An Interview With The Members Of I Built The Cross
Band Photo: I Built The Cross (?)
Nevada based death metal act I Built The Cross recently signed onto to Open Grave Records for the release of their debut album "Bridging The Gap Between Mind And Heart." Band members Reed and Garrett answered a series of questions for Metalunderground about their upcoming album and the message behind their music.
xFiruath: How did you first get into music and what made you want to be a musician?
Reed: When I was three my dad showed me the song "Breakin’ The Law" by Judas priest and I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
Garrett: Well, the first CD I actually picked up was Blink-182's "Enema of the State,” and that pretty much started it for me.
xFiruath: How did the members of I Built The Cross initially meet up and form a band?
Reed: Well at the moment it is only Gare and I, but I can't remember a time when we weren't best friends. I think we met when we were four, maybe a lil before then. We graduated Kindergarten together, and we graduated high school together. It's a friendship in progress.
xFiruath: How would you describe the sound of I Built The Cross to someone who had never heard your music before?
Reed: Well I showed it to one of my teachers once and he said it sounds like someone using a pencil sharpener (laughs) so I think I may say that.
Garrett: Probably similar to Lamb of God, just not as heavy and less technical.
xFiruath: Your band name obviously has a religious connotation. Would you consider yourselves a religious band, and are most of your lyrics dealing with issues of religion?
Reed: Well we really hate the term religion, but we play our music for Jesus Christ, and we try and make our band just as much of a ministry as it is a band.
Garrett: Well, like Reed said, we do hate the term religion. "Religious" connotation might as well say "negative" connotation. I think this comes from the general misunderstanding that the word God and religion are synonymous. Anyway, we do play our music for Christ, and we are a spirit led band. As far as our lyrics, we do tend to keep them Christ centered. Having said that, we do want to refrain from being just a heavier version of Mercy Me, so we do our best to try to talk about the more serious aspects of the Christian faith as opposed to the children's "Jesus loves me, this I know" style lyrics.
xFiruath: Have you had any negative reaction either from fans of more extreme metal who don’t like the religious aspects, or any negative reaction from religious music fans who dislike extreme metal?
Reed: Of course not! Yes we do all the time.
Garrett: Ha, that's a definite. Kids just need to understand that music is defined by the people who are playing it, not the other way around. People from both sides of the spectrum like to get too involved in the politics of it all. We play death metal. We worship Jesus with that death metal. Period.
xFiruath: I saw that you plan on releasing your debut full length album this May. Have you recorded yet, and if so how was the recording process? Did you work with any one for the producing or is it self produced?
Reed: We have not yet recorded the full length yet. We are going to try and make it a two to three day thing where we get it all done at once. Cam from Disfiguring the Goddess/Big C Productions typically does all the recording, producing, and mixing for all of our tracks. He's dang good at it.
xFiruath: Is there a major theme or concept behind the new album? I also saw that you’ve started a contest for fans to submit artwork – have you received many replies to that yet?
Reed: Yeah the idea for the artwork came from a quote I heard once, and it was "the distance from heaven to hell is only about 18 inches, the distance from the head to the heart." Basically saying that an intellectual acceptance of Jesus is not what saves you, it is the acceptance of that in your heart. Having said that, what you believe in your heart must also make sense in your head. As far as the submission of work from artists, we actually haven't got the hugest response. Although, the group of individuals who have decided to work on our album art are extremely talented artists.
xFiruath: What has been your favorite show or venue that you’ve played at so far?
Reed: Unfortunately, we have not been able to play a show yet due the loss of our other members right as we were getting show ready.
xFiruath: Is there anything about the music industry in general or the metal scene specifically that you’d like to see changed?
Reed: I personally would like to see people stop ridiculing Christian bands before they even hear the music. We were looking at a lot of the reviews for us and a lot of them said things like "the music was great, but I don't like them because they are Christian." As if they could even understand the words we were saying anyways. I wish people who had no interest in Christianity would just listen to it for the music rather than shoot us down right away because we are Christians.
Garrett: I pretty much second Reed's response. It's kind of funny how if we played the same exact music, but had different views, it would somehow make us more talented and/or enjoyable to listen to, makes sense to me too.
xFiruath: As musicians how do you feel about issues like music downloading and bands posting their music on MySpace?
Reed: It may be because it is almost one in the morning but I don't really understand the question. I personally download a lot of my music off of itunes and things like that. When a new CD comes out though I typically want the hard copy, like the new “Womanizer” CD by Brittany Spears, I needed that puppy in a jewel case, ya know?
Garrett: Well, I honestly usually just go buy the CD's at a retail store or straight through iTunes.
xFiruath: When you aren’t playing music, what bands or albums do you listen to most frequently and what draws you to them?
Reed: Oh gosh, well of course I love metal, so when I'm in that kind of mood I listen to bands like Between the Buried and Me, Into the Moat, Impending Doom, White Chapel, there’s tons of em. I love pop punk bands like Four Year Strong, and A Day To Remember. I love, love, love acoustic music, Andy Mckee is the man. I love Dashboard Confessional, Lydia, Postal Service, and then there’s hip hop. I like music with a message like Input, Sweatshop Union. The list goes on.
Garrett: I don't even know where to start! I guess I'll answer the second half of the question first. I'm simply drawn to music that makes me happy for one reason or another. Between the Buried and Me, Impending Doom, Into the Moat, Input, Rehab Hymn, Live from LA, Four Year Strong, Set Your Goals, Lydia, The Shins, Oceano, love it.
xFiruath: That’s all my questions, so do you have anything you’d like to discuss that I didn’t cover, or any parting words for the fans?
Reed: Yes I do, first and foremost, I play World of Warcraft for the Horde so if you happen to have a Horde character on Chrommagus then add Velsentarsis, and if you have an Alliance character then I will camp your body. If you have a Ps3 add xreedx.
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