After the September 11th tragedies Christian Rock Band Delirious gave away free mp3's of the tracks "America", "White Ribbon Day" and "I Could Love You Forever". We caught up with Jon Thatcher from the band to find out about alternatives to the satanic rock of Marilyn Manson & co. Its time to leave behind those images of acoustic guitars and sweaters and get prepared for a band can rock the stadiums the world over.
Q: The new single "I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever" is an old church song. Why did you choose that song specifically?
A: Its a good question really because for our mainstream releases we wanted to shy away from using language and singing songs that would alienate anybody outside of the church. But basically we were in the studio earlier this year to re-record some of the old tracks for a compilation in America and this was one of the tracks we recorded. Basically we were kind of surprised about how the song came out because its about seven years old now and we'd kind of put it back there...on the re-recorded version it all most came back to life again.
Lyrically there is a real church theme that would go through it but I think to the average listener it could be about anything. The last thing we want to do when we release singles is alienate people but I think if you listen to it on the merit of the music I don't think you will be put too far off.
Q: Our readers may have a pre-conceived idea of a what a christian rock band sound like. But from what I've heard some of them may be surprised to hear that Delirious sounds fairly like Muse?
A: We were on tour earlier this year with Bon Jovi and Matchbox 20 which was a great experience and it proves we can stand on any stage with any rock band and hold our ground. We had a great time and we picked up a lot of fans because people just saw Delirious and thought we rocked. When people do see us and meet us they realize we haven't got our Aaran sweaters on and all the clichés that people would expect...when they see us live its like where your acoustic guitars with the rainbow straps!!!
I went and saw Kings Of Convenience and they were totally cool...but if they were christians they would have been totally slated!!!
Q: The Church as a whole is trying to market itself to the kids...from those church raves in Sheffield to posters that made Jesus looking like Che Guevara. Would you say Delirious fall into that category?
A: Obviously our faith is something were very passionate about but we can't make it cool. Its not about what you look like or what you listen to that makes a faith cool. This is what we believe in and we want to give people the chance to experience what we've experienced.
But were not out to make Christianity cool because how we believe that how much cooler can you be get than coming on earth as human and dying...that's pretty hard-core!!!
Q: What would you say to the fact that as a rule kids aren't particularly interested in religion?
A: You look at all this stuff like Limp Bizkit and Marilyn Manson and its all religion...its just a different religion!!! I think to say that kids aren't interested in religion is nonsense. I think the dark side is very appealing and very rock & roll and that's what's in fashion at the moment. The whole gothic movement is a back and we'd just like to offer something that's got a little more positivity because I think the world needs it right now.
Q: What would you say to 13 or 14 year old kids out there who wouldn't necessarily go to church but they would go to a Marilyn Manson concert? What do you think of those bands and the influence they have?
A: Musically a lot of these bands are geniuses and I can really see the appeal to why people like them because they are passionate, they are hard and they are raw. That is there great qualities for a band but I also do believe in the whole spiritual realm kind of thing and believe there probably is a lot of things they're messing with which they probably shouldn't be. They're are subjecting themselves to think that I wouldn't even want to subject myself to.
I think for people, like Marilyn Manson for example, it is all very clever publicity. You probably wouldn't be interviewing me right now if I wasn't christian and in a christian band because that's your slant and people probably wouldn't be interviewing Marilyn Manson if he wasn't so far on the other side. It is the extremes that get the media's attention.
Q: Delirious have always been a band who offer something a little more positive. Would you agree?
A: I don't think its a conscious decision. I think we just write about, sing about and play music that comes from the heart. Music has got to be very emotional and that is just what comes naturally out of us. We don't think lets write a happy song or lets write a dark song because that what's in now. I actually think the new record "Audio Lessonover?" has got quite a few darker moments on it.
Q: There must be contradictions between having the luxury of being a rock band with the fundamentals of christianity?
A: Its a real privilege to do what you enjoy doing but you have to work hard and it doesn't come over night. Its kind of what I've invested my life into and what I'm passionate about. I enjoy every second and don't regret a minute of it.
I was actually brought up in a Christian household. My dad is actually a pastor in our local church, very similar to Mr Manson, but we turned out slightly different!!! So faith has been important to me from an early age but I grew up watching TOTP on a Thursday night with your tennis record thinking wow!!! Music has always been a hobby and a passion of mine so its great to do that for a living.
Q: When you started the band what did you set out to be. A band who had Christian influences or a Christian who happened to form a band?
A: I think as a band the focus is music but as individuals we all have a faith and that comes out in our music. Our faith is almost like a personal thing and when were on stage were just a band who have a faith that comes through our music. Its the whole debate of being a Christian band or a band of Christians!!!
Our music attracts a whole range of people. There will be a couple of mums and dads with their 13yr old kids wanting to check out what's going on and the moshers kicking each other in the heads in the pit. Its really exciting to us that we haven't just hit one niche like at the Marilyn Manson concerts with the black T-shirts on.
Q: After the tragedies of September 11th you gave away MP3's of "America", "White Ribbon Day" and the recent single "I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever". Some people could see that as being a little cynical.
A: The last thing we really wanted to do was get publicity about it. It wasn't about getting attention about us and we just wanted to release something that could comfort people in that really dark hour. We have probably had about 100,000 downloads of those tracks and obviously there was no money to be made from giving away free downloads.
I couldn't comment on either of those situations (Ed: Geri Halliwell & Michael Jackson) but I do think that it is kind sick to get any gain out of such a dark situation. I guess you just have to look at them and hope that they're doing what they're doing for the right reasons.
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