April 22, 2016

Storm The Gate--A Classic Rock/Metal Christian Parody Album

Y-know, it's funny.  I always had kind of a bad taste in my mouth for parody songs.  I think it must have been my experience with Weird Al and his early 80s parodies of Michael Jackson's Beat it ("Eat it") and Bad ("I'm fat").  The whole concepts just felt cheesy and cheep to me--not disrespect intended to Al.

Fast forward to 2016...
For a long I wanted to do some kind of Christ-honoring version of a Cover/Tribute album--to highlight and pay due homage to the music and musicians of the 1970s & 80s who inspired me to become a musician.  So in late 2015 I picked out 20 songs and set to workl laying tracks.  My plan was to keep as many of the original lyrics in tact, tweek things just enough to clean-up (where necesary) and redeem/nonor Jesus (where possible) the lyrical message.

You can see the full track list HERE.
Just scroll down to the Storm The Gates Album info.

Long story short---er...

Here are some of the lessons I learned:

  • You can't just tweek a lyric in a song... I mean you might be able to change "a" word, but not three or four lines--let alone transform the message/meaning of a song.  That's a major copyright infringement and you have to get permission from the rights holder to do it.
  • The Parody/fair use laws in our country are very fair.  I found a GREAT video that TOTALLY help me understand this issue.  On the off-chance that you might want to learn about the legalities of parody--here's the video I watched.


So, I decided to do a PARODY album.
But not in 1980s cheeze-whiz style---I set out to create an album that truly reflect the statement I use to describe my music to people all the time.

"If AC/DC, KISS, Judas Priest, Ozzy and Iron Maiden jumped into a Christian blender and came out playing Christ-honoring music---that's pretty much what you get with Pastor Brad"

And that's truly pretty much what you get with the Storm The Gates album(s).

A STATEMENT I WILL POST -- With Storm The Gates when released:

Are songs on STORM THE GATES parodies or just rewrites (A.K.A. “derivative works”)?
According to Webster's dictionary, a parody is "A composition in which the form and expression of serious writings are closely imitated but adapted to a ridiculous subject or a humorous method of treatment; a burlesque imitation of a serious poem." 

This definition describes perfectly the songs on STORM THE GATES. I did my best to closely imitate the style and sound of the original compositions and I adapted them to a subject that seems utterly ridiculous to many non-Christ-following people. The primary message of every song is the Cross (I.e. the redemptive work of Jesus Christ at Calvary).  

The Apostle Paul wrote,  “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)  While my fellow Christians will view this message in the spirit that Paul describes above, as “the power of God,” many will likely perceive the whole thing as a gimmick or uninformed, na├»ve religiosity. I’m sure many will view the mixing of secular rock music with biblical lyrics as ridiculous or possibly even scandalous. Others will find it all quite amusing and humorous. I know that before I became a Christian, I felt there was something inherently funny (cheesy/ridiculous) about a “serious rock song” being used for “religious” purposes. For all of these reasons, in my view—the songs on Storm The Gates are the epitome of parodied music.

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Until next time,
80s Old-School Christian Metal & Instrumental Shred Guitar Blessings!
pb
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