ApologetiX Featured in Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Thu., Dec. 9. 2004 10:27pm EST
ApologetiX was featured with a photo and the following article on the front page of the December 9, 2004 edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the area's largest newspaper. We're not sure how long the link will work on their website, so we've posted the article here:
Christian band converts rock hits and rap
Phil Kloer - Staff
Thursday, December 9, 2004
J. Jackson fishes in a very small pond, but he pretty much has the place to himself. As leader of the Christian parody rock band Apologetix, Jackson writes spoofs of popular rock and rap songs, turning them into Christian message songs and biblical instruction manuals.
Think "Weird Al" Yankovic crossed with C.S. Lewis.
The results are hilarious, uplifting, somewhat bizarre and at times unsettling, as Apologetix perfectly mimics the instrumentation and vocals of everything from Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" to Eminem's "Lose Yourself," but with completely rewritten lyrics about God. For example:
> "Stacy's Mom," the Fountains of Wayne hit about a boy lusting after his girlfriend's mother, becomes "J.C.'s Mom," about the relationship between Jesus and Mary at the wedding at Cana.
> The Eagles' "Hotel California" tells the story of the birth of Jesus, when Mary and Joseph are forced into the manger because "the hotel can't afford ya."
> Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" is turned into "The Real Sin Savior," the B-52's' "Love Shack" becomes "Meshach" (the Old Testament prophet) and the Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go?" is "Should I Pray Or Should I Go?"
"At the center of really good parody, which has been around since ancient Greece, you are making something that said one thing say something totally different. When you hear a parody, it overlays something in your mind," says Jackson, the band's lyricist and lead singer.
"The humor value in that can be a shock thing," he continues. "And just like hip-hop, Christian parody has incredible shock value."
The group covers popular music from Elvis Presley to recent hits by Good Charlotte, Jimmy Eat World and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. As potential source material, no song is too obscene (Aerosmith's "Walk This Way") or over-the-top (Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," which is reworked into the story of David and Goliath).
Jackson, who was born again in 1988, says that despite the unsavory roots of the songs, 99 percent of the Christian audiences they play for react positively. "If we tried to do this 20 years ago, it would have caught intense flak," he says. "But there's been so much Christian rock that now it's not a problem."
He says it's challenging, as a Christian, to listen to a lot of popular music, which is anything but Christian.
He calls Eminem "a genius, although someone said an evil genius," and the rapper's densely complicated internal rhyme schemes are the toughest.
Apologetix, which is Jackson and three (sometimes four) bandmates, takes its name from "apologist," a somewhat old-fashioned term for someone who writes a systematic defense of Christianity, such as C.S. Lewis. This year, it won the American Christian Music Award for outstanding modern/college rock artist.
The group plays lots of Christian festivals and churches, as well as some secular festivals, and draws an audience that ranges from evangelicals to non-Christians.
Although primarily appealing to young people, "it amazes me how many old people come," Jackson says. "I have so many parents say you finally gave me something I can listen to with my kids."
Apologetix. 7 p.m. Friday at Lakeland Community Church, 2110 Sharon Road, Cumming. Co-sponsored by Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Tickets $10 advance, $15 at door. 770-844-5993.