Rock music has always been a genre where bands can share their messages with listeners. Random Hero, for example, shares hope, healing, and the gospel. They are "musicianaries," stepping out "to be light in the darkness." They create positive hard rock: music that builds you up, not tears you down. Random Hero has already left their footprint in the Christian music industry, with "Mirror Mirror," "Impossible," "Not Alone," and other hits.
Now, the Denver-based band has released their latest album, Tension. It's their first album under the RockFest Records banner. According to a release, Tension is considered "the band's most melodic, hook-laden release to date, providing a musical foundation squarely focused on elevating Random Hero's urgent message of hope and healing."
Random Hero is comprised of Aaron Watkins (vocals), Rob "Los" McDonough (bass), and Patrick Madsen (drums). I had a chance to connect with the band about their music, their future, their new album, and more.
What does Random Hero mean?
AARON: The name comes from the idea that anyone can be a hero in everyday life. It just takes one person to step up and be extraordinary in order to make a difference. Even the simplest of things can help change the world around you.
Tell us about your new album, Tension. What is the overall theme of the album? Also, what is the inspiration?
AARON: We are so excited about this record. We hope it shows our growth territory we haven't covered in previous records. Thematically, the project explores how tension can drastically impact your life. For better or worse, it's all in how you deal with it. You can grow in the tension or you can choose to let it rule you. As a band, we've faced some recent challenges and overcome them together, letting go of some things and letting God really work in our hearts. When we finally did that, it all started to pop off in the most incredible way.
Tension is Random Hero's first album under the Rockfest Records banner. Under Rockfest, what makes the creative and production different from previous albums?
LOS: The creative process and production for Tension were very different from our previous albums. This is the first project we've done with co-writers from outside the band. We wrote with Kellen McGregor from Memphis May Fire, and Josiah Prince from Disciple. It's also the first time we all wrote together as a band. Every part: vocals, bass, guitars, drums, production—we did together.
Why Christian music? Why not release a mainstream rock album?
PATRICK:Tension is a mainstream album just as much as a Christian album. We believe our message can touch any market. And we feel there's a song for everyone on this project. Through honesty and transparency, we explain adversity in our own artistic way, unbound by genre.
Ever thought of doing a heavy metal remake of a classic hit? Think "Sound of Silence" by Disturbed or "Zombie" by Bad Wolves. If so, what would you cover and why?
AARON: Have we ever thought about doing a heavy metal remake of a classic hit? Absolutely. I think we could probably all agree on Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." Who doesn't love that song? Plus, it would just be a blast to cover.
What are some of your favorite artists and music that you listen to and why? Who would you like to work with and why?
LOS: My favorite artists to listen to are Korn, P.O.D., Michael Jackson, Zac Brown Band, The Civil Wars, Chris Stapleton, Emery, Flatfoot 56, Imagine Dragons, Shinedown, Papa Roach, John Newman, Nothing More, and anything from the '80s. If it's a good song, it's a good song–you know? If I could work with anybody it'd be Dave Quiggle. He creates album art. His style is so unique; it has an illustrator, vector quality to it. Just really rad stuff. It's a different kind of collaboration on the music side.
How do you approach your songwriting?
PATRICK: We like to start with a melody or a word of inspiration. For instance, the title track, "Tension," began by building around the word itself. We had a theme at that point and capitalized on the emotion of it. A solid melody is also a great way to break ground when writing a new song.
What's next? How can we be praying for you?
AARON: Right now, we're really focused on the release of Tension, making sure all the details are in place and then getting back out on tour. We are so excited to begin playing these new songs for everyone. We'd love it if you would be praying over this release, that it would shine bright in a way we've not experienced yet and that the love of God would overflow from it.
Paul Phillips is a Canadian journalist with over 10 years of experience writing and editing digital and print content. He specializes in health, fitness, nutrition, and travel. He loves music, movies, and, of course, living for Jesus.
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