Josh of City of God
In a mosh pit there are no two people more annoying than angry dude who thinks mosh is an excuse to beat up on the little guys or “I-can-do-it-better-than-them-guy” who has a running commentary on how much better he can sing or play than every band from As I Lay Dying to Justin Beiber. Thankfully there is a welcome contrast to these pleasure sapping abberations, those dutiful fans in cities all around the world who are putting their skills to the test and transforming themselves from bystanders to performers. City of God is a five piece collaboration of aspiring musicians rising from within the local Portland, Oregon music scene to pursue their dreams of global hardcore dominance. Imagine the ecstasy of suiting up for a show to share the stage with a personal icon, on July 12, 2010 the fine gentlemen of City of God will get such a chance when they open at the Hawthorne Theatre for hardcore innovators and longtime scene favorites, Norma Jean. Take a moment to share with hurdcore.com as we take an exclusive and intimate few moments with COG bassist Josh via the wonders of social networking.
July 12th City of God is opening for Norma Jean and In This Moment at Hawthorne Theatre in Portland, Oregon, how stoked are you for this show and how did you land this opportunity?
Josh (bass/vocals) Well for me Norma Jean was my fav band in high school. I always listened to them through class, and never thought I would get to play a show with them. As far as getting the show, Mike Thrasher asked if we would play.
Currently your songs on Myspace are only titled by Roman Numericals with the most popular being “IV”. Where do you draw inspiration for the content in your songs?
Josh Well to be honest, we just try to write how we feel, which is loud and in your face. Another factor would be that we have a message to send, in our opinion, there’s no better way to do so than by yelling at kids about it.
You have stated, “We look to the coming of the city of God as a day in which the old pains and the old struggles will melt away. We are ordinary men who love Jesus, and we all have stories to tell about His goodness. Our desire is to tell the world about this Savior, and will continue to do so until the end of our days.” How did you decide on the name City of God for your band?
Josh We find that in man’s society we’ve been attempting to create life as a utopia or perfect place. There’s no other way for that to be possible without God. The City of God is what we long for, what we work for, and what we delay. There’s a sense of irony that we are named City of God, while we live in such a godless city. So with that being said, we like to eat meat.
Do you believe that the City of God (heaven) is a literal place? If so how does anyone enter the City of God?
Josh Yes, heaven is a physical place. The only way to enter the gates of heaven would be to accept that you are flawed and totally depend on Christ as your Savior.
City of God is preparing for a tour this July with Seattle based To The Wind, how did you get hooked up with these guys and where are you planning to play along the way?
Josh Due to family issues To The Wind has dropped the tour. We have picked up a tour in mid August with Make it Reign and The Waiting Ends, both from Reno.
Are you still planning to hit Eugene?
Josh Yes we’re trying to hit up Eugene or Salem so come out and get buck nasty. (seriously)
As a band, you have been upfront about your Christian beliefs through everything from your name, lyrics and how you present yourselves, what brought you to faith in Christ?
Josh We each have our stories/testimony. The cool thing about it is that every member has different experiences both with Christ and without. Come talk to us at shows and we’re more than willing to share our stories.
From what you have seen as a fan and performer, does music have any power to change things for good?
Josh Heck yeah! It’s what god gave us to keep on going in life.
You’ve played shows with a list of who’s-who amongst local Portland area bands such as Proven and Fallstar as well as hurdcore.com alumni like And The Sirens Sang, Regiment 26 and All She Wrote. Who/what is the best advice you have received from your contemporaries in the local scene?
Josh We run the show. Ask us for advice. Hahahaha, we’re kidding. Fallstar are rad dudes, we love how blunt they are on stage about their faith. Proven is another band of dudes who’ve been in the scene longer than we have who don’t care about trends, they stick to what they believe.
The Priest fighting a Werewolf t-shirt [for City of God] designed by Joshua Andrew Belanger is about as sic as they come, what is the story behind this design?
Josh That good vs. evil ain’t pretty. It’s a brutal fight for eternity.
City of God > Hardcore/Christian > Gresham, Oregon is:
James – Vocals; Steve – Guitar/Vocals; Zackk – Guitar/Vocals; Josh – Bass/Vocals; Mike – Drums. Check out their music and tours on the COG Myspace.
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