What does it mean to be a Christian band

 

So yes, we are a Christian metal band.
But what does that mean?
What’s the difference between a regular band and a Christian band?

I know it’s hard to say.
I know there’s so many answers to this question.
But let me tell you about us.
Let me tell you about what we believe in.

 

Are we a Christian band?
We think so. And we like to call ourselves a “Christian band”.
But if you don’t agree, we don’t mind. That’s okay if you don’t think we are a Christian band.

 

However, honestly, I don’t know the exact definition of “Christian band”.
I think, the point is, God owns this band. God has the ownership of this band. He has the decision and He has the final say. Even though he gave us many options and choices. We are like workers employed by God. We try our best but sometimes He says different things than we think, and we have to follow Him.

And I think, there is a mission that God gave us. For Christian bands and Christian artists, each band, each artist has a mission. Some particular mission God gave them. I think that’s one of the things that differentiate a Christian band from regular bands.

 

Being a Christian band doesn’t mean we are “saints” or “angels”.
Being a Christian musician doesn’t mean we are “good people”.
We are just rock’n’rollers. We are just rockers.
Rockers are lazy bastards. Rockers are misfits.
We are just useless people, socially, financially, ethically.
But we play music and we make music.
We want to make it better.
So we decided to make it for God.

 

We don’t play Christian Rock because we want to be “good kids”.
We are not good kids. (At least not that good.)
We play Christian Rock, because we believe Christian Rock is the best form of Rock’n’Roll.

 

We believe Rock’n’Roll is a gift from God.
If you look at the history, Rock’n’Roll was “Christian” since the beginning. The Godmother of Rock’n’Roll, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, was a “Christian Rocker”.
Rock music has come a long way since then. But after every note written and every sound played, Rock’n’Roll has to achieve its real mission. To change the world with God’s Love.
Christian Rock is the final and ultimate form of Rock music. We believe so.

 

We believe in “Gospel/Blues/Hardrock/HeavyMetal” river of sounds.
That’s why we play traditional hard rock style music.
At the same time we love “indie/garage/alternative/mathrock/progressive” kind of stuff. We never stray away from “traditional rock” format, yet we want to make it fresh by trying to incorporate “all those cheerful noises” in the world.

We believe in Rock’n’Roll. It’s because Rock’n’Roll was born from Gospel music. We believe in the history of Gospel and Blues. We believe Rock’n’Roll is the art form in which people can express their Faith in the most direct form, with physical energy and spiritual passion.

 

We don’t believe in hype. We don’t believe in fame. We don’t believe in money. Power of Faith is what we believe in. Power of Music is what we believe in. We believe there is TRUTH in music, just like there is TRUTH in faith.

 

I think we have found the TRUTH of Rock’n’Roll. That’s why we started making music in the first place.
Funny thing is, when we found it, it looked very much like the Truth of Jesus who died on the cross. (and resurrected!)
Yes, we totally believe the TRUTH of Rock’n’Roll is JESUS!
We believe the truth of Rock’n’Roll and the truth of Christianity is the same thing. (But TRUTH is TRUTH and that is one thing since the beginning.)

 

We think of Rock music very seriously.
When we think of Rock music, we know “indie spirit” is very important.
Rock’n’Roll has evolved and it evolved into some big business. Great bands and artists have achieved many great things.
However, in order to achieve its final mission, Rock’n’Roll has to regain “indie spirit”.

 

You don’t have to be a Big Band. In fact, those legendary “Big Bands” could not do it any further.
It’s time for indie bands like us to kick the soccer ball into the goal. The final goal of Rock’n’Roll.

You don’t have to be a world famous big star. I think Jesus Christ was a local star in Israel back in those days.
It does not take “big numbers” to achieve this musical mission. But it probably takes some “indie” spirit. And yes, you can call it “faith” if you like.

It’s funny, but we found this “indie” spirit of rock music and the soul of “faith” are very similar.

 

Possibly because of this “indie spirit”, we don’t have any particular church or Christian organization behind our back. I know, I know, that’s because we are just lazy rockers. Churches don’t like us so much. (Some of them do.)

 

It’s funny we play as a “trio”.
I’d like to mention this, because in the beginning, we wanted to be Van Halen. We wanted to be Led Zeppelin. We wanted the Lead Singer.
However, due to so many reasons, we could not find the right singer and now we play as a trio.

But when we decided to play Christian music, we realized some important things.
We don’t need “frontman”. Because our frontman is Jesus.
We don’t need to be rock stars. Because our Rock Star is Jesus. Jesus is the ONLY real rock star in this world. He is the biggest star. We just play music for Him.

So one day, when we are in heaven, Jesus will be our lead singer.
(But is He a better singer than Chris Cornell? That’s THE question.) (just joking)

 

 

So what’s the difference between a regular band and a Christian band?

I think one of the main differences is their goal.

I think probably the goal of regular bands is to be successful. To be famous. To make a lot of money. To be a big star and play big concerts. To be famous and their music praised and respected by people all over the world. That’s what “success” looks like for regular bands, I think.

But we are a Christian band.
We don’t believe in secular success.
We don’t believe in regular success.

 

Are we humble?
No, it’s just we are more ambitious.
We want something MORE.
We want something better than that.
We want some HEAVENLY success.

To achieve this HEAVENLY success, we don’t need those “secular/regular” successes.

 

The Bible says you will be hated by the world for your faith.
(John 17:14 and many other verses in the Bible such as Matthew 10:22, John 15:19, John 16:33)
So we don’t mind if people hate us or ignore us.

It’s really funny for a rock band to say this, but we didn’t come here to be popular. We came here to bring messages. We came here to bring LOVE to people. And Love has nothing to do with being successful, rich or famous.

 

We don’t believe in numbers. We don’t believe in money. We don’t believe in fame.
All the successes in this secular world are measured by numbers.
Number is important because number means money. And those things are easy to understand.
However, LOVE is not easy to understand. Rock’n’Roll music, well it looks easy, but it actually is very deep and spiritual. That is the essence of Rock’n’Roll. There is TRUTH in music.

We want to follow that TRUTH in music. We want to play that TRUTH of Rock’n’Roll. It’s not easy but we are trying.

 

We believe there is a “way” in Rock music.
We want to follow that “way” and make some beautiful things with it.
We want to show that “way” to the world.
We believe “the way and the truth” is Jesus.
That is the truth of Rock’n’Roll we have found in music.
We want to follow that with all our life.

 

In order to do that, we try to avoid IDOL WORSHIP, as much as possible.

Because in reality, the music business and the world of rock music is full of idol worship.

Idol Worship, you can say it in other word, that is “religion business”.

It’s funny for us to say this because we are a Christian band, which is supposed to be “religious”, but we want to avoid this kind of “religion business” method as much as possible.

It’s really funny and ironic, but there are so many bands and artists in the secular world who are doing this kind of “religion business”. You know what I mean?
So many bands are doing their business using this kind of “religion method” a.k.a. Idol Worship.

 

We don’t believe in overnight success.
When we started making music, we were not thinking of Rock Stars.
We were thinking of painters, novelists, sculptors, and other kinds of craftsmen.
We knew it would take time. We knew that young famous rock stars with so much hype were NOT what we wanted to be.

 

So what is our goal?

Yes we can say these things.
Success in heaven.
Glory to God.
Praise Jesus.
Spread God’s Word

We can say all those churchy things for our goal and mission.

And if possible,
we want to change our mother nation Japan.
We want to change the spiritual situation in Japan.
We want people in Japan to know Jesus Christ.

That is probably one of the biggest dreams we have.

 

But you know what is more important?

We want to bring our LOVE message to you.
We want to touch you with Jesus’ Love.
We want to help you to see Jesus in any way.

Yes we are doing this just to see you.
We are doing all these things just to bring LOVE to you.

 

Yes, just one person.
If we can really touch one person, with heart and soul.
If we can change his/her life, with this “eternal love thing”.

That’s when our mission is complete.

 

 

Because we are a band from Japan, we have these particular things we want to achieve.

We don’t necessarily think Christianity is a religion from the West.
We believe that Christianity can be found in Japanese mind, such as the ancient “Bushido” (Samurai spirit) and the notion of “Wa”.
We want to prove that we can believe in Jesus without losing our identity as Japanese.

 

In Japan, we have this beautiful spiritual thing called Bushido (Samurai spirit).
There is also something called “Yamato Damashii” (Japanese spirit), which is really important for Japanese people. I understand it’s all about forgiving others and accepting the world with a big heart.
In this Japanese traditional spirit and virtue, you can find so much similarity to Christianity.

Just like Inazo Nitobe (Chsitian author in the 19-20th century) stated in his book, we Japanese people must accept Christianity upon the soil of Bushido. That’s when our Bushido will be complete. We believe we can make the most beautiful flower, that is second to none in the world, if we understand Jesus with the Bushido spirit.

We want to prove that with our music.

 

We have a great respect for the history of Christianity.
But just like everything we mankind do, that history was not always perfect. And it was a history of Europe, based on European culture.

We believe, we, Japanese people with faith, can offer something new to the world, something to make the world better. We can contribute to the world history of Christianity. Maybe we can show the world what Jesus is all about, in a way that is never done before.

 

We are a bridge. Cultural bridge between Japan and the world.
We bridge the gap (spiritual, cultural, and musical) between Japan and the world.
We want to show what Christianity is all about to Japanese people, at the same time we want to show what Japanese spirit is all about, to the world audience.

 

 

To many people, these words are just slogans.
To some bands, these goals are just excuses.

But somehow we are believing these things in a more actual manner.

That is not because we are wise.
Only because we are crazy.

 

May 6th, 2021
Takahiro “Tone” Nakamine
(Yes please call me “Tone”)(You can call me Tak if it’s easier.)

 

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