Chapter 26

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Our stay with Organic was short. After The Jesus Experience, it seemed music
was changing at a rapid pace. We were trying to hit the nail on the head
with the sound, the songs; everything but we seemed to be behind the times.
Though we were changing, we were not moving fast enough. Many of the bands
that had began around the same time as we did were now either only playing
special events like festivals or had permanently disbanded altogether. The
Jesus Experience was not received as well as we had hoped. The touring
became slow. The market was being flooded by punk and ska bands from Tooth
and Nail Records. These bands would form, do a really bad CD, and tour for
zero dollars for promotion then break up as quickly as they came. Most of
these groups were not speaking about their relationship with Christ from the
stage and a new era was being birthed. Gross darkness had truly fallen on
this industry called "Christian Music."
It was not just Tooth and Nail there was other independent labels popping up
all over the place.
In the secular market old veteran bands like Fleetwood Mac reunited, Elton
John's 'Candle in the Wind was popular and Hanson was a phenomenon. People
like Alanis Morissette brought a new passion into rock music that had not
been seen in years. Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Goo Goo Dolls, Hootie &
the Blowfish and Blues Traveler were causing big stirs and metal was
virtually dead. Rap was coming on enormously fast and soon the music people
bought and supported would be more diverse than ever. One music fan might
have a 2Pac CD, a Jewel CD and a Green Day CD in their collection.

In the Christian market, promoters got caught up in booking cheap imitation
bands because they did not have to pay them. This new breed of Christian
band would sleep on a floor and eat peanut butter. These bands would tour
until they collapsed. Many of them were very young with no adult
supervision, we met many that were way off base, and their attitudes were
far from a Christ like demeanor. Bride was not perfect and we had made
plenty of mistakes along the way but our hearts were sold out to presenting
the gospel of Christ and the completed, perfected finished work of the
cross. It seemed now that in the Christian music market it did not matter if
a band shared Jesus with the audience or not.

John and Dino had grown distant from us as their studio flourished. They had
been somewhat an anchor for us because we truly had trusted them. We felt as
though they were friends and that they would watch over us with our best
interest in the forefront.

We came to a point in the group where we just did not feel like we had it
any more, whatever "it" was. Steve Curtsinger was burdened down with
building a new house and many responsibilities with his family and he had
lost all enthusiasm for the band. Once the zeal leaves it is virtually
impossible to gain it back. He was dragging Jerry down also. We would take
trips and Steve would say, "why are we doing this?" He would say things like
"this is crazy, to get on a plane, fly to another country." Once again, Troy
and I were forced to make a decision.

Because Steve was closer to me than Troy, Troy did the dirty deed. Steve was
a good friend and we had spent many hours at my house hanging out, listening
to music, and playing video games. I hated to see him let go but I knew it
was for the best. Steve was very understanding and almost seemed relieved
that he now had the burden of a band off his back so he could finish his house.

Andrew Wilkinson was brought in to take over the bass duties. We had known
Andrew who we called Andy for many years. He was not really a metal guy and
he played his bass very high like a jazz musician but he was a fine player
and learned the songs very quickly. Andy had a real servant's heart. He
would come to Troy's house for rehearsal and if there were dishes in the
sink to be washed, he would wash them without asking. It was his nature and
we never had met anyone like him before. When we would travel on the road
and stop for a break at a truck stop, it was Andy who jumped out and cleaned
the windows of the van, then ask, "does anyone want a drink from the store?"
Andy played many shows with us even traveling overseas with us but Bride was
not in full strength. We all felt it. We had rehearsed for many weeks
writing songs for the next Organic release and was in the process of working
out the bugs when Andy dropped the news that he felt the Lord was moving him
on in another direction. I believe he wanted to stay but the Lord's call was

There was a bassist that we knew of that lived in Monroe Ohio by the name of
Lawrence Bishop. He had a southern rock style band called Two Hippies and a
Cowboy. He had showed great interest in playing for us in the past but I did
not think it was practical because of the distance. We felt like we needed
band members closer to home. However we were three weeks from recording the
CD and we had no bassist. We knew that John and Dino could find a studio guy
to do the record but that thought sickened us and we just had to have
someone. We contacted Lawrence and Lawrence was very anxious to climb
aboard. We made it known to him that this was a temporary position and that
after the recording and a few shows that we would be looking for a bassist
in Louisville. That was fine with Lawrence and we began to cram for the
recording. Lawrence would make several 2 ½ hour drives to Louisville to
learn the new material and rehearse.

Lawrence was a rodeo guy. He lived on a ranch had rode bulls and bronx in
professional rodeo's all of his life but his dream was to be in a successful
Christian Rock Band. Here was the opportunity that he had been waiting for.

We went into the studio believing that Dino was going to be very hands on
and drive the mix over the top. He gave us a lot of confidence before hand
and claimed he had a real vision for this CD. We knew that something was
very wrong from the get go. Even though it was John and Dino's studios we
were booked in on three different occasions and bumped from our allotted
recording time by other groups. Every time we would prepare to go in, we got
phone calls changing the dates. By the time we went in we were less that
enthusiastic. Once we entered the studio we found that Dino was no where to
be found. It was a very stale atmosphere and a lonely environment. We felt
as though we were recording in a tomb. There was no life; no vibe happening
and I began to worry about the project. Dino assured me when he finally
stuck his head into the studio that he would bring this project up to an
incredible over the top level.

I wanted a project that would rival Manson and Nine-Inch Nails with plenty
of studio tricks; this would not be the case.

Another thing weighing heavy on my mind was a diagnosis from a throat
specialist I had gone to see. I had been having extreme sharp pain in my
throat and I noticed that I was unable to do some of the "vocal acrobatics"
as Jerry fondly called them.
The specialist examined my throat by numbing it with a spray then ran a tube
up my nose and down into my throat. He found an ulcer on my vocal chord and
insisted that I immediately stop singing and have surgery. He said that the
surgery would reduce my vocal range and I would have to have rehab to
reconstruct and strengthen the vocals back. This would mean vocal lessons.
He claimed that "without this surgery" I would never be able to sing again.
I took this very hard. This was the worse thing that anyone could tell me. I
could not have felt any worse than if he would have said my arm needed to be

Sudden fear came upon me and I felt very cold.

Troy had been having problems with a cyst in his wrist and now my vocals
were shot.

We began to work on this project that we titled "Oddities." Although I
struggled through this work, I was determined to not receive this bad report
and to lean upon the Lord's power of healing to get me through it. I would
later learn that this ulceration of the vocal chord would prove to be one of
the best things that had ever happened to me.
Though the Lord did not remove this problem He assured me that it came from
Him to humble me and remind me to thank Him daily for the abilities and
gifts which He had so graciously bestowed out of His love and mercy toward
me. This would be a thorn in my flesh to refresh my memory daily that it was
not I but Him. God could not receive glory with this ulceration there; He
would eventually have to remove it.

This thorn in the flesh would remain with me but only as a reminder as to
our Father's power and sovereignty. He alone rules and I was now truly humbled.

Oddities…what does the title of the latest Bride record mean?
1 Corinthians 4:10 "We are fools for Christ's sake, but we are wise in
Christ."  The world looks at Christians as people who have gone mad (Acts
26:24-25).  They do not understand this new and living way we have found.
The new Bride record Oddities reflects this theme throughout. The world
would rather Christians keep their mouth's shut because our language does
not make sense to them.
1 Peter 4:4 "They think it strange that you do not run with them."  Those
outside of Christ find us odd who love Jesus.  They believe us to be
gullible and mislead.  1 Corinthians 4:11-14 the bible calls Christians "the
filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day."
They do not even feel that we are "fit to live" (Acts 22:22).

Romans 14:8 "For whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's."   1
Corinthians 6:20 "For you were bought with a price: therefore glorify God in
your body." 
Titus 2:14 "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all
iniquity and purify unto himself a peculiar people zealous of good works."
(1 John 3:8 1 Peter 2:9) In the Greek, a "peculiar people" mean a people of
God's possession.

God has secured his people by the blood of his Son Jesus Christ and sealed
us with his Holy Spirit.  2 Corinthians 1:22 "Who has sealed us, and given
the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts."  This scripture commands authority
of ownership (Jeremiah 32:11-12; 2 Timothy 2:19).  God's pledge to us that
he will keep his promise is his Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
The seal is a finished transaction (Jeremiah 32:9-10; John 17:4; 19:30).
The Christian is secured (Esther 8:8; Daniel 6:17; Ephesians 4:30).

The above is a spiritual and biblical account of what "Oddities" represent.
Musically, "Oddities" brings Bride into the modern theater of musical
styles.  The songs are vintage Bride with more of the individual
personalities of the band shinning through.  This is an emotional record
with many mood swings.  If Dale is screaming, it is out of urgency, if he is
whispering it is so that the listener will listen more closely.  Troy
demonstrates  some of the most passionate writing musically that he has ever
composed.  The listener will hear Jerry not only playing that heavy foot
groove but also throwing in chops that settle into the mix with much
conviction.  There is plenty of low end covered here and the overall feel of
the record will leave one wanting to kick it all off again from the top.

Here are the song titles in the order that they will appear on "Oddities".

I ain't coming down
Why won't he break
End of the World
I found God
Closer to the center of the earth
Tomorrow makes no sense
Day by Day
Only when I'm left alone
God's Human Oddities
Under the Blood
Die a little bit
Restore Me

Many scriptures to insure that each song is plainly understood accompanied
each song lyric. It is important for all that buys "Oddities" to gain
spiritual growth and insight into God's purpose for their personal lives. In
addition, we wanted everyone to have fun and enjoy this work.

Tony Palacios from Guardian was brought in to add a second guitar; in
addition, Jamie Rowe and John Elfante  lent their vocal services to the
background vocals.  All through Bride's career, we brought in second
guitarist. Some have accused Troy as being a mediocre player and this is why
we brought in other guitarist. The reason for other players was the expedite
the recording process. The record companies put such time restraints on the
band that without bringing in outside performers we would not have finished
the albums in the allotted time.

"Oddities" was recorded and mixed in Brentwood TN. At The Sound Kitchen the
most state of the art recording studio in TN.  

This following article came to me from the Spirit.

Oddities (why the musical changes?)

This past year we have made many new friends made some enemies because of
the power of God's Word and have made a new CD "Oddities." The majorities of
you, who have written concerning "Oddities," have understood the depth of
the project and have been thoroughly blessed. I know this by your emails and
letters, which you have sent. However, there are others of you, which are
still holding on to what Bride used to sound like in the past. You have
reflected your disappointment with the lack of heaviness from us on recent

Something that some may not understand is this… Bride is not about music
anymore. Bride is a ministry. We will not compromise the quality of music
because there is no reason to do such. We will continue to produce high
quality albums while being sensitive to the Holy Spirit and following his
directions. Isaiah 55:11 "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my
mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which
I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

"Oddities," was completely inspired by the Holy Spirit both musically and
lyrically. God's ways are higher than our ways and he alone knows why Bride
exists, what our purpose is, and what he wants to accomplish through us. Our
individual gifts and talents given by God are always on display but God puts
the four of us together to create a musical work that he can use for his
glory. 2 Timothy 3:16 "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness:" Psalms 61:8 "So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever,
that I may daily perform my vows."

Let us look at this from a biblical standpoint. God's concern is his church
or his body. God knows the needs of his body of which Jesus is the head. As
the needs of the church changes then all associated with ministry changes.
The needs of the Children of Israel (the first church) differ from that of
the modern church. For a time, it seemed that many within the body of Christ
was listening to heavy metal hard rock. As styles changed, people acquired
new and different taste. Music is an evolving door. It seems to spins in
cycles like a washing machine. As the needs of the church changed Jesus
anointed new ministers of music who prepared the word through song and went
out into the world commissioned by God. These bands however had a brand new
sound. The body needed new nutrients. Colossians 2:19 "And not holding the
Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment
ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God." Now
this is not to say that God has forsaken or abandoned those who would want
heavy metal to rise again but the change in music reflects the bodies needs
as a whole and God feeds the body with his word. Act 20:32 "And now,
brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able
to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are
The Word of God is Jesus Christ who is the seed of the church. 1 Peter 1:23
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, by the Word of God, which lives
and abides forever." God speaks to his people in many different ways and one
way is through music. If people grow deaf to his voice in one style, he will
raise up a new style to minister to them with. Deuteronomy 18:18 I will
raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will
put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall
command him.

1 Corinthians 3:9 "For we are laborers together with God: ye are God's
husbandry, [ye are] God's building. According to the grace of God, which is
given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and
another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth
thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is
Jesus Christ." So as long as the foundation is Christ God can use it!

It may be a new song but the same spirit. Psalms 40:3 "And he hath put a new
song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and
shall trust in the LORD."
Bride has listened to God's voice throughout these years and has leaned upon
his wisdom for guidance. As the winds of change blew we were spiritually
sensitive to these changes. Musical taste just like any food preparation
must be prepared when things are just right. If a great chef is about to
prepare a lavish meal and the recipe calls for a certain vegetable, he looks
for ripe vegetables. If that vegetable is not in season he will most likely
create another type of meal. A vegetable that is not in season can ruin a
great dish no matter who the chef is that prepares it. The meal is better
when prepared with the ripest in-season vegetables. Isaiah 50:4 "The Lord
GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak
a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he
wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned." Bride is more effective reaching
people with the message of Jesus if we write and speak that which is in
season. Proverbs 15:23 "A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a
word spoken in due season, how good is it!"

Part of the reason we began changing styles is because we felt the seasons
were changing. If we had been stubborn and selfish with what God had given
us we would have never recorded the "Snakes in the Playground" record. This
album came about because of change.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every
purpose under the heaven:"
Bride never knows how a recording is going to sound until it is finished.
Throughout the entire recording process we are creating. There is a sense of
the out come but our vision is not always God's end result.

Bride has continued in the recording industry while many others have fallen
by the way side because God wanted us to be there. God is the message we are
merely the instruments, which God plays through. If we as ministers and good
stewards of the gospel had not listened to God's voice there would be no
Bride today. Our longevity has been directly associated with our
faithfulness to him. If we change for better or for worse in the opinion of
some of the buying public we still change because we follow God's
directions. We will never trust or lean unto our own understanding but will
always be ready to receive that which God has prepared for us Isaiah 33:22
"For the LORD [is] our judge, the LORD [is] our lawgiver, the LORD [is] our
king; he will save us." Deuteronomy 5:33 "Ye shall walk in all the ways
which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it
may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye
shall possess."

Bride has endured and has persevered without striving because of our God
given ability to become chameleons in our environment and still hold true to
the essential letting go of the superficial.

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