Faith and a mutual love of music are the glue that holds together the Oklahoma City-based Warr Acres.
This nontraditional Christian rock band is trying to move religious music from a classic gospel stage to something Top 40 fans would enjoy, too.
We are not as much rock as we are pop, which is pretty unrepresented in churches as a whole, said keyboardist Chris Crow. I know for us, if you see Christian rock kind of as a painting, we just want to be a different color.
The six-person act, which formed at Victory Church in Warr Acres, just released its first studio album on Aug. 23. The album skyrocketed to No. 7 on iTunes Christian music charts.
The group used to go by the name VMusic, but changed the name after signing with Dream Records in January.
We are good at making music. One thing we arent good at is marketing and distribution, Crow said. Its all kind of out of our realm of knowledge.
He said his church started creating music after his mom was cured of eight incurable diseases by prayer and meditation. His mom started writing music, and so did members of the church, including some of the members that now comprise Warr Acres.
The band members write most of their own songs, but they also sing some of the ones written by Crows mom and other church members.
We write on the more personal side, lead vocalist Lael Louthan said. We dont just write for the sake of writing; we really do want to portray a message or express a legitimate feeling.
The members of Warr Acres said the message they try to convey in their music is a call to arms and more aggressive than that of usual Christian rock.
They arent wanting to play us on the radio for a lot of stations, lead vocalist Kristy Starling said. I think because we are a little bit edgy for what they are used to.
Victory Church funds Warr Acres endeavors and owns all of its songs. The musicians feel like their main priority is to the church.
Weve not done a whole lot of touring because were here every weekend, Crow said.
On weekends, members usually split up to lead worship services at various locations of Victory Church.
Oddly enough, the band is not really inspired by Christian rock artists, but is more influenced by the production styles of Skrillex and Max Martin.
The group plans to have a new album out by early 2013. In the meantime, it will continue to play at Victory Church and at various conferences.
Christian music has kind of evolved to be its own genre that doesnt really sound like what most young people listen to, Crow said. We just wanted to keep it relevant.
Photo by Danielle Elizabeth