Ninety Pound Wuss
Ninety Pound Wuss was on tour. And like most bands, their van breaks down. It just so "happens" that they were in my area. So they stayed at my place for a few days. I had the privilege of touring with them in '97 (along with Slick Shoes), so this is actually the second time they've stayed at my place. Ninety Pound Wuss is a band of way creative hard music.
Jeff is grossed out by Conrad's room.
Tell us your name, and how you ended up here.
My name is Jeff suffering from Ninety Pound Wuss. Our van is dead from 8 cylinders to 4 cylinders, and we've been stuck in Virginia for about 5 days.
What do you think of the Christian music scene?
Christian music scene? I think it stinks.
Do you think its getting better at all?
Actually i think its getting better and worse at the same time. I think the people that want to have their segregated Christian culture are getting worse and segregating more and judging more and being harsher more and the ones who..and then there is the whole Frankie Shafer influenced youth idealism in Christianity right now that accepts art and culture for just that and not just a black and white/ good or evil kinda thing...that part of Christian music is getting better and more accepting and open to people as artists just being able to do their art and not label it as a religious thing.
How is your band being treated in terms of being accepted by either culture?...the Christians or non-christians.
We're generally not accepted that much by either, we have problems in both but then were accepted by both too. I dunno, I think the music speaks for itself. You cant really deny some of the relevance...not to be egotistical because I don't think were the best band or anything but we put our heart and soul into our work and i don't necessarily think were deserving of recognition or anything like that at all, but i think that some people have noticed that we've put a lot into it and they are willing to accept us because of that whether we are Christians or not. Not everyone in the band is, but three out of four of us are so...there's always trouble in the Christian market...like for this record, i wrote an explanation of song lyrics to some people...to the Christian market specifically so that they would know where i am coming from and all of our songs are obviously 'i am a Christian and I'm not ashamed' and all of our songs come from my world view which is filtered through the eyes of a devoted believer in Christ. I'm not ashamed of that no matter who likes us or who doesn't.
How have non Christian kids been accepting you? or their bands.
Those bands are usually fine. Bands we play with are fine unless they are smaller DIY hardcore bands...sometimes there are political questions and other things...but usually when we meet them they are all really cool. Sometimes they aren't , but most of the time they are... but even if they are not nice, and don't like us, we are always really nice to them. Hopefully we are beyond reproach in how we treat bands and other people.
The fans are often punk kids...sometimes not very accepting because they wanna be rebellious and they don't think that it is rebellious to have a religious belief. Sometime the punk rockers don't like us...unfortunately. That's just political stuff though As far as music goes...usually they hear us and they like us or they hear us and they don't like us...musically, on a music level, aside from any politics or any religious beliefs were definitely a band that you either like or you don't like period. I don't think there is anyone who thinks...'oh yeah, they are okay'...I think it is either one extreme or another.
I have friends that cant stand us...They are still my friends and I don't really care, obviously their opinion about my music means nothing... There are also other fans of our music that swear up and down that were the best band ever...I don't relate to that either so...
(Conrad laughing like a hyena...Jeff chuckling)
What do you think of the 'regular Christian kid'? Like, from seeing so many Christian kids across America, what is your general overview...like 'This is what the American, Christian, youth culture is like...this is what they are good at, this is where there are problems'. What is their general state?
Since most of our shows are just normal general market shows, and every once in a while there is a Christian coffee house thrown in...but not very often in the last couple of years there hasn't been...in the last two years, we have played about four Christian coffee houses and not one church. We try to avoid doing that. I feel we are a band that is going to tour and sell merchandise and stuff. I don't feel that we are above playing in a church, I feel like we are not worthy to play in a church. A church is a sanctuary to worship God in and that's not what we are doing...and to a lot of people a church is just a building that can be used to facilitate all sorts of Christian events, but to me, it means something more than that. I was born and raised going to church, then I rebelled, and then it became a sanctuary for me and my life as a Christian isn't on Sundays. But on Sundays its a special day to go to church and worship Christ, and not see rocknroll music...unless is rocknroll music specifically meant to glorify God and praise God and our music isn't specifically meant to do that for the audience member...so to me, i feel like, no, its not right for us to play in a church. There are different reasons for everyone in the band...this is just mine. I don't want to blaspheme the name of God by selling stuff in his sanctuary.
I haven't really seen the average Christian kid. I just see the ones that go to my church, and the ones that go to regular general market concerts. From those kids, I think there is a great great future for Christians and their faith. Its really amazing to me to see these kids stand firm in their faith without being confrontational people...with just listening and meeting people where they are at, without going out and force feeding people the gospel...they just live it and they love God and alot of the, especially at our church and at our shows are very artistic kids who just appreciate art and can differentiate between culture and what Christian culture tends to think is evil...for instance Marylin Manson (I always use him as an example because its easy)...He is the same as the rest of us...and his art isn't necessarily good or evil, its what you take it as. He's just expressing his opinions, it doesn't mean you have to be influenced by it or listen to anything he says. If you like it, and as a Christian i don't think it is necessarily bad to listen to something like that because....if you are grounded in your faith you know where he is coming from and you can have compassion for the fact that he doesn't know what he is talking about you know?
Its like reading somebody in the Bible who is completely wrong...Like you can read Saul and the bad stuff he tried to do to David...and its not like reading about him is influencing him wrongly
I guess from what i see, there really is a good future for the average Christian kid.