Led Zeppelin, Rush, King's X, and Tool

Quite simply, do I need to let them go?

Even though not my main bread and butter, I am a classically trained musician who has also been trained in the bars when it comes to electric music, so my tastes are very broad.

I am 50 years old, and these 4 bands have been a constant in my listening, though less so in recent times. I cannot nor will not gloss over the occultic intent with 3 of them, especially in the case of Tool.

I just really love the music, and lyrically, I can even appreciate and respect their POV, though I cannot adopt it myself.

How do I reconcile this with my approach to the Tiber? Or do I not even try, and just trash them?

I can’t speak for all the bands you mention, but I am a huge Rush fan. I don’t see anything at all wrong with listening to them. At most, I can think of possibly two songs that might be problematic if you’re scrupulous, but I don’t really look to musicians for my theology. I also have a friend in seminary who is a Rush fan, so I’m pretty sure there’s nothing to worry about there. I’ve heard some of Tool’s music in the past and while I did enjoy it, I never actually bought any of their albums. I could see where you might have a problem with some of their imagery. Again, I’m not all that familiar with them, but from what I remember it didn’t seem to be something that I would continue to listen to.

One of the bands I used to listen to before my conversion was White Zombie/Rob Zombie. I really liked that a lot. It was hard at first, but none of that is on my iPod any longer. I’d actually forgotten I still had those albums until just now. I probably need to sell those at some point…

I’ll let others comment on the remaining bands as I have very limited experience with them, making it hard to form a good opinion.

Welcome home!

-CK

[quote="Catholic_Kenpo, post:2, topic:223388"]
One of the bands I used to listen to before my conversion was White Zombie/Rob Zombie.

[/quote]

Never got into them, but I really want to see "the Devil's Rejects", but I am resisting the urge big time, just because I do not want to expose myself to that kind of imagery.

Fortunately horror flicks were never my cup of tea, so I didn’t have to worry about that aspect.

The tricky thing with questions about whether or not listening to a particular band/watching a movie or whatever is that the sinfulness of the music/movie/whatever is almost completely dependant on the individual and their situation. I think (and someone else please correct me if I’m off base here) that the Church really doesn’t rule on things like this. That means that as long as it isn’t tempting you to sin or leading you away from God, then it is ok for you. So, for example, if you find that you are easily lead into the occult or something of that nature, then you’ll want to stay as far from anything with occult imagery as you can, which could include getting rid of problematic music. In my case, it wasn’t so much that the White Zombie music was tempting me towards the occult or anything as much as it was tempting me back towards a more atheistic lifestyle. I made the call to remove it from my life so that the temptation wasn’t present any more. I think in the end only you and your confessor can truly determine if any or all of the bands you mention are going to be problematic for you in your specific situaiton.

Sorry for the lengthy response, but I felt it somewhat necessary on this particular topic. God bless you on your journey.

-CK

I don't think any of us can really anser for you whether or not you need to "trash" them. That discernment is best left for you to hash out with a trusted spiritual director.

I am always linking to this article, but that's because I think it does such a great job of articulating my sentiments on the subject: by Jimmy Akin*Bad Music*. I highly recommend it as a reasonable approach to secular music.

I love Rush. Some of their lyrics lately have gotten a bit darker lately in light of Neil Peart's personal tragedy (losing both his wife and his daughter). Since he is the principal lyricist, that is obviously going to have an impact.

I'm pretty sure the guys from King's X are Christian.

In any case, I've been listening to hard rock/metal since the 2nd grade. When I had my profound conversion experience, I went through the whole internal dialogue about whether or not I had to pitch the music or if I could keep it.

I think my turning point came when listening to the folk metal band Skyclad's song "Cancer of the Heart." Skyclad is a self-described pagan band (in the truest sense of the word). Some of their songs are quite critical of Christianity, if not downright anti-Christian. But when I listened to this song, I found quite a point of agreement and connection: the song is really a very pointed articulation of Original Sin.

Another song that contributed to this was "Save Our Souls" by Morgana Lefay. They are a somewhat occultish band, but in this song, they seem to be recognize the need for salvation and they are in fact pleading for it.

I began to realize that, though there are many metal acts that are anti-religion, it really stems from their own experience and their own attempt to grapple with the most important questions we face: Who am I? What am I? Why am I here? I respect that sincere struggle moreso than the bands who write exclusively about "luv", which makes up most of pop music's lyrical repertoire.

In the end, I realized that listening to the music was not interfering with my walk with the Lord. I enjoyed the window into another (albeit sometimes darker) worldview, and this only bolstered my faith. I see their struggles and I realize that this is what can happen without the Lord in your life. It encourages me to pray for them earnestly.

I also realized that any of their lyrical "arguments" against Christianity were not very convincing from a logical/philosophical perspective. :)

All this said, I do know people who benefited greatly from purging their CD collection when they had their conversion experience. Certain music (whether rap or metal) brought them back to those dark times in their life when they were far from the Lord. It was something concrete they could do to really make that conscious choice for Christ.

I would encourage you to really take it to prayer. I don't think all Christians are mandated to chuck any and all secular music to the curb. But some are called to do so. Ask God what he is calling you to do.

Have a blessed and merry Christmas!

Thank you for the thoughtful response.

All three have their roots in CCM of the early 80’s. The references to CS Lewis and 1 Cor. 13 in their music stands alone with no further comment needed.

However:

dUg is openly homosexual. And openly critical of anything “mainstream Christian”.

The band fired their manager very shortly after the release of Faith, Hope, and Love, for trying to pigeonhole and market them as a CCM band.

Jerry Gaskill did do a tour as the drummer for 2nd Chapter of Acts in the early 80’s, but he will not refer to or talk about it. Hmmmm. When I saw them in 81’, I distinctly remember his name mentioned by Buck Herring when he was introducing the band backing Annie, Nellie, and Matthew, but there is no mention of it in any of Jerry’s bios.

I did not know that. :frowning: I only have one of their albums. I always preferred the other band formerly managed by Sam Taylor: Galactic Cowboys. :slight_smile:

Geddy, Neil, and Alex are the other “Blessed Trinity” I love. :smiley:

50 year old Rush fan? There’s not a thing wrong with you.

I can see your concerns with LZ. I tend to shy away from some of their more “occultistic” songs. Some even run along Tokien’s Ring Trilogy mythos (which I don’t find to be Christian offensive).

I highly recommend that you continue avoiding that movie. I literally walked out of the theatre half way through, as it was utterly repugnant. Hollywood has released a number of good horror movies over the years, but trust me, this is not one of them.

I haved nothing but Praise but Rush also.

One thing-------

Tool has a song, “StinkFist,” about FISTING. :eek:
(Sorry to be blunt, but that IS a song of theirs.):frowning:

There’s another Song, “Prison Sex,” which is about-------you guessed it.

They’re basically OK, (and their Videos are MINBLOWING—check them out). But I would be careful and discerning as to what you are listening to of theirs. :thumbsup:

I'd let go of Tool...with the exception of a couple of good songs. I like the music more than lyrics....

Kings X , didn't ever listen to them.

rush....well, too much talent, but keep on listening....

zep..I love! keep on...

There's no sense in tossing out all the works by a specific band...
If some songs bother you, stop listening to those songs specifically.
Simple as that. :)

It seems like a very closed off view to just toss out all secular music. :(

One thing about Tool that merits saying here, is that they have a very unique talent for appearing to portray one thing, while meaning another. “Stinkfist” is an example of that. The most obvious is “Hooker with a ****”, the title and even a superficial listen indicates one thing that is seemingly obvious, but to actually read the lyrics makes clear the real intent: accusations of Maynard’s “selling out” to the music business. The title is a reference to himself and his relation with the music business.

A crude way to put it, but I can respect that.

Alex Lifeson is a cradle Serbian Orthodox. Whether practicing or not, I do not know.

And in high school, EVERY teenage boy with a guitar of any kind wanted to be Alex. Period.

I’m not the biggest rock fan, but I like some tool songs & some ZEP… Don’t think I ever heard of King’s X & never got too much into Rush, because I guess the singer’s voice just annoyed me too much. I will no longer listen to “Stairway To Heaven” due to the subliminal messages & that made me not care to listen to them as much, but I wouldn’t mind listening to some on the radio or something. That’s just how I feel about it.

Likely an unpopular opinion… but I wouldn’t let go of any music that you enjoy listening to. ESPECIALLY if you’re a musician. I’ve been playing drums for 12 years now and I’m a huge metal fan.

The “problem” that most people see at that point is that the lyrical content can be viewed as anti christian and/or satanic.

Slayer for example. Dave Lombardo is one of my major influences in my own playing. I will not stop listening to Slayer because of the lyrical content. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times. It’s like most other forms of entertainment… it’s fictional. The guys in Slayer are not satanists despite popular opinion. All of them have been asked about faith and Tom Araya (bass, vocals) said the following in an interview pulled from wikipedia… I particularly like the last line.

Araya commented about the misconception of the band labeled as Satan worshippers, “Yeah, yeah I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions towards the band, but next to that just the fact that we’re normal.” If guitarist King writes a good song, Araya puts his beliefs aside, “I’m not one that’s going to go, ‘This sucks because it’s contrary to my beliefs.’ To me it’s more like ‘this is really good stuff. You’re going to **** people off with this.’”[11]

In an interview, Araya believes that “…Christ came and taught us about love, about doing unto others. That was his preach: Accept each other for who we are. Live peacefully, and love one another.” When asked if he believed in God, replied “I believe in a supreme being, yeah. But He’s an all-loving God.”[12] Araya explained that he has a “really strong belief system,” and Slayer’s words and images will “never interfere with what I believe and how I feel… People are not in good shape to where they have to question their own belief system because of a book or a story somebody wrote, or a Slayer song.”[11]

[quote="mdrummer5, post:16, topic:223388"]
Likely an unpopular opinion... but I wouldn't let go of any music that you enjoy listening to. ESPECIALLY if you're a musician. I've been playing drums for 12 years now and I'm a huge metal fan.

The "problem" that most people see at that point is that the lyrical content can be viewed as anti christian and/or satanic.

Slayer for example. Dave Lombardo is one of my major influences in my own playing. I will not stop listening to Slayer because of the lyrical content. I've said it before and I'll say it a million times. It's like most other forms of entertainment... it's fictional. The guys in Slayer are not satanists despite popular opinion. All of them have been asked about faith and Tom Araya (bass, vocals) said the following in an interview pulled from wikipedia... I particularly like the last line.

Araya commented about the misconception of the band labeled as Satan worshippers, "Yeah, yeah I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions towards the band, but next to that just the fact that we’re normal." If guitarist King writes a good song, Araya puts his beliefs aside, "I'm not one that's going to go, 'This sucks because it's contrary to my beliefs.' To me it's more like 'this is really good stuff. You're going to **** people off with this.'"[11]

In an interview, Araya believes that "...Christ came and taught us about love, about doing unto others. That was his preach: Accept each other for who we are. Live peacefully, and love one another." When asked if he believed in God, replied "I believe in a supreme being, yeah. But He's an all-loving God."[12] Araya explained that he has a "really strong belief system," and Slayer's words and images will "never interfere with what I believe and how I feel.... People are not in good shape to where they have to question their own belief system because of a book or a story somebody wrote, or a Slayer song."[11]

[/quote]

The members of slayer can't blame people for thinking that though, because they gave themselves that image. I used to listen to music that comes off like that, but not as much. Personally I just felt weird about it as i came closer to God, but some of it isn't that bad any way & especially if it is only entertainment. I just don't want to show support to the 1's who actually do push devil worship or lyrics that I don' want to have in my head is kind of the way I am about it.

[quote="SANxJONERO, post:17, topic:223388"]
The members of slayer can't blame people for thinking that though, because they gave themselves that image. I used to listen to music that comes off like that, but not as much. Personally I just felt weird about it as i came closer to God, but some of it isn't that bad any way & especially if it is only entertainment. I just don't want to show support to the 1's who actually do push devil worship or lyrics that I don' want to have in my head is kind of the way I am about it.

[/quote]

Oh I agree. Given that it comes up in almost every interview they do I'm sure they fully accept the fact that people (probably most) think that about them. I personally used to take issue with it however because I've had people assume that I may be a Satanist based on my taste in music and I used to try to defend myself. Then I realized that the ignorant have to choose to be educated and decided to let them think what they want.

[quote="kmaaj, post:13, topic:223388"]
One thing about Tool that merits saying here, is that they have a very unique talent for appearing to portray one thing, while meaning another. "Stinkfist" is an example of that. The most obvious is "Hooker with a ****", the title and even a superficial listen indicates one thing that is seemingly obvious, but to actually read the lyrics makes clear the real intent: accusations of Maynard's "selling out" to the music business. The title is a reference to himself and his relation with the music business.

A crude way to put it, but I can respect that.

[/quote]

I agree with you about the "Hooker" song and some other Tool songs ("Enema" is another example)----but you MUST admit "StinkFist" is about what it says it is about. One of Tool's Band Members enjoys.......that.:eek:
They even admit it. I see what you are saying, though.

On the subject of Tool's songs in particular one that might be of interest to those on this forum even those that aren't fans or find their lyrics questionable is "Right in Two".

It's written from the perspective of Angels kind of pondering what they must think of humans.

Aside from being a deep and moving song... the drumming is awesome :thumbsup:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.