with Christian Musician Tara Vanflower
Websites: www.lyciummusic.com, www.reverbnation.com/taravanflower, www.silbermedia.com/taravanflower
QRD – Do you try to keep your faith life & musical life separate?
Tara – No. I don’t believe in “preaching,” but my beliefs are integrated into every aspect of my life.
QRD – When creating music do you feel closer to God?
Tara – I think using creative energy taps into some sort of elemental spark that must be connected to the Divine somehow. To be able to create something out of nothing is some sort of miracle.
QRD – How has your music helped you grow as a Christian?
Tara – Probably being placed in different situations (good & challenging) has caused a reliance & thankfulness to God that otherwise would be attained in some different way. When you’re getting ready to walk out on stage in front of a hostile crowd it tends to make you want your God close to you. & having been given the opportunities I’ve been given has definitely made me thankful.
QRD – How has your music effected your faith?
Tara – At times it causes me to be challenged... having patience with people & situations that are out of my control, not understanding the “whys” of how this or that turned out this way or that way. But also having an appreciation for the people I’ve met, places I’ve visited, experiences I’ve had, & the music I’ve been fortunate to be a part of, has given me a thankful heart.
QRD – How are your faith & aesthetic ideas linked together?
Tara – Since faith is a part of my internal being it is infused in everything somehow... even in abstract levels.
QRD – What has been your experience being a Christian in an underground “artistic” community? Have you experienced any negativity towards yourself regarding your beliefs?
Tara – I find that a lot of the so-called “open minded” people in the artistic community are only open minded when it involves their own ideals & lifestyles. Anything that is contrary to their beliefs they tend to look negatively on & judgmentally. They become the very people they rail against.
QRD – How do you reconcile the idea of making “dark” music against the perception that Christians making music “should” be creating music of praise or trying to “save” people?
Tara – There is nothing “light” about the Bible. It makes perfect sense that in this world, in this life, darkness is every bit as essential & elemental as the lighter sides of life. We’re surrounded by darkness. I don’t see there being any contradiction. It’s realism.
QRD – How do you feel about performing with & for people who have a completely different set of beliefs than you do?
Tara – I have no problems with it. People are free to be who they choose, to think how they choose. I treat everyone with the same respect they treat me with. I try very hard not to judge others. Besides, Jesus hung out with “sinners” & not one of us is perfect... so who are we to judge anyone else’s path through life?
QRD – What’s your take on bands that refer to themselves as Satanic or Pagan?
Tara – They are free to choose what they think is right for their life. As long as they are respectful of me I will be respectful of them.
QRD – What do you think of Contemporary Christian Music?
Tara – It’s not my thing, but neither is a lot of what is considered “cool.” So to each their own. It serves a purpose just like any other form of music.
QRD – How did you become a Christian? Can you share your experience?
Tara – I was raised in a Christian environment, though we didn’t go to church past about the age of three for me & my family weren’t “preachy.” We were just taught to be good to others & to do the right thing. In my late teens I got involved in occult stuff & through a set of circumstances just became a very dark & hateful person. I met a girl who was a Christian in cosmetology school & we became friends. She invited me to a Bible study & I went because she was a nice girl & I liked her & always found interest in Biblical stuff. I had had dreams about the Apocalypse my whole life. Anyway, through the course of talking to her & the pastor of the church she went to, both very open-minded accepting people, I decided to change my lifestyle & accepted Christ into my life. I noticed a massive change inside myself that I knew was not my doing. The rest is history.
QRD – Name a scripture that has personal significance to you & why?
Tara – Luke 12:22-34 has given me peace since I discovered it & I find the words & imagery beautiful.
QRD – How have traditional music & hymns influenced your music?
Tara – I have done a few cover versions of traditional hymns. My family went to bluegrass festivals when I was a child, so these songs bring me great comfort.
QRD – Would you like to be more involved with playing praise music?
Tara – It depends. As it is typically presented? Probably not in more than a casual/personal way.
QRD – Would you like to try your hand at writing traditional praise music or hymns?
Tara – I don’t think I can/could accomplish anything “traditional.”
QRD – Do you ever intentionally or unintentionally have Christian references in your songs?
Tara – Yes.
QRD – How do fans & peers respond to first finding out you are a Christian?
Tara – Most people don’t really care, at least out loud. I really don’t care what anyone thinks. As long as people are respectful they can think whatever they want.
QRD – How do you respond to people making statements like, “I thought you were too smart to be a Christian?”
Tara – Well, ideally I would like to just not dignify them with a response. But realistically I would probably say something like, “And I thought you were too smart to make such a judgmental, uninformed statement.” Without knowing someone’s personal path, which no one can TRULY know, no one has a right to judge anyone else’s walk through life.
QRD – How do you keep up your spiritual life while on tour?
Tara – I haven’t toured in well over a decade, but when I did I journaled & did a lot of praying. Plus I personally find God everywhere I look.... He is always close.
QRD – How has Christianity helped you with dealing with the stresses of working in the music industry?
Tara – Because of the principles I have been taught/learned I know that all things, no matter how bad they appear, happen for a reason. If that is the case then I can assume that it is for my betterment. I have several music related issues I have struggled to understand & accept. I continue to struggle with said issues & all I can do is hope & pray to either have understanding & acceptance or the ability to “let it go” & forgive. That having been said, I am still not there.
QRD – Has your faith ever hindered your career in anyway?
Tara – Doubtful. & if it has then whomever did the hindering is an asshole & can suck it.
QRD – Anything else?
Tara – I think the issue of faith is a
personal one & I wish that people, instead of judging everything from
their personal point of view, would give others the common courtesy to
stop judging & thinking their way is the only way & that anyone
who is different from them is an idiot. I feel this applies to every aspect
of life, not just religious views.
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