’s discouraging, because it’s back-breaking to try and fight a way through to make this lifestyle sustainable. But on the other hand, with the advent of internet technology and online forums and free web communities and download outlets, it’s never been easier for independent artists to build a fan base, tour the world, produce and sell merchandise, and remain totally independent and in control of their art. We don’t have to sell our souls to get somewhere anymore.

hylandjon Jon (lead singer/guitarist for independent pop/rock band Hyland)            Hyland
I think the biggest thing right now is that CDs are still the main medium used to listen to music. It’s a 10 year old product!!! When CDs came out we were still watching movies on VHS. Now we’re not only pushing beyond DVDs we’re well into Blu-Ray. My point being is that to keep music competitive in this market, we need something new. A high-def way to listen to music would be a good start. And also getting people away from the mindset of ‘i just want LOTS of music’ instead of caring about what music they have is something that needs to change.

inhaleexhalejohninveryback John (guitarist for Solid State Records metal band Inhale Exhale) Inhale Exhale
I think the music business is the worse business to get into. With Myspace, music has open doors for some very good bands, has closed the door on some, and has created a pedestal for some terrible bands with no talent. Music has also become a trend in it’s self. It’s now a fashion statement. Some people don’t care about what they are listening to, they just care how someone looks. I think integrity has left the scene. It’s sad.

runkidrundavidoneinhat David (lead singer/guitarist for Tooth & Nail pop/rock band Run Kid Run) Run Kid Run
I think it has gotten better of late… bands are way more independent and can easily make an impact without a label. Which I thing is a good thing.

dirt DIRT (underground hip-hop artist and founder of Shadow Of The Locust) Dirt
I have too many opinions about this to express here. But in my travels and experience, the Secular Music Industry needs to wake up and stop peddling smut into our minds and hearts (people are dying, literally, from the foul messages) and the Christian Music Industry needs to stand up and support the front line musicians trying to spread Good News (stop letting the world steal our creative idea’s and call it their own).

corpuschristijarrodinfront Jarrod(guitarist/singer from Victory Records metal band Corpus Christi) Corpus Christi
It’s in a unique state. Everything has changed, and the industry is scrambling to catch up with it.
The next change needs to be the death of Clear Channel. An industry without them is something I would love to see!

christaylor Chris Taylor (BEC solo artist/song writer)                                          Chris Taylor
Not sure, people want music and they’re getting it, seems pretty solid now in that regard. People are getting so much so quick and so cheap. Not sure that kinda model is good for any people group. Savoring is good once in a while.

sethinfrontendervence Seth (singer for independent hard rock band Endeverance)             Endeverance
My opinion on the music industry is that it has lost its genuine quality…I mean you look now it’s all about the popstar and not about being the artist, it’s about selling records and not making amazing art…I mean you look at American Idol all the other stupid Idol competitions, and my personal opinion is that they have ruined the music industry…Yes great musicians and artists have come from these places but the way winning is advertised on these shows is that it is all about being a star. And I just look back and see like Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles, and it wasn’t about being a star it was about writing what you had on your mind and making the best music possible…And what needs to change is that the record companies have to quit prostituting all the artist’s and their music…I mean just get behind an artist and let them write a great song…Not maybe a hit song but a song that can strike a chord with the people and not just another useless pop song…

bryanblondstreakabandon Bryan (bass player for Forefront Records pop/rock band Abandon) Abandon
In short, the industry has really gotten itself in quite a bind. I do believe however, that we are on the upswing and things will be getting better soon. Digital music, Myspace, Purevolume, and illegal downloading have changed the music industry drastically. People need to buy more stinkin’ records!!!

brookewaggner Brooke Waggoner(solo indie/pop artist on SlowMoon Music)                 Brooke Waggoner
Honestly, this question keeps getting tossed around so much, I think it’s time to adjust, adapt, and do the best you can. I think the changes are fairly obvious (people don’t buy as much music anymore because it’s information overload now. Too much to sift through) So, this in turn makes bands/artists get more creative which is kind of cool in my opinion…

brandonsayyouwill Brandon (bass player for independent pop/rock band Say You Will)
The music industry is dying and musicians are essentially fighting to survive amidst the corpses. No one buys anything except for merch and tickets. Even then, if you aren’t signed you won’t have to exposure to sell thousands of tickets, but labels are signing less and less because they’re slowly consolidating. It’s a real catch 22. What needs to and will happens I believe is a brilliant person will come along and restructure how this whole industry works, and that is what will save it and aid it in growing.

daveleftpoorlybuitparachute Dave (half of Holdfast Records electro-house duo Poorly Built Parachute) Poorly Built Parachute
Here is what I believe, unless a big-wig record label is ready to offer you real money, a salary, not bull crap, then stay independent. I think it’s retarded that bands sign over the rights to their music forever merely on a gamble that they might make a dollar here and there. A lot of labels look for ways to screw bands. I’d rather stay indie and keep music on the DL rather than sell my soul and end up in debt to a label.

echocastbandwb8David ( singer for independent nu-metal band Echocast)                   Echocast
I think the music industry is hurting today… Labels don’t develop artists anymore, they try to push out that one radio single and then let the artist die… Downloading has killed record sales and high fuel prices have hurt touring bands that don’t have huge label support…

mahoganyjones Mahogany Jones (independent hip-hop artist)                                      Mahogany Jones
So much about the music industry has changed. It used to be where labels believed in backing and putting out good music and supporting great musicians and artist, but now so much of the music industry is a machine that’s centered on making money, no matter if the music that’s being released is exploiting a generation. What’s new about the industry that’s kind of cool is that because of the digital age, a lot of great musicians can independent of a record label deliver their music to the people minus the filter of the Industry. What needs to change… sigh, it’s not necessarily the industry but the people that need to change. If consumers took more of an active role in deeming what they considered worthy of consumption, it may help in dictating what gets released.

Voices Of The Underground Pt.3

voicesoftheundergroundlogo-copy2

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 will explore which part of the process artists enjoy the most when it comes to making and playing music.  Some people are strong song writers, and then others love to play their music. Some are torn. What we end up with is a series of artists talking about what they love about being a musician. Also this week, two new faces, Dowd from A Thousand Times Repent,and David from Echocast.

What is the best thing about making music?

a thousnd times repent dowd Dowd(guitar for Tribunal Records metal band A Thousand Times Repent) A Thousand Times Repent
With music each step is pretty necessary. I like all three and this is why. Writing is great because that is when you put all of your feelings and ideas into song form. I like recording because that is when all the hard work gets put down and you finally get to step outside from playing it and get to hear the whole product. I love performing cause that is when you get to take your music to the kids and let them hear what you have been hard at work on and also get to share the fact that we are a Christian band and nothing will change that.

christaylor Chris Taylor (BEC solo artist/song writer)                                            Chris Taylor
I prefer sitting in my room and recording ideas. Just being creative

johanna fellow Johanna Miller (keyboardist/singer for South Pawl pop/rock band Fellow) Fellow
I love that there are so many things you can say with lyrics that would never be accepted by the general public otherwise. Music really allows God to use us in ways we could never imagine.
Wow, I like it all but if I have to choose it would be performing. There’s nothing quite like seeing people touched by the music God gave you.

domicballi Dominic Balli (independent Reggae/hip-hop artist)                            Dominic Balli
I love recording cuz you can do whatever you want and really let the creativity fly in the studio. I lover performing because I get to relate to people on a personal level and communicate truth in a conversational way. I think sometimes it’s easier for people to receive truth when you’re looking then in the eyes. I love writing though because it’s where I get to paint the picture of what’s going on inside my heart mind and life.

brookewaggner Brooke Waggoner(solo indie/pop artist on SlowMoon Music)          Brooke Waggoner
I love writing the most! Performing can be really magical as well.. I just recently got done recording a new project and it was the most positive recording experience I’ve ever had and I enjoyed every moment!

daveleftpoorlybuitparachute Dave (half of Holdfast Records electro-house duo Poorly Built Parachute) Poorly Built Parachute
I like writing and performing, recording is stressful.

dirt DIRT (underground hip-hop artist and founder of Shadow Of The Locust) Dirt
The best thing about making the music is that I can get a small taste of what it was for God when He created the world. How excited He must of been, flowing with ideas, bursting at the seems to get them out. The only difference is (and its a BIG one!) that he awesomely created out of nothing! In his omnipotency and all-knowing way, He didn’t need anything but His presence and His Will and His authority to create.
We, as humans, need a pencil… a piece of paper…. some sound (which, again is created by ‘something else)…. God WAS and IS the ‘something else’. He is the music without the sound.

sethinfrontendervence Seth (singer for independent hard rock band Endeverance)                    Endeverance
I would have to say that the best thing about music is getting my heart out there and sharing it with people in a way I usually can’t. But I prefer all pieces of the musical process I don’t think you can have one without the other they all mesh together…

takeitbackdanielDaniel(guitarist for Facedown Records hardcore band Take It Back!) Take It Back - Can't Fight Robots
I think its safe to say we (Take It Back!) all prefer performing over anything. Being at a hardcore show where kids are singing along to your songs is really something that you cant compare to anything else.

amycourts Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)                                          Amy Courts
I love all of it, really, because different parts of who I am, at my core, go into each aspect. In the writing, I’m forced to dig into the depths and offer what’s there, however it looks or feels, and suffer (yet enjoy!) a sort of vulnerability found nowhere else. But when it comes out in song, it’s utter relief. In recording, I love the daunting task of taking a skeleton of a song and giving it muscle, tissue, skin, and a face by doing my best – with the help of gifted producers and musicians – to make a full body out of the bones. And the live performance is like icing on the cake, where I get to pour my heart out and share something very raw and real with people who may or may not “get” it. And there is always such deep satisfaction in finding and knowing the people with whom it resonates. A new community is born.

brandonsayyouwill Brandon (bass player for independent pop/rock band Say You Will)
Writing is like a puzzle frustrating yet satisfying. I love to write. Recording is pretty boring unless your recording and even then it gets old. Still satisfying tho. Performing is probably where we have the most fun. Interacting with the kids and showing our musics potential live is so exhilarating. At the same time it probably is the hardest to do b/c most shows are on tour and at our level tour is tough. Sleeping on floors, eating ravioli’s, and doing all of the work our selves kind of tough. haha.

the_welcome_wagon_-_0938-c Vito (half of Asthamic Kitty indie/folk band The Welcome Wagon) The Welcome Wagon
Performing our music—whether it be alone in our apartment, or in front of people—is probably what we like best. It’s us singing to one another and to God. That’s where the magic happens for us, and hopefully for others.
I do the writing alone, and I do like that process. It’s an electrifying thing to have a guitar in your hand, trying to fit sounds together and all of a sudden a melody line emerges alongside a chord change and you know it’s right. Recording is also fun, but stressful—that red light on the recording console is like the Eye of Sauron. But performing, for the most part, is the place where we become our band. When we play together we have to let go of all expectations and assumptions and all our ego and we sing and play and the transcendent stuff happens and the mistakes happen and we have to give it all to God. And because we are doing that together before God, it’s an intimate, wonderful thing.

echocastbandwb8David ( singer for independent nu-metal band Echocast)                     Echocast
Most musicians that I’m friends with love writing and recording above all else, I’m the complete opposite… My favorite part of making music is the actual performance, touring, presenting your music to a live audience…

heathstripsinirons Heath (bass player for Holdfast Records metal band In Irons)                  In Irons
It can all be very stressful, yet extremely fun at the same time. The writing process is definitely the hardest because we’re all throwing around different ideas and sometimes we don’t all agree and it can easily turn into an argument. But its very rewarding when you do actually come together and finish a song. Recording is very rough as well. It’s definitely the most tedious part about being in a band because you put so much hard work, money and time into it and you want to sound perfect. But there is nothing like listening to the finished product of your own songs for the first time. And performing live makes it all worth it. It can be stressful at times when you’re having to deal with all the technical difficulties but its definitely rewarding. We all just have fun doing every bit of it, to be completely honest.

bryanblondstreakabandon Bryan (bass player for Forefront Records pop/rock band Abandon) Abandon
Can i choose “D” all of the above? haha… If i had to pick just one it would definitely be Performing. That’s where all of the excitement is at, but i truly do LOVE writing. That’s the intimate part and there is nothing quite like strumming the first few chords to what you know will one day become a masterpiece.


Voices Of the Underground Pt. 1

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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?

This week we asked the question posed by the main character of the 2000 film Almost Famous. Ever since I saw the movie, the innocence and simplicity of the question has always appealed to me. People always want to talk about what they love, so we gave our artists a chance to do just that.

What do you love about music?

the_welcome_wagon_-_0938-c Vito (half of Asthamic Kitty indie/folk band The Welcome Wagon) The Welcome Wagon
I think of music as a conduit that can connect people to each other, and connect us to God. There is nothing more important than   that—being united to God, and to one another—and there are few things that can do that better than music.

hylandjon Jon (lead singer/guitarist for pop/rock band Hyland)                              Hyland
Music is such a big part of my life. It’s able to pick up where words leave off, or express words/thoughts and emotions in ways that people can connect to. I love music for so many reasons.

runkidrundavidoneinhat David (lead singer/guitarist for Tooth & Nail pop/rock band Run Kid Run) Run Kid Run
I love the power music has with your emotions from a great melody that just makes you hum along on a beautiful day or a quiet song that brings you to tears or a song that gives you energy and moves you.

dirt DIRT (underground hip-hop artist and founder of Shadow Of The Locust) Dirt
Music has the authority to move people… LITERALLY move them! From one emotion to the next. Music can save a life or end it. Music can change the atmosphere, good or bad. Music can start a needed revolution and quell a dictatorship. We receive music through our ears, but it is translated in our souls. Our brains deciphers the organized sound, but our hearts move us to action with the messages depicted.

hill Brett Hill (Paradigm Nashville solo country artist)                                    Brett Hill
It is a way to express the heart and the spirit, and also a way to reach others who respond to music.

christaylor Chris Taylor (BEC solo artist/song writer)                                             Chris Taylor
It makes mile 7 and 8 so much easier.

amycourts Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)                                  Amy Courts
The communicative nature of it, and how any given song, depending on its melody, progression, and subject matter, can draw the most unsuspecting, motley crowd together in unity as some part of the song resonates with each individual.

brookewaggner Brooke Waggoner(solo indie/pop artist on SlowMoon Music)             Brooke Waggoner
The freedom and retreat of it all.

ourproclamationfrankieinstrips Frankie (vocalist for Infantry Records hardcore band Our Proclamation) Our Proclamation
Music is the purest of all art forms. I love the being able to have a different soundtrack depending on my mood, and I love how my music can have an effect on people’s lives.

mahoganyjones Mahogany Jones (independent hip-hop artist)                                       Mahogany Jones
I love that music soothes emotions and mind and is a tool that God uses to help draw us closer to Him when we use it to praise Him and to worship Him.

domicballi Dominic Balli (independent Reggae/hip-hop artist)                                 Dominic Balli
It can stir the human heart deeper than any other created thing. Truly. That’s why a movie without a sound track isn’t much of a movie. I think then, worshiping God through music become one of the deepest things we can do to express our love to him. For me, it’s also a medium by which I communicate to the world around me.

heathstripsinirons Heath (bass player for Holdfast Records metal band In Irons)          In Irons
It’s just simply a way for people to connect. No matter the race, background, or beliefs of a person, we can all come together through music and its just a beautiful thing.

sethinfrontendervence Seth (singer for independent hard rock band Endeverance)               Endeverance
I love that it can draw people from different backgrounds and different points of view to come together under one purpose and understanding if even only for a few minutes…I love that it is a great release for frustrations and even struggles…But most of all it brings people together…

bryanblondstreakabandon Bryan (bass player for Forefront Records pop/rock band AbandonAbandon
Music is the best possible way to express yourself in my opinion. I love being able to write songs that truly mean something to me personally. There is no greater feeling than singing and playing my heart out on stage every night. It is truly amazing how much music has an impact on people’s hearts too. My favorite part about what we so is seeing lives changed through these lyrics and songs that God has blessed us with.

daveleftpoorlybuitparachute Dave (half of  Holdfast Records electro-house duo Poorly Built Parachute) Poorly Built Parachute
Music has always been a means of spilling out the true emotions within my heart. I’m a Christian, go to Church, try to prayer a lot… but I have a past that was not so pleasant and memories and screwed up stuff I went through still effects me today, probably will forever. Music and art helps me vent.

brandonsayyouwill Brandon (bass player for independent pop/rock band Say You Will)
It’s contagiousness. My goal as a musician is to make music that makes others feel the way I’ve felt when I’ve heard a song that I love. I hope someone loves what I do as much as I love what others are doing. That idea; to create a feeling that you’ve felt and loved for some else is very contagious and even biblical.