Join us on the new C-Pop podcast where Taylor and Jessilyn discuss, debate and sometimes deride pop culture with a strong sense of humor and a focus on Christ. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
Heavy metal Christian rock star Tim Lambesis admitted last month to hiring a hit man to kill his estranged wife. He was sentenced to six years in prison for paying to have Meggan Murphy Lambesis murdered.
Here's the back-story: Lambesis was in a custody dispute with his wife over their three children. According to charging documents in the criminal case, in May 2013 he asked a personal trainer at his gym if he knew anyone who could kill his wife. The trainer called the cops and an undercover sting led to his arrest.
Now, the founder of As I Lay Dying is now making another confession—the Grammy-nominated Christian metal singer says he's not really a Christian at all.
In an interview with Alternative Press, reporter Ryan J. Downey asked Lambesis a pointed question about a YouTube video in which the rocker discussed a new side project called Pyrithion. Lambesis described it as "satanic."
"I remember watching the video at the time and noticing you never gave the easy answer: 'Of course not. I'm a Christian!' You knew people thought of you as a Christian. Weren't you lying by omission?" Downy asked.
Here's where the admission comes:
"Yes. If you say, 'This is what I believe, you can count on this. If you believe the same things, I'm on your team.' A lot of Christian parents said, 'Yes, you can buy this As I Lay Dying CD, because they're a Christian band.' They don't even think to actually check the lyrics," Lambesis says. "So when you change your views, you kind of owe it to the fans to be honest.
"As far as the video I did explaining Pyrithion's lyrics ... I was trying to put out a fire. I was afraid it would affect As I Lay Dying sales, which would affect my overall income. I was trying to put out the fire by saying the easiest thing, 'I'm not a satanist!' Truthfully, I was an atheist. The 'strategy' I had at the time was cowardly. Two of the songs on that record were about coming to grips with the idea that life has no purpose, no meaning. These were negative themes I wasn't 'allowed' to deal with in As I Lay Dying songs. I thought making As I Lay Dying darker would be bad for my career. That was my thinking."
But the revelation becomes perhaps even more disturbing, when Lambesis says As I Lay Dying has toured with more "Christian bands" who actually aren't Christians than bands that are. In 12 years of touring with As I Lay Dying, he estimates only one in 10 Christian bands he toured with were actually Christians.
"I actually wasn't the first guy in As I Lay Dying to stop being a Christian. In fact, I think I was the third. The two who remained kind of stopped talking about it, and then I'm pretty sure they dropped it, too. We talked about whether to keep taking money from the 'Christian market,' '' Lambesis said. "We had this bizarrely 'noble' thing, like, 'Well, we're not passing along any bad ideas. We're just singing about real-life stuff. Those kids need to hear about real life, because they live in a bubble.' "
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!