Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

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Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by Soldier777 on Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:30 pm

Her is an article on Billy Smily's thoughts on Christian Music. He mentions Bono's comments on Christian Music as well...

http://classicchristianrockzone.blogspot.ca/2016/06/the-musings-of-billy-smiley-whiteheart.html
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by Soldier777 on Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:55 pm

I meant to post this in the non-metal section.
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by Kerrick on Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:56 am

Soldier777 wrote:I meant to post this in the non-metal section.

(Moved Cool )

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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by TheOldMan2084 on Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:50 am

That was a great article! Really enjoyed hearing his thought.

I think some of what happened was that Christian music just got too big. It got too big and then bought by corporations. Now the corporations only push the worship stuff because that is what sells. I definitely think Christian music was far more diverse in the late 80's and early 90's. 

The good news is that good Christian music is out there... you just have to look for it!
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by alldatndensum on Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:17 am

There are artists doing what Smiley is talking about, but the major labels aren't pushing that.  They want the flowery worship stuff that is easily learned and played by church bands.  That's the market nowadays.  They are forcing even established acts to go in that direction.  Rock bands are having to go keyboard pop to stay with their label.  It just bastardizes the Christian music scene and rips the creativity of the artists right out.

However, there are bands that have gone indie to keep doing what they love like Disciple and Decyfer Down.  There are other artists doing crowdfunding to be able to record like Bloodgood, One Bad Pig, and even John Schlitt's solo albums.  There are Christians making art that reflects their faith, their struggles, etc. but they are having to find a way to get that music out.  Its both good and bad.  It is bad because some of the best artists can't be found on Christian radio or in the bookstores.  It is good because the labels can't squelch their creativity and artistic expressions.  They may have to play some smaller venues and even play in clubs, but people need to hear the message everywhere.

When my blues album comes out this summer, I hope to be able to play in churches, clubs, fairs, wherever.  I did a test recently at the Huntsville Cigar Box Guitar festival.  My songs are mostly Christ focused, but there are some that are silly and some about social issues.  The crowd seemed to be getting into my set.  Being at the Lowe Mill, which is an artsy-fartsy hippie kinda place, I wasn't sure if the gospel would really be received.  They listened and I got a lot of good feedback.  Now, if only I had a band so I could get out and play this stuff!
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by MetallicSeminarian on Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:09 am

Excellent article and I completely agree with the above two posts.
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by Follower of Jesus on Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:55 pm

I think Smiley and everyone else would do well to heed one thing:  if you like it, listen to it; if you don't, don't. He needs to mind his own business. If artists on Christian radio want to create music that sounds like it does, so be it. It wouldn't be so popular if it weren't...well...popular. People like it. People like to be encouraged. People like songs that are easy to sing along to. I'm not a big fan of Christian pop music these days; but I find Smiley's criticisms a little hollow considering Whiteheart occupied the same seat in the 80s and early 90s.
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by alldatndensum on Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:57 pm

White Heart was different.  Sure, they had some CCM hits, but their albums were all over the place musically.  They were creative even while getting the label attention.  Most of the art these days is so blessed cookie cutter that you can listen to any "safe for the whole family" station and not be able to tell the artists apart.  That's really sad no matter how you slice it.
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by New Creation on Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:12 am

"Although, it actually might be easier if religious certainty didn’t keep getting in the way."

Sigh, yet another is moving towards relative truth. Why is it that people are scared of absolutes these days?

Relative Truth = Rock music is better than country music.
Absolute Truth = Jesus Christ is Lord and God raised Him from the dead.

Relative Truth = Fender is better than Peavey.
Absolute Truth = There is only one way to God, and that is through Jesus Christ.
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by alldatndensum on Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:36 pm

New Creation wrote:"Although, it actually might be easier if religious certainty didn’t keep getting in the way."

Sigh, yet another is moving towards relative truth. Why is it that people are scared of absolutes these days?

Relative Truth = Rock music is better than country music.
Absolute Truth = Jesus Christ is Lord and God raised Him from the dead.

Relative Truth = Fender is better than Peavey.
Absolute Truth = There is only one way to God, and that is through Jesus Christ.


Some of that "certainty" sometimes sounds forced.  It also paints a picture that all Christians really have everything together and we are perfect.  I think the world would need to hear the truth--absolute truth--about Jesus some of the time and our very own real struggles and questions others. 

I feel that Smiley is not saying he doesn't want to deal in absolutes.  He wants to step away from the average lyrics that make it sound like we have it all figured out.  Admit our failures.  Talk about our temptations and the stuff that makes us fall.  Show that we still need Jesus.  Show that we have to rely on Him daily just to get through.  The picture we paint with most Christian mainstream music is so whitewashed that even Christians are getting sick of the facade.  We paint this rainbows and unicorns picture of what a Christian life is like when it is nothing like that in this world.  If it is, then you probably aren't living for Jesus as He promised we would be hated and persecuted because of Him.
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by messiaen77 on Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:33 pm

alldatndensum wrote:
New Creation wrote:"Although, it actually might be easier if religious certainty didn’t keep getting in the way."

Sigh, yet another is moving towards relative truth. Why is it that people are scared of absolutes these days?

Relative Truth = Rock music is better than country music.
Absolute Truth = Jesus Christ is Lord and God raised Him from the dead.

Relative Truth = Fender is better than Peavey.
Absolute Truth = There is only one way to God, and that is through Jesus Christ.


Some of that "certainty" sometimes sounds forced.  It also paints a picture that all Christians really have everything together and we are perfect.  I think the world would need to hear the truth--absolute truth--about Jesus some of the time and our very own real struggles and questions others. 

I feel that Smiley is not saying he doesn't want to deal in absolutes.  He wants to step away from the average lyrics that make it sound like we have it all figured out.  Admit our failures.  Talk about our temptations and the stuff that makes us fall.  Show that we still need Jesus.  Show that we have to rely on Him daily just to get through.  The picture we paint with most Christian mainstream music is so whitewashed that even Christians are getting sick of the facade.  We paint this rainbows and unicorns picture of what a Christian life is like when it is nothing like that in this world.  If it is, then you probably aren't living for Jesus as He promised we would be hated and persecuted because of Him.
Count me among those who are sick of the facade.  I hate the culture developing in the Church that you can't ask questions, you can't have doubts, you have to toe the line or you are backslidden at best, but usually a downright heretic.  Most of the time, "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" is a more appropriate, heart-felt psalm than most anything I hear from "positive, alternative" radio.  Personally, I think we Christians would be a whole lot more convincing witness to the world if we were willing to say, "You know what, some days life just sucks.  Yesterday, my car wouldn't start so I was late to work and my boss chewed me out.  I had a big fight with my wife over how to handle my kid failing algebra.  Then to top it all off, the water heater blew and flooded my basement.  Boy, I'm sure glad that God is in control of everything and that no matter what, I can handle it as long as I keep my trust in Him."

As for the "religious certainty" quote, I think is the idea that modern American Evangelicalism, the target audience for CCM, has this need to figure everything out and have a complete and thorough systematic theology and in the process has lost "the mystery of God."  The Holy Trinity?  Not a mystery, it is like an egg with a shell, a white, and a yolk...no, it is like a man who can be a father, a son, and a husband all at the same time...no, it is like....  We can't just say "ya know, I don't have any idea how it works, but that's ok."  We've fallen into the same line of thinking as many atheists who think if you cannot rationally and empirically explain and prove something, then it can't be real.  It is pure human arrogance to even think that we can fully comprehend and understand the God of the universe, let alone explain Him at a 5th grade level.  One thing I love about reading ancient Christian writings is the ability of the writers to just let God be God without needing to explain and understand everything.  They got it, we really don't.

At the end of the day, as far as the Christian music industry goes, I'm kinda with FOJ:  I don't like it, so I don't listen to it.  P&W has its place, it serves a purpose.  I just prefer other musics.
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by alldatndensum on Sun Jul 03, 2016 8:59 pm

I wish I had a "like" button.
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by Stand against the wind on Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:44 pm

Billy has a point indeed.

White Heart is one of those rock bands that I find most inspiring, both musically and lyrically. Others are Adam Again, The Choir and The 77s.

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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by sentient 6 on Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:25 am

" In the end, it will still essentially be created with barriers and roadblocks and hindrances. And there’s the rub. Creativity requires freedom. Why did everyone from the Jonas Brothers to Katy Perry start out in Christian Music …but then leave? An artist can only paint the same painting - with implied instructions to only use the same 7 colors - so many times. "

I always thought they " left " Christian music because they wanted to pursue more of the kind of music that reflected their heart and worldview ?

( sorry, that quote just jump out at me as kind of a huge fallacy )
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by Follower of Jesus on Fri Jul 29, 2016 6:49 am

You're right, sentient. Their leaving the Christian music scene had much more to do with a desire to sing worldly music.

There are artists within Christian music that make very creative music. People as different as Theocracy to Sara Groves are gifted and paint with more than 7 colors. Are people really making an argument that you have to stop singing about the Lord in order to be creative? Utter nonsense!
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by bjorn agin on Fri Jul 29, 2016 4:43 pm

messiaen77 wrote:Count me among those who are sick of the facade.  I hate the culture developing in the Church that you can't ask questions, you can't have doubts, you have to toe the line or you are backslidden at best, but usually a downright heretic.  Most of the time, "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" is a more appropriate, heart-felt psalm than most anything I hear from "positive, alternative" radio.  Personally, I think we Christians would be a whole lot more convincing witness to the world if we were willing to say, "You know what, some days life just sucks.  Yesterday, my car wouldn't start so I was late to work and my boss chewed me out.  I had a big fight with my wife over how to handle my kid failing algebra.  Then to top it all off, the water heater blew and flooded my basement.  Boy, I'm sure glad that God is in control of everything and that no matter what, I can handle it as long as I keep my trust in Him."

Oh, you mean lyrics like...

Well, sometimes my life
Just don't make sense at all
When the mountains look so big
And my faith just seems so small
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by Follower of Jesus on Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:13 pm

Rich Mullins! Yes, another great example of Christian music that is not paint by numbers.
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by alldatndensum on Fri Jul 29, 2016 10:24 pm

Rich is from a different era, though.


I don't think that Smiley is insinuating that there are NO creative artists.  I think he is summarizing the industry as a whole.  A lack of real creativity is what CCM radio is flooded with.  You listen to it for a couple of days and you will see just how generic the mainstream scene is.
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by bjorn agin on Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:32 am

Follower of Jesus wrote:Rich Mullins! Yes, another great example of Christian music that is not paint by numbers.

That's because Rich wasn't a paint by numbers person. If you ever have the chance, watch the movie "Ragamuffin". It's a flawed but fairly decent movie about Rich's life. Rich's struggles with alcohol and following Christ poured over into his music.
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by Stand against the wind on Sat Aug 13, 2016 5:55 pm

Follower of Jesus wrote:You're right, sentient. Their leaving the Christian music scene had much more to do with a desire to sing worldly music.

There are artists within Christian music that make very creative music. People as different as Theocracy to Sara Groves are gifted and paint with more than 7 colors. Are people really making an argument that you have to stop singing about the Lord in order to be creative? Utter nonsense!

Maybe, maybe not. But many christian artists seem to be under the magnifying glass. How many times we have heard the phrase "I buying it if it is "Snakes vol2" or "Weapons vol2" ? Or the ongoing guestion of lyrical content - is it christian, is it not (Believer fe.) ?

Making art is about freedom. Christian scene is just too narrow for many to explore their limits of freedom. Those people can be devout christians in every turn, but they need the space to create. I´m not saying that need to get famous or getting rich wouldn´t play any role - of course it can.

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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by Stand against the wind on Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:10 pm

Honestly. What bugs me with us ( I say us, since I´m christian) christians... is the huge amount of hypocrisy.

Example: in my home country there is a pop artist that started as a "christian artist". His first two albums were very clearly labeled as christian albums. Then he got his first radio hit and the followin album wasn´t christian album anymore.

And after that all of his albums produced radio hits and they were not christian albums.

His guestbook at his website was closed for a long time because of all the hate mail he got from "good christian audience" that didn´t tolerate the change in his lyrical content.

He just wanted to take his music to professional level. He was, is, and will be christian though he is doing his music secular.

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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by New Creation on Tue Aug 16, 2016 3:45 pm

haHAhaHAhaHAhaHAhaHAhaHAha

This video tells the story of this thread in a hilarious way!

https://www.facebook.com/johnbcrist/videos/882097741925306/
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by oteis on Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:03 am

New Creation wrote:haHAhaHAhaHAhaHAhaHAhaHAha

This video tells the story of this thread in a hilarious way!

https://www.facebook.com/johnbcrist/videos/882097741925306/
haha, that's funny!
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by d@v!d on Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:28 am

alldatndensum wrote:There are artists doing what Smiley is talking about, but the major labels aren't pushing that.  They want the flowery worship stuff that is easily learned and played by church bands.  That's the market nowadays.  They are forcing even established acts to go in that direction.  Rock bands are having to go keyboard pop to stay with their label.  It just bastardizes the Christian music scene and rips the creativity of the artists right out.

However, there are bands that have gone indie to keep doing what they love like Disciple and Decyfer Down.  There are other artists doing crowdfunding to be able to record like Bloodgood, One Bad Pig, and even John Schlitt's solo albums.  There are Christians making art that reflects their faith, their struggles, etc. but they are having to find a way to get that music out.  Its both good and bad.  It is bad because some of the best artists can't be found on Christian radio or in the bookstores.  It is good because the labels can't squelch their creativity and artistic expressions.  They may have to play some smaller venues and even play in clubs, but people need to hear the message everywhere.

When my blues album comes out this summer, I hope to be able to play in churches, clubs, fairs, wherever.  I did a test recently at the Huntsville Cigar Box Guitar festival.  My songs are mostly Christ focused, but there are some that are silly and some about social issues.  The crowd seemed to be getting into my set.  Being at the Lowe Mill, which is an artsy-fartsy hippie kinda place, I wasn't sure if the gospel would really be received.  They listened and I got a lot of good feedback.  Now, if only I had a band so I could get out and play this stuff!
I read this as a subconscious confession that you know that you need to start making cigar box keyboards.
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by d@v!d on Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:32 am

New Creation wrote:"Although, it actually might be easier if religious certainty didn’t keep getting in the way."

Sigh, yet another is moving towards relative truth. Why is it that people are scared of absolutes these days?

Relative Truth = Rock music is better than country music.
Absolute Truth = Jesus Christ is Lord and God raised Him from the dead.

Relative Truth = Fender is better than Peavey.
Absolute Truth = There is only one way to God, and that is through Jesus Christ.
I'm absolutely scared of relativism.

Seriously though, I think all this 'ify' stuff in 'Christian' music these days reveals a lack of the power of the gospel.
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by d@v!d on Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:32 am

sentient 6 wrote:" In the end, it will still essentially be created with barriers and roadblocks and hindrances. And there’s the rub. Creativity requires freedom. Why did everyone from the Jonas Brothers to Katy Perry start out in Christian Music …but then leave? An artist can only paint the same painting - with implied instructions to only use the same 7 colors - so many times. "

I always thought they " left " Christian music because they wanted to pursue more of the kind of music that reflected their heart and worldview ?

( sorry, that quote just jump out at me as kind of a huge fallacy )
Me too.
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by d@v!d on Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:38 am

Overall, I think Smily is correct. Anytime you have an industry and a marketing apparatus, you're going to find pressure to make art popular and any creative variances will suffer. This applies to any music of any genre of any era.

I'm glad that w can laugh at this and it's sad that we've allowed it to happen to us. Shouldn't we be holding the moral high ground?
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Re: Billy Smily's thoughts on christian music...

Post by alldatndensum on Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:25 am

I'm glad that w can laugh at this and it's sad that we've allowed it to happen to us. Shouldn't we be holding the moral high ground?

We SHOULD be, but I think that the problem with the lack of creativity is also evidence of the lack of commitment and true devotion of Christians.  I feel that is why the CHURCH is in decline and not just CCM.
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