If you are new to Christian rock, please read this
post about the definition of Christian rock and some of the biggest questions about Christian music.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Side Projects

For those not familiar with side projects, they are musical endeavors in which an artist creates new music apart from their original band.  Side projects are a great way for musicians to play and explore other types of music and genres.  Some side projects prove to be very popular and beneficial financially, while others are simply created for the love of art.  For this post, I want to share a few of the newer and more popular side projects in Christian music today. 

The Almost

For a couple of years now, The Almost has been one of the most popular side projects in Christian rock.  The alternative project was created by Aaron Gillespie, while he was still the drummer and back up vocalist for the screamo group Underoath.  The Almost has released two full length albums, Southern Weather and Monster Monster, as well as two EPs.  Southern Weather debuted at number 39 on the Billboard charts and received multiple spins on MTV.  In 2010, Gillespie announced that he was leaving Underoath and joining The Almost full time.  Here is arguably the band’s most popular song to date, Say This Sooner.

FM Static

This band is a side project of Trevor McNevan and Steve Augustine from Thousand Foot Krutch.  Since 2003, FM Static has rarely toured, but the duo has released four albums on Tooth and Nail Records.  Drastically different from the hard rock style of Thousand Foot Krutch, FM Static is easily described as Top 40, pop punk. Their third record was arguably one of the more unique Christian rock albums of the last 10 years.  Dear Diary was a concept album about a teenage boy who chronicled the hardships of life through his diary.  Below, is the first song on the album, titled Boy Moves to a New Town with an Optimistic Outlook.

Jason Dunn (Formerly Lights Go Down)

This side project was quite shocking to most fans of Christian punk music. What started as an idea for a side project in 2010, Lights Go Down slowly escalated into a full time solo project in 2012, when Jason Dunn announced that he was leaving Hawk Nelson. Nothing has been said about his debut solo record nor has a release date been announced. Dunn has released the title of his solo album, Abandon Progress, along with some acoustic videos. Just like The Almost, Lights Go Down began as a simple side project that ultimately turned into a new musical direction. Below is a mashup of Someone Like You and 36 Days.

Vocal Few

Vocal Few is a new project created by husband and wife Matt and Kristie MacDonald. Matt MacDonald is the lead vocalist for the independent rock group The Classic Crime. According to the group’s Facebook page, the idea of Vocal Few was born out of a positive pregnancy test. The group’s debut EP not only helped to pay for the MacDonald’s new child, but it also allowed the couple to create music together for the first time. The EP, She’ll Be Right, features vocals from Matt and Christie, as well as a heavy use of keyboards and acoustic guitar. Here is a lyric video for their song, Every Second. This song is a great reminder that every second in our life counts.

Side projects have long been described as just another creative outlet for musicians and artists. Some projects have received national popularity while others simply served as an extra cash flow. These projects have always offered the listener great experiences and new musical genres from their favorite artists. If you are a fan of side projects, here are few more that you can check out.

Anchor and Braille – Stephen Christian of Anberlin
Carrollhood – Nathan Young of Anberlin and Tim McTague of Underoath
The Brothers Martin – Ronnie Martin of Joy Electric and Jason Martin of Starflyer 59
The Drawing Room – Joel Bruyere of Thousand Foot Krutch
Matt Thiessen and the Earthquakes – Matt Thiessen of Relient K