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Interview with Confession of a Sinner

Originally featured on the old RockCriesOut.com site, this interview with Indie Christian Metal band, Confession of a Sinner was an excellent first interview for the site. The band has made some changes since this interview, but it’s still a great read none the less. Check out Confession of a Sinner’s music at their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ConfessionOfASinner.

 

RockCriesOut: Tell the readers a little about the band. How did you guys meet and how long have you been playing together?

Mark Kelly/ Vocals & Guitar: I have known my drummer Jammie Wells for about 18 years. We grew up playing death metal in the late 80’s and early 90’s and we were all messed up on drugs and alcohol. We both got married and the band just faded away as we had kids, etc. We lost touch until about 3 years ago. I was pleased to see that Jammie had committed his life to the Lord just as I have. He did this about 10 years ago as did I. God completely changes our lives and gave us freedom from addiction. We started jamming and it was like magic! We went through several bass players until we finally found Daron Spence almost a year ago. Daron is a guitar player, but he joined us and played bass until we could find another bass player. We have recently found a bass player that we are beginning to work with. If the new bass player works out, then Daron will be on guitar! Our new songs require two guitars and I am really looking forward to getting that going. We just love jamming hard hitting tunes with a positive message of salvation. We hope to reach the youth out there with the good news through our music.

 

RCO: Some Indie bands help with worship in their church. How is “Confession of a Sinner” involved in their local church?

Mark Kelly/ Vocals & Guitar: I have been playing lead guitar and back up vocals at my church for the past 10 years. I also have two daughters in the youth group and I always help with the bible studies and just make myself available to the teens if they ever need to talk about any issues they may be dealing with. It is really cool because the teens in our youth group are comfortable around me because they know about the band and I have tattoos, etc which I think helps some of the youth and their friends feel comfortable talking to me. I guess I don’t really have that “normal dad” vibe going. I love hanging with the youth group!

Daron Spence / Bassist: I play Guitar/Bass in the Youth group band and am the Senior audio engineer for our Sunday Services

RCO: What are some of the difficulties you have run into as an Indie band?

Mark Kelly/ Vocals & Guitar: It is really difficult to find the time to practice and write new songs. Our family responsibilities always come first. Also, it is difficult finding good venues to play. We are a fairly new band and some of the venues just will not contact us back! We have been blessed to meet several great Christian bands like Solace Through Flames from Temple Texas, and have had the opportunity to jam with them at a few cool places.

 

Daron Spence/ Bassist: Practice, Practice, Practice! As an indie band it’s so difficult to all find that little bit of time in our schedules to get together. Unlike the Signed bands out there, we have daily lives to lead and families to take care of, so sometimes the band is close to last on our to do list. Despite that though, we do our best to be our best!

RCO: What’s the most rewarding part of being a Christian band?

Mark Kelly/ Vocals & Guitar: Sharing Gods word at concerts. Sometimes when we play a bar, some of the people there mock us when I mention Christ and that can be difficult….but I think that they have to go home and think about what I have said. It may be the only time they have ever heard about Christ. It just feels great jamming my guitar and belting out the lyrics for The Kingdom!

Daron Spence/ Bassist: Definitely seeing people’s faces at shows or when we play a song from our iPod in the car. You hear comments like, “Who is that? They’re really good!” or “This is christian? I didn’t know this kind of music could glorify God.” It just makes you feel good to know you’re worshiping God and doing what you love.

RCO: Now “Confession of a Sinner” is classified as a metal band, a genre made popular by bands like Metallica, Pantera and Disturbed, not Christian music. Do you find it difficult to break through some of the preconceived notions some people may have about metal music?

Mark Kelly/ Vocals & Guitar: Yeah, some people say that metal music is the devils music. When we jam, we do so as our worship to The Lord! We like to worship loud. I do agree that most metal music has evil content and my hope is people that listen to the secular metal will come across our music and listen to it because the way it sounds, and then maybe they will read the lyrics. It’s all about planting seeds for The Kingdom. Also, metal music is about rebellion…and we rebel against what this world says!

 

Daron Spence/ Bassist: It’s difficult for sure. Why we do draw a lot of our musical influence from “traditional” metal bands, we can’t stress enough how much we’re doing this for God. And when people say I don’t like your music, solely because we are a “metal” band, there’s always plenty of other options out there to worship our Savior with!

 

RCO: I love to see Christian bands really stretch the boundaries of their influence in new music. Speaking of new music, I’ve read on your Facebook page that you guys are working on some new content. Could you tell everyone a little about that and what to expect?

Mark Kelly/ Vocals & Guitar: Man, I am really excited about our new music! Daron has been writing some great music the past few months and I have been working on lyrics and learning the riffs. The new songs still sound heavy, but we are really working hard to have great melodic and catchy chorus lines with vocal harmony. I will be singing a bit higher on the new songs with more of a balance between the screaming and singing. We are also doing songs with less double bass drums and just more heavy straight forward driving rhythms, stuff that will just rock your entire body! We hope to go into the studio and do maybe a five song CD later this fall, depending on finances. It is hard to fund all the things we would like being an indie band.

 

Daron Spence/ Bassist: Well we’ve been working on some new material for about 3 or 4 months now. Trying to move from straight metal, all licks and crazy riffs, to pull it back a little from the technical side and pull people in to the lyrics and the message in our songs. Granted, there are solos though, and we aim to melt your face off at any and all points within regardless.

RCO: What is your favorite piece of gear and why?

Mark Kelly/ Vocals & Guitar: I really love my Epiphone Explorer. It is black with gold hardware and I customized the pick guard to match my strap, which has a cool design of black hearts, barbed wire and crosses. I have also put in an EMG 81 pickup. I have always loved Gibson and Epiphone explorers. It just feels right at home in my hands and is very comfortable to play.

My guitar rig:

Randall RH300 G3 – 300 watt tube head.

Two 300 watt Peavey Sheffield 4×12 Cabinets.

I like to play as loud as possible (our drummer Jammie pounds the drums like there is no tomorrow, so I have to have that extra power!) and still have a great crunchy warm and thick tone that has bone crushing clean lows, that is why I have the different rack equipment to shape my sound and achieve that tone. The parametric eq is key to really shaping and fine-tuning the tone and the Aphex Aural Exciter with big bottom gives me that skull rattling clean bass and it also brings out the higher frequencies that add a bit of sparkle to the sound….so it is just a really huge sound!

Rack case w/ Furman power conditioner, 15 band graphic eq, parametric eq, aural exciter, compressor, & noise gate.

Boss pedal board (I love boss pedals, they are very durable) w/ Tuner, Metal Core Distortion, Super Shifter, DD3 Delay, Phase Shifter, Chorus Ensamble.

I also use a TC Helicon Harmony G vocal effect pedal to get a studio quality sound when we play live. It adds a great harmony part to my vocals on chorus lines and I use the double effect all the time….it just kinda doubles my vocal signal and make is thicker with a bit of chorus sound.

I also only use Star Picks. These picks are great because they have a little cut out in the center of the pick that gives me a good grip so that the pick doesn’t turn on me when I am playing fast riffs, etc.

 

Daron Spence/ Bassist: Line 6 Pod’s (all models). They make playing and recording a breeze! And if anyone has one of the newer ones and wants to donate it, call Rock Cries Out and they’ll give you my number!

RCO: Just a few quick quirky questions to end now. What’s in your CD/MP3 player right now?

Mark Kelly/ Vocals & Guitar: I mostly have been just listening to rough mix demos of our new music as I am writing lyrics. I do jam on Brian Head Welch, Seether (Seether has a really great sound to me, but some of their content is not good but they do have a few songs that are ok to jam on) Enya …I love the relaxing sound! And Demon Hunter. I also have some old school 80’s stuff too 😀

 

Daron Spence/ Bassist: Well currently I’ve been listening to Red’s album, “Until We Have Faces.” Definitely a good choice and uplifts my spirit every time.

RCO: If you could play a concert in any one spot in the world, where would it be?

Mark Kelly/ Vocals & Guitar: Man, just one spot! I have four if that is cool…China, London, South Africa and Sweeden. It would be really cool to play in China! We had an offer to play a fundraiser in China and London before, but we just did not have the funds to get there!

 

Daron Spence/ Bassist: London, because I have a killer British Accent!

 

 

Thank you to Mark Wayne Kelly and Daron Spence for their willingness to take time out of their day to do this interview. God bless!

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