Tag Archives: Audio Adrenaline

School Loans & Audio Adrenaline

I just received a statement from Wells Fargo showing a breakdown of interest, principal and total paid on our school loans over the past 8+ years. And the current balance, of course. Horribly depressing. Even more depressing when I consider that’s only one of our student loans (and let’s not talk about a mortgage).

About 10 years ago I interviewed Bob Herdman, keyboardist and guitar player for the Christian band Audio Adrenaline. At the time I was an intern, working my first real writing job and doing one of my first real interviews. I had no idea what I was doing and the fact that a “rock star” would just call me up like that for a phone interview was incredible. Little did I realize how mundane that is.

Anyway, the article would cover Audio Adrenaline’s college years and what Herdman learned from college, a fairly interesting piece for the Christian college guide it would appear in. (Reality check: It never appeared. The college guide was never published, due to all sorts of insanity I didn’t understand at the time, nor will I get into here.)

At one point in the interview Herdman mentioned that he still had school loans he hadn’t paid off. He said something about paying $50 a month for 10 years now. He could have been exaggerating, I have no idea, but I remember being horrified at the thought. Imagine it, a successful rock star with outstanding college loans. Granted Audio Adrenaline was never a mainstream success. But they had plenty of success in the Christian market, at that time were releasing their fifth album (Underdog) and were still riding high from their 1996 hit album Bloom (certified Gold).

I knew Christian rock band wasn’t exactly a lucrative career path. I knew Herdman may have had other spending priorities (my own financial advisor talks about student loans as “good debt,” a concept I understand but still bristle at). But still. I couldn’t fathom the concept of a successful rock star not having paid off their college loans yet.

And here I sit, 10 years later, looking at a loan statement and beginning to feel sympathy instead of bewilderment. I wonder if Herdman finished paying off his school loans?

In the Name of Love

In the Name of Love

The CCM U2 Tribute album, In the Name of Love, showed up in the mail the other day. Well, half the album anyway. It’s a press copy of the album, but it only has 7 of 12 tracks (potentially 13; the Grits version of “With or Without You” isn’t listed in the liner notes).

It’s an intriguing project, basically an easy way to raise money for the AIDS crisis in Africa, but also a way to introduce the CCM scene to the music of U2. Many CCM fans are well aware of U2, but there’s a lot of hardcore CCMers that rarely listen to anything mainstream (I was one of them once), and for those folks this album will be a rare treat. Of course if you’ve ever heard U2 before, these songs won’t sound nearly as good.

I predict this album will be popular within the CCM world simply because of the nature of the Christian bubble. If you have never heard Bono belt out “Where the Streets Have No Name,” you’ll be perfectly happy with Chris Tomlin’s eerily similar version. Likewise Sanctus Real does a decent “Beautiful Day” knock-off, minus Bono’s soaring vocals and a little more grit in the Edge’s guitar riffs.

Jars of Clay and Sixpence None the Richer stray the most from the originals, probably because these artists are most familiar with U2 and know the danger of trying to sound like the best band in the world. Jars does a bluesy version of “All I Want Is You,” which seems to deflate the song of momentum. Sixpence tackles the forboding “Love is Blindness,” but it misses the melancholy of the Achtung Baby original. Both bands attempted an experimental angle, but it didn’t fly.

The real standout track (of the seven I can preview) is Audio Adrenaline’s version of “Gloria.” I know, I know, saying Audio A can do justice to a U2 song is tantamount to sacrilige. But they manage to modernize the thoroughly 80s song and without gutting its soul. There’s plenty of 80s rock left, and the tune just jams. Not too shabby. Of course it helps that the original was recorded 20 years ago.

I’m eager to hear the remaining tracks, including Toby Mac’s butchering of “Mysterious Ways” and what Delirious can possibly do with “Pride (In the Name of Love)” that won’t sound exactly like the original.