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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Christian music news: Catching up with ... David Crowder

Latest christian music:

Church Music is full of contemporary expressions. Is the title a tongue-in-cheek remark on the old-school organ hymn renditions many of us grew up hearing?

David Crowder: The music of the church is broad and diverse. All we're doing is stating the obvious—we make church music. It is not a critique of more traditional expressions of music in the church, but rather how the creation of expectation by language can be limiting in ways that divide and confuse, rather than unite and clarify. The fact that those who come from a traditional setting hear this music and think, "this is not church music," and others coming from more progressive settings think, "this is not church music," causes me to think that both expectations should be reevaluated.

How would you define "church music?"

Crowder: Church music is music of the Christian church used for congregational singing. Pliny the Younger, a Roman statesman in the first and second centuries, wrote emperor Trajan asking for advice in how to deal with Christians, of which he'd had little experience with. One thing he uses to define them is, "They sing songs as if to a God." To me, that defines the purpose of Church music.

Church Music encompasses rock, pop, electronic, dance music—a melting pot of genres. What did you grow up listening to?

Crowder: My formative years were spent in the backseat of my dad's Ford Thunderbird playing five tapes in an endless cycle: two Elvis tapes, a Willie Nelson tape, an Olivia Newton John tape, and thankfully, a Bill Gaither tape. When secular music was banned from the house, I circumvented this by listening to Kiss really, really loud at my friend's house, and by explaining to my parents that Queen was in fact a Christian band.

Are you the epicenter of the band's creative process, or is it a collective effort?

Crowder: I make up rules for a particular project and then give assignments based on these rules. The music of the church has been most effective at articulating faith for groups of people when it has embraced the language and art of that particular group of people. So we had to embrace what is going on within pop music. Pop music has moved more urban in the last decade and yet most progressive church settings are still trying to capture U2 and Coldplay. Not that they aren't relevant, but when you have hip-hop producers like Timbaland producing rock bands, the trend should be considered.

One of the rules this time was that all of the music must first be composed in a computer. Then the rules stated that we must destroy what we made and recreate it with organic instrumentation. I felt like this would keep us from straying too far from where we've been and also allow for some of our rock and indie rock influences to be audible.

A couple of other rules were that songs had to lead into each other. Also, each must contain a nod to a formative moment within the history of music in the church, and these moments must appear on the album in historical order. It's a musical puzzle.

Do you have an intended audience for your music?

Crowder: This question causes me to think of what we are doing in consumptive terms. God is our intended audience, and those who find their sensibilities similar to ours will be able to use what we're doing to express themselves to God in a meaningful way. Music is a powerful thing that allows us to dig out places inside of ourselves that are uniquely human and offer them to God. For those who do not share our sensibilities, our music will be of little help in doing this.

Quick takes:

Where are you from originally?
Texarkana, Texas.

Favorite place you've traveled to?
My home. It is never a letdown.

Pet peeve?
When people don't clear the microwave numbers.Or wearing a hat so long you don't know it's there, and then you take it off and it feels like it's still there. That freaks me out.

Your most annoying habit?
Balancing plates of food on small outcroppings of furniture.

What makes you laugh?
Getting reprimanded for my wizard-like balancing abilities.

Favorite sports team?
Dallas Cowboys

Last good book you read?
Jim the Boy and The Blue Star by Tony Earley. I know that's two, but they go together.

Last good movie you saw?
Rocky IV

What record is currently in your CD player?
Owl City, Ocean Eyes

Favorite Bible verse?
Psalm 98:4

Last lesson God taught you?
The idea of Sabbath is not antiquated and irrelevant

Christian Music News Source

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Christian music news: A conversation with David Crowder

Latest christian music:

David Crowder and his band of merry men released their latest project, Church Music, on Tuesday. Crowder took time to talk about his new CD, the tour and Twitter.

Q: Where you calling from?

A: I'm home in Waco at my church.

Q: Are you stilling living in the Dr Pepper house?

A: Oh, yes! We are doing it large, sitting on that front porch drinking that Dr Pepper nectar. It's good!

Q: In the past you have had trouble with a renegade band of squirrels who throw nuts at you. Have you made peace with them yet?

A: No, they just don't realize that this is about private property rights. The house is mine, and they have all of nature to frolic about in. If we could just agree on that it, would be fine, but they want indoors. We just can't seem to reach a peaceful resolution. There is nothing but evil intent in the squirrels.

Q: You guys are very active on YouTube. What inspired to you to post your Twitter Will Kill You video?

A: We are trying to educate the public. It's like a public service announcement from the Crowder Band to help people understand the dangers of electronic media and the way we connect socially. Safety first, kids!

Q: Whose idea was that?

A: We aren't sure who's to blame. The recording process can be a little tedious and boring. This was one of those distracted ideas that erupted during that process. Before we knew it we were rolling tape and saying a lot of nonsense directed at the camera.

Q: Can you see next year's Video Music Awards? Kanye West will storm the stage and say: “David Crowder made the best YouTube video of all time!”

A: I'll be tuned in waiting for that moment.

Q: Did you use a stunt double for your role?

A: No, I told them I wanted to do all my own stunts. I'm in great shape, I'm agile, and I'm athletic. It hurt a lot more than I thought it would. You can see the hood got crushed a little bit if you watch it real slow.

Q: A real car hit you?

A: It's got to be real; you just take one for the team. I watched it back, and I know I was there, and I don't remember getting hit.

Q: Because of stereotypes of what “church” music sounds like, do you think the title of the new project might alienate your audience?

A: We are just calling it what it is. What the DCB does is write songs for the church to sing. I think if you made a record 20 years ago and called it church music, it would guarantee your downfall. I think there is enough about what we are putting in front of people that spurs conversation, and we think that is exciting.

Q: When did you feel called to do music?

A: I always loved it but didn't figure this would be something I would do every day. I came to school at Baylor with the intent to move back home to Texarkana to work for my dad and eventually take over the family practice. I got to school and studied music. Then a church start happened, and it fell on me to pull together the musical portion. I started writing songs, and the whole thing just took off. I think that is what is fun about our journey with God is we rarely ever see what is around the bend. My prayer has always been just to have enough light to see the next step and the courage enough to take it.

Christian Music News Source

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Christian music news: David Crowder Band Releasing Church Music

Latest christian music:

BRENTWOOD, TN. (Top40 Charts/ Sparrow Records) - As their new album hits stores today, electronic rock group the David Crowder Band are storming the internet and making their mark early on the charts.

The 17 tracks on Church Music may not be what you expect sonically when you think of one of Christian music's leading bands.

The album even includes a unique cover of hard rock act Flyleaf's hit "All Around Me," and features Flyleaf lead singer Lacey Mosely and the Dupree sisters from Eisley singing background vocals on various tracks.

The six-piece, known for their mix of ambient and infectious electro-rock, kicked off their nationwide tour with a sold-out show last night in their hometown of Waco, TX.
On Thursday, September 24 they'll hit the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles for a sold-out show before jumping back on the road in October for intimate shows across the U.S. On November 13, they'll headline Terminal 5 in New York City. Learn more at

Christian Music News Source