Is Vanden Plas a Christian band?

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Is Vanden Plas a Christian band?

Post by templar on Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:20 pm

A lot of their songs mention Christ and ask a lot of questions, but their lyrics don't just scream out to me that they're Christian.  On the other hand, they're not blatantly hostile to Christ either.  I'm ok with asking questions, as I have plenty myself.  Does anyone know about these guys?
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Re: Is Vanden Plas a Christian band?

Post by messiaen77 on Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:38 pm

My guess on this is that they are not a "Christian band," but I haven't seen or heard anything that would be really problematic from a Christian perspective.
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Re: Is Vanden Plas a Christian band?

Post by templar on Thu Aug 24, 2017 6:46 pm

I am tempted to ask them if they are Christians during the meet & greet in a couple of weeks at ProgPower 18  in Atlanta.  Anyone else here going?
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Re: Is Vanden Plas a Christian band?

Post by messiaen77 on Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:19 pm

I think this would be an ok time to give in to temptation.  Smile
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Re: Is Vanden Plas a Christian band?

Post by eatbugs on Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:42 pm

I like your phrasing too.  Asking "if they are Christians" based on what you noticed in their lyrics is probably going to get a more meaningful response than asking "if they are a Christian band."

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Re: Is Vanden Plas a Christian band?

Post by Superjuice on Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:14 am

If you're talking about the album Christ 0, the title refers to the book, The Count of Monte Crist-O....
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Re: Is Vanden Plas a Christian band?

Post by templar on Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:35 am

I was thinking of their lyrics in several different songs.  For example...

In the album "Chronicles of the Immortals: Netherworld"
The song "Vision 5ive - A Ghosts Requiem":

"On that day of tears and mourning
When from the ashes shall arise
Spare us by your mercy, gentle Lord
Grant them all eternal rest"


Yet later in "Vision 7even - The King and the Children of Lost World"

"And we'll be freed from our Anathema
within the healing flames
No more lying, no more stealing
No more fierce and savage games
Let us sing hail to the Lord who helps us free ourselves
Flames are sanitizing lost world on the stroke of 12"

and then later, same song:

"Don't believe these many words of a great pretender
He's the one who did encage you here for more than a hundred years
Be forevermore his cattle if you will not flee
You will be free - come with me?"



Then in their latest studio album Chronicles of the Immortals: Netherworld II,
the last song, "Vision 19teen - Circle of the Devil"

"On that day of tears and mourning
From the ashes shall arise
Spare us by your mercy, my Lord
Grant them all eternal rest


Here we are the kings – queens of sadness
Here we are the praise of gods
Here we are the pawns of heaven
Scared away from the fields of the Lord
Here we are the saints of lost world
Here we are the renegades
Waiting here to heal our savior
Who is coming to save the world"


and later in the same song:


"We are marching on and on in the storm and the rain
Searching for a better world to release all the pain
And we’re marching on and on through the doorways of hell
Waiting for a hundred years for the toll of the bell
Searching for the mystery in the power of greed
Gods are our enemies and they’re sowing the seed
They are changing history, nothing will be the same
And we’re trying to survive while we’re playing their game"




So for me its not too easy.  Their lyrics in some cases seem to contradict what other lyrics are saying.  It is as if they cannot make up their minds what to believe.  For example, is the Lord our "enemy" or is he "gentle" - and whats this about more than one God?  I suspect they don't believe in anything because they're all over the map,  and yet something is telling me not to write them off so quickly.  Faith and how one incorporates it into one's life can be complex.  This is why I am asking here.  "This must be the place."   Cool
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Re: Is Vanden Plas a Christian band?

Post by Andreas89 on Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:57 am

Well, if you can ask them... they know better than we do Razz
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Re: Is Vanden Plas a Christian band?

Post by templar on Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:11 pm

I have been told by a couple of people that at least some members of Vanden Plas are indeed Christian as I suspected.  However, I have found out a little more about their last two studio albums, "The Chronicles of the Immortals: Netherworlds" that they are based on a book by a German author Wolfgang Hohlbein.  (See here:  Album Review – Vanden Plas / Chronicles of the Immortals – Netherworld (2014)).  This would explain some of the two album's content as they are based on a work of fiction, not Christian theology.

If I do get to meet them in a couple of weeks (and I plan to) I will ask them if they are Christians & I'll report back here with what I find out.
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Re: Is Vanden Plas a Christian band?

Post by ManipulatorGeneral404 on Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:40 pm

templar, I believe I may know you and may even be one of those people you have mentioned. I'm going to give you guys as much information as I know (warning: long post). I have not met the guys but I, too, will be at ProgPower USA in five days and will see Vanden Plas perform. I have it on very reliable word from several people very close to the band that four of the guys are Christian or very spiritual and the bass player is the only outlier.
 
Gunter (the keyboardist) is a Catholic and he was responsible for writing some works of sacred music for the German church that will remain a permanent part of their repertoire.
 
Andy (the singer-lyricist) is very clearly a believer, but nebulous as to what. At one time he published in an interview that "my belief in Jesus" was one of the main factors driving his life. At another time, he said when asked "Yes, I am a believer, though not in the way you might expect. Why not take from so many treasures the most beautiful pearls? I have been making my own religion."
 
Andreas (the drummer) said he used to be very religious in an interview around the time of The Seraphic Clockwork but the time these guys I know met the band, a year later, maybe that changed?
 
Stephan (the guitarist) has admitted in an interview that religious imagery and concepts are important to the band without saying they believe in anything specific. The band is "spiritual" but not religious and he says Andy's interest in spirituality should be crystal clear as of the Abydos album from 2004. http://www.laut.de/Vanden-Plas/Interviews/Religioese-Stoffe-geben-viel-her!-09-07-2010-733
 
The question about "Christ 0" is answered by another interview that I presently cannot find. Andy states that the title is pronounced “Christ Zero” and stands for the absence of Christ. Because the album depicts the rampage of a serial killer (basically an adaptation of The Count of Monte Cristo) it is obviously a veiled spiritual statement about humanity without God.
 
Regarding specific albums, I would say the Chronicles albums may or may not reflect the band’s actual beliefs because of their fictional basis. However, “A Ghosts Requiem” is basically a rendering of a Catholic prayer from a Requiem Mass, used at funerals. Even the arrangement of the song reminds me of something played in a Catholic church. It is very spiritually powerful and moving. There are many themes of good vs. evil on the album and the “Godmaker” character is evidently a Satanic figure who tries to tempt or coerce the protagonist to join him. However, the frequent themes of vampirism and possibly the occult are also difficult for me to swallow. As a result I really don’t listen to those two albums nowadays.
 
The disc that I really think deserves closer study is The Seraphic Clockwork. On the surface it is a work of fiction, in one sentence the journey of a Renaissance clockmaker back to 33 AD to set right a “wrong” timeline where Judas does not betray Jesus – but yet the clockmaker must be the new Judas! But there is a much deeper theme throughout, as the clockmaker has to journey through time and space on a literal search for Jesus Christ. Several of the songs on the album, e.g. Holes in the Sky, Sound of Blood, The Final Murder, and Quicksilver, have a strong spiritual presence in them. A long time ago before I was really serious about my faith I noticed something very suspiciously different about this record and eventually I concluded someone in the band had to be Christian, otherwise they couldn’t have delivered this album with such conviction. Ultimately I was right, and I honed that “sense” over time to detect many bands with veiled Christian views.
 
Further evidence is that back in winter 2011, when I met a man from San Diego who was starting to become curious about God and religion again after we spoke about it, one of the albums that helped him along the way was The Seraphic Clockwork. He first heard it in the parking lot of a church and was the one who came up with the “searching for Jesus” story thread before I did. He left me many quotes about the impact of the album upon him:
 
“The Time Traveler is put there for a reason, as we are.”
“There are many references to [Gethsemane] on both records. I'm starting to see the light and the metaphors.”
“I get the feeling he discovers God as an ancient relic on earth...the traveler does a lot of soul-searching.”
"I've set this album apart from every other in a spiritual sense mainly because of what these verses speak of and what this piece of music means to me. This story is embedded in my memory as if it was a dream that's been with me forever."
"This band is literally changing my life and my views of the world around me. Never in all my 40+ years of listening and playing music has a band touched my soul so perfectly. They’re exactly what I needed at a crossroads of my life in a perfect union of God and grace."
 

I, too, consider the album quite life-changing for me in a spiritual sense and I still listen to it every so often, and I will be trying to flag down the guys at PPUSA to let them know all of this.

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Re: Is Vanden Plas a Christian band?

Post by templar on Sun Sep 03, 2017 12:56 am

Wow.  Thanks a lot ManipulatorGeneral404.  Yes you do know me sort of, and you gave a brief answer to me on another forum.  (Thanks for that BTW.)  Also thanks for taking the time to write such a thorough answer here.  I'll cut & paste it to a text file for safekeeping.

Christianity is important,  and its not easy with so many ready to put us down.  I'm thinking most of those who do don't even give it a chance.  It is really cool to find a band like Vanden Plas in the metal scene who have Christian members but who don't feel the need to wear it on their sleeve.  I like the strategy of sneaking Christianity into songs in a subtle way that will make people think.

Unfortunately I won't be at the festival Wednesday, and so I won't get to talk to the band during their meet & greet to ask them questions.  Perhaps I'll get lucky and bump into Andy or Stephen out in the common area and get to pester them then.  Or, perhaps they'll drop by the Artmore for a little bit.

I hope to see you there.  Its always good to meet new people.  I'm a tall thin old geezer with glasses, and I'll be wearing either a "ProgPower XV" shirt or a "Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster" shirt (both black).  Just come up & say hello.  :-)
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Re: Is Vanden Plas a Christian band?

Post by templar on Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:52 pm

Update:  I spoke with Andy Kuntz after the Vanden Plas set and asked him if he was Christian, and he said yes.  I did not ask about other members of the band.  Bought him a beer (he chose IPA over Lager) and got a photo with him.  He is a genuinely nice guy.  They didn't make any money on their performance at PPUSA18.  They came over because they like the festival.

I can recommend the new Seraphic Live Works with both the DVD and CD.  If you like Vanden Plas pick up a copy & support the band.  Its excellent.
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Re: Is Vanden Plas a Christian band?

Post by cailen on Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:06 pm

I don´t know Andy Kuntz personally but we live in the same town.

 I have seen him as an actor for several times here with his band contributing the music.

For those of you who are interested: Their interpretation of the medieval "Ludus Danielis"
which has set the story of Daniel in the Old Testament to music was a big success here:


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Re: Is Vanden Plas a Christian band?

Post by Black Rider on Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:27 pm

I respect him choosing IPA over Lager.  Very Happy
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Re: Is Vanden Plas a Christian band?

Post by templar on Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:44 am

cailen wrote:I don´t know Andy Kuntz personally but we live in the same town.

 I have seen him as an actor for several times here with his band contributing the music.

For those of you who are interested: Their interpretation of the medieval "Ludus Danielis"
which has set the story of Daniel in the Old Testament to music was a big success here:






Hey thats really cool thanks for posting this.
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Re: Is Vanden Plas a Christian band?

Post by Driven on Sun Sep 17, 2017 5:29 pm

Black Rider wrote:I respect him choosing IPA over Lager.  Very Happy

Same. Very Happy
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