Close Your Eyes Want 'To Bring Hope Into a Broken World'
So, let's just get this out of the way before going any further: Progressive hardcore outfit Close Your Eyes are a Christian band. No, they don't shout it from the rooftops, and no, their MySpace page doesn't classify them as such. They don't sound like a Christian band on their Victory Records debut 'We Will Overcome,' which drops Feb. 16, but that's because they're not like a lot of Christian hardcore bands.
Rather than just identify themselves as Christian, frontman Shane Raymond and guitarist Brett Callaway actually pursued ministry and theology bachelors degrees, respectively, and when he's not gigging, Callaway works for his local church as a youth worship minister. But again, being Christian is not something they've been advertising.
"If someone comes up and asks us if we're a Christian band at a show, we say 'Yeah.' It's just easier that way," Callaway tells Noisecreep. "We don't publicize it, because we don't want to capitalize on it and gain fans from being a Christian band. We see the problems in the American church. It's about money. It's about a show. It's not about loving people and real discipleship and life change. So, we don't want to further that stigma with our band being a Christian band and using our faith to gain fans. We just want to be real with people. I have nothing against bands that are militant with their evangelism. But we're not like that. There are enough people out there doing that."
But Close Your Eyes do write songs with a worshipful tendency. The first single of 'Overcome,' 'Song for the Broken,' was essentially built around a single line that kept repeating inside Callaway's head: "This is my worship/This is my life/To bring hope into a broken world."
And really, that's what they hope to do with their music. On their MySpace page, Close Your Eyes declare something of a mission statement. "As a band our desire is to give hope to the hopeless, give bread to the hungry, give love to the unloved, and give life to those who feel there is nothing left." Funny enough, Callaway says he just wrote that on the band's page one night, and "I never really meant for that to stay on there." But it's since become the band's mantra.
"We deal with that subject matter all the time in our music," he says. "As far as giving hope to the hopeless, that's about 50 percent of our songs right there. Those songs were inspired by just the struggles that we've been through and the fact that there's still hope and life after struggles and trials like that. Some are about loving the unloved, and one specifically has an underlying theme of not turning your back on people in need, like the homeless. So, yeah, that pretty much is our mission."