The story of Modern Day Cure began with a guitarist who'd never played before, a drummer who'd been out of practice for years, and a discouraged lead singer--but thankfully, it didn't end there. An undeniable call from God to each of the group's members brought Tamar Chipp, Aaron Chipp and Tifani Autry together, kicking off a whirlwind of ministry and music that has seen them bring their exciting pop/rock/worship sounds outside of their Michigan community.
Armed with their latest, critically acclaimed EP, Promises, the passion and energy of Modern Day Cure seeks to share the truth of Jesus with anyone who'll listen, with a sound that both longtime CCM followers and modern music fans can love.
The group shared about their history, trajectory, and what they dream about.
Tell us about yourselves--your day jobs, family, etc.
Aaron Chipp: I'm originally from the Detroit area, but moved to Saginaw when I was 8. Both Tamar Chipp (vocals/keyboard) and Tifani Autry (vocals/guitar) were born and raised in Saginaw.
I'm a worship pastor, Tamar is a community relations coordinator and Tifani is an after-school program coordinator. I'm married to Tamar and Tifani is married to Brian who helps us with stage setup and merchandise. We have faced many trials together, but nothing has broken our bond.
Our relationship is best described by Ecclesiastes 4:12 (MSG), which says, "By yourself
you're unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst... A three-stranded rope isn't easily snapped."
We're also in the process of adding another member to the band, Joe Wedell, who plays lead guitar. We're excited to have him join us as we continue our journey.
You have a modern sound, but there are some definite overtones of CCM days gone by. Which Christian artists were you all inspired by growing up?
Tamar: We enjoy all styles of music and grew up listening to Darlene Zschech, Jaci Velasquez, dcTalk, CeCe Winans and Michael W. Smith. As we developed as musicians and songwriters our sound has evolved. We love big, roaring electric guitars and our style is best described as contemporary worship with rock and pop elements.
Your bio says that the three of you started with basically no experience--a new guitarist, a rusty drummer and a discouraged singer. How did you all come together, knowing your calling?
Tifani: If you would have told the three of us we'd be in a band together a few years ago, we'd say you were crazy! But God brought us together at the right time. It all started when Aaron attended a youth leaders conference in Atlanta where God spoke to him to start a band. He knew the calling was real. When he returned home to Michigan he told Tamar about his experience and she got on board (even after facing disappointment with music prior).
They reached out to me and I revealed that I had a dream about us serving together. In fact, I had just bought my first guitar! That was confirmation. We continued to pray as God led us and painted the vision for Modern Day Cure. It's been a life changing journey. We have surrendered to His plan.
Talk about the Big Ticket Festival competition, and what it meant for you as a group to win that.
Aaron: It was pretty cool to be one of the winners at the Indie Band Competition. To be honest, we didn't expect to win. Tamar and I went to get something to eat, and as we were sitting and talking about the experience, one of our friends from another band in the competition came running to our table almost out of breath letting us know we won. We were in disbelief! The food tasted a little better after he told us! That experience just gave us confidence as a band and reassured us that God was with us on this journey. The following year we were named winners of Smile FM's Michigan Made Music Contest.
What are your live shows like? Touring anytime soon?
Tamar: Our live shows are fun, bold and energetic. We believe worshipping God is freeing because of His presence. We incorporate scripture and stories of God's faithfulness. We love getting the audience involved too because we are not there just to be seen. It's an experience we want the entire room to be involved in to worship as a family of believers. We are continuing to book dates for the remainder of the year. We have a couple of festivals coming up in June (one with Matt Maher and Jason Gray). Our upcoming shows can be found www.moderndaycure.com/tour.
You list Desperation Band, Hillsong, Elevation, Bethel and other worship bands as your influences. Your music is very vertical in focus; what is your calling, your audience as you best can tell?
Tifani: Whether leading worship for a church service or playing a festival, our heart is to exalt Jesus, share His truth, and see people changed by His power. We get our name from Hebrews 13:8 which states, "Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever."
To us that means He's the modern day cure. We want to point people to Jesus with our music. Nothing but worship is our primary focus. We've grown to understand that we must be willing to live the lyrics we sing. It's deeper than just getting up on stage and singing a few songs. The music is secondary, having hearts that please God is our first priority. Over the years we've found that no matter where we are invited, our music transcends cultural and denominational barriers.
What do you dream about?
Aaron: We dream about being able to fully use the creative gifts God gave us. Our ultimate desire is to glorify Him and serve others.
Marcus Hathcock is the Executive Editor of NewReleaseToday.com, a husband to Savannah, father of three and a worship leader living in Boise. He just released his first EP, Songs For Tomorrow, and occasionally blogs at mheternal.com.
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