(Band Interview) Knuckle Sucker

I previously wrote a post on my recent discoveries of new music courtesy of Thumper Punk Records. They are kind enough to give me some recommendations. I first ask for bands that sing Reformed inspired songs. One of punk bands they gave is Knuckle Sucker, which hails from Huntsville, Alabama. They call their music doxological punk-rock. Their sound is similar to pop punk bands like MXPX and Reliant K . I reach out for Zach, vocalist and lead song writer of Knuckle Sucker, to talk about punk music and Reformed faith.

Kindly tell something about yourself and how you came to know Christ?

My name is Zach Thornton, and I am the impetus behind the Knuckle Sucker project. I work full-time in the cybersecurity field so Knuckle Sucker is my musical side project.

I was blessed to be born into a Christian family so I was surrounded by the people of God and the teachings of Christ before I can remember. My own personal profession of Faith came when I was 5 years old, and I was baptized. The rest is just a story of sanctification in God’s grace.

So how did you get into punk music? What do you find in punk that appeals to you?

I think my first CD I ever purchased with my own money was “Two Lefts.Don’t Make A Right” by Relient K, so pop/ punk rock has been pivotal part of my personal musical formation.

What are your band’s influences and your favorite artist?

I am only speaking for myself,but I’ve already mentioned how Relient K and a lot of Christian Punk / Rock was a deep influence for me. Additionally, like I mentioned playing so much church music, it would be hard to ignore the influence of modern worship music song structure on my thinking. I think the other category I should mention is Christian heavy music. Living Sacrifice, Underoath, and Norma jean all followed swiftly after RK, though their influence is certainly less pronounced.

I like the DIY culture of punk music. Is it still alive despite the culture embracing the digital age or does it diminished it?

I think it’s a bit of both. Like I mentioned ,I’m not a professional musician or deep into DIY punk circles, but everything was DIY for me and my mates on this project I think the advent of the digital age has opened up a lot of tools for people who want to do DIY, so in a way there’s more and it’s very alive. But with so many more making music,and it’s so easy to create a Bandcamp / SoundCloud and self publish, sometimes I wonder if that’s brought a real dilution of quality. Maybe some would count this project as that dilution! But I think it’s a net positive for the DIY world and Christian music.

As creatives in the line of music, how does spirituality specifically holding on the doctrine of grace help you as you play as a musician? How important is being grounded to the Bible as you write songs?

Abraham Kuyper once said “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”. Since.everything is Christ’s, I think it’s imperative for Christians who make music to apply every word of God to every domain of life, especially music and lyrics. That’s not to say every lyric must come directly from the pages of holy writ, but the scripture must be the foundation and deepest influence of every lyric we write . Kuperian Punk Rock I’ve called it a few times before.

Specifically on the doctrines of grace, believing that God is sovereign over salvation and cannot fail to save certainly influences, how you write about salvation. But it also bleeds into all other practical areas. God cannot fail,his word does not return void, he saves and accomplishes his mission perfectly,he will rule until he puts all his enemies under his feet. These are glorious truths that give us hope and are the whole reason why we sing and play.

You have said as we are chatting online, you once have a struggle in finding good and godly music, can you tell us something about that?

I want to listen to music that glorifies God from musicians who glorify God. Simple as that. However, in the genres I’ve mentioned already Christianity is certainly the exception, not the norm. And even in Christian music or where there are artists who call themselves christian, an examination of their lyrics sometimes gives me a lot of concern as to how Christian they are. Even some of the artists I mentioned as influential I no longer listen to, because they have clearly abandoned the faith.

I kind of suspect it’s hard in our present time as the temptation is always to compromise in order to sell more. Whether it’s to the secular market, where the pagans are not attracted to Christian lyrics, or to the contemporary Christian scene who frequently are not attracted by deep theological truths.

But every now and then you come across an artist who seems to genuinely want to write to the glory of God. My hope in this project was to contribute in my own small way to that list.

You have this album out, Alien Righteousness and I really enjoyed it. So tell us about it and the process in producing that album?

I’ve dinked around for years at writing my own music,just odd demos and low quality recordings. But as I got involved at a local church, I got connected to a couple of really high caliber musicians who were interested in recording / producing music. I sent then some of my pretty rough demos and asked if they wanted to record parts based on those demos. Matt Tucker used to tour with some bigger names awhile back and his own drum studio and tracked all the drums at his house. I worked with Sam on the bass and vocal tracks at his home studio and he laid down all the guitars after that.

All of this was done with equipment we already owned, and nothing that’s in the mega expesive category. Back to the DIY thing,it just really showed me how much can be done at home if you have talented friends!

Any follow up album that is in the way? You mentioned you want to write songs based on the doctrine of grace or TULIP.

That would be interesting. I would love to make more music, especially contributing more to the dearth of solid Christian music we’ve discussed. I’ve demoed out a similar five-track album about the doctrines of Grace, and I’m working on demoing out a sort of post-millennial punk rock Pilgrims progress album.

Not sure if/when they will ever be made though. I’m a lot more.busy with 2 kids.now and not all the original 3 guys go the same church or live in the same town as we did when we made it. But I hope Knuckle Sucker can continue in some form.

Thank you for this opportunity. Kindly invite our readers to check you out.

Yes, and thank you for the opportunity to be included on your blog! Our music is available as Knuckle Sucker, and our album Alien Righteousness on both Spotify and YouTube, or for download at Bandcamp.

(Did you enjoy what you read? Did this article help you? If yes, you can say “Thank you” by sharing 10 Pesos or more at my G-Cash or Paymaya account: Marianito Gonzales – 09163315535. For international friends, you can send it through Paypal: nitoymgonzales@gmail.com)

The Freebie Round-Up #129

My mother-in-law will have her brain surgery next week. Kindly include it in your prayers. This is life changing for us as we focus on her in the coming days after her surgery. You can still donate any amount on my accounts after this post.

It’s Thursday and I can’t wait for Friday to share these freebies curated just for you. And hey, please do share ok. If you missed the previous one and some of the old round-up, just scroll down and you’ll find them at the end of this article.

Also since I’m not 24/7 monitoring the latest freebies of publishing companies, I’m posting their e-mail sign up page, so you’ll be in the loop whenever they give out freebies. You can find it at the end of this round-up.

FREE e-book “A Christian Teen’s Guide to Dating & Sex” – A free minibook from Fervr focusing on dating, sex and marriage.

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8 Favorite Quotes From The Book “Are You 100 % Sure You Want To Be An Agnostic?” (Andrew Sach and Jonathan Gemmell)

I’ve started translating a material in Tagalog to be converted into and e-book. It would be a free download and if God willing I’ll share before the end of the year (because it’s fitting to be for that occasion). I have two other projects (one is a another translation and another is writing my own e-book) all would be for free download. So kindly lift up this ministry to God. If you want to help through donation, kindly check the end of this post to find out how you can support me.

Anyways, Here’s some great quotes I got from a book I recently finished, Are You 100 % Sure You Want To Be An Agnostic? by Andrew Sach and Jonathan Gemmell published by 10 Publishing. You can get your copy by following this link. Purchasing your copy enables you to support the author, publishing house and ministry to further push the gospel of Christ.

“…agnosticism appeals not because of the fear that Christianity is not true, but because of the fear it’s not good.”

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(Author Interview) Gary Millar

There many reasons why folks don’t read the Bible. Let me highlight some of them here. One is that it is so mystical that we can’t read and understand what it’s message. This reason is connected with the second one that I think people don’t bother to pick up the Bible. That is the Bible are for those intellectuals or Bible scholars. In his new book, Read This First, Gary Millar blows these obstacles and help readers to get into reading the Bible. I reach out to him and ask a few questions.

Kindly tell us about yourself.

Sure. My name is Gary Millar. I’ve been married to Fiona for almost 30 years and we have three daughters. I was a pastor in Ireland (where I was born) for 17 years before we moved to Australia, where I’ve been the Principal of Queensland Theological College in Brisbane for 10 years.

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8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “The Serpent Slayer and The Scroll of Riddles” (Champ Thornton and Andrew Naselli)

Time really flies and it’s February already. The weather here is getting warm and now it’s safe to have my brisk walking without catching the colds. Anyways, Here’s some great quotes I got from a book I recently finished. The Serpent Slayer and The Scroll of Riddles by Champ Thornton and Andrew Naselli a forthcoming book by New Growth Press and you can get your copy by following this link. Purchasing your copy enables you to support the author, publishing house and ministry to further push the gospel of Christ.

“She smoothed out the scroll and pointed to a strange green drawing. “Is that one of the snakes you were talking about?”Mr. Mag nodded. “That’s right. That serpent slithers all through the Bible—sometimes appearing like a snake, sometimes like a dragon, always a dangerous enemy.”

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(Author Interview) Champ Thornton

You might know him as the host of the podcast, In the Word, On the Go which help listeners spend 10 minutes of the day meditating one Bible verse along with special guest in every episode. But did you know he is also an author and he has a book coming out? The Serpent Slayer and the Scroll of Riddles is his first book geared for kids with Andrew Naselli. I will review this book soon and share (if ever) some quotes from it. But for now enjoy this interview as we talk about him, as first time an adventure book writer, having Andy Naselli as co-author and of course, his latest book.

Please tell the readers about yourself.

Most centrally, I’m a sinner rescued and brought into God’s family by the grace of Jesus Christ, a husband to Robben, and a dad to three wonderfully energetic children. Reared in a Christian family, I came to know Christ as Savior while attending a retreat during high school.

Before moving to Delaware to serve as associate pastor at our church (Ogletown Baptist Church), I lived most of my life in the Carolinas. After seminary, I pastored at Grace Bible Church near Spartanburg, South Carolina. And last year, I earned at PhD in Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri.

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8 Favorite Quotes from The Book “Time Well Spent” (Colin Webster)

Hello! Here’s some great quotes I got from a book I recently finished. Time Well Spent by Colin Webster is published by 10 Publishing and you can get your copy by following this link. Purchasing your copy enables you to support the author, publishing house and ministry to further push the gospel of Christ.

“…the essence of a private devotion: to seek the face of God before we seek the face of anyone else.

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8 Favorite Quotes From the Book “What Should I Do Now That I’m a Christian?” (Sam Emadi)

Hello! Here’s some great quotes I got from a book I recently finished. “What Should I Do Now That I’m a Christian?” by Sam Emadi is published by Crossway and you can get your copy by following this link. Purchasing your copy enables you to support the author, publishing house and ministry to further push the gospel of Christ.

“If you’ve recently become a Christian, the first thing you should do is get baptized. Why? Because baptism is how Jesus commanded Christians to publicly profess their faith in him.”

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(Interview) Brian Borgman on Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards is synonymous with the word genius. He was praised as a leader of the First Awakening and the astounding books he wrote that resonates till now. There are lots of books on his life and teachings that are out there. And yet, they haven’t gone deeper on to some parts of his preaching ministry. There are still much of this Christian giant that is yet to be discovered.

To know what are those territories of Jonathan Edwards that needs to be explores, I reach out to Brian Borgman, author of the newly released book, Jonathan Edwards on Genesis and we talk about Jonathan Edwards, his impact to his ministry and the book he wrote.

For those who don’t know Edwards, kindly tell us who Jonathan Edwards is.

Jonathan Edwards was born in 1703 in East Windsor CT. It is important to remember that although Edwards is often called “America’s greatest theologian,” technically he was a British Colonist. He was born into a family of 10 girls, he was the only boy. He was also born into a pastor’s home; his father was Timothy Dwight. His maternal grandfather was the famous Solomon Stoddard, who pastored the Congregational Church of Northampton, Massachusetts Bay Colony. Stoddard’s influence cannot be exaggerated. He was frequently called “the pope of the Connecticut River Valley.” Edwards was born into a home of New England Puritan piety.

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Book Review: “Consider Your Counsel” (Bob W. Kellemen)

In every ministry there will always be flaws. No matter how good the method or program it administers, there will be some shortcomings. We are finite beings and sinners. No ministry is foolproof. It is by God’s grace that He allows us to work on a ministry. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t address those we can see and polish it to be better. Specifically, in biblical counseling, as we engage to fellow image bearers and helping them to be connected to the Scriptures. Resources are welcome to fix what we are already practicing. And that’s were Consider Your Counsel steps in.

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