Building Bridges From Teens to God

Christian rock band Building 429 helps their young audience understand that it's OK not to be perfect.

Building 429 just won the Gospel Music Association's Dove award for New Artist of the Year.

Believe it or not, there are musicians out there making Christian albums that take full advantage of your car's sound system, bass and all, while still preaching a message more wholesome than 50 Cent. The stereotype of Christian music as goody-goody has been shattered by bands that write lyrics about the realities of living a Christian life-the ups and the downs.

The first time I listened to the Christian rock band Building 429's debut album, I was in awe of how their lyrics seemed to echo the thoughts running through my own head. Many times Christian artists paint such a perfect picture of a life with God that the listener ends up feeling like a failure. However, Building 429 doesn't sugarcoat things. Their music makes you feel less alone in this crazy walk, and it can't help moving you, a task that should be the goal of anyone speaking God's message.


I spoke with the band after a show in Worcester, Mass., and found they were just as approachable in person as they are on a recorded track. Their first single "Glory Defined" hit #1 on Christian Hits Radio charts and stayed at the top of Christian Radio Weekly's Adult Contemporary chart for 10 consecutive weeks-a spot it claimed faster than any single in the publication's history. They've played with the likes of Jeremy Camp and are currently on tour with Tree63. At this week's Gospel Music Association Awards, they won New Artist of the Year, and were nominated in two other categories--Song of the Year and Rock/Contemporary Song of the Year.

Jason Roy, Building 429's lead singer, explained the band's name. "We were involved with a Christian youth group that had this thing called `The 4:29 challenge.' When someone said something bad about someone else, they'd be reminded of Ephesians 4:29, which says `Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.' We as a band want to spread this message."

As guitarist, Paul Bowden put it, "When you're more aware of what you're saying, then the people around you begin to notice a difference."

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