Monday, 2 January 2012

Am I bothered?

Well, yes. I am bothered, but I'm not entirely sure why so I'm going to try to reason it out. What's bothering me is my instinctive reaction to finding out that a band who make pretty bloody good music are Christians. Why should that bother me? I saw a post on Facebook saying that the band Five Iron Frenzy were back together. I'd never heard of them so didn't know they'd split, but my attention was caught by a comment on the post by a musician I follow on FB & Twitter. He mentioned one of the band's tracks so I thought I'd look it up. Here it is:
Good tune, decent bass line & some brass; usually something I'd like & I did when I heard it. In fact I've just played it again & enjoyed it. So I had a little search for other tunes from them and in the process came across references to their faith. Suddenly I wasn't so keen. But why? Why should it matter what their faith is? I like to think of myself as a tolerant person & although I'd never broadcast what my own faith (or lack of) is, I have no problem with anyone else's beliefs. I also strongly believe music can and should have a political edge to it. I wrote an earlier post lamenting the lack of social or political commentary in today's popular music. So why should a band making music that proclaims their faith be any different? Surely a political ideology that you feel strongly about is no different than a religious belief. So am I truly the tolerant individual I thought I was? I despise racism and bigotry of any kind, yet found myself instinctively wanting to dislike a band because they were described as a 'Christian ska band', in much the same way I instinctively hate scum like Skrewdriver and their hate-filled neo-nazi fans.
Five Iron Frenzy's wiki page states that they typically 'refrained from using their set as a platform to preach to the crowds'. The band's own website isn't overtly Christian and the imagery they employ certainly doesn't strike me as particularly Christian. I had a look at their lyrics and although they do reference their faith they certainly aren't 'in your face' about it. They address social issues & injustices too, again something I'd usually applaud. So why am I so bothered by them? To be honest I don't know. I like their sound. I'm no fan of Christian music generally; I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of 'Christian' bands are simply not good enough to make an impression in the mainstream market so proclaim themselves Christian because they know Christian music fans will overlook their shortcomings and buy their records anyway. I'm certainly not accusing Five Iron Frenzy of this, whether their faith is genuine or not is none of my business & they're accomplished enough musically.
Unfortunately I haven't come up with any answers as to why I didn't want to like them. If I played them on my SFR show I'm fairly sure nobody would switch off in disgust. It's troubled me enough to prompt this post, which hasn't helped me work it out in the slightest! Any ideas?

Postscript: I did play the tune on my show. The devil didn't steal my soul but similarly the sky didn't open to reveal the Rapture. Not sure why I had such an issue with it; I think each-to-their-own might be the best policy. Nobody complained. However... had I played this I think I may well have had a few adverse comments (do at least try not to laugh):


  1. Always have an open mind old bean. I often find I'm more open to other viewpoints than those with them are to mine - but such is life eh?

    Christian Ska Band?...Give em a spin. Nowt wrong with belief even if you don't share it - as I don't - but I'd listen and enjoy if it's decent.

    by the by...not all Skrewdriver fans are hate filled nazi's....just most of em..;-)

  2. I've got no problem with being open minded but there is a danger of being so open-minded your brain drops out! And I agree there's nothing wrong with belief - I have my own religious opinions but choose not to broadcast them.
    My post was about challenging my own prejudices, not accusing anyone else of anything.
    Like I said, it's a good tune & not at all offensive lyrically. After all, it's not as if the lyrics are:
    White Power! For England
    White Power! Today
    White Power! For Britain
    Before it gets too late
    (c) Skrewdriver ;-)

  3. Being slightly grey of body n face I would rather worry about white power myself....perhaps I could bathe in OMO...;-)

    Now that would be some'at!!!..;-)

    ...least I wouldn't be omophobic then!..;-)

    I wasn't alluding to you old bean if that's what you thought...I got a couple of mails from listeners who hadn't the brains to see beyond the man...

    Yes, I have a link to the BNP site but I'm not BNP.....not yet anyroad...but I ain't promising owt...

    I live in Hayes Town and which ever way you look at it Hayes Town isn't England anymore.

    More to the point, my Asian neighbours hate it.

    They thought England was a better life - and indeed it was - but they are now seeing it all go to hell in a handbasket and they hate it even more than me.

    I'm phobic alright...phobic against anyone who hates my country and you might be shocked at how many around here do. Why are they here then?

    They're on benefits and breeding and they even admit it to me.

    I'm off to Devon in the next couple of years...then I can not care anymore and just man the barricades down there...

    What a fuckin world eh?

    Love n hugs


    ps...if I'm not BNP within the next 2 years then the politicians have finally got something right!!! breath holding here....;-)

  4. Thing is Dinners, the BNP may have big rhetoric about saving Britain etc, but the simple fact is they're racists. And whether you have problems with certain elements in your locality or not standing alongside racists will NEVER improve things.

    Besides, since when has Britain been this idyllic utopia the likes of the BNP, EDL etc would have us believe it was. Multiculturalism has been a feature of British life since before the Romans arrived.

    Benefit scroungers come in all shades mate, come to Devon & they are predominately as white as you or I. Social problems have nothing to do with skin colour, religion or race - greed, dishonesty & envy are universal problems & always have been. The only thing achieved by tagging a racial aspect to such things is to accelerate a spiral of hate.

    Come to Devon by all means, but I fear you'll be erecting the barricades inside your front door. If you feel the lack of coloured faces will make the issues that upset you go away then you're going to be sorely disappointed.


  6. Very valid point mate - and I accept it.

    I live in Hayes Town so most of the scroungers are Somalian types...I live in Devon they are white trash instead.

    Also, I agree...The Chinese, longer than me....Eastern European?...Two best pals from school are Boden Buciak and Roman Rudkowski.

    No problem with immigration...just colonisation and those who don't want to adapt in any way to Britain.

    You are right mate...the BNP isn't the answer...yet...they are trying to extricate themselves from their awful origins mind...National Front/British Movement/Combat 18 et al.

    Will they? Do they really want to?...Dunno.

    Real problem?

    Ordinary folks will be drawn to them if the meanstream mob don't do some'at soon - and that's what I really want. The mainstream politicians accepting most didn't want multi anything but we've swallowed it....but not for too much longer.

    Still reckon I'd prefer Devon...I'm not entirely daft tha knows..;-)