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Intersection of Life and Faith

SONICFLOOD

  • 1999 6 Jun
  • COMMENTS
SONICFLOOD
"As we literally worship Him onstage and have a personal time with God ourselves, then other people are also led into that, and they're drawn to Him supernaturally - and not because of our cool music or cool lyrics or cool melodies."
Sonicflood's Jeff Deyo


by Dan MacIntosh for the Music Channel at crosswalk.com

In a musical climate where uniqueness has become the equivalent of an endangered specie, {{Sonicflood}} is a truly one-of-a-kind band. By mixing the edginess of modern alternative rock with uncompromising worship music, this group-with only one self-titled album under its belt-is truly something special.

Even though Sonicflood is a pioneer, due to its individualistic musical direction, this approach was never a part of any grand design. "We didn't sit down one day and try and concoct a plan to try and put together worship and rock music," says Sonicflood's Jeff Deyo. "We didn't say, 'Hey, I think there's a need for worship music. Let's meet that need, and make lots of money.'"

Instead, God spoke with each individual member about the need to worship Him; then these experiences of being alone with God just naturally influenced the direction of the music. "God started with us. We were kind of doing the opposite of what we're doing now. We kind of had a philosophy that if we would make music as close to the world's music as possible -- sounding as close to those other bands that influenced us musically -- then we could reach the world. We could then go out to churches or clubs or wherever, and the lost would be attracted to our music and attracted to our image. We thought this would give us an opportunity to share the gospel."

Even though Deyo believes Sonicflood had good intentions with this approach, their plans were still not yet in line with the ones God had for them. "I think the motives that we had were totally pure. I think there were some good philosophies in there, some good ideas."

But instead of granting Sonicflood a clever battle plan, He instead spoke directly to each of their hearts-individually. "He brought us to the point where He showed us our desperate need inside of us for worship," explains Deyo.

As their own lives began to be reinvigorated by a newfound appreciation for worship, the Sonicflood repertoire also started to take on a new shape. "The songs that we've put on this record -- aside from the originals -- were ones we had been singing in church, and they had been ministering to us on a personal level. Several of these songs, in fact, came from my own youth group."

Standards like "I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever" were upgraded to multi-layered rock, from simple and basic worship service arrangements. But even the original songs on the group's self-titled debut began as unadorned and straightforward tunes. "The four original songs were pretty much written at my house or somebody else's house, just with an acoustic guitar. They weren't rock songs to begin with. They were just songs that came out of our hearts. Then we took and arranged them the way we liked."

All of these musical and lyrical changes can be traced back to a night when the group decided to include one worship song into its regular set of concert songs. When they did this, they found themselves rushing to get to that point in their show. And when they finally did begin this in-concert worship mini-set, they were amazed to see how powerfully God worked through them. This event gave them a great big hint as to just which musical and ministry direction was right for them.

It also just so happened that a Gotee Records executive was there that night. "[The worship section] pushed the intensity to a totally different level," recalls Deyo. "It's the kind of thing that record company executives look for -- something special, something that's unique, something that's powerful and real."

That industry representative spoke with the band after the show and proposed that they do a whole record of rock-tinged worship music. "If God was doing this in one small area of the concert, what would happen if we actually made the whole concert like that?" Deyo recalls wondering.

It was then obvious to Sonicflood that the fruits of their labor would be multiplied if they made worship music the foundation of their live shows. "Our first fear was that we didn't want to be labeled a praise and worship band. Honestly, 2 or 3 years ago it was definitely very uncool as a rock band to try to do praise and worship."

Now, perhaps the most important impact Sonicflood is having upon the music world is in changing preconceived ideas about just what praise and worship music truly is. "What has happened," explains Deyo "is that in the past we have termed praise and worship to mean a style of music, as opposed to something that comes out of the heart. So whenever you say the words praise and worship, you automatically -- depending on where you've grown up -- either think of piano and organ, or acoustic guitar."

Sonicflood is serving notice that there is more to praise and worship music than just the unplugged variety. As they have grown to better understand what worship music is all about, their mission as a band has begun to appear more obvious to them. "Why not take the talents God's given us," Deyo recalls saying, "and actually use them to specifically worship Him from the stage?"

Sonicflood also believes the scriptures back up these goals. "This is our key verse, John 12:32, where it refers specifically to the cross, but it definitely also has a double meaning. It says, 'if you'll lift me up from the earth, then I will draw men unto Myself.'"

"The cool thing is that He started by drawing us to Himself. Now, as we go to the stage and we literally worship Him onstage and have a personal time with God ourselves, then other people are also led into that, and they're drawn to Him supernaturally - and not because of our cool music or cool lyrics or cool melodies."

Isn't it odd how Christians try so hard to get the world's attention, just for a chance to share the gospel? Yet while they're so concerned about getting the world's attention, they many times start to lose focus on the very God they hope to share. {{Sonicflood}} has learned that if they're consistently obedient in worshiping and praising God, others will see this, and want what they have. "It's truly been a miraculous thing that's happened to us," summarizes Deyo, "and I wouldn't trade it for anything."