Free Download: White Collar Sideshow – The WitcHunt

Im super stoked to present to you the second release of our good friends in White Collar Sideshow called The WitcHunt. Now if you dont know who (or what) White Collar Sidshow is, they humbly descibe themselves as ….a vaudevillian feel with a horror movie twist. An original movie plays on stage and two drummers & the faceless woman (playing bass in a 9 foot go-go cage) provide the live soundtrack. The videos take you through the mind of an addict while the live characters draw in the crowd for a truly memorable Shock Rock experience..

For the last 4 years, they have been touring the country performing the original sideshow, and after almost 6 months away, they have returned with their most ambitious outing to date: a brand new album that is the soundtrack a brand new original film that appears in the band’s performances. It is not too far of a stretch to say that White Collar Sideshow in faith music’s first shock and awe group. Keep that in mind as you watch the trailer for The WitcHunt below.

If you are intrigued, you should be. If you are a little scared, that is normal. If you are appalled, then I would suggest digging deeper into this group before you make final judgments. For all their theatrics, White Collar Sideshow exists to help people deal with their hidden horrors by relying on God and being honest with who they are. I have personally seen hundreds of lives changed through their unique and powerful show, and Im sure you wont feel in different if you are ever able to experience The WitcHunt

Download The WitcHunt by White Collar Sideshow on Come&Live!

Cornerstone Festival Day 3: Musical Heaven

Day 3 at Cornerstone Festival 2010 was the first official day for the majority of those in attendance, but our staff had already taken two full days of amazing music. Day 3 ended up being my heaviest day for shows, and it was also my day of “heavy hitters”. I didn’t get back to my tent until 1:45 AM, but I loved every minute of it!

Bradley Hathaway Cornerstone festival 2010 3
My first real show was the great Bradley Hathaway on the main stage. While I would have preferred a more intimate setting for his performance, Bradley was flawless on stage. He played a good mix from last year’s A Mouth Full of Dust, and his latest EP A Thousand Angry Panthers. It was indie folk at it’s best, with Bradley and the band bringing us story after story of pain, searching, redemption, and Christ. A note for all reading, Bradley Hathaway‘s new EP is phenomenal! Its only four songs, and its at the top of the best of the year list already. During the show, he shared with the crowd that this performance was the first in a year, and it seems like this year on main stage may have been a rare sighting to an incredible artist.
Bradley Hathaway Cornerstone Festival 2010 7

Next up, Rebecca and I headed over to one of the generator stages to catch some ranted poetry with Levi The Poet. he doesn’t use music, and rarely uses a microphone to perform his emotionally draining and spiritually deep poems. He makes himself very vulnerable as he reveals his struggles with depression, pornography, and doubting God. At all times he brings the focus back to God, and shows that no soul is unworthy of Christ’s love. It was beyond moving….
Levi The Poet Cornerstone Festival 2010 2 Levi 1

Then we saw Listener Project again. They were awesome……again.

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My next show of the day was one i was a little worried about. I first experienced mewithoutYou at the very first Cornerstone Festival I attended in 2002. I remember very distinctly that they were this very bizarre yet captivating band that wore layers of winter clothes in the 95 degree heat. i feel in love with their music, and they have been my favorite band ever since. This past year has shaken my affection for them with what i feel is their least genuine album to date, and they have seemingly embrace some spiritual practices that make us wonder if they even belong on this site anymore.
All this to say that what made mewithoutYou incredible was their passion. This performance, while great by any other band’s standards seemed uncomfortable, and a little messy. I still love this band, and they will always be one of my highlights of this festival, but it seems like this once great band may not really have their heart in it anymore.

mewithoutyou cornerstone festival 2010 1
We took a break, hung out with the people from Anchor Fellowship, Come&Live!, Ascend The Hill, and The Ember Days. Great fellowship with some amazing people for sure. I cant stress again how much this group of people reached out to our staff during the week, and they really encouraged us in a way that felt heart-felt and honest. Love those guys

We then made our way across the grounds and arrived at a nearly full tent waiting to see Blessed By A Broken Heart. They put on a really fun show, but we were there witness the mighty Sleeping Giant do their thing. Somehow, my wife and were able to slip up to the front of the crowd and made our stand at the edge of the stage.

The show itself was unlike anything I have really ever experienced. While band was setting up, vocalist and pastor Tommy Greene came out and spoke to the crowd about his expectations for the evening, and that he and the rest of the band truly wanted to create a place of worship for not only us in attendance, but also for the musicians playing. He then began to pray over the crowd, and even lead the Body in pray for the wife of one of the bands whose wife had just been rushed to the hospital. By the time the band actually started playing, the crowd was completely consumed by the presence of God.

Their set was a mixture or their two albums, with Tommy talking in between. Most of the guys in this band are pastors at some level, so while on the outside, Sleeping Giant may seem like just a hardcore band, they are in truth a worship band that plays hardcore. To any parents reading this right now who are concerned that hardcore and metal can only bring about negative atmospheres, I beg you to watch the video below. This is worship if I ever saw it!

For those wondering, the woman singing and the dude in the pig mask are Veronica and Phil from White Collar Sideshow, who lended their talents to the performance of this brand new song that Sleeping Giant was playing for the first time at Cornerstone. later on in the set they were joined by Men As Trees Walking as members of White Collar Sideshow and Brian Welch looked on. We left the tent close to 12:45 and were completely taken away by the spirit in the room.
Sleeping Giant Cornerstone festival 2010 2

Luckly for us, the tent that The Chariot was playing inwas right on the way back to our tent. Also lucky was that they hadnt begun their set on time. We werent able to get very close, but it was a Chariot show to the tenth degree. If you are confused by what this means, the video is of the final few minuts of the show. Pretty awesome.

Cornerstone Festival 2010: Day Two- COME&LIVE!

On our second day at Cornerstone Festival 2010, we decided to spend the majority of the day at the Anchor Fellowship/Come&Live! stage, and it ended up probably one of my favorite favorite days of the entire fest.

Typically this day (sometimes referred to as Day 0) in Cornerstone was called Tooth & Nail Day, in which Tooth & Nail/Solid State/BEC Recordings artists took over the whole festival and did their thing. This was a day to see almost the entire catalog of artists on the labels’ rosters, and maybe even some new up and comers. In 2003, Chuck and I watched a wild, unsigned and unknown, screamo band called Emery who signed with Tooth & Nail shortly after and are one of the label’s biggest artists. As of 2007, however, Tooth & Nail Day is no more, but I have to say I would take Come&Live! Day over it any year.

I feel like I need to say that the people of The Anchor Fellowship church out of Nashville were amazing. They stayed close to the tent the whole day and loved on everybody there. My wife and I had the pleasure of meeting several of them personally, including their pastor Joshua who was camped not to far from where we were. They prayed with us several times throughout the week, and we felt like we were part of the family even though they hardly knew us. Please check out their website, and maybe if you live in Nashville, TN go spend some time with them. The Anchor Fellowship.

We started with our buddy Preson Phillips! We have featured Preson‘s music on the site several times and he was even one of our Voices Of The Underground. The band and Mr. Phillips played all of my personal favorites, and really impressed all of us with their blend of folk, worship, and indie rock. On top of that Preson seemed right at home on stage, joking with the crowd, and charming everyone in the room. I could not have picked a more perfect way to start the day off.
Preson Phillips Cornerstone 2010

Then , after a year of hearing about them, we finally experienced the reggae hippie worship music of Men As Trees Walking. The stage seemed a little too small for their elaborate set up and 8 members, but they quickly entered into their set while in the middle of their sound check. I really still need some time to digest their music, even though I really liked it, but their show is really interesting.  On another cool note, in the middle of the set my wife and I realized that we actually knew their drummer Jason from our college days. It was good to catch up and find out that God had really been at work in his life since last we saw him. Men As Trees Walking is always on tour, if they come through your town, defiantly check them out and say hi.

I Am Alpha & Omega simply tore the stage apart! They brought a ton of energy with their brand of melodic hardcore, and in the ended up being the only heavy band of the day. Voaclist Donnie attacked every song like it was his last as the rest of the band never stopped moving from moment one! I had never seen these guys before, but I know now it wont be my last. They were awesome. Later on in the day we were able to talk with Donnie a little more and really got to know the guy’s heart. This is a band truely seeking God’s face, and are some really genuine people. Love that band!
I Am A and O 3~

So Long Forgotten was one of my must see bands for the festival, and they lived up to every expectation I had for them. Below is a video we shot of the band performing a very old song, and then a brand new one, hopefully it conveys the passion and creativity that filled the tent as we watched this amazing band perform their beautiful music.

We took a break for a while to go get some food, and returned later that night to witness our good friends, White Collar Sideshow perform their amazing show once again. TD and the gang have been busy since last we spoke to them a year ago. They have tweaked and refined the Sideshow, but the core of their show is the breath-taking presentation of an amazing testimony. It was great to see the show after so long, especially since listening to their music this past year gave me more of an appreciation of they do. We will talk about them more later on as we saw them again later in the week ( one of the only two artists we saw more than once). By the end of their show everyone in the room was speechless, no joke.
White Collar Sideshow Pig Cornerstone 2010

We ended our very long day with worship from Ascend The Hill, at 1:30 AM. They keep the energy high, and the passion even higher.  This kind of music is what will make you forget about time, and just sink into the sound.  Hey when God is moving through incrediable music, you dont leave.

The 2nd day filled me with so much joy about our Cornerstone experience, I can hardly express it here. We witnessed masterful music from just a wide range of sounds, that all were being made for Christ’s glory. This is what this festival was all about.

The one thing I took away from all the artists that we saw was a sense of genuine abandon.  Nobody preforming that day was rich, but they were fully committed to their ministry first and their music and their passion was a reflection of that.

Cornerstone 2010 Schedule: Rebecca

So, we are a week from leaving and I think I have finally nailed down my schedule for Cornerstone 2010. Here are few of the highlights that I’m going to see.

Monday: This is my only really slow day of the week, but as soon as camp is set up I’ll head out and see what new bands I can find. These are just the two I don’t want to miss!

Take It Back!10:30pm – Solace Stage: A post-hardcore band from Arkansas. This is a band you won’t want to miss. Although, if you can’t make it to this particular show they are playing a couple of more times during the week.

The Burial11:15pm – Raging Storm/Sancrosanct Stage: A deathcore band from South Bend, Indiana. If you are a fan of August Burns Red or Becoming the Archetype, then you’ll love The Burial.

Tuesday: And the craziness begins! For 12 hours  I will be running from stage to stage trying not to miss anything. A lot of the bands this day are going to be my first time seeing them live.

Fire from the Gods/Let the Dead - 12:00pm – Legacy Stage: Two bands from deep in the heart of Texas, Austin! These bands will show you what Texas hardcore is all about.

Hand Drawn Mountains1:40pm – Chasing Canadia Stage: This will be my first time to see this band live.

Switchfoot - 8:00pm – Main Stage: We all know Switchfoot. I’ve never had the opportunity to see them live, so here’s my chance.

The Ember Days - 9:00pm – Solace Stage: A progressive worship band from New Zealand. Another band I have never seen live.

The Showdown - 11:00pm – Encore Stage: Hardcore/Classic Rock from the backwoods of Tennessee. These guys put on a phenomenal show. If you are a fan of Maylene and the Sons of Disaster or Becoming the Archetype, then don’t miss this show!

Wednesday:  This will probably be my favorite day all week. All of my favorite bands play this day. I can’t Wait!

Bradley Hathaway3:30pm – Main Stage: A mix of spoken word and singing. Some of the most amazing stuff you’ll hear. He’s become kind of a staple at Cornerstone.

Levi the Poet - 4:30pm – Solace Stage: Spoken word with a mix of sporadic instruments. I have been waiting to see him play for quite some time now.

Listener6:00pm – Jesus Village: I’ve never seen him, but I’ve been listening to his stuff and I can’t wait! It’s going to be awesome!

mewithoutYou – 7:00pm – Main Stage: One of the most amazing bands ever! Another must see for Cornerstone.

Sleeping Giant - 10:50pm – Underground Stage: This band puts on one of the most moving, worship filled hardcore shows I have ever seen. If you go to this show you will be changed. You won’t be able to stop it! It cannot be  contained!

After a very long day, I get to end it with my favorite band:

The Chariot- 12:00pm – Encore Stage: Of course, I’ll have to leave Sleeping Giant early…but it will be worth every second. The Chariot always puts on an insane show. You never know what craziness they are going to bring to the stage

Thursday: This day is going to be an eclectic mix of music

John Reuben3:15pm – Main Stage: Just about the only chance for Hip-Hop at Cornerstone this year.

Brooke Waggoner4:15pm – Gallery Stage: I’ve never seen her live, but I’ve been listening to her for over a year now. It’s going to be amazing I just know it!

Hands7:30pm – Underground Stage: I have been waiting to see this band for a while now. Since they never come to Austin, I definitely will be at this show!

I’ll have to split my next hour to be able to see both bands:

The Almost8:30pm – Main Stage: One of my favorite bands.

The Farewell Drifters - 8:30pm – Gallery Stage: I love me some bluegrass, so I’m sure to catch at least part of this show

For Today- 10:50pm – Underground Stage: This show will be a lot like Sleeping Giant the night before. These guys are an amazing Hardcore band that puts on a show full of worship.

Friday: I’m hanging out at the Gallery Stage for most of this day.

The Glorious Unseen9:00am – Main Stage: This would be a great way to kick off the day. This band is made up of several youth leaders with a passion for music and a heart for God.

Timbre - 2:05pm – Gallery Stage: You’ve gotta’ see this harp playing girl!

Over the Rhine4:15pm – Gallery Stage: This Ohio duo plays awesome Americana music.

Dignan - 6:00pm – Gallery Stage: I haven’t seen this band live yet, but I look forward to hearing this progressive indie rock band

Paper Route - 7:15pm – Gallery Stage: An atmospheric rock band out of Nashville, Tennessee. If they are half as good live as their CD’s are, then this should be a real treat

Children 18:3- 9:00pm – Underground Stage: An awesome family punk band from Minnesota. These guys are the next big thing in Christian punk rock right now!

Eisley10:00pm – Gallery Stage: I have been listening to these guys since their beginning. It’s been a while and I am very excited to see them again.

White Collar Sideshow- 12:00am – Underground Stage: Here is another show that has an unbelievable power to change you. This is an amazing theatrical band that will move you. Besides, these are some of the coolest people you will see at Cornerstone.

Saturday: The last day and there is still so much to see!

The Glorious Unseen - 12:15am – Main Stage: I know this was on Friday too, but if 9:00 am was too early before than be sure and catch these guys at this show.

O’Brother6:00pm – Gallery Stage: I have never seen this band before, but everyone says I have too. I’m game!

August Burns Red7:00pm – Main Stage: This band rocked last time I saw them on Main Stage at Cornerstone. They never cease to amaze me.

Ivoryline8:35pm – Gallery Stage: A post-hardcore band from Tyler, Texas. I have seen these guys play so many times and they are always great!

Seabird- 10:00pm – Gallery Stage: An atmospheric rock band from Ohio. The perfect way to end Cornerstone 2010.

Cornerstone 2010 Schedule: Ian

So in about 3 weeks, The ONE21 is headed out to Cornerstone Festival 2010. There are hundreds of bands and performers sweating it out from around 11AM to close to 2 in the morning every day. It can be very overwhelming to to take in everything that Cornerstone has to offer, and the sad fact is that you are almost guaranteed to miss a lot.

Well, we are here to help!

With the help of a nifty new website called www.cstoneschedule.com, the four of us attending have been able to begin planning out our Cornerstone experience. Below, I am going to list a few highlights from every day of the festival. Hopefully this will help you plan your week out a little better if you are attending.

Check out my full schedule, and maybe come say hi. I will be the guy with the giant red beard and shaved head. Its kinda hard to miss me. I will have free stickers and buttons for ya!

MONDAY: typically a slow day, but there are a ton of generator shows going on, and you can get very up close and personal with the performers. Also be on the lookout for “surprise” shows. I saw Blindside play a show on the lawn back in 2003. Keep your eyes open!
Love Begotten 3:00PM- Raging Storm/Sancrosanct Stage: the band puts on a wild stage show and seemlessly blend it with a heavy dose of profound ministry.  They were also one of our “Voices Of the Underground”

A Hope For Home 7:30PM- Solace Stage: These guys are one of the more promising bands to come out of the post-hardcore/rock scene in the last few years. They were also one of our “Voices Of The Underground”.

Take It Back! 10:30PM- Solace Stage- This will be my first time seeing the posi-hardcore band that have been blasting through my speakers all year. If you want to see earnest punk/hardcore, you need to be at this show!

Tuesday: The unofficial 1st day of the fest. In past years, Tooth & Nail have run this particular day, but the economy has forced the label to step back. Once again, this may seem like a slow day, but there is still alot going on
Fire From The Gods/Let The Dead 12:00PM/12:45PM- Legacy Stage: These two bands are actually friends of mine from right here in Austin, Texas. Come a behold the next great Texas metal/hardcore superstars!

The Ember Days 9:00 PM- Solace Stage: I am really excited to get to experience the progressive worship of The Ember Days. The band recently relocated to the States from New Zealand, and are working on some new material which hopefully will make it into their set at Cornerstone. They were also one of our “Voices Of The Underground”

Flatfoot 56 10:00PM- Legacy Stage: While everybody else is at Switchfoot on the main stage, I will be getting a rowdy dose of celtic punk with the legendary Flatfoot 56. Once again, this will be the first time seeing these guys despite the fact that I have been a fan for a very long time!

Wednesday: This will be the first official day of Cornerstone Festival 2010, with all the seminars, Bible studies, and events beginning along with the music and the Main stage running all day. The festival gets kind of….crazy from here on out. This will be one of my longest days
So Long Forgotten 12:45- Solace Stage: I have heard that So Long Forgotten‘s live shows are nothing short of amazing, so this will be an amazing way to start my day off. The band’s latest album, The Things We Can See and The Things We Cannot was on our best of the year list from 2009.

Bradley Hathaway 3:15PM- Main Stage: If you dont see Mr. Hathaway at Cornerstone, you havent truely done Cornerstone right. Nuff said!  Bradley also had one of our best albums form 2009.

Levi The Poet 4:00PM-Solace Stage: Levi The Poet is a gifted spoken word artist who’s performances range from quiet recital to wild thrashings as he covers everything from the love of God, self doubt, and pornography addiction. Also, I will finally be able to pick up his CD!

Listener 6:00PM- Jesus Village: THIS IS ONE OF MY MUST SEES! I promise you that this will be one of the best live shows you have ever seen!

mewithoutYou 7:00PM- Main Stage: Once again, if you dont see mewithoutYou at Cornerstone Festival, you havent done Cornerstone right. Nuff said…..again.  Once again, the band’s latest CD was one of the best from 2009.

Sleeping Giant 10:50PM- Underground Stage: This “hardcore” band is known to create an atmosphere of worship that most churches miss by miles. People have given their lives to Christ, been healed, and rebuked demons at these guys shows. At clubs. This is Cornerstone! Of course there will be moshing too, but thats how Sleeping Giant does it! Did I forget to mention that this is a 2 hour show? Well, it is…..

The Chariot 12AM- Encore Stage: If you happen to leave Sleeping Giant early, or are able to still walk afterwards, go catch the last 30 or minutes of The Chariot. Their live show is nothing short of insane!  they also had one of our best albums from 2009 along with being one of our “Voices of The Underground”

Thursday Day two of the festival in full swing slows things down a little for me, but Thursday is possiably my most diverse day.
John Reuben 3:15PM- Main Stage: Regrettably, there isn’t a whole lot of hip-hop at Cornerstone this year, so I am going to be sure and not miss one of my all time favorites. Hey John, if you happen to read this, play “Doin’”, I will lose my mind over that song!

Brooke Waggoner 4:15PM- Gallery Stage: THIS IS A MUST SEE! We met Brooke Waggoner in 2009 at SXSW, and her live show made me a life long fan. If anything, you need to see this girl play piano, it will blow you away.  She was also featured in the original series of “Voices of The Underground”.

Hands 7:30PM- Underground Stage: i have already told the entire staff that Hands is the band I am most excited to see this year. They combine prog metal with worship music, and they never come around Austin. This will most likely be the highlight of my week.  They also had one of our best albums from 2009.

The Farewell Drifters 8:35PM- Gallery Stage: Sue me, I love folk/bluegrass music. The Farewell Drifters are one of the better bands today doing it. Therefore, I will be there.

For Today 10:35- Underground Stage: Like Sleeping Giant the night before, For Today bring a worshipful experience that just happens to be in the for of metal/hardcore. These guys speak truth, and this is one of those shows that can really have an impact.

Friday By this point most of yall will be getting tired, but dont snooze just yet because some great stuff is yet to be seen.
Timbre 2:05PM- Gallery Stage: What a great way to get things going with some soothing progressive harp music. Yep, I said harp….

Dignan 6:00PM- Gallery Stage: Once again, we met Dignan at SXSW in 2009 and were intimidately taken away with their dark , progressive indie rock. Haven’t had a chance to catch them again, so this will be a treat for sure.  They also released one of our best albums from 2009.

Paper Route 7:15PM- Gallery Stage: Would you like a little electronic dance music with your rock? Of course you would.  They also had one of our best albums from 2009.

Children 18:3 9:00PM- Underground Stage: This is possibly the best pop-punk band in the music scene today. we saw them at Red letter Rock Fest last year, and I am not going to miss this show.

Eisley 10:00PM- Gallery Stage: Ironically, the last time Chuck and I saw Eisley (known as Moss Eisley then) was the FIRST time we attended Cornerstone Fest in 2002. Some of the members were in their early teens, and they apologized after every song. Most of them are married now, and we have fallen in love with their music over and over again since. This will be a great reunion.

White Collar Sideshow 12AM- Underground Stage: I will end my day with a performance that has the ability to cut to the core of any person struggling with themselves. Besides the fact that the members of White Collar Sideshow are some of the coolest people ever, but their show will make you take a deep look within, and let change fill you up.

Saturday Last day, keep your head up, you are almost there.
Starting at about 1PM, The Legacy Stage is going to have a mini Hip-Hop showcase featuring some amazing talent including Odd Thomas, Propoganda, and Theory Hazit. If you are a fan of Hip-Hop, this would be a great place to hang out on Saturday.

O’Brother 6:00PM- Gallery Stage: I saw these guys with Manchester Orchestra, and I don’t think I’m stretching too much to say that they blew the crowd away. They are the heaviest indie rock band I have ever hear, and I am ready for round two.

August Burns Red 7:00PM- Main Stage: ABR is kind of another one of those bands that if you haven’t seen them at Cornerstone, then you haven’t really seen them. It is not too much to say that they owned Cornerstone 07 like nobodies business.

Seabird 10:00PM- Gallery Stage: My Cornerstone experience will end with the power pop/rock of Seabird. I saw them at SXSW, and now that I know their music a little better I know this will be the perfect closer to my week.

Thats about it, but certainly not my entire plan for the week. Go check my full schedule to see all the other shows I am going to try and hit. See you there!

Free Downloads: Come&Live!

come&live

Ok, so this isnt one of our regular Free Download posts, but hang with me for a second.  About a year or so ago, we started to hear through the grapevine that one of the former Tooth & Nail higher-ups had left the label, and was looking at starting his own label.  As time progressed, we also heard that he was build an entirely ministry based label, one that would attract artists who be completlty be seeking Christ first, then their music.  Lastly, we also heard that all the music that would be released on this label would be the pay-what-you-want model.

Monday, that label hit full swing with the launching of their website.  It is called Come&Live!, and it is a collection of extremly good music (two of the albums made it onto our best of 09 list) that is completly trusting God with everything.  Artists include Ascend The Hill, So Long Forgotten, our friends White Collar Sideshow, and many, many others.

Below is a link to the albums page of Come&Live!’s website, it contains their entire library  up to this point that is theoretically for free download.  We at ONE21 encourage you to give a little (or a whole lot) for this music, so that we might see this label grow, and maybe even start a new trend in this music industry.

Download Come&Live!’s entire library

White Collar Sideshow Signs With Come&Live!

According to Indie Vision Music, our friends White Collar Sideshow have partnered their ministry with that of newly founded label Come&Live!. This would make them label mates with such bands as Ascend The Hill and So Long Forgotten, although no official word has been released. More as it comes to us….

Voices of The Underground2 Finale

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Voices Of The Underground is a series that seeks to explore one question from many different angles. Every week, we will ask one question of many of your favorite music artists. We will post their responses below, and what you will find is that there is never truly one answer to every question, but instead a whole world of ideas that come from simple matters of taste, to deep held beliefs. Our hope is that through this series you are able to see past the promo pictures and the stage persona, and get to know the hearts of believers who are creating music every day.

Need to catch up?
Read Pt.1-What do you love about music?
Read Pt.2- What was your first musical experience?
Read Pt.3-What is your favorite/ultimate song?
Read Pt.4-What is the best live show you have ever seen?
Read Pt.5-If you hadn’t gotten into music, what would see yourself doing as a job?
Read Pt.6-Who is Jesus Christ to you?
Read Pt.7-What is Christian music?
Read Pt.8- The facets of the Christian music?
Read Pt.9-Can art/music not have a message behind it?
Read Pt.10-How do you keep yourself accountable in your out on the road?
Read Pt.11-What are your opinions on the modern music industry?
Read Pt.12-Is it easier or harder to be a musician today in contrast to maybe 10 years ago?
Read Pt.13-What is the one thing that people don’t understand about YOUR music?
Read Pt.14-What responsibility (if any) does an artist/performer have to it’s listener?

For the fan reading this right now or listening to your music and wanting to start a band/career of their own, what is some advice you could give them that you didn’t know starting out?

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I’m going to address the girls: (Keep in mind that these are lessons I’ve learned the hard way….I wish I could have been wiser when I was young!)
Discipline yourself to write songs and learn your instruments and train your voice. I’ll gently suggest that you try to include your family as much as possible. You need accountability. Be modest in your heart and in your dress. Give your music to God now, before pride becomes an issue. (That was one of my big ones- I thought I was so awesome. Man, I was dumb.) Pray for open doors, but don’t just sit and wait for something good to fall in your lap. Again, discipline yourself in your art so you’ll be ready if you get the chance to share your music with the world!

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I would say for starters that there is more to life than being in a band. Not to be a downer, because I love doing this so, so much, but I think a lot of young bands have the tendency to elevate the idea of being in a band, an how “cool” that is, above a lot of things like friendships and relationships and maybe the other things God has called us to do. I’m not discouraging anyone from starting a band, but if you’re starting a band and your bass player really wants to go to college or get married or whatever, he’s not a jerk and you should still talk to him and be his friend. I’ve seen a lot of friends in bands, as well as myself, thinking being in a band is then end-all-be-all to my entire life, but there is so much more to God’s creation and kingdom than playing rock and roll.

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My advice is to not read reviews. Whether they are good or bad, finding out what a stranger thinks of what you’re making is always a negative experience. Even if it is on a sub-conscious level, you end up seeking approval instead of being open.

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Be less concerned with what is cool or trendy and more aware of creating music that you feel is genuine and well written.

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Focus on God and build relationships with others. The great commandment. Be honest, transparent and wear your heart on your sleeve. Through this, you can be the change you want to see in the world. Don’t worry about “industry, business, units, friends or Myspace plays.” Just do what God is calling you to do and focus on him.

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Don’t start your band and start touring right away. Take your time building your local fan base, then gradually tour out regionally, then eventually and slowly work your way out to different areas of the country. Don’t expect to make money right away, unless your a cover band for some strange reason. And be smart with your money you do have, as much as it sucks, money can really make or break your band. Try to save on whatever you can, recording costs, duplication, merch, etc. I don’t know. This is all business stuff. But that’s what I wish we knew when we started.

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If you like writing, and playing music, don’t forget that you like writing and playing music.

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Be humble, don’t have expectations other than to be a vessel of the Lord. Work to perfect your art. If you aren’t completely happy with a song don’t make us listen to it. Throw it away and write a new one. God demands our best and He deserves it. Be willing to play to a room of 2 people. You are not above it. And most of all, SMILE IN YOUR BAND PHOTOS!

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Follow the path that God is opening up for you. Be FAITHFUL in the opportunities you are given… Make sure you are following God’s path, not someone else’s path that you are trying to emulate. You don’t wanna become an imitator of some other band. Just be in prayer, seek after God – and walk through the doors that he opens for you. And continue to be faithful once he gives you the opportunity.

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It’s not as easy as it seems. If it’s not about the music, it’s not gonna work.

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The best advice is to not get ahead of yourself. A lot of musicians want to start a band, and hit the road the next day. I think it is important to build up a local fan base, to spend time writing quality music, and make sure you are going to do decent on the road. I know we hit the road for a brief summer tour 2 years ago, and we were not ready for the road at all. We had no idea what we were doing yet, and our music was not up to par for a touring band at the time. We also ended up getting $6,000 worth of gear stolen out of our trailer.

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Practice! Always keep your priorities straight. If you’re a Christian band keep God first. Whatever your band has to say believe in it and practice it.

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If any of you desire to make it as a musician, I must stress to you, that you must know your instrument. Practice your instrument and get good at it, a band only makes it if they’re good. Be a good person with a good personality, it’s hard to be in a band with someone they can’t get along with.

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Don’t quit. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Put Him first and all will be added to you.

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Be patient, everything in this industry takes time. What makes you/your band stand out from the rest(musical identity)? Find that, and embrace it. If you’re in it for the money, stop now. God will bless you if you’re faithful, and you work hard, but you need to be ready to eat at gas stations and sleep on van floors for a while….sometimes a long while. It’s all about awareness, get your band/music in front of people. God will do the impossible if you do the possible.

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Just make music out of love for it. Music totally sucks when you get into the whole rat-race. I’m constantly fighting that. Just dig your head into the notes and love every part of it.

*NOTE: this is the last of our Voices Of The Underground series. Thanks to all of the artists that participated, its been really great getting to know you guys better. Thanks to everybody who has been reading VOTU since we started it almost 8 months ago! For now, this is going to be the end of the series, we feel it is time to move on and do some some new stuff. Thanks again….

Voices Of The Underground2 Pt.14

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Voices Of The Underground is a series that seeks to explore one question from many different angles. Every week, we will ask one question of many of your favorite music artists. We will post their responses below, and what you will find is that there is never truly one answer to every question, but instead a whole world of ideas that come from simple matters of taste, to deep held beliefs. Our hope is that through this series you are able to see past the promo pictures and the stage persona, and get to know the hearts of believers who are creating music every day.

Need to catch up?
Read Pt.1-What do you love about music?
Read Pt.2- What was your first musical experience?
Read Pt.3-What is your favorite/ultimate song?
Read Pt.4-What is the best live show you have ever seen?
Read Pt.5-If you hadn’t gotten into music, what would see yourself doing as a job?
Read Pt.6-Who is Jesus Christ to you?
Read Pt.7-What is Christian music?
Read Pt.8- The facets of the Christian music?
Read Pt.9-Can art/music not have a message behind it?
Read Pt.10-How do you keep yourself accountable in your out on the road?
Read Pt.11-What are your opinions on the modern music industry?
Read Pt.12-Is it easier or harder to be a musician today in contrast to maybe 10 years ago?
Read Pt.13-What is the one thing that people don’t understand about YOUR music?

What responsibility (if any) does an artist/performer have to it’s listener?

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Being honest and doing his/her best.

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The choice is ultimately up to the artist to care about this or not, but I’d say the minute you decided to play music for a living, you decided to be a role model, whether you like it or not. And you can have a positive or negative effect..it’s up to you.

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I believe we as artists are accountable for everything we write, record, perform, and speak. We are supposed to be examples of who or what we serve. I know I will fall short but i pray as this journey continues that I can represent Christ to all who i come across.

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In our line of work, we must stay on path. If we label ourselves a Christian band and try to set an example for the kids that come to see us, and we are caught doing something bad, such as doing drugs or fighting, we failed as a Christian example. I feel we must stay in line for the ministry’s sake and that we must play good music.

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It depends on the artist. As for my band we feel our responsibility is to love our listener and be with them as much as possible whether its prayer or just conversations about anything they want to talk about. It means the world to us that people take the time to listen or watch us or whatever.

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Well I think that the responsibility is to care about your fans. To try to write music that speaks to the people who listen to your band, to care about making relationships with those who relate to your music, and to always try to give your shows 100 percent so everyone who pays to see you has a good time. Our favorite part about being a band is making friends all over the county. We have met some of the most amazing people in the last year of touring, and its been nothing but amazing.

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I guess the only thing I can think of is one particular scenario. If you’re performing for someone who has paid money to see you perform, at least make an effort to perform to the best of your ability. I mean, they paid money, you know?

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The artist should be responsible to explain what the message of their music is I think… Even if there is no direct message. I think often an artist can write songs about things that are not necessarily the message they really want to communicate. I think that artists should be willing to explain to their listeners what they are really trying to communicate through their music.

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None. Their responsibility is to the Lord. Fans are fickle. They will abandon you over a bad interview (which will probably happen to be after this one), or if you don’t scream enough on your new album or something. It’s crazy. Follow God, not people. They are fans, not idols.

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When you are musician people look to you, whether you like it or not and they listen to what you have to say whether its worth listening to or not. As for me, in the past I have struggled with the weight of responsibility that is placed on me as a Christian, who is also a musician. How do you minister to everyone? How do you always be the best example? You can go mental trying to find the right formula. But the Lord revealed to me that you simply have to listen, be sensitive to His spirit, and just be real. This is my responsibility.

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To put out heartfelt music, even if it’s different from the last record, or takes a totally different direction. Artists responsibilities are to stay true to what they love.

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We do what we do to glorify God. To raise him up and spread his message of love and hope. As long as we are open and honest about this, I don’t feel like our “listeners” would demand anything from us other than the Truth.

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The answer to that really depends on why you’re creating music. For us, we hope to share a message of love, understanding, compassion, justice, etc. and I see it as our responsibility to do so, both for those hearing us and those they can act in these ways towards.

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An artist should make things that they like, that they think are good. That seems to be the most generous thing they can do for their audience.

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Man that’s a tough question. When artists start creating art to please an audience, I really think the art suffers. Sure it may sell well and make the kids dance at the shows, and if that’s your thing then go for it, but if the goal is to create art, then it will suffer if you start trying to please everyone else. I think more that artists have a responsibility to society to effectively translate the human condition and social issues into art that speaks to people, even if just themselves. The ability to create and recognize art is what separates us from all other forms of life on this planet, and I think it is crucial to us as a people and society to endear.

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For every artist there is a different answer. I can only speak for myself: I have a huge responsibility. I have been called to live my life to the glory of God, and that standard applies to my music.

Voices Of The Underground2 Pt.13

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Voices Of The Underground is a series that seeks to explore one question from many different angles. Every week, we will ask one question of many of your favorite music artists. We will post their responses below, and what you will find is that there is never truly one answer to every question, but instead a whole world of ideas that come from simple matters of taste, to deep held beliefs. Our hope is that through this series you are able to see past the promo pictures and the stage persona, and get to know the hearts of believers who are creating music every day.

Need to catch up?
Read Pt.1-What do you love about music?
Read Pt.2- What was your first musical experience?
Read Pt.3-What is your favorite/ultimate song?
Read Pt.4-What is the best live show you have ever seen?
Read Pt.5-If you hadn’t gotten into music, what would see yourself doing as a job?
Read Pt.6-Who is Jesus Christ to you?
Read Pt.7-What is Christian music?
Read Pt.8- The facets of the Christian music?
Read Pt.9-Can art/music not have a message behind it?
Read Pt.10-How do you keep yourself accountable in your out on the road?
Read Pt.11-What are your opinions on the modern music industry?
Read Pt.12-Is it easier or harder to be a musician today in contrast to maybe 10 years ago?

What is the one thing that people don’t understand about YOUR music?

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Oh man. Well there are a lot of things that frustrate me, but I try to focus just on making music and not pleasing anyone’s conception’s of who we are. It does get frustrating sometimes because since we don’t play breakdowns, I feel we get lumped into the “screamo” scene, which I guess might be slightly warranted but I really feel like we offer more than just a “screamo” band. Maybe that will translate better on our next record. But overall I really feel that most of the people that listen to us see what we are doing and what it means, and that’s really all I could ask for.

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Once in a while people call Meredith (edt. the keyboard player, other main vocalist in Bodies Of Water. She is also David’s wife) my sister, but she isn’t my sister. It is an easy mistake to make, we look related.

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Since we function as a band almost entirely outside the “Christian music bubble”, I would have to say our biggest challenge is preventing people from assuming we’re hate-filled, judgmental, etc. simply because we are Christians. Essentially, we shoulder the burden of disproving all the stereotypes associated with American Christianity that fall short of being Biblically sound.

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Too many people judge the book by the cover. They see our picture and instantly say no. They are not willing to give us or our music a chance.

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That we are a “Christian” band as in “Our target audience is Christians.” I would never want anyone to think that we are solely aiming for Christians. I just want people to listen to our music and make up their own minds.

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People never know where to put us. Music has so many genre’s now but we don’t really fit into one, which I’m okay with. We aren’t screamo, and we aren’t metal. We say we are punk rock, fun times, but that doesn’t always go over well.

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People think that worship music is supposed to be serious and ambient. Mine is happy and clappy and folky and fun. I always play shows with other worship bands and it is always so serious. Sometimes it feels like my worship music doesn’t fit in… which is a shame because very little of the worship in the scriptures was sad and serious. It was often crazy… David danced naked in the streets, remember that?
People rely heavily on what I call the “holy spirit pedal”. The second it fades in, everyone’s hands gone into the air and their eyes all close and they start to sway. Once in a while they should smile and make eye contact with each other, nod their heads and clap. Sing loudly and obnoxiously. Make a joyful noise.

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We often run into the question or confusion as to whether or not we are gonna actually lead a worship time – or play a show. We always want to make it clear that our intention is to always lead people into a time of worship. We are not really interested in playing a “show”. For most people, when they listen to our music at length they will easily discover the heart behind it – which is straight up worship. But, from time to time we still find ourselves at gigs where we are expected to “perform” a show to some degree…

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I don’t think I’ve come across anyone who didn’t “understand” our music. A lot of people don’t LIKE our music. But it’s music, not everyone is going to like the same stuff. No big deal.


I think the biggest mis-conception about our music is that kids always think we are a straight edge band. Many of our members are part of the straight edge community, however Venia does not write music about the straight edge lifestlye. We have a lot of kids thinking that is one of the main themes of our music, but that isnt the case, even though many of us are involved in that lifestyle.

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I think its usually the screaming people don’t get how that can be “Christian” or it’s just not easy on people’s ears.

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Towards this band, people misconstrue the fact that we are a Christian band. As I mentioned, we attempt to reach out to the rest of the world and they might understand our message so they just take it as we are just another metal band.

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People judge off the appearance. They see the tattoos and piercings and dont expect me to be an emcee. Sorry Im not in a tall t. haha.

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That we’re just a hard rock band…our records cover a lot of different ground musically, and I hope you can embrace that and see it translate live.

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I hate the whole rock-star thing. Mostly, the expectation people have for you to be that. I hate trying to be cool! It pains me to see some bands buying into the cool factor and fans eating it up. I really wish people just liked music because they connected to it on a personal level. Not because its some coolness factor popularity contest. If that’s what this is, I definitely loose.

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The biggest misconception is that we are not only here for the people in the church. We make music for both Christian and non-Christians, but God has called us do go into the battlefield (which is outside of the safety of church walls) and reach the people who wont step foot into a church.