Pop Musicians, John Paul II and the New Evangelization

Interview With Members of Raindown

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ROME, APRIL 18, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Members of the English band Raindown don’t see themselves as a Christian band per se.

But they do feel challenged by John Paul II’s appeal to use music as an expression of faith.

Raindown members Frank Robinson and Tim Ritchie were in Rome during the last days of the Pope, to whom they dedicated their musical hit “Crucifying You.”

In this interview with ZENIT, members of the band talk about their music and faith.

Shineout is the producer of the video of “Crucifying You.”

Q: Could we consider you as artists of the New Evangelization?

Robinson: It would be good if, by listening to our lyrics, people might come to faith but we are not a Christian band.

We are a normal band talking about life as any other band would, but as Catholics our songs are bound to reflect our faith.

Ritchie: Although we would never consider ourselves a Christian band in a typical evangelistic sense, we do make a personal response to JPII’s appeal to use art, especially music, to express our faith and to spread a positive message to the world through the media.

Q: Do you see your compositions mostly as an expression of your faith?

Robinson: As I have said, our compositions are about our lives or the world as we see it, so our songs will portray things, from a strange night out, to matters of faith and morals.

Ritchie: As Christians as well as artists, it is pretty inevitable that our music expresses our faith.

Most songwriters are inspired by things they have experienced, so God, being one of our most important experiences, is a common topic in our song writing.

Q: Talking about the Pope, you said that “JPII inspired us by his continuous hope through suffering and his love for people.” In which sense?

Robinson: This aspect of JPII’s personality is inspiring to me because most of our songs are about maintaining hope in life and not being afraid to love.

Ritchie: He was very instrumental in bringing about some good political decisions because of his immense influence even on the secular world.

I was moved by his courage, strength, love and faith that he retained even through times of great suffering. He never gave up hope.

I find it amazing that someone in the Catholic Church can make such a difference to the rest of the world.

Q: How did you feel dedicating “Crucifying You” to the Pope’s memory on international networks just a few hours after his death?

Robinson: I felt extremely privileged to be able to pay tribute to such a great man.

Ritchie: I felt we owed it to him. After leading the young people of the Church with such conviction and dedication, in particular his encouragement to musicians. I think he would be glad to see us using our gifts in this way.

Q: Did you ever expect the enormous success of your work? Do you think somebody from heaven is helping you, maybe already John Paul II?

Robinson: You never quite see it when things are helped along by God because he makes it happen naturally, but I hope we are doing a good thing.

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