Endeavor The Seas Changes Name

Progressive indie band Endeavor The Seas, with addition of a new drummer, has changed their names to Comrades.  A statement was posted on the band’s website earlier today:

This post comes with a great amount of joy. It is after midnight, and we all have just parted ways with a lot more peace in our hearts than we have had in a long time. Tomorrow brings more music and planning. It seems that over the past two years, God has been molding and shaping us for something we have not yet seen, and now is yet another period of learning and blessing, striving and living on faith. With all the undulations of member changes, we have witnessed unrest and loss, as well as beautiful friendship and brotherhood. Each occurrence of hardship led to another lesson and progression to another place of understanding, and that understanding made very clear that God’s mystery is deeper than we can fathom and that our steadfast hope in Him rises above our circumstance. After many months of contemplation and searching, prayer and waiting, we have been blessed to have another part of the whole that was missing from our band for so long.
Spencer has joined us in this endeavor as our drummer, and we have been so incredibly happy to have him. Over the past few months, we have gotten to know this incredibly uplifting and kindhearted bro and he is now not only part of our music, but a vital part of our community as well. He fits with us, knowing that he was also made to play music and serve the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength. We rejoice in the fact that he is able to share in this part of our lives and that God brought our paths to cross.
We have also been considering a name-change for a long while now, and finally decided that on this cusp of beginning, it should happen. We have chosen upon Comrades for various reasons. Endeavor the Seas was beloved. It was something that had brought so much good and dreams were made a reality under that title, but it was lacking a substance that was being demanded of it. We know that a name is a single word that summarizes character, flaw, and accomplishment. Memories are stored under names, both good and bad.
We have been dwelling upon brotherhood, community, and the Church as of late. There are many things that are faulty with all these things, but in the end, we all will end up by one another, all meeting in the same place. We have set our wills and our hearts to living lives that encourage, instill, and provoke hope. We strive to seek Truth and to be conduits for the Truth that set us free. As a band, we are Comrades. But also as believers, as friends, as neighbors, and human beings. We cannot ignore the fact that there are other people who fight and struggle and long for fulfillment. By doing what we know we’re meant to, we hopefully continue on the charge given to us by Jesus Christ, and speak hope and truth and love into lives who are searching. Grace and Peace friends, pray for us.

Your Comrades,
Laura, Joe, and Spencer

Lorien Lose Keyboard/Vocalist

Cara, vocalist and keyboard player for indie pop band Lorien, has decided to step down from the band.  Her statement concerning her departure can be found below:

I have wanted to not write this letter for a while now. I keep putting it off because what I want and what I need to say doesn’t seem as real or as final as long as I keep avoiding it.

Anything that I have tried to write or rewrite has all seemed wrong. I chase a lot of rabbits. I keep trying to say more than I need to say, but to be to the point: I am no longer an active part of Lorien.

Lord, that was hard.

For a long time, I believe I have also put off a strong calling in my life. What makes it so difficult is that, for over four years, I have had the time of my life – young as we may be – learning, growing, creating music, building relationships, and traveling the country with my best friends. Harmonically, what makes me consider this the right decision is that among these best friends and among other wise, trusted counsel I’ve sought is the overwhelming peace and understanding that this is the path that has been unmistakably laid for me to take.

In the next few months, I will continue making steps down this path by contributing to the ministry of music and outreach in a church that, as some of you know, I have been a part of for quite some time. This community is full of exciting opportunities for growth and creativity. I am continually challenged and inspired by the experiences I’ve been a part of there and I am excited about what is to come in the near future through this act of obedience and step of faith in my life’s adventure.

Many times in my life I have endured (and no doubt contributed to) a significant amount of unrest due to a seemingly insurmountable inability to make and embrace difficult decisions I know need to be made. While this situation is no exception for a great amount of sadness, I am comforted by the words of my Father where it is written, “They that sow in tears shall reap with songs of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.”

I cannot sufficiently describe the joys, challenges, and inspirations I have experienced in having been a part of Lorien. This not only pertains to the brothers I have in Kaleb, Chase, David, and Thomas, but also to you – whether you are family, a friend, or even a stranger who has taken the time to listen. I have encountered the most gracious acts of hospitality, the most priceless evenings of fellowship and of laughter, and the most fortunate construction of relationships established in Nashville and on the road by way of Lorien. C.S. Lewis said, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself (for God did not need to create). It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which gives value to survival.” He was so right. You have all contributed in an astronomical way to the value of my life. It has also been said that “The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” It is a great pleasure that I am allowed such a discovery through the many friends I have in you.

One of the other greatest comforts in making this decision is knowing how incredibly supported Lorien and I are and will continue to be in what is ahead of us. I urge you to keep listening. Keep coming out. Lorien is still very much alive and our mission to love one another and all others by “sharing in the joys and fears of life together” is likewise far from finished and as strong as ever.

To anyone who may be curious to know more about my decision, I would be pleased to explain more specifically through a phone call, an email, a letter… whichever medium suits you best to discuss further what’s going on in my life. This is not to presume I am wise or interesting enough that you may want to know more about myself. However, given the opportunity, it would make my heart glad to share the hope and peace I am still growing to know with you, my friends.

For getting us this far and for your continued encouragement, love, and support, I cannot say thank you enough. Thank you for your time and attention in reading what has been laying so heavily on my heart, as well. Keep coming back to watch exciting things happen with Lorien!

Always remember, and most importantly, believe: “you were meant for amazing things.”

In all His love, grace, and peace-

Cara

Astellaway Lose Singer

Pop rock band Astellaway announced this week the departure of vocalist Kacy. The band had the following posted on their Myspace:

Hello everybody, We have some very sad news. Kacy is no longer going to be the singer for Astellaway. There are no hard feelings between any of us in the band, sometimes it’s just time to move on and try something new. We are still staying together and are excited for you to hear some of the new songs we’ve been working on. We will post them up on facebook for free downloads so visit us on there to download them as we put them up!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Astellaway/113684958236?v=app_5179614317

Thanks to all of our supporters and wish Kacy well!

Essential Song:mewithoutYou-In A Sweater Poorly Knit

mewithoutyouaarononeeye

Oh, so I forgot to warn you when we started this Essential Song series that there would be a lot of mewithoutYou on in. They just write really amazing, beautiful and unique songs, and we have to include them. Just to get this out of the way, you will also see a lot of Wovenhand, Josh Garrels, and a few others. This gorgeous song features equal parts self examination and spiritual revelation that it could double as a praise song to sing in your church. This video was taken from Cornerstone Fest a few years back when they played the main stage. They invited a few of their buddies on stage, including Timbre. Enjoy this as you read the lyrics…

In a sweater poorly knit, and an unsuspecting smile
Little Moses drifts downstream in the Nile
A fumbling reply, an awkward, rigid laugh
I’m carried helpless by my floating basket raft
Your flavor in my mind swings back and forth
between sweeter than any wine, and bitter as mustard greens
Light and dark as honeydew and pumpernickel bread
The trap I set for you seems to have caught my leg instead

As you plow some other field and try and forget my name,
see what harvest yields, and, supposing I’d do the same
I planted rows of peas, but by the first week of July
they should have come up to my knees but they were maybe ankle high
Take the fingers from your flute to weave your colored yarns,
and boil down your fruit to preserves in mason jars
But now books are overdue and the goats are underfed
The trap I set for you seems to have caught my leg instead

You’re a door without a key, a field without a fence
You made a holy fool of me, and I’ve thanked you ever since
If she comes circling back, we’ll end where we’d begun
Like two pennies on the train track the train crushed into one
Or if I’m a crown without a king, if I’m a broken, open seed
If I come without a thing, I come with all I need
No boat out in the blue, no place to rest your head
The trap I set for you seems to have caught my leg instead

I do not exist
Only You exist
I do not exist

You can purchase this song on Amazon MP3 and Mewithoutyou - Brother, Sister - In a Sweater Poorly Knit

What was Aaron trying to say with all the metaphors of farming and crops?
Is this mewithoutYou‘s version of worship music?

Voices Of the Underground Pt.7

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?

This week we explore a question that we have debated a lot on this site. In fact, this question explores what is perhaps one of the most controversial and important concepts when it comes to faith and music. For our site, we have defined what we consider Christian music, and then have even gone farther to clarify the many parts of that definition. For most people, and especially music lovers, the concept of what makes music “Christian” is a big deal. In all reality, most of us that talking about it are speaking from the outside in, so this week we ask people making the music what their definition is. As with all of our Voices Of The Underground episodes, the answers are very diverse, and most will surprise you. Alright, enough talk:

What is Christian music?

amycourts Amy Courts (independent pop/folk artist)                                         Amy Courts
I believe Christian Music is – in real terms, not industry terms – anything that flows from the hearts of the redeemed. As one who’s struggled to find a fit in both the “Christian” music world and the “Mainstream” world, I’ve become more and more convinced that being a Christian artist has less to do with how many times I mention “Jesus” in any given song, or how many songs per album are about God, church, Jesus, heaven, or the Bible. Instead, it’s about a faith that filters into and seasons everything I am, say, and do. My faith in Christ and relationship to Him is not “a” thing or even “the” thing that tops any list of priorities. It is the filter through which all priorities find their place. Because I am a Christian, in my heart, my songs will be flavored by my faith. Because Christ is my King, and His heart is for the least of these, my actions will be on behalf of of those He cherishes.

mahoganyjones Mahogany Jones (independent hip-hop artist)                                 Mahogany Jones
Music that is Christ centered. Music that the subject matter doesn’t have to be Christ, but it’s solution or resolve is Christ.
So if I write a song about relationships or about my job- the context needs to be about how I handle either in relationship to my relationship with Christ.

bryanblondstreakabandon Bryan (bass player for Forefront Records pop/rock band Abandon) Abandon
Music that glorifies our God. Plain and simple. It isn’t a fad or even a “genre” in my opinion. I believe that if you are a Christian and you are an artist, your art should reflect your love for your savior, no questions asked. He created you, so anything you create should bring him glory.

brandonsayyouwill Brandon (bass player for independent pop/rock band Say You Will)
Christian music is music that is glorifying to God in any way. Even if it doesn’t say a word about God.

the_welcome_wagon_-_0938-c Vito (half of Asthmatic Kitty indie/folk band The Welcome Wagon) The Welcome Wagon
I think this is a term that should be defined by whoever is using it at the time. It’s not a term I use, thus I do not have a working definition of it. I have terms I do use that are similar, for example, “church music.” I am the pastor of a church, and it is my duty to select music for our church to sing and hear in the context of our worship service. I have a set of criteria that I bring to that task that helps me to choose that music. So that’s a definition—“church music”—that I could give.
But “Christian music” is not a term I use, so I can’t define it.

a thousnd times repent dowd Dowd(guitar for Tribunal Records metal band A Thousand Times Repent) A Thousand Times Repent
I think it is a way to make more positive music that is based around Jesus in any genre. I don’t think any genre should be left out. I think you can do straight death metal and be a Christian band if you want. We need those options available to kids.

dewey Dewey Lybecker( independent solo singer/songwriter)                     Dewey Lybecker
I think Christian music is music that reflects life from the perspective of a person that has a personal relationship with God. The good and the bad..

brookewaggner Brooke Waggoner(solo indie/pop artist on SlowMoon Music)            Brooke Waggoner
Anything that is created from the heart of believers: CCM, indie, rock ‘n’ roll, experimental – there’s Christians in all of these places.

dirt DIRT (underground hip-hop artist and founder of Shadow Of The Locust) Dirt
I know what Christian music SHOULD be…. it should be any music that inspires you TOWARDS God.

ourproclamationfrankieinstrips1Frankie (vocalist for Infantry Records hardcore band Our Proclamation) Our Proclamation
Well, there’s a lot of debate about this. Can you be a Christian band and have songs that aren’t about God? Or do you have to sing about or praise God in everything you perform?
Honestly.. It makes no difference to me. We get lost in the title of “Christian” that we lose our relationship with Christ. I’d rather play music about Christ than Christian music.

sethinfrontendervence Seth (singer for independent hard rock band Endeverance)          Endeverance
To me I honestly don’t think there is a thing as “Christian Music”. I think there is a thing called “Worship Music” which is played in churches every week, but the rest of everything that is called “Christian Music” to me is just plain music…I mean I look at it in the way C.S. Lewis did, as Christian’s I think we should just make music, but do it a million times better than non-Christians…and just leave it at that…

johanna fellow Johanna Miller (keyboardist/singer for South Pawl pop/rock band Fellow) Fellow
Christian music should always direct our thoughts toward God and living a Christ-like life. It’s not limited to strictly church worship songs.

christaylor Chris Taylor (BEC solo artist/song writer)                                             Chris Taylor
Praising His Glorious name!

domicballi Dominic Balli (independent Reggae/hip-hop artist)                       Dominic Balli
To me, “Christian” describes who I AM. I am a Christian. I play Rock Reggae music. “Christian Music” is the only genre in Popular music that is defined not by a style of music but by lyrical content. When someone asks me, “What kind of music do you listen to?” And I say, “Christian Music.” That could mean anything from Project 86 to Mary Mary to Jeremy Camp, to Cross Movement to Fernando Ortega. So what is Christian Music? It’s music where the lyrics are Christian in content.

echocastbandwb8David (singer for independent nu-metal band Echocast)                       Echocast
My personal opinion is that “Christian Music” is music consisting of songs either about the Lord or worshiping the Lord… But at the same time, if an artist writes songs that are more or less autobiographical or are putting their personal thoughts and feelings across, and that artist is a Christian, then Christian ideas and principals are going to come through in individual songs…

So, at the end of the day, the jury is still out. Maybe we as a body of believers will never be able to solve this debate, but we will continue to seek out what the answer is in our own lives. Join us next Thursday as we talk about the Christian music industry.

The One21 Interviews Dignan

dignan

Pt.1

Pt.2

Dignan are a progressive indie rock band from McAllen TX. They play a darker breed of the type of music you come to expect of bands like Anathallo and mewithoutYou.  There the mood never distracts from their pure talent though. We got a chance to catch their SXSW show and were really impressed by their quiet but commanding stage show. You can read our report from that show, and then you can watch the videos above as we talked with the band about how they got started, their faith, and every now and again got to dodge the the cars trying to run us over. We hope you enjoy as much as we did.

here is the band playing “Tangeled Woods” live in 2008

You can get Dignan‘s music on Dignan

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?

Free MP3 Album Download: Say You Will- Brighter EP

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This just came across the radar yesterday, so I am posting it in a hurry to make sure you get it. Say You Will is a pop/rock band out of Tennessee with some solid songs already under their belt. They are starting to pick up steam and get noticed, so it is awesome that they are giving away their EP to the masses.  If you read our site often, you may recognize the band name because their bassist, Brandon, has been contributing to our Voices Of The Underground series we have going here every Thursday.  For Fans Of All American Rejects, Fall Out Boy, and Cartel. Enjoy

The link below will take you to a Gimmesound.com page, containing all the tracks from the EP for download. You have to be a member to get the tracks, but its free to join so no big deal right? I promise its free, just sign up already…

Download Say You Will- Brighter EP

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

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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.