Award winning Christian rockers Informants discuss ties of faith, life-changing experiences and the value of art in an in-depth feature
Christian Victory reflects on the journey that has shaped his award winning Christian rock band, Informants.
An avid performer in St. John’s music scene, Victory left Newfoundland after high school, where he would wind up overseas working on a host of humanitarian efforts. It was that period of his life that would lay the groundwork for all that followed.
Faith based music
“I did all kinds of humanitarian work where I went to some of the poorest places in the world like India and Thailand and I witnessed a lot of difficult things,” he shared. “I’ve watched people die from lack of food and sickness and so obviously that really affected me and my life.”
Returning home to work towards a business degree at Memorial University, Victory would reconnect with old friends and bandmates, forming the roots of what today is regarded as one of the island’s premiere faith based musical projects.
“I had some songs written that were all kind of about my faith and some of these causes and experiences that I’ve had,” he recalls. “There was no real agenda. We just like playing music. We’re musicians and I think that when you play music, whether you’re on a stage or not that’s just part of who you are. And so we started just playing and writing music together.”
The band would practice out of local churches, crafting and writing the material which would become their debut EP Ezekiel. From competing in local battle of the bands to lucking into prominent slots at the YC Newfoundland conference, things would truly take off for the group when they became acquainted with Irish contemporary Christian outfit Bluetree.
“We were almost like kindred spirits because they’re Irish and we’re a Newfie and so we really connected,” Victory recalls. “They invited us to do a tour with them in the U.S.. Their drummer was a producer and he heard our record and wanted to produce it. And so we kind of took that as a sign of hey, we should really do this. We kind of all decided that we’re going to try to do this thing full time.”
‘A Christian band’
East Coast Music, MusicNL and Gospel Music Awards would follow, with the band forming what they call a musical collective, with rotating members connected through a mutual faith and appreciation for the art of music. Coming off their biggest career tour in 2018 and new single Show Me, the band is poised to delve into the creative process once again.
“Traditionally we’ve done like three months non-stop of touring, and so usually when we do that we just feel like we want to hibernate,” Victory says.
“So we kind of escape the world a little bit … Right now we really are in the writing phase or starting to collaborate and write music together. We’re starting to discuss whether that would be singles or an album.”
Victory admits to the drawbacks of being a faith based band. There’s stigmas and pigeonholing that comes with the territory, where detractors may poke and prod without giving the music a proper chance.
“Just the fact that we say they we’re a Christian band already separates people that might come to listen to us anyway so that doesn’t always work in our best interest in terms of people who don’t know who we are,” Victory admits.
”(The audiences) are usually faith based for us right now, just because we do have a strong audience in our faith based area. And we have tried to branch out of that a little bit. We love playing for anybody and I think we try to promote that in our shows as well, that it doesn’t matter who you are, your age or whatever, it doesn’t matter, there’s something there for everybody. And also it’s very artistic as well. Yes there’s music but there’s also strong video imagery and a lot of instrumentals and all that sort of thing. We try to not just play music but we really try to create an atmosphere when we play. We just want to give people an experience, not just sing Christian songs.
“We want to be honest about who we are and what we do and not trick people. But at the same time trying to maintain that anybody is valuable and welcome to be part of our music. And so it is a challenge, but we’re rolling with it.”
‘Appreciate the art’
Life has changed, for artists or otherwise. We live in a divisive world, where religion and social commentary often splinter people more than they unite. For Informants, the unifying power of music is the pull that brings the band, and their fans, together.
“I think that now the world is so much more divided than it’s ever been,” says Victory. “I think what we’re trying to do so strongly is just cling to the things that we all are united in … That’s what we hope, that people can just come and appreciate the art because that’s what we care about is the art and value of it. So it doesn’t matter what you believe in, who you are, how old you are, whatever. I think we can all at least come together to appreciate the art of what we’re trying to do you know.”
For more on Informants visit the band on social media and informantsmusic.com