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Politely refusing to play certain songs?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Fassa Albrecht, Sep 27, 2008.

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  1. I have a moral objection as a Christian to play Rush's Freewill (for obvious reasons).

    Unfortunately a guitarist I'm working with and who wants to be in my band is BEGGING to do this one song.

    I've honestly tried to keep my faith out of my music (unless I'm playing worship) and so I don't want to go down the 'I'm Christian and I don't like that song' route.

    Any way I can politely refuse?
  2. mrokern

    mrokern TB's resident Rush freak

    Jul 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    That may be your only route, and if you feel strongly about your faith don't be afraid to stand up for your beliefs. You can say you are personally uncomfortable with the message of the song.

    Can't help more on this one, I'm a Christian and I love the song. It's a personal decision, though.

  3. thetawaves


    Dec 29, 2006
    I'm sure the guitarist would appreciate your sensibilities towards the song, considering your beliefs, so just be as forthcoming and open as possible about your views on the song and surely he'll (or she'll) understand. It isn't a matter of your faith being in your music, it's your own sense of morality. So you have every right not to play the song surely?
  4. The only problem is that this is likely to be a recurring incident. This specific song is obviously going to clash with my beliefs but I'm not even happy about singing songs with even coded lyrics which clash with what I believe.
  5. I should also add that my objection comes from SINGING this song, not bassing on it.
  6. mfgl


    Jul 1, 2008
    Altoona PA
    As someone who was raised Catholic i dont see anything wrong with the words to this song, unless you go by the rule that anything that doesnt glorify god is against god...but then your really limiting yourself to what you can play. If we cant talk politics here i assume religion is out of the question too so I guess it ends here for me.
  7. thetawaves


    Dec 29, 2006
    in which case, perhaps the guitarist would like to give their vocal chords a Geddy-Lee-bending instead?
  8. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    I don't think that playing a song is endorsing the song's message. Many tracks deal with sex, drugs, murder, lying, stealing .... playing bass on them doesn't mean you want to commit adultery, shoot up, kill somebody, or support doing those things.

    Obviously I can't understand things from a 'faith' point of view, however I know my own beliefs are solid enough that I could play bass - and have - in a religious environment without feeling I was 'betraying' myself.

    edit - it's still someone else's message you are singing, and it still doesn't (IMHO) form an endorsement of the song's message.
  9. There's plenty I can play that wouldn't conflict with my personal beliefs....
  10. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008

    I am a Christian ... and a clergy ... I would love to play in a band that wanted to play freewill ... really listen to the lyrics and think about what they are saying ... freewill ... that is a good concept!

    there are certain songs I won't play

  11. At the end of the day all people are going to think is' well, that band chose that song, they must agree with it'.

    An atheist band wouldn't do a worship song so what's the difference here?
  12. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Actually, the reason is not obvious at all :confused: So you may have to explain why the song goes against your beliefs.
  13. thetawaves


    Dec 29, 2006
    not necessarily, I've known several bands who've done POD covers but don't advocate the lyrical meaning in any way...admittedly POD is a spiritual band as opposed to being set in any single religion, but they do plenty of worship songs :)
  14. mikeboth

    mikeboth The last thing you'll ever see

    Jun 14, 2002
    Tallinn, Estonia
    Operator: prophecysound systems
    Not the people I hang with, but the music is about entertainment, not sending a message.

    If you can't see the difference, then I can only answer your original question with ... no, there is no polite way you can refuse.

    IMHO, if you are going to not play songs that you interpret to have some kind of 'message' that you don't like, it will eliminate a large proportion of good music from your 'might play' list. However, if you are playing in a band that performs in church it might be different I guess.
  15. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Masks, people, masks!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    An atheist wouldn't play in a religious band and refuse to play a bunch of songs.

    If you're religious at all, playing secular music will always be a problem. Where do you draw the line for the lyrics? If there's one word you disagree with, what do you do?

    Seems you may want to play music/lyrics that fits your beliefs since it's already causing problems for you and your secular band really hasn't started.
  16. WickedPissah


    Jan 22, 2008
    It doesn't say "don't have religion" it says "if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"

  17. I can deal with an objectionable word (a single word or phrase is easily changed) but I draw the line when it gets past a certain point or the objectionable lyrics are blatant in their message.

    So far, playing secular music hasn't been an issue as I've mostly been playing indie- Muse, New Order and the like which I don't have an issue with.
  18. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    So if there's a blues song with a line "...shot my old lady down," would you refuse because "Thou Shalt Not Kill?"

    You assume people actually will associate you with the songs you play. Do you also assume that every actor is the same as the characters he portrays? ("He plays villians---he must be a bad person in real life.")

    A musical show is a performance; onstage you're similar to an actor performing in a play. If someone is so simple-minded as to assume the performance and the person are the same, you can't change that.

    People make judgements based on the clothes you wear...and you're worrying that they're actually listening to the lyrics, contemplating them, and going to form some conclusion about you? I doubt they're putting out that much effort.
  19. TheEar


    Mar 26, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Dude if you think that you should only play music that is edifying, and which praises God, then it's a no brainer...don't play anything else! Nobody else will stand up for your beliefs for you, it's a personal thing between you and God. I say this as an ex worship leader.

    But there is soooo much music on this planet. And unfortunately only a miniscule percentage would fall within the "Christian" realm. God gave you the gift of music, and we don't live in the deserts anymore! Maybe venturing outside of your comfort zone would help your Sunday performances.
  20. Depends on context...

    You assume people actually will associate you with the songs you play. Do you also assume that every actor is the same as the characters he portrays? ("He plays villians---he must be a bad person in real life.")[/QUOTE]

    Major difference between acting and music. In acting it's all about creating a fake character, personality and so on. You're paid to play pretend. Music- you're not going to do that...you'll write about those things that mean something to you and that you agree with.

    You'll be suprised....many fans of many bands pay a LOT of attention to the lyrics and take great notice of what they're saying.

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