Kevin Winter, Getty Images T.I. and Lil Wayne are teaming up once again, only this…
- Posted on Aug 27th 2009 4:00PM by Jillian Mapes
"The Pedro stuff really feels personal. It's mostly fiction, but it does have this very confessional quality to it," Bazan tells Spinner. "With the new songs, it dawned on me at some point, 'Dude, what are you doing? You're writing autobiographical confessional songs about drinking and religion. This is a misstep. Stop it.'"
The religious themes on 'Curse Your Branches,' out Sept. 1 on Barsuk Records, are of particular interest to Bazan's fans, which the former indie-Christian crossover artist separates into secular and non-secular camps. "In our little tour gangs, people -- especially the merch person -- would try to figure out who is at my shows," Bazan says. "It was always, 'Are these people all Christian people? Are they non-Christians?'"
Bazan's once Christian-friendly lyrics started to shock some religious fans after his public shift to agnosticism and questioning of a higher power. "Some of the lyrics will roll out at live shows, and you hear people gasp," he says. "I feel like a badass for ten seconds." While this religiously inquisitive mentality is one that he addresses with an impressive honesty on his latest batch of moody tracks, Bazan's goal is not to push away his Christian fanbase. "It doesn't really take a lot for me to feel like I'm on the same team as somebody, even if we have different views about religion. There's a lot that people can have in common."
Some, however, would call it a miracle that Bazan's July appearance at 2009's Cornerstone Christian Music Festival reconnected the singer-songwriter with religious audiences. His 2005 appearance at Cornerstone resulted in a drunken Bazan being booted from festival grounds with vodka jug in tow. "I was sort of preparing myself to be at the center of some sort of controversy at Cornerstone this year. When I got there, it just wasn't that way."
In addition to his Cornerstone appearance, Bazan is completing an ongoing house show tour. The coast-to-coast dates, which began in the spring and lead up to the official 'Curse Your Branches' tour this October, were kept low-key per the request of Barsuk, Bazan says. Although the shows may flirt with Bazan's DIY roots, the fans have changed. "Now my house shows are grown-ups drinking Pinot Noir and a sad, 33-year-old guy flipping an acoustic guitar," Bazan jokes.