with Christian Music Director Joseph Kendrick of WNCW
Name: Joseph Kendrick
QRD – Do you try to keep your faith life & musical life separate?
Joseph – I don’t try to separate faith & music life, but try to remember to show my faith in all aspects of life.
QRD – When listening to music do you feel closer to God?
Joseph – Oh yes, if only at times. Depending on the piece of music, I can feel transcendent. There’s plenty to be learned about God when listening to the right music.
QRD – How has music helped you grow as a Christian?
Joseph – Music makes its impression lyrically & sonically while it encourages one to sing along. All these aspects of music & interaction with it like singing, writing, & playing it can be synced up quite well with spiritual growth. It depends, as always, with what music one is listening to. For me, I’ve grown to love many hymns & Christian themed songs from about any & all genres & find that they lend me strength in my faith. Singing along with praise is great because singing is good for you (you know that people who sing live longer); it’s worship & it’s fun. Everyone wants to sing along with a song, even if only in their minds & the songs with the right message can do worlds of good.
QRD – How are your faith & aesthetic ideas linked together?
Joseph – Sacrifice is one of the strongest
themes in the Bible & giving of oneself dovetails nicely with music.
Practically everyone making music is doing it for the love of it &
is giving up worldly success with that sacrifice of time & energy,
really. There are examples to counter this description of a common musical
artist, but they are few.
QRD – What has been your experience being a Christian in an underground “artistic” community? Have you experienced any negativity towards yourself regarding your beliefs?
Joseph – Being a father of two young children, I don’t get around much anymore (sorry, can’t help myself)! So I’m in pretty predictable circles, mostly. I won’t wilt in the presence of negativity though & hope that I can be strong enough to do my fair share of witnessing when those times come.
QRD – How do you reconcile the idea of liking “dark” music against the perception that Christian music “should” be music of praise or trying to “save” people?
Joseph – The Bible contains all sorts of descriptions of dark characters, their horrible actions & the resulting scars. With that in mind, I think that darker themes in music can be character studies, cautionary tales, & examples of what not to do. They might also serve as a kind of psychic ventilation, helping one to address or let go of issues.
QRD – How do you feel about performing with & for people who have a completely different set of beliefs than you do?
Joseph – Sometimes that can be really tough! It doesn’t happen so much with me being at work with the same folks every day (although there are non-Christians there, not surprisingly). Be a good Christian at every opportunity though & you know all will be well.
QRD – What’s your take on bands that refer to themselves as Satanic or Pagan?
Joseph – That’s one of the only non-starters that I might open up in the mail or see in the inbox. I hate censorship in general, but bands with strong atheistic themes as well as satanic or pagan references would find a very large hurdle in the way of getting airplay on my station. That said, however, the majority of music that we play is secular, & much of that can tend towards other worldviews & conflict with Christianity. This is a given & is another challenge.
QRD – What do you think of Contemporary Christian Music?
Joseph – The style of contemporary Christian music is not my taste for the most part. Ultra slick production of generally inferior melodies & hackneyed vocal gymnastics don’t make the grade honestly & while I’m sorry if that smacks off as musical snobbery, that is what I hear. That said, a lot of songs aren’t really bad & can be more pleasing when sung along with the congregation. Now, a black or Pentecostal church is a completely different ball of wax. Put a full band up front with strong gospel tunes & the church becomes a full on jam session of praise. That is powerful stuff & everyone should go to this kind of service at least once!
QRD – How did you become a Christian? Can you share your experience?
Joseph – I became a Christian at age 11, I think. We were regular churchgoers from my elementary school years onward & it was a natural rite of passage.
QRD – Name a scripture that has personal significance to you & why?
Joseph – It’s hard to come up with a favorite verse in the same way it’s hard to bring a favorite song to mind. There are so many. I love Psalms & am reading the Bible of late all the way through for the first time.
Other QRD interviews with Joe Kendrick: