Circadian Rhythm: The American worship band winning over the UK

Thursday 1st November 2001

CIRCADIAN RHYTHM came to Soul Survivor as unknowns but left with crowds enthusiastic for their brash rock praise. Mike Rimmer reports.

Circadian Rhythm
Circadian Rhythm

By the end of their gig at Soul Survivor around 500 people have been drawn to the venue by the crunching, chunky sound of Circadian Rhythm's buoyant worship. Hands lifted in the air they join in with their version of "Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble" and there are some raised eyebrows when the band break into their version of U2's "Gloria". By the end, the band and crowd are buzzing as yet another audience succumbs to this excellent band's live set. Singer Will Pavone sheepishly tells the audience there's something he's always wanted to say. "We're Circadian Rhythm and you must be the UK," he jokes.

The summer of 2001 has been a chance for the band to introduce themselves to Britain and see a few sights. Pavone is lounging on a sofa backstage reading a book when I get the chance to chat to the band. They've managed to squeeze in a bit of sightseeing, checking out Warwick Castle and Stratford-upon-Avon while they were at Stoneleigh and the obligatory trip to London's Piccadilly and of course the photo crossing the famous Abbey Road Zebra. Will confesses, "I'd hoped that I might bump into Matt Redman while I was here."

Then there are plenty of other British bands that the band would like to meet since there are more than a few Brit influences in their music. "We listen to a lot of British bands" confesses bass player Paul Barber, "and it's definitely influenced the record. All of us go back to childhood almost listening to U2." The band happen to have chosen an early U2 song as one of the centre pieces of their debut album. Paul reports, "People keep asking why a worship band would do a U2 song and it's because it's a worship song! It was a bit intimidating, going into the studio. It felt like we were walking on holy ground doing a U2 song after being such huge fans for so many years. It was a little scary but we felt we interpreted it OK!"

Drummer Dan Cummo grew up with Will and they went to university together. There they met rhythm guitarist Aaron Paganini who lived two doors down and was spotted playing guitar in the hall one day. Thus the heart of Circadian Rhythm was formed when they all started writing worship songs together and began leading worship for students

The band are based in Washington DC and have their home church base there. Pavone explains, "We have a great church that we're sent out of and when we come off the road, we're able to worship there and be ministered to. I think that's really important for being out on the road, that we have a source of accountability and a source to draw on and to be fed from." The band also regularly lead worship at an event in their home church. Pavone shares, "It's great! It's a group of 18-35 year olds. We probably have a little over 2000 now on a Sunday night. It's a great worship experience. It's like worshipping with your peers. When we go and play in other places, the way the audience is perceiving us is more on a 'star' level sort of thing. Whereas, when we're in our home church, we're just part of the body."

The tension between the idea of being a band and performing and the need for a worship band to have their focus on God and not themselves is something that every worship band has to face and Circadian Rhythm are no exception. Guitarist Andy Zipf shares, "We believe the two can coincide, especially when your focus is on lifting the Father in your songs AND in your performance, rather than just focusing on being a performer first. It is a little difficult sometimes but we just need to be right before God prior to going out there to do what we do."

Pavone concludes our chat with an observation about the worship vs performance debate, "Probably the most exciting thing for us is when we first come out on stage and everyone is looking at us but by the time we've finished, everyone is looking up towards God and we do almost become invisible. That's the goal! The thing is you can't lead people to a place unless you know the way. So, when you're on stage, the responsibility of a worship leader is taking them to the throne or taking them into the presence of God. Once they get there, you let the Holy Spirit take control of what he wants to do in that individual but our job is to lead people. The Scriptures tell us to be excellent in what we do, so that's the view we take when we get up on stage."

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
About Mike Rimmer
Mike RimmerMike Rimmer is a broadcaster and journalist based in Birmingham.


Reader Comments

Posted by timmy melton in visalia ky @ 17:50 on Mar 31 2012

was going through some old cds came a cross circadian rhythm where are they now

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