This week I am spotlighting a band that not only preaches Christ, they hit you smack over the head with his message. Braveheart is out of Hardyville (aka Bullhead City), Arizona, and they are strong in Christ’s message. If you are looking for inspiring lyrics in classic hardcore fashion, these are they guys that deliver. Having played with such bands as No Innocent Victim, XLooking ForwardX, Call To Preserve, War of Ages, and a bunch of others, they have earned their street cred. Read below and listen to how this group of talented Christians share God’s word with other folks in the hardcore scene.
Music Style: Hardcore
Location (Home Base): Hardyville (Bullhead City), AZ
Q: How did Braveheart come about? Is the name a reference to Braveheart the movie or is there some other meaning behind it?
A: We get this one a lot. Oddly enough we didn’t actually think of the name from the movie title, although we are all huge fans of that movie. It actually struck us as our band name while listening to a band from Puerto Rico called Clear Convictions. They have a song called Braveheart and that’s when we chose the name. Obviously there is a huge connection to the movie, and their song is probably named after the movie so I guess in a roundabout way, yeah it has a connection to the film.
Q: How long have you guys been together?
A: We started writing songs about the middle of November 2006. Had quite a few changes and switches since then but we’re still going.
Q: What does everyone in the band do when they are not playing?
A: Dane, Daniel, and I (Brandon) all work in coffee shops, Isaac works in a custom print shop, Zach works at a grocery store, Matt works at a Red Lobster and goes to Southwest College full time. Joe tours full time playing bass for My Children, My Bride and catches up with us when he’s home. I’m also a youth director at my church
Q: What other bands would you compare your sound to?
A: Bloody Sunday, Hoods, xDisciplex ad, NIV, Point of Recognition. Its kind of tough to say. There is a huge amount of old school/punk influence but it also gets pretty heavy at times.
Q: Are any members straightedge as well?
A: Yeah. Braveheart started as a Christian straightedge band, but as we moved as a band we felt that our message was really only focused on one thing. Those of us who were in the band at that time are still straightedge,
nobody sold out but since deciding to move forward without necessarily preaching the straightedge movement we have added members that don’t claim the label, although everyone in the band is dedicated to being drug-free and we are still very supportive of the straightedge community.
Q: Being a Christian band in the hardcore scene do you find that a lot of kids listen to your message? Have you been approached after a show by kids to find out more about your message?
A: Once in a while kids will hang out and talk a little after a show. Many times the real contact is made either on myspace or stuff like that. We have prayed for some kids after a show, that was pretty rad.
Q: Any bands you played with ever react negatively when they find out Braveheart is a Christian band?
A: Usually not too bad. The Christian presence in hardcore has kind of stepped it up lately I think, and other bands that aren’t Christian have been more respectful lately, realizing that everybody in hardcore has (or should have) a message they are bringing to the table. Of course there is always somebody who likes to talk crap, or make jokes about Christians, but Jesus told us we were going to be persecuted. I think if Christian bands aren’t making somebody uncomfortable with their own world view then we are missing the point. We aren’t a band that started just to pump up Christians, but also to reach those who have never listened to what God really has to say.
Q: Is Rev 1911 a reference to Revelation 19:11 in the Bible? If so, why did the band choose this section or verse for reference?
A: Rev 1911 (as far as the t-shirt goes) is a direct reference to our song 1911 which is derived completely from the book of Revelation, and focused mostly on the verse, ‘And I looked and behold! A white horse and the one sitting on it was called faithful and true and in righteousness he judges and makes war.’ its a song that for us mostly serves as worship and encouragement, reminding the listener that Christ’s return is the biggest thing for Christians on earth to look forward to, and the most feared by unbelievers or those who are unsure in the faith. It is meant to encourage us to be always mindful of Christ’s return and to continue fighting the battle that has already begun on this Earth.
Q: What is the craziest show you ever played and why?
A: It would be hard to say what the craziest show was, nearly all of our Southern California shows have been pretty intense. The craziest one that I can remember recently was in Needles,CA at a pizza parlor. Its only about 20 minutes from our hometown so all of our friends were there and everybody was squeezed into this little place and it was just chaos. Really awesome.
Q: What other bands have you guys played with, whom where the most fun?
A: We have been blessed to play with just about every band we have ever wanted to over the last year or so. The most incredible show of course was with No Innocent Victim and xLooking Forwardx back in January. NIV is a once in a lifetime thing for bands as new as us. As far as a list goes, xLooking Forwardx a couple times, Seventh Star, Call to Preserve, War of Ages, A Plea for Purging, Take it Back!, Since the Flood, Sinking Ship, Everyman for Himself, Scare Tactic, Signs of Hope, Fight Like Hell, Know the Score, xGoodfellasx. As far as our BFF bands go, we always love playing with Sovereign Strength, I Am Strong, Gator Punch, Death Comes Fast, Hellslayer, Die Fighting, Take, and all the bands that have called it quits that we loved to play with locally.
Q: How do you let Christ’s teachings influence your music?
A: Christ’s teachings were the entire reason we started the band, so I guess you would say a lot. All of our songs are based on either biblical teachings or the bible itself, most of them having scripture directly in them such as Plank Eye (Matthew 7), Dem Bonez (Ezekiel 37), Anchor (Hebrews 6:19), 1911 (Revelation 19:11.) get wild is just for fun.
Q: You guys reference the fact that you are not like Joel Olsteen or Jerry Falwell and are not into organized religion cause it is usually a bunch of legalistic crap, do you find that other kids in the scene are fed up with this and relate to you on a different level?
A: First of all we are all involved in churches. The point we are really trying to make is that churches don’t exist for the purpose of going through the motions and looking important and righteous in front of other people. Church is not about your suit or your praise band or your pot luck. We believe that the church exists to bring people closer to a relationship with God and to be there for each other. Its not that we are against churches, I wish there were more of them and that they were more packed all the time. We just aren’t big fans of the type of things the Pharisees did and said, many of which can be found in churches all over the place, many of which we have all been guilty of ourselves. Obviously Jesus didn’t care about outward appearances otherwise He wouldn’t have basically lived homeless for the course of his public ministry. Jesus cared about what is within, and sometimes what’s inside us sucks and needs fixing, which is exactly what Jesus came to cleanse us of: sin. As far as kids in hardcore go, they are typically kids who seek the truth. Nobody in hardcore goes shopping around for a group to control them and judge them. That’s the spirit of hardcore that has always been. Obviously kids in the hardcore scene aren’t spending their weekends beating down the door of churches because they want to hear organ music. the mistake many churches often make is that they think people have to conform to their specific ‘church culture’ before they can be accepted. Pretty much the exact opposite of the way Jesus looked at people, looking at horrible sinners, murders, thieves, adulterers, and even his enemies, and loved them. He had compassion for them, and gave His life for them. We just think that Jesus’ followers ought to behave the same way.
Q: Does playing in a scene that is predominantly not Christian challenge the Braveheart crew to be even more Christian, can you site examples when your beliefs have been challenged?
A: What I have really been noticing lately is that christian bands in hardcore are getting bolder all the time. I wouldn’t say that we have to be ‘more christian’ but we have definitely made an effort to make a bolder statement than we did in the beginning.
Q: Any bands that you were scheduled to play with cancel because they found out Braveheart is a Christian band?
Q:If Braveheart could play with any other bands, whom would it be?
A: I think we’d need a time machine for that. We have pretty much played with every band that we would dream of playing with. It would be nice to play with H2O I guess since they’re doing stuff again.
Q: Do you guys feel like the Holy Spirit directs you when you are writing songs and playing?
A: Always. At least as far as writing goes. If we are trying to force a song it doesn’t work. Nothing happens.
Q: Any plans on putting out a full length album? When?
A: As soon as we can. We just can’t afford it right now. Recording is expensive so we are hoping there’s a label out there that believes in us enough to help us out.
Q: How can someone get in touch with Braveheart to book you guys?
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