Wednesday, December 22, 2010

One Day As A Lion - "Wild International"

Post #30: This last weekend, I had my good friends Jon and Nicole, and their 4 kids stay overnight on their way to North Dakota.

Through college, Jon and I shared a love for Rage Against the Machine, a band we both enjoy to this day. When I mentioned One Day As a Lion to Jon, he had not heard them.

When Rage split up, three members picked up vocalist Chris Cornell from Soundgarden and started Audioslave.

Zach De La Rocha went his own way supposedly to work on material that was to have more of a Hip Hop feel. Ultimately his solo project was shelved, and in 2008 released a 5 track EP with former Mars Volta drummer Jon Theodore.


One Day As a Lion, "Wild International"
653,293 views on Youtube


  1. I've always thought that Rage was good in small doses, but I could never listen to an album front to back. I want to say it's becuase the rap-style vocals are cool for a song or two before I lose interest, but I think its because I can't stand their political message. I'm not saying bands shouldn't be political - I think music is a great outlet for personal beliefs. I just disagree with most of what they are saying and can't put that aside long enough to completely apreciate the music.

    You listen to music from all over the spectrum, how do you distance the music from the message?

  2. Hey Dan! I love your question, and want to give it my full attention, so I will work on responding tonight.

  3. Hey Dan! I will answer in regards to Rage Against the Machine because that is what caused the question. Obviously they are a politically driven band. We could probably have a separate conversation in regards to Christian/Secular music.

    There are a few reasons that I am able to separate the message from the music, and still feel comfortable listening to certain artists.

    First off, I lump all music in one category: Music. To me, not only are the instruments creating music, but the vocals of the singer contribute to this as well. For a lot of bands, the vocals themselves are 50% of the music. The vocals are the most important instrument. So when I listen to music, I am able to listen to the vocals as another instrument within the song.

    Secondly, I am not listening to music in search of answers. There are more qualified places for me to do so. So listening to RATM's message does not sway my opinions. However, in creating my opinions or beliefs, a big part of that is knowing any opposing viewpoints. I grew up in a household where I was a Christian because my parents were Christians. I was a Republican because my parents were Republicans. Later in life I figured out that I need to know, for myself, why do I believe these things? So I can listen to an artist, fully aware that their opinions are different than mine, that they are entitled to their opinions, and in no way am I required to agree or adopt said opinions and at the same time respect their beliefs.

    And finally, I think one reason I gravitated toward Christian metal is that it is more real to me. Just like a lot of secular music can be "more real". They sing about dark things. They acknowledge that life doesn't always go according to plan. And often times they will sing about things that I either don't agree with or have no experience with at all. I respect that they have their own beliefs and are passionate about them. Their music is often times based on their own life experiences, and some of these artists have come from a completely different setting than me.

    And often times this is a gray area for people. There are a number of artists that sing songs that people would find objectionable (U2, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan), but they justify listening to it, because it might only be one song on a CD. Led Zeppelin, one of my favorite bands of all time sang about drugs, sex, fantasy and magic. But a lot of people that wouldn't listen to RATM for their message would have no problem listening to Zeppelin. To me there is no differenence. RATM is just more blatant in what they believe.

    I think I am rambling now so I'll stop, but the key to me is not only knowing what the artist is singing, but WHY are they singing it. And respecting that they may be coming from a completely different place than me.

    Hope this all makes sense.

  4. I completely agree with you that there are significantly better places/forums to develop your own beliefs and opinions than music lyrics. Now that I’m in my 40’s, I’m pretty comfortable with my worldview and have the tools necessary to process new ideas on their merits. However, it is my opinion that most people don’t approach music this way. Music is extremely powerful in delivering a message – just think how easy it is to remember lyrics from songs 20 years ago after just a few notes and compare that to memorizing anything else. I think most people listen to music without a filter (this is true both with the RATM fan well as the CCM crowd) so unless you approach music with an attitude of carefully examining the message, you will undoubtedly be influenced by it. Insert obligatory, old-man comment about “kids these days and their music” here…
    This IS the conversation I wanted to start, but as I think about my RATM question again, I was really wondering out loud if I am capable of seeing the lyrics as just another component of the song and tuning it out if I don’t like it (like a bad guitar solo). I don’t think I can and since I’m not really interesting in hearing another rant on socialism, I can’t give RATM much attention.