The O.C. Supertones Biography
Although Christian music artists have traditionally had a reputation of being a couple years behind their mainstream counterparts, that has all began to change with the rise in popularity of ska. Christian ska bands such as Five Iron Frenzy and the Insyderz emerged at nearly the same time as ska was beginning to receive recognition in the secular market. Not only were these Christian bands out there, but they were just as good as anyone secular--such as the Mighty, Mighty Bosstones, Save Ferris, or Reel Big Fish.
Then there's The Supertones. They're not as good. They're way better.
So how did this all get started? In the early 90's a band was formed called "Saved". When Jason Carson (drums) and Matt Morginsky (vocals) started the band, they tried many styles of music, including grunge, funk, disco, and metal. Fortunately for the world, they added a brass section and settled on ska-core. Since then, the Supertones have released three CD's: "Adventures of the O.C. Supertones" in '96, "Supertones Strike Back" in '97, and "Chase the Sun" in '99. They've toured the country and played with various bands. They've put out a home video, and are even considering the creation of a full-length feature film for theaters.
Not only are the boys from Orange County popular with Christians, but they aren't being looked down upon by anyone in the secular music world. As part of their label deal, they are distributed to the general market through EMI. If you ever watch MTV, you may have seen them on Oddville or 120 minutes. Their new CD will even be produced by Garth Richardson who has worked with bands such as Rage Against the Machine and Voodoo Glow Skulls.
You'd think that with so much mainstream exposure, the 'Tones might try to make their Christian message a little less obvious. You know, maybe keep positive lyrics, but just try not mention Jesus so much?
Not only does every song mention God, but nearly every track is a testimony of the band's relationship to their savior. Hardly a watered-down message. Even the live shows are right up front about what the band stands for. Jason usually gives a short message about God's love. Through this little talk, countless people have come to know Jesus--and that's what The Supertones are all about.
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A truly Christian band | Reviewer: David Mitchell | 7/22/2004
I'm a Christian and I have a pet peeve about "Christian" music. Yes, I know this doesn't sound very Christian, i.e. positive and cheery - having a pet peeve, let alone one about 'our own' music - but I believe mine is a very good one. And here it is: Why do so many Christian artists call themselves "Christian" when most of the time I can't tell whether they're singing about their boyfriend/girlfriend or about Jesus? Frankly, I get confused when these artists spend an entire album singing about being so in love with "you" or "him" - please, just say "Jesus" if you aren't referring to your boyfriend/girlfriend! It's frankly a sad attempt by these artists to win secular acceptance; usually it doesn't work, and they lose the respect of most Christians, especially ones like me who just want a bold and clear message about Jesus. When some of these artists eventually sell-out to the secular market, I'm not surprised because they've been afraid to boldly proclaim the name of the One they are claiming to represent on this earth.
Not so with The O.C. Supertones! From the outset, they have proclaimed a totally bold and unashamed message about the One - Jesus - who has transformed their lives. Not only do their lyrics pack an evangelical punch, but the quality, integrity, and professionalism of their music does as well. The Supertones prove that Christian music can be ‘cool’ to Christians and non-Christians alike even without watered-down lyrics.
Concerning their music, many Christians are still of the mindset that if Christian music is too hard-core, i.e. secular sounding, the lyrics naturally follow suit. What continues to amaze me about the Supertones is how they play some of the best music I have ever heard - Christian and non - and combine it with some of the best lyrics I have ever heard - Christian and non. (I should note that for the first 20+ years of my life I indulged in the best that secular music had to offer, and the Supertones are musically superior to most secular bands, past and present).
As for their lyrics, do they just sing about the flowery aspects of the Christian life? In some cases, yes, and rightly so, because there’s no life more fulfilling than the Christian life. But in most cases they're challenging the apathy and hypocrisy that characterize too many Christians in this modern age. However, they go beyond this by also offering encouragement to not be afraid and to make a clear decision to represent and serve Jesus. If I had to go to war in the name of Jesus, I'd want the Supertones to be played on the front line!
If most "Christian" bands, and even most Christians, were as bold and unafraid as The O.C. Supertones are about proclaiming the love of Jesus and how He alone radically transforms lives, then our continent - perhaps even our world - would be a radically better place. So if you’re a non-Christian who isn’t concerned about lyrics and just wants to get your socks rocked-off, I can suggest few bands better than the Supertones. If you’re a Christian who is concerned about lyrics, I likewise suggest the Supertones – any of their albums – but be prepared for the one-two punch of challenging lyrics firmly backed up by some of the most powerful music this side of Heaven!
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