Matt Dally has an axe to grind with Christians who do not share his vision for leading the music scene. In this the second part of Soul Shine's three part series concerning one of North America's hottest bands, Superchic[k], Dally a vocalist and guitarist and Tricia Brock lead vocalist and guitarist discuss the band's success in bridging the gap between Christian and mainstream audiences.
"Quite frankly I think Christians have dropped the ball as far as the arts are concerned, whether that's movies or TV and especially in music. Do you understand what I am saying? Two hundred years ago music was Christian music and that's it. It was amazing and revolutionary," says Dally. He makes the point that too many Christian bands have been content with writing to a formula or writing only what they feel will be popular or fall within acceptable standards. Dally has little patience for people who in this world fall into that kind of rut. "The bottom line is God is the king of creativity. He made the heavens and the earth and we're so scared to tap in to that creativity." Instead Dally sees many Christian artists as merely trying to copy mainstream bands like Metallica and Snoop who are "not tapping into God. They're just having their own inner thing."
So what has this all got to do with being accepted by the mainstream media? It sounds more like the band is anti-establishment and will never get accepted. Think again. Superchic[k] has more than forty song credits for movie and television soundtracks. Songs like "Get Up" were used on the television program "Felicity" The band's songs have been featured on the "Legally Blonde" movies and Disney's "Confessions of A Teenage Drama Queen". Superchic[k] music was used in a J.C. Penney ad campaign and they have been featured in mainstream magazines such with the New York Times. In addition, MTV has licensed several of the songs they have written for programs like "Road Rules". A video game being released in September and features a theme created by Superchic[k].
Some would question Superchic[k] allowing their songs to be featured in these types of media, but Dally responds with, "I know our stuff is going to be a light in the darkness. I would rather have our record out there in the filthy trash than to have another filthy trash song in there. When somebody buys a soundtrack with a bunch of bands that are unwholesome and disgusting I would love to be a part of that because you know what, when they listen to that record at least there is going to be three and one half minutes of truth that they are going to hear." The band members do want people to know however that there are lines they won't cross over and do turn down because they feel it would be inappropriate.
Brock credits a lot of their acceptance by movie and TV moguls to ties that band member Max Hsu had with studios prior to his joining Superchic[k]. She says about Hsu, "He's great at programming and techno stuff and a lot of commercials have that in the background." Brock also credits their Nashville based management team for doing a good job of promoting their material to major studios.
The success of Superchic[k] has been their ability to appeal to so many different demographics. The band simply cannot be categorized as being for young teens or adults, hip hop or R&B, or garage. This is a band that draws upon the diversity of music styles and culture of all of its band members.
Says Lisa Morgan of CHRI 99.1 FM in Ottawa, "Their music, production wise and lyrically, is excellent; style wise, it can appeal to a wide audience: songs like 'So Bright' will make anyone bounce their head while 'Hero' will catch the attention of young and old."
A contributor to one chat board posted this message, "some view Superchic[k] as speaking only to teenagers. They do address many of the issues and concerns felt so strongly in growing up, but after 55 years I can tell you those issues can continue to arise throughout life. SC has a powerful message for everyone."
The band also has major appeal outside of North America. When we last checked Superchic[k] songs were climbing the charts in Australia and England.
What is the secret of Superchic[k]'s success? Says Dally, "We have a direct connect with the most creative thing in existence." He goes on to add, "I want to make sure that we are making music that is truly God focused. If it is truly God focused it's going to be revolutionary and simple in people's minds and I think it is cool to be with a band like Superchic[k] that is doing that. Obviously if MTV and Veggie Tales can agree upon it, that's our goal, we're bridging that gap."
All the band members agree that because they are not afraid to speak to real issues like pain, and doubting God's intention or very existence they have made inroads into non-traditional areas for artists who are Christian.
"We get a lot of flack because we don't say Jesus enough. We don't quote enough scripture. That's sad to me because there are bands that are called to preach to the choir and edify the church but as Christians we are supposed to go out into the world and preach the gospel and we are supposed to be all things to all people and with us we're taking these Biblical truths that we know to be right and start talking about the issues that everybody is going through," says Dally.
In our third and last segment of the series about Superchic[k] we will discuss their recently released album "Beauty from Pain" and why it is so personal to many of the band members.
Writer: Joe Montague