Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Petra - Still Gathering No Moss - Part 2

  • 2000 31 Jan
Petra - Still Gathering No Moss - Part 2

continued from part one

While professionalism, intensity, and musical integrity are hallmarks of the {{Petra}} experience, Pete confesses that there are also some lighthearted shenanigans that go on behind the scenes - and sometimes on stage. "I am always in trouble," he laughs. "We played a show just before Christmas one year, and I found a box of costumes backstage. I came out dressed up as one of the Wise Men. I had on a long, flowing robe, and a huge turban with a big, purple jewel in the middle of it. John didn't realize what I was wearing until I did my first guitar solo and the spotlight hit me!" Pete cracks up at the memory, catches his breath, and then says simply, "I got in trouble because of that."

Anyone who has ever heard a Petra album knows that ==Petra Means Rock==. And in geological terms Petra plays metamorphic rock. Neither stubbornly committed to an outdated genre, nor easily seduced by fickle trends, Petra has managed the daunting task of remaining culturally relevant, musically current, and lyrically consistent. From their classic rock roots in the early 70's, to arena rock anthems in the 80's to the more stripped-down modern rock of the 90's, they have consistently hit the market dead on.

But rather than simply following the crowd, Petra tends to set trends, sometimes years before others catch on. 1989's ==Petra Praise==: The Rock Cries Out, was a precursor to the groundswell of praise and worship music that is only just now becoming hip. And their newest project, set for a February 29, 2000 release date, is a "best of" project unlike any before it.

"It is just a big, classy, timeless kind of record," Pete explains. "It's the kind of record that will never go out of style. There have been a lot of 'best of Petra' compilations and tribute albums. We just figured, why don't we do it ourselves and do it the way we want."

==Double Take==, features Petra classics like "Judas Kiss," "Beyond Belief," and "This Means War" - but totally rearranged and augmented with a 42 piece orchestra. Most of the songs, Pete confesses, are not even recognizable until the chorus.

"It is probably the most different record Petra has put out," he says. "It's not the 'kid rock' of today, and its not the 'arena rock' from back in the day. But when you hear it, you'll know - this is a rock record. It is aggressive. We used the orchestra to inject power into the strings - in the sense of a Zepplin-ish type of feel."

Along with the ten classic remakes on ==Double Take==, there are two new cuts, including one, "Breathe In" that Pete wrote. Oddly enough, Pete also handles the lead vocals on the song. "It's pretty strange," he confesses. "There hasn't been anyone other than {{John Schlitt}} singing lead on a Petra song in nearly 15 years. And before that it was Greg X. Volz."

The band is doing "Breathe In" in concert to introduce the new sound to their audience, and Pete acknowledges being a bit intimidated. "They're expecting John's powerhouse vocals, and instead they are getting me. John introduces me, steps back, and lets me take it. It's different, but it seems to be working. People like the song and are looking forward to the new record."

As one of the busiest bands in Christian music, Petra continues to tour the world with its message of salvation, delivered with passion and panache. "If you haven't heard Petra in a while, pick up a record," Pete encourages. "It is completely different from what you remember. If you haven't been to a Petra show in a while, come on out. I think you will receive something from God. I think you will receive something spiritually and musically. At the very least I guarantee you will have a great time."


2000 ==Double Take==
1998 ==God Fixation==
1997 ==Petra Praise 2 - We Need Jesus==
1995 ==No Doubt==
1995 ==Come And Join Us== (CD Reissue)
1995 ==Petra== (CD Reissue)
1993 ==Wake-Up Call==
1992 Petra Collection (Spanish)
1991 ==Unseen Power==
1991 ==Petrafied! - Very Best Of Petra== (compilation)
1990 ==Beyond Belief==
1990 ==War And Remembrance== (compilation)
1989 ==Petra Praise==: The Rock Cries Out
1989 ==Petra Means Rock== (compilation)
1988 ==On Fire!==
1987 ==This Means War==
1986 ==Back To The Street==
1986 ==Captured In Time And Space==
1985 ==Beat The System==
1983 ==Not Of This World==
1983 ==More Power To Ya==
1982 ==Never Say Die==
1979 ==Washes Whiter Than==
1977 ==Come And Join Us==
1974 ==Petra==

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