Former Christian Band Gideon Don't Need Religion To Do Good
American metalcore hard-hitters, Gideon, have been making us bang our heads since 2008. The Alabama based band has released five studio albums and two EPs in their career of 12 years.
Raised in a Southern Baptist upbringing, the band members were pulled into the Christian hardcore scene right after its formation. Their initial albums reflected their religious beliefs.
However, they began to notice that the things they were taught and the things they once believed were not congruent with what they truly believed.
Consequently, the band left their faith in 2017 and began producing music (such as Cold in 2017 and Out of Control in 2019) that reflected their renewed perspective. The band's conversion to secularism is said to be the central theme of the album Out of Control.
For some, losing their faith can be a bitter and heartbreaking experience, but it meant finding a new sound and an untapped fanbase for Gideon.
In a statement, Tyler Ryley, the band's vocalist and guitarist, talked about their departure from Christianity. We had known Sarah Jaffe since 2008 when her song "Clementine" first came out. But did you know her mother bought her first guitar for her when she was about 10 years old? Join us as we get to know Sarah Jaffe a little more.
Riley said that because the band was very open-minded and loved making friends with all kinds of people, the notion of non-tolerance did not make sense. He further stated that the band did not understand why someone would go to hell when they die just because their beliefs did not align with Christianity.
Yeah — What did they do to deserve Hell? I think that’s what started it in me. And seeing a lot of corruption in the church when I would go back home.
Drummer Jake Smelley shared similar sentiments about his affiliation with Christianity. He said that music should be an outlet for someone to express themselves regardless of the genre. “As I got older, it became harder to express myself within the Christian metalcore genre guidelines, to talk about my struggles, and to have to write about something that I was, in fact, questioning,” he added.
Smelley further shared his view on religion. He said that if someone questions the religion, the proponents would think that the person would hell. He continued to add that these people would be seen as a “stumbling block to those around you and could cause others to stumble or stray. You become a problem.”
While the band has strayed away from the institution of religion, charity's value seems to have been stuck with the band.
Even after their departure, the band has continued to use their Instagram platform to raise awareness on current socio-political issues and raise money for charity. The band has been known to put up their merchandise for sale and donate the proceeds to charity.
On August 21, 2020, the band put up its new merchandise in collaboration with the Continuance Foundation that works for musicians' mental well-being.
Similarly, on June 24, 2020, the band released its merchandise in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, confirming that all of the proceeds go to the BLM movement's funding and support.
You can buy the band's merchandise on the Continuance Foundation's website.