CRY HOLY interview February-01-2002.
From the mighty town Seattle there is much more to the music scene than crack smoking grunge bands with stupid hair cuts. On the positiv side there is a band called Cry Holy which is a band with a Christian background and with several exellent albums already made.
The band is as yet unsigned but hopefully they get their well deserved record deal before to long. Their overall positive attitude and a musical style and abilities matching their heroes like Journey and Styx has already impressed me - so read on and learn all about Cry Holy on the backside of the cover it says: "Our Prayer is that after hearing this album, not only will Cry Holy have garnered another fan, but that the kingdom may receive another soul".
Q: Tell me the story about Cry Holy! How did you start?
With what members? Where did you meet? etc....
A: James Henry and Mike Maxwell started working together
about ten years ago under the name SAHARA RAIN, only
in a recording capactiy. We wanted to branch out and
play live, but Jim had a problem playing and singing
at the same time. Randy Loran from New York heard a
demo, and moved out to Seattle to be part of the
outfit. Randy knew Erik Routson, bass player who lived
in Seattle, and also brought his brother Scott to
Seattle from Illinois, to play rythm guitar. Erik
brought Gary Reems, keyboard player into the fold, and
Cry Holy was born.
Q: You are a proclamed Christian band, how does that
influence your approach to the music-scene - and on
your expression in general?
A: It's been a little tough. You can't just play anywhere
when you are a "Christian" band, it kind of limits you
to churches and such, although you'd be suprised at
some places that we've played. A three day festival at
Darrington Ampitheatre near Seattle, and Mural
Ampitheatre, right underneath the Seattle Space
Needle. We try not to come across too heavy with the
gospel message, just so we don't isolate our audience,
but at the same time, we don't want to compromise it
either. I think we cater to Christians and
non-Christians alike. We are really no different than
our non-Christian AOR counterparts out there, we just
try to get a positive message across, which is the
good news of Jesus Christ, but in a way that can be
recieved by everyone.
Q: In Denmark (and Europe) we don't have a category
called Christian Contemporary Music - can you
explain the phenomenon to me?
A: In America, the lines are kind of drawn between
Christian music and secular, unless you are someone
like Amy Grant. But more rock and roll Christian bands
like Petra, Whiteheart, and Steven Curtis Chapman are
definately considered "Christian" music, and their
albums are only found in Christian book stores and the
like. The big record labels do that. I really like
Europes's approach where you can say "Praise God" or
the opposite end of the spectrum "Hail Satan" (extreme
examples of course), but if it's good rock and roll,
it gets attention, airplay, and reviews written about
the album. America doesn't give small bands like us a
chance unless you are the flavor of the month boy band
like N'SYNC or have sold 10,000 units of your album.
America could learn a lesson from Europe. A seperate
catagory for Christian music isn't really an advantage
at all, it kind of isolates you and exposes you only
to a "Christian" audience, which kind of defeats the
purpose for us!
Q: Can you describe your "evolution" as a band from
your first CD until these present days?
A: I'm glad you asked that, no one's asked it before. I
think we evolved from the early days from a band that
had many influences musically to taking those
influences and also putting our own sound in the
music. In other words, not just sounding a little like
Journey, but sounding like Journey and doing the song
the way Cry Holy would do it. I think we have a
distinct sound, or at least I hope we try to
communicate that. After that, we definately evolved
from the studio to a live outfit. We really lived to
play live. But of course when you are an independent
band, putting on your own shows, playing live can be
draining, especially when you're tying to hold down
day jobs as well. But we would pull off hour and a
half shows of original material and the audience would
be into it! And of course now, the evolution is with
the internet , and that has opened a whole new world
to us(literally!) I knew the internet thing was really
evolving when my wife and I took a trip to Vancouver,
Canada, and I walked into Virgin Records. I walked up
to the magazine rack which has magazines from all over
the world. I opened up a British magazine, Powerplay
I believe, and there was a review of the album in it.
They did not contact me like most magazines and
webzines usually do. They just picked up the album
from Aorheaven and gave it a review (fortunately, a
favorable one!), and I stumbled across it. We are now
trying to raise the money to record our next album
which we know will put "Ten From Two" to shame (we
hope anyway). It is called "Alienation" a concept
album set in the future, kind of a cross between H.G.
Well's "War of the Worlds" meets the "Left Behind"
books, books about biblical events yet to happen. This
time around we have Erik Zimmerman who mastered the
Jason Becker tribute album mastering for us at a
discounted price, because he knows we don't have lot
of money to work with. So I know already it will
sound better, and I think the songs are far
Q: What are your main influences - i can hear some
tones from LeRoux and White Heart - is that right?
A: Whiteheart definately, I love that band! Petra as
well, Journey, Styx, Bon Jovi and Starship to name a
few. One interviewer, Juha Harjula from Midwestern
Skies in Sweden actually gave us quite a compliment in
a review that was not even a review of Cry Holy. He
ended our review with "So if you are into bands like
Journey, Survivor, and Savannah, Cry Holy is a band
for you". In another band's review, Vision 180 I
believe, he ended their review with "So if you are
into bands like Cry Holy..." That was cool, because he
was citing us as an influence for fans of that band.
That was flattering to read.
Q: You have had some good reviews on several on-line
magazines - are there a interest from some companies
as well? And how do you see your future?
A: A good question as well. We sent Z Records and Now and Then
our demo, but they passed. We've had almost all
favorable reviews and for that I am grateful! But we
have been knocked down a bit for production quality by
the labels, which is not quite fair. While the
production is not superior, I think the production is
good for what it is, and what some of the labels have
to realize is that we are still essentially an
independent band. We don't have the big bucks for a
highly produced album. They need to look at the songs
and the songwriting ability, and our potential, not
the final product that we have produced on our limited
budget. Aorheaven will release the next album, and we
are grateful to Georg Siegl for the start he's given
us. It has given us some good exposure, but he doesn't
fund the recording costs. We would like to get with a
label that funds the recordings. That is the toughest
amount of money to come up with, recording costs. I
see us with a label that will provide that, and
hopefully a chance to do the music live again. We
would also like to try to release a DVD of one of
our shows, but that would be a litle ways in the
future, we'd have to get a bit more established for
Mike Maxwell/Cry Holy
Steen Peitersen: I hope that you will get your well deserved deal to get a worldwide distribution and will have the opportunity to record a high-budget album - so Mr. A&R man contact this band!!?