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CPR (Christian Progressive Rock)

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toroddfuglesteg View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 15 2011 at 12:48

CPR is a website and resource group promoting progressive rock with a Christian message. CPR has also released four compilation albums with Christian progressive rock. Many of the bands listed in ProgArchives is also members or listed in CPR. In short, I wanted to find out more about them. 

I got in touch with them and Randy George from CPR (and Ajalon) answered my questions.

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I have to admit that you have taken an angle to music I did not see at all although I have interviewed many Christian prog bands. Randy George's Ajalon being one of them. But an organised scene and a website was a surprise. I know the story of CPR can be found on your website, but please still give us a distilled/the full CPR history.

It basically started with the internet group [email protected]. A group of us started an offshoot list to discuss ways of cross promoting each other to our respective audiences. It was decided that a compilation CD would be the best way to achieve this. So the first CPR was born with 18 artists and 2 discs.

Christian rock, hip hop or rap does not make that much sense to me. But the connection between christianity and prog rock makes perfectly sense to me because most, if not all of progressive rock has it's origins in Christian music and imagery. So why buttering up this piece of bacon with even more fat by setting up CPR ? Was it due to hostility from the rest of the scene so you had to create your own Israel in the form of CPR ?

Well I don't think that Progressive rock has really touched at all on Christian themes. I realize many founding prog bands were Church of England guys... but it's a very different thing. I think we are coming more from the western Christian culture bent. It's also more aimed at countering the CCM indistry rather than anything to do with "the rest of the scene" as you put it.

CPR is based on the idea that there is a divide between the secular and the christian progressive rock scene. What is this divide ?

Mainly the divide is the same between believers and non-believers. It's the same with religions and churches vs the rest of the unchurched society.

You are based in the USA and I guess most of your followers are US based. But how is the Christian prog scene in the rest of the world and how big is it in the USA ?

Well it's been more prevailent in the USA cause again I think we are coming more from the western church mindset while the rest of the world still embraces the classic prog relation as you mentioned earlier.

I cannot fail to see your list of socalled Christian Progressive Rock bands. A list which I think is just the top of the iceberg. What is your criteria to include bands on that list and how do you support them, if you support them at all ?

Well we try and help those that struggle with their production skills by either helping to get a better mix and/or performance. I think CPR also affords some a way to release some music when they don't have a full CD or are unable to fund a full CD recording.

You are releasing some self titled compilation albums. So far, four of them has been released. Please tell us more about these compilation albums.

Well after the overwhelming success of the first one more bands were interested and more fans were interested. By the time we got to Volume 4 it has really found it's own legs so we really didn't do much to make it happen. It sort of fell into our laps. We usuall y have about 3 years between volumes. More bands continue to want to be part of it. As long as the bands are there we'll do it. The way it works is each band pays a flat rate to be on it then the total run of CD's is divided evenly amongst the bands and they do their own promotion of it.  It's really a promotional tool rather then a frontline release. But since it's a limited run we wanted to make it a keepsake as well so that's why we go for the deluxe packaging.

What is your plans for this year and the future ?  

Well like I said if more bands continue to want to be on it and produce the music... we'll keep putting it out! But it will be some time before another is released. It has also been talked about to do a Christmas version as well but that hasn't garnered enough interest to see it through. We'll see I guess.


Thank you to Randy for this interview

Their albums and website is here




Edited by toroddfuglesteg - May 15 2011 at 12:49
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Jake Kobrin View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jake Kobrin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2011 at 19:08
Oh god... Dead
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jake Kobrin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2011 at 19:12
Why do Christians always have to hi-jack genres and make them Christian-specific? Why can't they just like the music, and then if they want they can write their own with maybe Christian inspired lyrics, but without "devoting the music in the name of Jesus" or whatever?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote colorofmoney91 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2011 at 19:19
I initially read Chinese Progressive Rock, and thought "word". 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Epignosis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2011 at 19:32
Originally posted by Jake Kobrin Jake Kobrin wrote:

Why do Christians always have to hi-jack genres and make them Christian-specific? Why can't they just like the music, and then if they want they can write their own with maybe Christian inspired lyrics, but without "devoting the music in the name of Jesus" or whatever?


Ermm

It's music, not an airplane.  Relax.

After all, lyrics have to say something, don't they?  Are you pissed also about the numerous heavy metal bands that have "hijacked" Christian themes and imagery for the sake of being provocative or downright insulting?  Stern Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Earendil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2011 at 20:48
Originally posted by Jake Kobrin Jake Kobrin wrote:

Why do Christians always have to hi-jack genres and make them Christian-specific? Why can't they just like the music, and then if they want they can write their own with maybe Christian inspired lyrics, but without "devoting the music in the name of Jesus" or whatever?


I agree.  Christian lyrics should come as naturally as any other lyrics and shouldn't be commercialized into a separate industry.  That being said, I do appreciate artists labeled "Christian", like Neal Morse, but many feel shallow to me.  Especially mainstream Christian music seems forced and repetitive, selling themselves out for the people that buy it based on its Christian label.

I actually find that some of the best Christian lyrics come from outside the Christian music circles, like Seven Swans by Sufjan Stevens for example.  But still, as long as the music is honest, I don't mind there being an official Christian label on it.

I'll definitely check out the CPR site.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MoodyRush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2011 at 22:03
Originally posted by Jake Kobrin Jake Kobrin wrote:

Why do Christians always have to hi-jack genres and make them Christian-specific? Why can't they just like the music, and then if they want they can write their own with maybe Christian inspired lyrics, but without "devoting the music in the name of Jesus" or whatever?
 
Well, part of the Christian philosophy is to live everyday life for God. Even ordinary activities. So even Christians writing secular music could be doing it in God's name. Either way, I am gonna check out that website!
Follow me down to the valley below.
Moonlight is bleeding from out of your soul.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Dark Elf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 15 2011 at 23:04
Kerry Livgren and Kansas were very much a Christian-oriented prog band. The lyrics were thoughtful and very spiritual. My thought is that most people listening to songs like "Dust in the Wind" or "The Wall" were completely unaware of the Christian themes therein. But they sang along anyway.
And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Easy Livin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2011 at 02:43

Here's a link to a related thread started recently: http://www.progarchives.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=78089

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sing To God Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2011 at 05:34
I thought this was going to be a thread about the band CPR  (Crosby, Pevar, Raymond).Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2011 at 07:10
Stayin' alive Stayin' alive....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vompatti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2011 at 11:14
I generally feel uncomfortable listening to bands who are using music as a device to promote certain ideas instead of critically examining them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote harmonium.ro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2011 at 11:17
Originally posted by Vompatti Vompatti wrote:

I generally feel uncomfortable listening to bands who are using music as a device to promote certain ideas instead of critically examining them.


I thought you like Rush, though.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vompatti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2011 at 11:28
Originally posted by harmonium.ro harmonium.ro wrote:

Originally posted by Vompatti Vompatti wrote:

I generally feel uncomfortable listening to bands who are using music as a device to promote certain ideas instead of critically examining them.


I thought you like Rush, though.
Most of their lyrics aren't conclusive enough to irritate me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anthony H. Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2011 at 15:05
I like music because of its quality, not because of the ideas the musicians present. Although, a band called "Young Earth" is tough to accept... 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ozzy_tom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2011 at 20:36
I'm a Christian so I rather enjoy lyrics connected with this religion (Salamander, Glass Hammer, Akacia, Neal Morse etc.). However some of them (especially Neal Morse) like to attack Catholicism ("Sola Scriptura") what is really dumb and some Catolics seem to be quite angry on him and stopped listening to his music becasue of this.
 
Anyway nice interview toroddfuglesteg!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Dark Elf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 16 2011 at 21:21
Originally posted by Vompatti Vompatti wrote:

I generally feel uncomfortable listening to bands who are using music as a device to promote certain ideas instead of critically examining them.
 
I am not a Christian, and haven't been since I left Catholic school in my teens. What I find amusing is that many rock fans will readily accept satanic imagery in videos and on albums, but get their panties in a bunch when someone sings about god (or gods if you're Hindu). Don't get me wrong, I love Black Sabbath and such, but I've never denigrated someone for stating their beliefs in a song, even if it's something I disagree with. If the music is excellent and the message is genuine, then it is a worthwhile listen. Again, I don't believe in god, but I don't believe in satan either. Man is evil enough and needs no external source to commit atrocities. There is very little critical examination in music in general, and for the most part thoughtful lyrics are few and far between.
And your little sister's immaculate virginity wings away on the bony shoulders of a young horse named George who stole surreptitiously into her geography revision.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 17 2011 at 00:31
Originally posted by The Dark Elf The Dark Elf wrote:

I don't believe in god, but I don't believe in satan either. Man is evil enough and needs no external source to commit atrocities.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vompatti Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 17 2011 at 03:49
Originally posted by The Dark Elf The Dark Elf wrote:

Originally posted by Vompatti Vompatti wrote:

I generally feel uncomfortable listening to bands who are using music as a device to promote certain ideas instead of critically examining them.
 
I am not a Christian, and haven't been since I left Catholic school in my teens. What I find amusing is that many rock fans will readily accept satanic imagery in videos and on albums, but get their panties in a bunch when someone sings about god (or gods if you're Hindu). Don't get me wrong, I love Black Sabbath and such, but I've never denigrated someone for stating their beliefs in a song, even if it's something I disagree with. If the music is excellent and the message is genuine, then it is a worthwhile listen. Again, I don't believe in god, but I don't believe in satan either. Man is evil enough and needs no external source to commit atrocities. There is very little critical examination in music in general, and for the most part thoughtful lyrics are few and far between.
I don't mind singing about God as long as its done in a perceptive and emotionally stimulating way. (A reference.) Most "Christian" rock lyrics I've heard are more or less random combinations of dead clichés that don't tell me anything about the experience of being a Christian. Furthermore, there's a difference between depicting a certain view of the world and presenting it as the "right" one. The latter can only be tolerated if at least some thought is put into succeeding in the former.

Edited by Vompatti - May 17 2011 at 04:19
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Epignosis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 17 2011 at 07:35
Originally posted by The Dark Elf The Dark Elf wrote:

Originally posted by Vompatti Vompatti wrote:

I generally feel uncomfortable listening to bands who are using music as a device to promote certain ideas instead of critically examining them.
 
I am not a Christian, and haven't been since I left Catholic school in my teens. What I find amusing is that many rock fans will readily accept satanic imagery in videos and on albums, but get their panties in a bunch when someone sings about god (or gods if you're Hindu). Don't get me wrong, I love Black Sabbath and such, but I've never denigrated someone for stating their beliefs in a song, even if it's something I disagree with. If the music is excellent and the message is genuine, then it is a worthwhile listen. Again, I don't believe in god, but I don't believe in satan either. Man is evil enough and needs no external source to commit atrocities. There is very little critical examination in music in general, and for the most part thoughtful lyrics are few and far between.


Thank you.  Clap
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