Last week BreatheCast published an interview with Disciple's Kevin Young titled - "Disciple Band's Kevin Young is Tired of Christian Labels Telling Him to Tone Down 'Jesus' on Albums, 'I Don't Care What They Think.'" Breathecast received very positive feedback from the piece, and nothing but praise for Young and Disciple. However, since that piece was published Breathecast had a follow up with Disciple, and it was felt that the title misrepresented what he had meant, so to set the record straight, we've amended the title of that piece, and will expand on the issues below to avoid any misunderstandings.
The new title of the piece more specifically touches on what Young directly said: "Disciple Band's Kevin Young Wants to be Unapologetically 'Bold' About 'Jesus' on New Album, and 'Not Have to Care What Anyone Thinks'."
The headline comes directly from Young's Breathecast interview, where he spoke about testifying and being Bold about Jesus, as well as his experiences going through the process of recording music with the support of record labels. The band has decided to become independent for its latest album to give them more freedom to express themselves through its music without the extra considerations that come about when working with a label, and without having their "lyrics and music" put "under a microscope." However, Young wanted it to be clearly known that he loved and appreciated working with the band's old label, Fair Trade Records, and he readily admits that the label was pivotal to their success so far, and that they would not have made it this far without them. He has since testified that "We [the band and the label] have the same goals, but just different ideas about how to get there."
The misrepresented interpretation of Young's original comments came from the following excerpt in the original interview, where Young was asked about the direction of the band's new record. Young said, "You'd think being a Christian band on a Christian label will allow you to be as bold as you want, and that be the case, and I wish that were true because honestly it's not. It's nothing against the labels, they are just doing their job and putting out the best product they possibly could because their main concern is to make money and sell records. So they want to refine people's lyrics, and put the best thing they can put out. This time I just wanted to say the things I wanted to say and not have to ask anyone's permission about. I wanted to write a song about being bold in Jesus and not have to care what anyone thinks about it and not really asking anyone's permission and having to go through the opinion of men who don't listen to hardrock anyway. Honestly, I don't care what they think, I don't want to care anymore. Our message and our music is not for the people who don't like hardrock music, it is for the people who like hardrock music and those are the people we are appealing to. All we are going back to is a bolder and louder and clearer message. We are just going to say it a little bit louder than we have in a long time."
Having spoken to the Disciple team now, Breathecast can see why the original title may have been misleading, and although Young does say, "You'd think being a Christian band on a Christian label will allow you to be as bold as you want, and that be the case, and I wish that were true because honestly it's not," he also also does qualify those comments in the follow-up. Importantly he does not specifically state that the band was ever told to "tone down Jesus," but rather had to go through a process with the label to get out the best product.
He explained that moving into doing things independently, he wanted more freedom to "write a song about being bold in Jesus and not have to care what anyone thinks about it and not really asking anyone's permission."
In addition, Young took to Facebook to clarify what he meant by his comments, and to clear the air about his former label. In a post titled "ABOUT OUR FORMER RECORD LABEL," Young said:
"I would like to address the interview that I just did with Breathecast. I appreciated the opportunity to do the interview. However the title of the article was not something I said, nor does it express how I feel about our former record label. Not one time did our record label ever ask us to 'tone down Jesus' in our lyrics. Fair Trade Records is a label with the exact same vision as Disciple. I have nothing but the utmost gratitude for everything they have done for this band. They believed in us, invested in us, and even prayed for me and my family throughout many of our medical situations. Even though we are no longer under contract with Fair Trade, there is regular communication between us, and I consider the president of the label to be a friend. I would never want to say anything that would portray him or his record label in a bad light. He is a good man, a good Christian, and I have more respect for him than anyone else in the music business. He has even contributed to our Kickstarter campaign, which I guarantee you has never happened with any other record label in the history of the music business which is a testament to the relationship Disciple has had with Fair Trade Records. While it is true that I personally am very weary of having my lyrics and music under a microscope and needing approval of a song before it could make the record, and that is one of the biggest reasons that we are doing this album independently... I have to emphatically state that putting our lyrics and music under a microscope has been very good for our band. We just needed a break from the stress that goes along with that. Fair Trade made Disciple a better band because they pushed us even when we didn't want to be pushed. And we have made 5 great records with them because of their desire to push our songs to be better. When discussing my intention to be even more vocal and out front about Jesus on our new record, the president of the label said, "I think that is a great decision." So there has never been a hint of them ever trying to tone down Jesus in our lyrics. We have the same goals, but just different ideas about how to get there. And that is why we are doing this album independently so we can have the freedom to pursue those goals our own way. There is no way we could have made it this far without Fair Trade, and we have nothing but appreciation for what they have done for us and the music industry."
Disciple just finished a highly successful Kickstarter campaign that saw them raise $115,852 of a $45,000 goal, which is an incredible feat. The band is giving fans tons of cool stuff and features for donating, and Young looks at just the smallest donation as a chance to pre-order the album .
"Thanks to everyone who made our Kickstarter so successful. WE LOVE YOU!!! This album is going to be special, and we are very excited about what God is going to do this year. Thank you for being a huge part of this project. We are expecting a September release. It won't be long. God bless everyone of you!" Disciple posted on their Facebook.
Check out the Kickstarter here and be on the lookout for Disciple's new album, Attack, this September.