For starters, let's just say that what began as an
interesting idea a year-and-a-half ago has quickly evolved into one of the
most potent and relevant bands on the contemporary scene. Combining hip sensibilities,
emotional integrity, social conscience and melodic hooks as big as a house,
TAIT came out of the chute intent on using every means at their disposal
to find a point of connection with listeners. Beneath the sweat equity that
goes with the launching of a new band, for Michael Tait, Lonnie Chapin, Chad
Chapin and Justin York, it was always all about "connection" --
connection with God, their fans, their culture and with each other. Determined
to take a step beyond their ForeFront debut, Empty, TAIT has created
a project with more power, sincerity and maturity with the release of their
second project, Lose This Life.
"There's a believable passion that carries through Lose
This Life," says Michael Tait, the band's
lead singer whose notoriety as a member of dc talk gave the
band TAIT its initial jumpstart. "Even the slow songs
have this tremendous energy. This project exudes life and is
really a statement from the heart. We're intense about
saying things that matter. The older I get the more I realize
how short my time on earth is. As a band, we don't feel
like we have time to sit back and tickle people's ears."
Produced by Mark Hiemerman (dc talk, Stacie Orrico, tobyMac)
and Michael Tait, Lose This Life does tickle the ears
in a musical sense. Sublimating the guitar-wall sound that permeated
TAIT's first release in favor of a more spacious and articulate
interpretation of the new material, Lose This Life manages
to sound big-budget posh and bare knuckles intense at the same
time. The title cut for instance, "Lose This Life," soars
over the sonic landscape, with euro-sounding guitars, driving
rhythms and a vocal performance that begins like a whisper and
ends at an emotional altitude usually reserved only for Bono.
"I love it when a lyric and a melody combine in a way
that people can immediately absorb," says Michael. "Lose
This Life' just clicks. The song is about losing your life
in order to find it, and the music and the vocal and the thoughts
combine in a powerful way that makes the lyric believable. We've
already been testing it out live and people really react to it
in a big way."
That sort of artistic, emotional and spiritual connection is
at the heart of what TAIT is all about. Friends long before they
started the band, the members of the group initially saw TAIT
as a good excuse to hang out together on a more frequent basis.
As the band developed, the strength of their own mutual accountability,
friendship, and spiritual encouragement became something that
they found they could extend to fans, as well.
"The chemistry of this band has become something like
a freight train over the last year. The momentum is building
faster than we can keep track of," says bassist, Lonnie
Chapin. "We feel like we are maturing musically and in
the process gaining hard-core fans who really get what we're
doing as a band. This new record will be an explosion of who
"After every show we go out and shake hands and talk
to people until the last person leaves the building," says
Chad , TAIT's drummer. "We're usually exhausted
afterward, but that's okay. We know this isn't about
us. It's about the people."
The relationship that TAIT builds with their audience usually
begins with the honest emotions they express through their music.
Not afraid to bare their own souls lyrically, the band sees how
their vulnerability becomes an open invitation for others to
stop pretending and to be honest with themselves, with their
friends and with God. Songs like the gorgeous ballad "Fallen" (written
after Michael's sister died of AIDS), the plaintive techno-pop
gem "Child," the poignant "Heartbreak" and
the passionate heart-cry "God Can You Hear Me," all
draw listeners into that place where the experience of their
own woundedness and God's comfort coexist.
"'God Can You Hear Me' is all about crying
out to God when you're in that place where life is just
spinning out of control," says Michael. "You know
God is out there but on some level you wonder if He's really
listening. Sometimes we all reach that point where we're
just tired of pretending and maybe we've been hurt by our
own choices and we need more than just head knowledge, we need
to feel the comfort of God's presence."
Actively conscious of the need for believers to live as salt
and light in a drifting, postmodern culture, TAIT has never shied
away from addressing difficult issues and encouraging others
in the church to do the same. That emphasis is most evident on Lose
This Life in the heavy, melodic pop of the song "Numb."
"As a society we've grown numb to things that we
shouldn't be numb to," observes Justin, the band's
guitarist and newest member. "As believers it's all
too easy for us to grow numb to the movement of God on our hearts.
We aren't passionate about the things God is passionate
about. 'Numb' is a song to call people, ourselves
included, to constantly reevaluate where our hearts are, where
our priorities are, in relation to God."
The record also includes a throwback to the 1980's with
Eddie Grant's reggae-flavored hit, " Electric Avenue
," which has been updated by TAIT on Lose This Life with
a matrix dance-pop feel. With the addition of a few words to
the chorus, the song, originally about suffering and injustice,
now communicates a message of love, hope and peace that this
world so desperately needs.
Introspective without being self-centered, the songs on Lose
This Life merge to provide a clear insight into the lives
and hearts of the band members and a common bond to share with
their growing fan base.
"A lot of these songs were birthed out of the struggle
in our lives to move from a safe, comfortable place, into a place
of total dependence on and total abandonment to the Creator," says
Michael. "We talk about that a lot in our band devotions.
We know that the only way to find true peace, hope, love, joy
and salvation is to let go of the things of this life. God calls
us all to release those lesser things, to give them up so that
our hands are empty and we're ready to receive those things
that are good and eternal and from God. That's a truth
we want to live by, and a truth we want to share, both on stage
and off. For us, that's what TAIT is about."
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