The eye has seen, has the ear heard?
Music has always been a contentious issue. I believe it is because one cannot please 100% of the people 100% of the time. Instead, each band creates a brand, and that brand follows them. The question I am seeking to answer through this post is the notion of why bands create and perform songs that will inevitably spark debate among different groups of people.
The thought for this topic came to me while I was watching the music video to Fallout Boy’s new song Centuries. I had heard the song many times before watching the music video, so naturally I had already created certain images in my head as to what the song was about. Upon watching it I was astonished to see that it was based, albeit loosely, on the story of David and Goliath.
The post is not about the song, but rather the band. Why would Fallout Boy, a secular rock band, use an event from the Bible as the basis for their latest music video? The band obviously created the video for a specific reason…but what was it? My thinking leads me to think on the positive because well, that’s how I think. Not everyone sees the positive in a famous, secular rock band depicting the story of David and Goliath, this becomes evident through the saddening comments section. The point I want to make is this; do artists realize what they are doing while making these videos? The answer is undoubtedly yes. Which then begs the question: Why? Why go through all that effort?
I have three possible answers to that:
View point 1: Any publicity is good publicity
The idea that it doesn’t matter what the cause of the sensation, so long as there is a sensation is an idea that has been in the market place for centuries (see what I did there?). Any publicity is good publicity, right? Businesses and people have never been overly concerned with offending certain people if it meant that it would create a bit of hype, at the end of the day, if there is hype, people will be talking about your brand, and so long as the product you offer is still quality, then there will be no harm done. Right? In this case I don’t think the biblical link in the Centuries video can damage the brand of the band to a point where they lose money, however it does lead to view point 2.
View point 2: Perhaps these bands are trying to tell us something.
So these bands that are using biblical references in their videos, and some sing actual hymns (Mumford and Sons: Amazing Grace). Has anyone given any thought to the idea that maybe these bands’ are trying to tell us something about what is happening behind the scenes? This is another positive way to look at things as it doesn’t assume that bands simply use these methods because they know they can generate lots of money through using one of the most famous stories in all of history as the idea for their music video.
View point 3: Maybe, just maybe, they are searching.
Perhaps these bands use these analogies because they are genuinely searching for the Truth within their own music. If this is the case then I love what they have done, but am I justified in getting annoyed if this is not the case? If they have simply used the story because it has mythical qualities then am I justified in being annoyed with them for using religious icons as Hollywood money making schemes? I feel as though this is a question that cannot be answered unless one actually speaks to the band and discovers what their actual intentions for the video were.
No matter the purpose of the video, they have been successful in getting people to talk about it, so perhaps they succeeded. What do you think?
In closing I want to add one more cat among the pigeons. Good Charlotte, a band that has been around for donkey’s years; a band to never have outwardly confessed to have Christian principles leading their music (to our knowledge at least), and yet a band that has produced two songs that are arguably undeniably rooted in faith. Both songs were produced in 2009, We Believe and The River. When one reads the lyrics you’ll see what I mean. Particularly in this case “The River” leads me to believe that there is more than simply singing a song or two that can have a possible correlation to religious undertones.
At the end of the day, the decision is for you to make. Should we read into songs and videos that bands make? Or should we simply take them at face value if they do not profess to actually have any direct link to the faith that is evident in their songs? I hope to one day be able to interview these bands and get an answer straight from the horse’s mouth. Until then, enjoy the music.
Have a rocking week