All We Need Is Love
You won't find Kutless' singer screaming on street corners, spreading the Christian message. He'd rather do it by loving people.music that angers some Christians, the bandmates actually began their career as a college worship band. Their latest album, "Strong Tower," can best be described as a return to their roots. They've modernized such popular praise songs as "We Fall Down" and "Better is One Day" by playing them with heavy guitars and drum beats. And although the band has faced criticism both for its hard sound and for "selling out," since worship albums are so popular and profitable today, lead singer Jon Micah Sumrall says he won't let critics of his band dictate what, or how, they'll play.
Currently on tour and scheduled to appear at the upcoming Luis Palau Festival in Washington, DC, on October 8th, Sumrall spoke to Beliefnet about his favorite way to worship and the Biblical evidence he's found to support rock music.
It seems that there's more Christian rock bands than ever before. And there's also been a big boom with worship and hymn albums over the past couple of years. What's your take on this sudden interest in Christian music?
I think there's been several things that have happened that have opened the minds of mainstream media and mainstream people. I remember when 9/11 happened I was seeing Scripture verses all over the news. Suddenly people were more open to the idea of God.
There's been a lot that's happened in the world over the past five or six years and there's a lot of hurting people out there who are searching. Suddenly a positive message can be encouraging and better received-even if people don't agree or hold onto it.
vI also think Christian music, as a whole, has just gotten better. There's more bands and more genres of music. There's a lot of bands hat have come up in the Christian music industry that are just as good, if not better, than a lot of mainstream bands out there. If the music is good enough people will play it because they enjoy it. And to a mainstream listener that's essentially the entire reason for listening to music-enjoyment.
With "Strong Tower" you've gotten criticized for jumping on the worship album bandwagon. Plus, you've done something radical with traditional songs-they're a lot harder musically than a lot of the other remade worship songs. Do you think it's almost taboo to do something like that?