Well, The Flintstones gave us Bedrock, Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis introduced us to Rock 'n' Roll, and now a Canadian by the name of Joel Geleynse (pronounced gal - en - zee) of Guelph, Ontario, can lay claim to giving birth to a new genre of music to which he has applied the moniker "Think Rock". Geleynse's style of music can be described as the theologian meets the Dave Matthews Band. Geleynse is an articulate rocker, who just happened to be a former bronze medalist in the men's National Figure Skating Championships.
The purists will no doubt rebel at Geleynse's interpretation of his style, which is just what he wants you to do. He wants his music to provoke you and to stimulate discussion. Geleynse explains, "There's a deeper purpose behind it rather than just simply making art. It's music to provoke, and to stir up a craving for truth." He continues to say he wants to create a niche in the music world "where dialogue can be initiated about personal religious experience and politics. Those are the themes that are taboo especially in Canadian culture."
One has to wonder if the same purists would have risen up forty years ago and rebelled against Lennon and McCartney when they penned the words to "Nowhere Man", "Doesn't have a point of view/knows not where he's going to/Isn't he a bit like you and me? ÷ He's as blind as he can be/ Just sees what he wants to see/ Nowhere man, can you see me at all?/--Nowhere man don't worry--Take your time, don't hurry--Leave it all till somebody else lends you a hand."
Among his musical influences he lists, Bjork, Snow Patrol, Jewel, Dashboard Confessionals, Dave Matthews Band, Switchfoot, and Lauryn Hill. He enjoys music that has passion and a human angst to it. He says the music needs to be "very raw and real." It should surprise no one when he adds that he is drawn to music "that puts you in a certain head space or heart spaceůthat enables you to think more and inspires more thought and creativity."
In Geleynse's world, "The music is carefully crafted to support the lyrics not to distract."
The video "Presupposition", which can be viewed on his web site at www.joelg.ca is not for the faint of heart but is an excellent production and the collaborative effort of Geleynse and his manager/friend Sonja Spaetzel, who he has known since their days at St. Augustine College in Ottawa.
"People used to ask me what genre is your music and where does it fit in? It's hard driven. It's basically music that inspires thought." "The music is carefully crafted to support the lyrics not to distract." Having said that, his CD "The Rebellion of Camouflage" is comprised of songs like "There's Been a Change" and "Requiem" that will have you rushing out to HMV or Chapters to buy the album because of the quality of the music.
In talking about the purpose behind this album he says, "It is to show the consequences of our complacency and when we don't care about truth any longer and we believe in things because it is convenient to believe in them or because they work for us." He continues, "÷it is intended to address the consequences of our guilt as a society as a whole and to address issues like abortion and what he refers to as other atrocities that the human race has committed against one another."
"I see it as a result of our having given up on truth or we believed something that was more advantageous or convenient at the time. "He says the song and video "Presupposition" are intended to send out a challenge to people about whether or not they are content to accept the values society seems to be imposing through what they read and hear or do they want something more."
The album could not have received a more interesting debut than when it was played over the speaker system at Rexall Place in Edmonton during the warm-ups for the National Figure Skating Finals in 2004. The album wasn't even in the stores yet and it was a pre-release version. He says he has no idea how the CD got into the hands of those managing the public address system. Afterwards several skaters came up to him and told him that they liked the music and were going to buy the CD.
Well Joel you have been a figure skater, a DJ at two radio stations, worked for Christian television and served as a youth leader. Are you content now to only focus on your music career? Not likely. He says he still does not consider himself retired from the world of skating.
He is grateful for the people who have helped him along the way. He is careful to acknowledge his sponsor during 2004, the Cambridge Ice Centre who gave him free ice time. He credits long time coach and friend Lynne Pocock for reviving his skating career. When finances became an issue, Pocock made him agree to pay her by committing himself to an hour each day of meditation and devotion to God. Although his devotion is clear, he is careful to point out that he is not presumptuous enough to think that he has a better than average snapshot of life, but he does think his life experiences and education combine to give him an understanding of the roots and origins of people's ideas.
If you were to ask Joel Geleynse he would probably admit he is just a guy who is passionate about making musicůThink Rock music that is. He wants to provoke you to think about the lyrics and to think about the choices you are making in life. When you go to one of his concerts you are not only going to be entertained or only hear good music or only receive a spiritual experience. It's the whole enchilada baby! This is a multimedia, light show complete with good music and a thought provoking message. Where are you going to get that kind of value today? Well on March 13th you can get it at Emmanuel Bible College in Kitchener. Advance tickets are $10 and $12 at the door. Student prices are also available. Advance tickets can be purchased through emailing, firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephoning, 519-576-9510.
For more information on Joel Geleynse, and his concert on March 13th, his web site is: www.joelg.ca.
Writer: Joe Montague