Gospel Soundcheck

Gospel Soundcheck

Marc Martel’s Queen Extravaganza audition profiled in the Wall Street Journal

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Seriously. This is the most cool thing that’s happened in Christian music in a long time. Marc Martel’s audition tape for the Queen Extravaganza hasn’t just captivated fans. The Wall Street Journal online did a story today on Marc.

Whoo hoo! Way to go, Marc!

Marc added his audition video to the Queen Extravaganza competition, where musicians vie for a spot on a 2012 tour featuring the music of one of rock’s greatest bands, Queen. The band will be made up of musicians hand picked by Queen’s Roger Taylor. This is not a tribute band. It’s a touring production of Queen music.


And in about 24 hours, Marc’s video has gotten 1.2 million views.

I wrote about this yesterday, and was surprised by the comments from readers who questioned whether a Christian artist should participate in this contest. One reader, Deb, wrote:

“How is this a good thing? If a pastor leaves a church, and becomes a bartender, and makes more money and has lots of friends, is that a good thing? He was given talent by God to serve him. Tell me how does Queen serve God? Walking away from ministry is not good. I’m glad I got to hear him sing for the Lord.”


In the article, Marc addresses that question:

“Freddie Mercury wrote songs that were real and true. Rock and roll reaches people because it’s honest, and doesn’t shy away from the issues. You can have a great voice, but people can spot a fake from a mile away. Our music may come from a biblical standpoint but we don’t shy away from true experiences  – doubt, loss, pain, sorrow – we want to deal with all of that. Queen’s repertoire deals with those emotions and feelings too and I love singing their music because at the end of the day, it’s just true.”

Downhere L to R: Glenn Lavender; Jason Germaine; Jeremy Thiessen; Marc Martel


If you’ve never listened to Downhere, now is your chance to check out some great music by four very talented musicians who really are what the definition of “Christian artist” should be. On their website, the guys say about their latest project, On The Altar Of Love:

We live in an age when the most basic assumptions of orthodox Christianity are being challenged. As a younger band we wrote a lot of songs aimed at pointing out problems and tearing down things that we believed were wrong. But now, at this stage in life, we’re much more interested in going back to the beginning, and using our gifts to reaffirm and shore up the foundations of the faith. We want to be a part of building up the church and preserving the culture.


And the rest of the guys in Downhere – drummer Jeremy Thiessen, bassist Glenn Lavender, and guitarist/vocalist Jason Germaine – all deserve kudos for being so supportive of Marc’s latest adventure.

You can learn more about Downhere on the band’s website. The band is currently on The Called To Love Tour, with Jason Gray and Aaron Shust. You can check out tour dates on the tour site.


Will Downhere’s Marc Martel be the next Freddie Mercury? You decide!

More posts about Downhere. (And there are probably lots more, except when Beliefnet moved the blogs to the new platform, we lost all of the tags and categories. Boo. So for now, this is all I can grab from the archives.)

Comments read comments(6)
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posted September 23, 2011 at 11:32 pm

Check out Marc’s video when he performed Bohemian Rhapsody with the Renaissance Church band in Summit, NJ.

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Christina Z

posted September 24, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Deb, I think your wrong about this not being a good thing. Imagine how many more people will now search out Downhere to listen to the message in their music. These people who are attracted to his vocal abilities may find a way to be just as attracted to Christ through their love of music. Now if that pastor stops witnessing to people than it’s not good, but if Marc can still proclaim Jesus as his savior then more power to him.

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posted September 25, 2011 at 6:42 pm

Are you kidding me. This guy is fantastic. his life is about to change

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Joanne Brokaw

posted September 28, 2011 at 6:50 pm

He is such a nice, guy, too. I’m really happy for him!

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posted October 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Congrats Marc! You were just at our Church in Orlando and while you were singing my husband said to me “he sounds like Freddy Mercury” and then I see you on the Ellen Show today! Love backdoor evangelism! You will now have such a powerful platform for Christ and be a missionary in the music world!

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posted October 30, 2011 at 4:49 pm

If it had not been for Marc’s ‘Somebody’ audition video, I would never have heard of the band. And, since that discovery just four weeks ago, I have had the incredible blessing of falling love with the music and message Downhere has recorded. I really needed it too, and this has lifted me out of a very difficult place. I praise God that Queen got used! I used to listen to them long ago and loved the music. True, it was godless in some ways but now it is a tool for good.

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