Surviving the Scrutiny
Rocker Rob Beckley of Pillar offers some advice to former Korn guitarist and new Christian Brian 'Head' Welch.Pillar, doesn't like the labels put on Christian artists. Although Christian and embraced by the Christian community--Pillar is playing the Alive Festival this summer and they're up for three Gospel Music Association (GMA) Dove awards this year, including Rock Album of the Year for "Where Do We Go From Here?"--the group has been gaining success in the mainstream as well, playing with big-name bands like Korn and Sevendust. Their video "Bring Me Down" has been featured on MTV2 and Fuse. "People can call us what they want to call us," says Beckley. "[But] the term Christian band is a stupid tag. The Beastie Boys aren't Buddhist hip-hop."
Beckley talks to Beliefnet about Christian rock, how he handles critics of his band, and the challenges he faces as a Christian in the public eye.
It was reported recently that Korn guitarist Brian "Head" Welch has left the band because he found God. You've played with Korn before. What do you think about his "coming out"?
I think it's awesome. [When I heard] I just got really excited for him, but really nervous for him too. I hope that people are gentle. I have a feeling he's going to get a lot of pressure from the Christian community right away. You never know how it happened or what impact who had on him, but it's cool to think that somebody that you've prayed for and that you've taken time out of your day to really think about...to hear [he's become a Christian] in such a public platform is just really cool.
Do you think it's hard being really rooted in your religion and being in a mainstream band? It seems as though it must have affected this guy if he felt he had to leave.
I wouldn't say any religion, but definitely becoming a follower of Christ--not just calling yourself a Christian. Millions of people in the U.S. call themselves Christians who don't necessarily uphold those values. I would say to live up to the standard that's placed on Christians' lives, it would be really hard to be in that environment without any type of other support.
Because of the temptations that being in any band would bring?