Christian Band Faked Their Faith in God for Record Sales
After being sentenced to prison for six years, Tim Lambesis, frontman of Christian rock band As I Lay Dying, said in a lengthy interview how his band and many others faked their faith in God for record selling purposes. Lambesis was arrested and convicted for attempting to hire a hitman so he could have his estranged wife murdered.
During his interview with Alternative Press, Lambesis spoke of his marriage disintegrating to a point where he wanted his wife dead, before revealing how he along with his band members lost their Christian faith while continuing to sell records as a Christian rock band. When the interviewer Ryan Downey referred to a recent video posted by Lambesis, in which his revelations about the song Pyrithion led a lot of his fans to think he had become satanic, the singer dismissed the idea saying he is very much Christian.
However, Downey probed Lambesis to know whether he was lying by omission because he needs to live up to a public image and that is when the singer said, “Yes. If you say… A lot of Christian parents said, ‘Yes, you can buy this As I Lay Dying CD because they’re a Christian band.’ They don't even think to actually check the lyrics. So when you change your views, you kind of owe it to the fans to be honest.”
In the interview, Lambesis confessed about struggling to keep his faith because he was afraid that admitting otherwise would affect the band’s record sales.
“I was afraid it would affect As I Lay Dying sales, which would affect my overall income. I was trying to put out the fire by saying the easiest thing, ‘I’m not a Satanist!’ Truthfully, I was an atheist,” he said.
He also said he wasn’t the first one to lose faith as two of his band members had already reached that conclusion before him. Despite him adopting a strategy that he thinks was cowardly, Lambesis explained that it is not an uncommon practice in the Christian music industry. According to him, most Christian bands are actually only presenting themselves as faithful so they can continue getting gigs regularly.
“We toured with more 'Christian bands' who actually aren't Christians than bands that are. In 12 years of touring with As I Lay Dying, I would say maybe one in 10 Christian bands we toured with were actually Christian bands… We talked about whether to keep taking money from the ‘Christian market,’” he said.
However, once all the band members lost their faith, the pretence seemed to become more and more uncomfortable, according to Lambesis. When children wanted to pray with them after a concert, the band members would stand aside and let the fans pray, saying only an Amen along with them in the end.
“If praying while I have my hand on their shoulder makes them feel better, I didn't want to take that away from them…. When they would specifically ask me to pray for something, I’d say, ‘I don't really like to pray out loud, but I’ll take that with me to the bus,’” he said.