The INSYDERZ have created much interest by bringing ska rhythms to worship songs. Tony Cummings reports.
Those who've heard the Insyderz' glorious ska manglings of revered praise choruses on the big selling 'Skalleluia' album will know that this exuberant six piece from Detroit are determined to tread ground no one has trod before. Yet, as the band told HM magazine, they treated the world's first ska worship album with real reverence.
"It came out better than we ever thought it would. It's a truly anointed album. When we were in the studio recording it, there was a lot of stuff that we weren't too sure about, or if it was even going to come out. We just told ourselves that we were going to do it. We'd come back to the studio the next day and listen to the songs that we had recorded the day before and we were totally in awe of how it came out. Sometimes, we say that angels came in and replaced the reels when we were out of the studio. It was an awesome experience."
With the master's touch of some of the music industry's best, with Gene Eugene (Plankeye, The Waiting) as producer, 'Skalleluia' is a true reflection of the Insyderz and their musical talents. "We were able to work with some of the best people in the industry. Gene Eugene did the engineering, Terry Taylor came in and worked on vocal stuff, and Steve Taylor executive produced it. So it's been overwhelming, it's so awesome." As a joke, during the band's photo shoot, Steve Taylor even came in and busted a move on the trombone. After the Christian chart success of 'Skalleluia' released on Taylor's Squint Entertainment, the band have a new album, 'Fight Of My Life' released in the UK this January. Their press release gushes, "The album is the definitive mix of punk, ska, reggae and heavy metal. It's not the third wave...it's not the fourth wave...it's the tidal wave, mixing ska with pop sensibilities."
"The songs are about every day situations," says the band's Nate. "They deal with a cruel world. We have a goal and it's not to focus on monetary gains or anything like that because who cares? We want to affect people internally, to live with an eternal perspective."
Produced by Barrett Jones (Foo Fighters), Paul Hampton (Skeletones) and mixed by Gene Eugene, 'Fight Of My Life' shows a maturing band that is taking a more serious tone lyrically while still retaining the old sense of fun.
The Insyderz line up is Joe Yerke (vocals), Mike Rowland (trombone), Kyle Wasil (guitar), Bram Roberts (trumpet), Beau McCarthy (bass) and Nate Sjogren (drums). The Insyderz are now touring all over the States. Their experiences on the road have been eye openers. "There are kids at youth groups who have gone to church their whole lives, who have no idea who God is, just like the kids at the clubs. That's a sad thing, because, sometimes, we think that those kids are only there because of the music, but some of them are really searching. They have no direction, and no peace in their lives."
With good music, a groundbreaking new album and a bright future ahead of them, as they continue to turn the world upside down, the Insyderz maintain a solid vision. "It has to be an expression of faith. My faith can't be based on the fact that I'm in the Insyderz. My faith has to be so strong that the Insyderz is a direct outpouring of my heart."
Originally published as part of The Ska Story: A history of the genreThe 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.