10 September 2010

Exclusive Interview: Ooberfuse on Hearts Cry, the Papal Visit, and the Pope rap

For a summary of this interview, click here for a later post!

Hearts Cry video is released today! ...
...and I was blessed enough to interview these inspirational young Catholics, Ooberfuse, last night...
As I walked into Starbucks, I thought to myself two things; ‘Gosh, this Starbucks is likely to be quite noisy – this is going to be a test of my new HTC Desire’s dictaphone capabilities, and boy, are Starbucks about to make a mint out of me when the Pope’s here’. Cherie was first on the scene – and because she was, I think she felt compelled to buy me a drink. I mean – great start Claz! Show up AFTER the guest, and let her buy the ultimate drink that I’m such a sucker for (which I think also happens to be the most expensive drink on the menu!) My guilt was such that I offered to buy dinner next time we meet ;) As Hal joined us in our current conversation, I got my snazzy multi-task dictaphone going…

[Hal = HSJ, Cherrie = CA, Me = CG]

HSJ: We’ve got a big fan base now – you’ll have to record in Korean, Japanese, Chinese…
CA: And Romainian!
CG: When I put your link up on my Weekly Roundup, and I can see that many of the clicks to it are from the US. I mean in terms of music, that’s a big market over there too!
HSJ: Yeah but I mean, we’re not kinda like… New York Gangsta rap or….
CG: That’s probably what they’re interested to find out… are you or are you not…
CA: I think when the video comes out tonight, they’ll find out! We are not!
{group laughter}
HSJ: We’ve had hardships, and we’ve had hard times.

Band History
CG: So how long have you guys been together?
CA: Since November.
CG: No waaaaay! So, essentially you’re a new band!
CA & HSJ: The whole thing… just went like that! [CA expands her hands from being together, to opened wide]
CG: It just rocketed…
HSJ: It’s like… I dunno… some kind of dynamic force, that when we come/work together, it’s like [CA: yeah] bigger, bigger than each of us, and when we come together, it’s kind of unleashed. It’s quite scary!
CG: So… November…How did it all start?
HSJ: Cherrie’s an amazing singer as you’ve probably worked out. In the Philippines, she’s like a phenomenon in her own right.
CA: Oh no don’t say that! I just sing in Church, that’s it!
HSJ: Ok… but you’ve sung to 30,000. [CA: yeah] Ok well, not a lot of people can say that. So whatever you wanna call it, from my point of view, you’re a phenomenon in your own right.
CA: Ok. You would say that.

Traditional vs. Trend
HSJ: So while she was doing that, I was here, writing songs, playing in acoustic venues, and had a band… we did all these kind of things before. And then we met at… d’you know First Sunday at Farm Street?
CG: Yeah! A couple of my friends go there.
HSJ: I play quite regularly there. I’ve been doing that since it was launched. We met there, and recognised we had the Church’s enthusiasm to take music and infest it with a spirit… a power which… not saying lacking but certainly… [Cherie: could be improved?] yeah – there’s room for more experimentation, innovation. I know it sounds horrible to those who think nothing can ever be changed and everything’s fixed, but… erm…
CA: The message is still the same.
HSJ: I would argue that the really traditional traditionalists, if they went right right right right back to the great origins then they would find that innovation and experimentation was central to delivering the Christian message – when you look at Paul going to the Gentiles, he didn’t go with a fixed creed that couldn’t possibly ever be changed. He went into their Church, and he adapted and experimented with it.
CG: Well, it’s true, you do have such a valid point – the message has been the same for 2000 years.
HSJ: I don’t think that when Jesus was ministering to people with leprosy or whatever else – I don’t see him going up to them with some really weird esoteric vocabulary and expected them to lock into that point of view of it. It was really human, it was down to earth. There was nothing high-brow – which is what our faith can sometimes become.
CG: I think it’s only some people who aren’t keen to open up their minds to the possibility that 'we’re the next generation, we’ve got the same message as you, this is what we like. However, we sincerely and seriously respect the way in which you choose to live the Gospel message as well. There’s nothing wrong, and in fact if we can fuse the two then that’s absolutely amazing.'
CA: yeah.
HSJ: We love the old traditions though. I mean you go to some of the old rite masses and they’re just incredible. They’re so overwhelmingly mysterious and incomprehensible that you do come away with a sense of having gone out of the world into a sacred space. And then you return to your everyday life  with that memory in your heart and in your mind. And it must affect the way you live after that. But at the same time, I don’t see that that experience of going into a sacred space is any different from what we’re doing musically [CA: yeah] because we’re taking people out of their ordinary everyday way of thinking and through music trying to get them to think in a more enlightened way.

The Video
CA: Our video’s coming out tonight or maybe tomorrow morning. It’s exciting! And hopefully when people see the video, they’ll have a better understanding of what we’re trying to do because the video does make a strong impact in terms of giving the message.
HSJ: Yeah, the thing about… talking about Mother Theresa… it’s like…
CA: Everyone’s talking about those lines: “Go help the poorest of the poor lying dying in the gutter..."
HSJ: You see… that’s the forgotten aspect or it’s not highlighted enough in our faith. You go to Church, Jesus is there in the tabernacle, Jesus is the elevated consecrated [couldn’t catch this word on playback] and that’s all fine… but we forget somehow that he’s also there in our hearts and that when we go out into situations of destitution [CA: yeah, we bring his message there], we feel his presence. If we listen to it and respond to it, we’re encouraged to do something to raise up the fallen [CA: yeah that’s gotta happen], change the ugliness of the world and make it more beautiful.

Indigenous fusion and the Philippines
CG: I love your enthusiasm. You’re obviously knowledgable about your own individual faith, and you know how to express your faith as a group. You’re both Catholic… what about the third person?
CA: Cornel?
HSJ: He grew up in Romania, and I think Romania is a predominantly Catholic country. Yeah, he’s a local hero in Romania.
CA: Yeah! The media media is like ‘Oh wow, we’re so proud of you, like, you’re all over the media in the UK [laugh]. They love the song there apparently.
HSJ: He was known there already as a musician before he came over here.
CA: So prior to November when we all came together, we were all doing our own thing, our own music. Earlier I was telling you about the fusion of music that we do. That started off in August last year because we went on a Church mission trip. We were there to do some charity work with Filipino charities. One of the things we did was help the Aeta in Zambales. Then there, that’s where we saw their traditions. Similar to the Igorots, they have the Kulintang. It’s Ilocos.
CG: Ah, my Mum’s from Ilocos!
CA: Oh really?! My Dad’s from Ilocos!
[We have a little chat and giggle about our geographical roots!]
HSJ: That’s what struck me when I went to the Philippines… the amazing, natural spirituality in everybody. And they don’t necessarily have to be Catholic – they’re all very deeply anchored in the light of a spirit. I don’t know if that might be romanticising it, I don’t know, but that’s how it seemed to me.
CA: No I think that in the Philippines, it’s a Catholic country – well, most are Catholic, and there is a sense of being proud of sharing your faith with everybody.
CG: It’s strange actually, because I’ve never lived there – the last time I was there I was 3 years old. And all I see of the Filipino community is what I encounter here in this country. Now there are many things I’m proud of when it comes to the Filipino community, but there are also some things that I’m not very proud of when it comes to some Filipinos in this country, like appearing to be pious, but then having a little 'chismis' session just outside the Church doors after Mass. So I don’t know if it’s like that back in the Philippines as well, but I somehow don’t think so!
CA: I don’t think so.
CG: I think it’s only something that happens when they get over here!
HSJ: Or maybe they acclimatise themselves to a secular environment and try to dumb down their natural faith… I don’t know… but I was totally overwhelmed at how amazingly in touch people were… like some of the charismatic groups working with the children’s charities are incredible.
CA: Yeah. And there’s passion.
HSJ: Yeah, real passion. And also music! Everybody is musical in the Philippines!
CG: Yeah… every Filipino here has a karaoke machine.
CA: Aww I need to get one!
HSJ: When we went to Montelubos (I think I’ve picked this up wrong, because can’t find it as a location on the net!) to shoot the video, the really really run down… I don’t know if  ‘shanty town’ is still allowed these days, we were walking around, filming the video and everybody was like ‘oh who’s this…’ it’s like ‘they’ve landed from another planet…’. But then there was this really loud sound, and I walked up to it when we’d finished filming, and in the midst of all this poverty, there was this big TV, and a guy with a microphone! [group laughter] I couldn’t believe it!
CA: Yeah… so that’s Philippines for you!
CG: It’s surprising… there are so many good Filipino singers. I don’t really know very many young Filipino women that can’t sing!
HSJ: Do you wanna join our band?
CG: Oh no no no no no! I’m definitely not good enough for your band! But it’s amazing to hear your history. It’s a new history, but I’m hoping it will go really far. When you got together, was it your intention to create religious music, or was it just to jam?

Sampling Pope Benedict XVI, lyrics, music and faith
HSJ: When we were rehearsing and jamming, we would just play around on the piano. Because we all have a faith, obviously when we started writing, our faith kind of showed itself in the lyrics.
CA: Yes, for example in Hearts Cry, everything he raps about, he wrote. Everything I sing about, I wrote. And then Cornel fuses everything, takes away perhaps the not-so-good parts and makes it mainstream.
HSJ: Cornel is very good at honing something down.
CA: Yeah, he says ‘Guys, this is not so good!’
CG: When you have those discussions then, what’s it like in the studio?
HSJ: They gang up against me!
CA: No we don’t!
[group laughter]
CA: The original song… is like a novel! [group laughter]. It had like… six verses!
HSJ: Ok now you’re… [group laughter]
CA: I’m teasing! I’m joking.
HSJ: But when we first went in with the idea to sample the Pope’s voice, ok…
CA: Ok… here you’re right…
HSJ: Do you want me to continue?
CA: Yes! I do.
HSJ: I said: “Look. This song isn’t going to be about us. It’s gonna be about the Pope.” Therefore, the line I selected [referring to parts of the Pope’s message at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial], was a really good line.
CA: Oh definitely, definitely!
HSJ: I thought, it would work perfectly here then. And Cherie and Cornel went ‘no no no no it’s gotta be subtle. We’ve gotta treat the Pope just like he’s a member of the band’. Now… what input would we give him. Forgetting who he is and his status, but just on the basis of his vocal abilities, where would we put him? And so the original version was quite minimalist in terms of sampling the Pope. He was simply there to say…
CA: “give voice to that cry”. But it wasn’t having the desired impact so it changed. We went back to the drawing board, and then we went back to his speech…
HSJ: Yeah because we thought… we wanted to emphasise the pastoral devotion of the Pope.
CA: So we put that back.
HSJ: He’s got such a strong German accent – it’s very difficult to, say, extract the words from the speech where it can stand by itself in this context. Even though we may have found something that works, it doesn’t always work when we take it out of context.
CG: Just because of that thick German accent, I find him quite ‘musical’. Sometimes, he elongates certain syllables, and I quite like that – it’s quite musical to the ear.
HSJ: He’s very very gentle – he’s got a very very delicate gentleness. And I’m sure that’s because he’s in touch with a finer connection with the human soul, the human spirit – particularly in that address. It couldn’t have been a more charged atmosphere. He’s addressing predominantly Jewish congregation effectively reminiscing or remembering people who have lost their lives in the Holocaust. That’s such a delicate subject. Also the fact that he was German… You can feel the electricity in the air in his address.
CG: Yeah. He is a man of God, and you know, God will look after him when he's here. [HSJ: Yeah, absolutely]
CA: Are you excited for next week? (Hang on a minute… who’s doing the interviewing here?! *chucke*)

Upcoming Hyde Park performance (well... hopefully)
CG: I’m extremely excited for next week! It’s gonna be crazy. I’ll be going to Edinburgh as I’ll have a media pass so I’ll be able to get into the media area up there. But I hope that in Cofton Park and Hyde Park, I will be in the crowd. I want to get footage to upload to my youTube channel straight away, I want to tweet from where I’m at, you know. And then when I get home in the night, I’ll write a blog article about the experience, and early next morning, there I am on a coach to Birmingham. It’s gonna be manic for me… but it’s gonna be even more manic for you guys hopefully! What’s the news?
CA: What’s the news Hal?
CG: What’s the news in terms of Hyde Park? Are you performing?
HSJ: Well, we’re rehearsing on Saturday, all of us, just to fine-tune our performance, and Andrew Headon who is organising it has said… well, I think the day has been split into blocks – there’s a two hour block of music before the Pope arrives, and then there’s the kind of concluding ceremony. Last time I spoke to him, they were working on the idea that maybe we’d be part of the closing ceremony.
CA: That’d be really really really good!
CG: Oh I really hope so! I think what’s going to happen is that because of the overwhelming atmosphere and electricity of it all, people are going to stay a little bit afterwards with that subdued feeling – and I think you’d be able to capture their attention, sometime late in the evening.
CA: That’d be ideal!
HSJ: They’re still working on the fine details of what’s going to happen. The detail is not known, except be ready.
CG: Well, if they’ve said be ready, then that’s has got to be a good sign!
HSJ: Yeah, I mean we were even asked to sign a broadcasting contract, so it’s more likely than unlikely…
CA: But we’ll see!

New found fame
CG: So tell me a little bit about this really really rapid rise to fame!
HSJ: It’s a deep sense of gratitude for the reaction of the people. You can work hard writing music and performing and get very little public recognition. But when all of a sudden everybody’s talking about it and are interested in it, it’s deeply reassuring and affirming that what we’re doing is (Didn’t manage to capture this part on Dictaphone)
CA: I’m super happy. Or should I say… oober happy! [ladies laughter] It’s quite exciting and at the same time quite scary. But it’s all good because everyone is getting to hear the song and more importantly the message of the song. It’s really worth it for that. That it spreads.

Church politics and the song’s message
HSJ: Yeah, we were interviewed by one particular global media company, and they’re trying to get in the interview saying… oh you know… there’s all of these groups complaining about this aspect of the Church and that aspect of the Church. Where do you fit in? And I said ‘Well, the core of the song is a pure message of Christianity, or what we interpret is the pure message of Christianity. The Church, as far as we’re concerned is set up for one purpose, and that is to advance the teachings of Christ. Ok, there are people in the Church, perhaps, and there are critics outside the Church who want to condemn it, and occasionally through weak human nature maybe do things they shouldn’t do. That’s not our concern in the song. We’re trying to stay focused on what the Church’s mission is, not on the kind of… human fallen aspects. If you look at any institution and hold a light up to it, you’ll find cracks and faults; and I suspect far deeper cracks and far worse fault lines than you do the Catholic Church.
CA: There’s so much of that going on but what we’re trying to tell people is… let’s look at what it really is about. It’s not about the peripheral; it’s about the message of the gospel and really that’s what we’re trying to encapsulate in the song.
HSJ: [Pope? Dictaphone again!]’s not interested in Church politics at all. I mean, you can build your livelihood on dealing with Church politics but you know if you’re interested in your faith, and you want to know what you could bring to teach mankind, then you don’t get distracted in all that stuff. You just go to the heart of the message, and you find out what it’s about. And that’s hopefully what our song…
CA: And that’s the theme of the visit!

Live and Unsigned
CG: I’m so pleased to hear role models such as yourselves say stuff like this. You can really go out there now, and say ‘Here’s the gospel message’. Obviously your track Hearts Cry is a profession of that gospel message… was it the track you used at Live and Unsigned? Was it a different track?
HSJ: In November, we recorded two demo tracks. One was Hearts Cry, and the other was Hidden Light. We dedided our audition piece would be Hidden Light. That got us through the audition stage to the regional final, where you’ve got to do three and a half mintues – half of which would be an original track, and the other half a cover. So our original half was Hidden Light, and the other half was Puff Daddy and Faith Evans’ I’ll be missing you.
CA: The one that has the resurrection.
HSJ: Then we got to the area finals, we thought, ok… we’d written another track called Beautiful Loser – the title was Cornel’s contribution [CA: yeah], and so we did that; but this time the cover we did was The Cure by Lovecats – and the front man is a Catholic.
CA: I think the connection is… what does his brother do?
HSJ: His brother in law works at CAFOD.
CA: Yeah, and he promotes CAFOD.
HSJ: That’s not why we did it.
CA: No… but…
CG: We’re just making the connection.
[group laughter]
CA: It’s because you guys like Lovecats!
HSJ: Yeah, me and Cornel happily listen to…
CA: And that’s where I got outvoted!
HSJ: It was a great performance, it went well. And we got through to the finals at the O2.
CG: How was that?
CA: It was really good. We were in the top 5 of our category but we didn’t win the overall thing. But it was good because we didn’t expect to get anywhere.
HSJ: No we didn’t expect to get down from 10,000 to the last 60. But I don’t know what they’re looking for. They’re looking for… well, they said we were the most original act they’d ever seen in the whole history of the competition but then when it came to the final the panel of judges was very much weighted in the direction of rock. Like Annie Nightingale, who is a rock chick, Martin Holder who was in a rock band in the 60’s/70’s, and so they made up half of the panel. There was a guy called Alex Baker from Kerrang who said that without doubt we were the best band – and I didn’t believe it! So the next day, I emailed him to say ‘was that wishful thinking because…
CA: we didn’t win.
HSJ: And he said ‘no no no no, I really thought you guys were…’
CG: Did he write about you in Kerrang?
HSJ: I don’t know, we never really followed it up.
CA: We gave them Hearts Cry…
CG: Well, hopefully they’re gonna write about you because it will appeal to a different audience! An audience who I don’t think really know that much about Church teachings, and are not really knowledgeable about our Church. So even if that message reached one other person, who it wouldn’t have normally reached, then I think…
CA: Well, because of that, we’ve got the [something] prize…
HSJ: Yeah we won something for…
CA: publicity…
HSJ: One of the prizes was for our profile… you know when they put your music up on the big website… it’s kind of like youTube but just for music.
CA: So they’re going to promote the video that’s coming out today
HSJ: Yeah, I think we’re gonna be band of the day…
CA: That will be good – young people interested in music who would not normally hear about about us, our music, our message would get it.
HSJ: But you know… even if you don’t go to Church, and don’t know about the Christian message, you’d listen to that, and you’d think… well this is about love. You’d be able to identify it. There’s so many levels you can identify with the song. If you’re Christian, you conceive the Christian message. If you’re not Christian, you can understand that love beats in your heart.
CA: And hopefully you’d want to find out more.
HSJ: Yeah.

The Papal Visit and the Media
CG: So are you going to be at Birmingham [referring to the beatification Mass/celebrations]?
CA: Gerry [referring to Gerry Coates of Heart Gives Unto Heart radio station] was talking about going to Birmingham, wasn’t he? He was talking about the ‘rocking through midnight’, an overnight rock programme ( aired during the early hours of Sunday)
HSJ: He was talking about the first track being Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer.
CA: He’s really funny!
HSJ: Yeah, I don’t know if people’ll be able to get up at two-three in the morning, so he says he’s gonna make sure that we wake them up.
CG: People are going to be up! My coach from my parish leaves at 1:45 in the morning.
HSJ: I’d heard they couldn’t sell all the tickets for Birmingham, and I’m not surprised, because I think a lot of elderly people would struggle with those times. I think Hyde Park is pretty much sold out.
CG: I think the organisers could have done a bit more in terms of outreach. You know… limiting entrance for people who belong only to parishes means that only the people that go to Mass regularly get to hear about the opportunity to go. I feel this is a great opportunity for people who don’t go to Church can come to an event like this, and it may bring them back to Church. I think they’ve really missed out on this opportunity.
HSJ: It could be more about the lost sheep than the…
CG: This is it. It’s a bit of a shame. One of my best friends, who doesn’t go to Church, told me she wants to go to Hyde Park, and having completely forgotten that you can only enter if you’re with your parish representative, I had to later tell her that she needs to contact her parish priest. But some parish priests might not be so concerned for prioritising outreach to the lost sheep.
HSJ: Yeah, they’ve been, maybe a bit… too selective about who they give the tickets too, that now maybe some disgruntled and disappointed people think ‘no, I’m not going now’.
CG: It’s a shame to lose those people, because they’re the ones that need it as much as you and I.
HSJ: But then having said that, what you’re doing is so brilliant (awww… thanks guys!) because even if somebody can’t be there, the spirit of the occasion will be just so important shared in your way… that’s what the media should provide for…
CG: Yeah, but I’m really concerned… Sky News told me ‘we’d really like to work with you on our online Papal Visit’ thing, and I went through their website just before I responded to them, and said to myself ‘everything on here is negative!’ So when I replied to them, I said I’d be happy to work with you, but you get my perspective, and I think a lot of the stuff on your website is really negative.
CA: Goooood! Well done!
CG: Not rude…
HSJ: No, frank.
CG: I did it in the politest way, but I was telling them like it is about it. I said everything on there’s negative, and perhaps the other guy that was recommended to you by the CCN, along with myself can help turn that around and bring a more positive light to the visit. … And I never heard back from them!
[group laughter]
HSJ: That’s the story of news though. Doom and gloom and horrible stories.
CG: I think it’s really ‘rake in the ratings and the money’… which is such a shame because they, and otherwise who see things through their eyes miss out on OUR joy. This is something we’re shouting about. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, Pope Benny’s here [group laughter], we’re gonna celebrate that, and it’s too bad you’re not gonna hear our voice because you’re so concerned about greed and wealth and this aspect of media. So this  is why I’m really not sleeping for. (In an actress voice) I’m just gonna make my OWN blog!
CA: Well, lots of people are following!
CG: It’s not a rapid rise to fame or anything, but if I can help other Catholics share their story as well, like for you guys, I’m all for that! It’s not about me. It’s about all of us. We’re united in our faith, and that’s something the world needs to recognise. We’re Catholic, and we might all be in different countries, but
CA: We’re all united.
HSJ: We’re also united in our mission. Because, like, there’s a danger your orientation might be taken away from you, like at a club. But… yeah…

CG: Hearts Cry. What were your influences? Obviously you really like Lovecats. Cherrie?
CA: I like the Black Eyed Peas! [group laughter]
CG: There was someone who described your track actually, as very Black Eyed Peas-esque. Who was it again?
CA: I think it was the Independent.
HSJ: Yeah and the cross between BEP and N-Dubz.
CA: Yeah the Guardian said it sounded a bit like N-Dubz.
CG: Ah yeah but… the Guardian… is like… some ‘next level ting’… [group laughter]
CA: Yeah I like the BEP
HSJ: Yeah but I don’t think they like to be compared to us!
CA: When we were being interviewed yesterday night, they were saying ‘oh lots of people are saying you’re like the BEP’. I was like ‘I’m so happy to be compared to them, but I’m not sure they’d be happy to be compared to us!’ In Italy they’re saying ‘Oh is it Cherrie or Fergie?’ I was like ‘No, I think Fergie would be… NOT happy!’ [group laughter]
CG: Fergie might pick it up and ask who is this Cherrie girl? I wanna meet her!’
CA: I know! [group laughter]
BG: That’d be so good if you guys could do some double-act! You guys could do some duetting, awww yeah that’d be wicked.
HSJ: If you go on youTube and you type in Pope Benedict piano, you’d get a video of him sitting down and playing the piano. So we’re hoping that maybe if we get to play live, he might join us. We’ll set a keyboard up for him.
CG: Yeah. Sound: Synth 1. Not Grand Piano 1. Synth 1. [group laughter]
HSJ: Well some of the best synthesizer brands are from Germany… like Kraftswerg… Cornel’s the great expert on that.
CG: Korg is German, isn’t it?
HSJ: Kord is German. My synth is German – I’ve got a Sirius.

The Video
HSJ: Everything was recorded and produced in the Philippines. There’s a great shot of Cherrie as an angel. As you’ve never seen her before!
CA: I thought we took that part out?!
HSJ: No, we made sure it was put back in – me and Cornel.
CA: I haven’t actually seen the video!
HSJ: I tell you how it starts off… She’s sitting in a hotel room with a TV remote control bored reading the newspaper, so she turns the TV on, flicks through the Channels. Then up comes the Pope. And that’s the start of our track.

The Future
CG: What have you guys got planned after the Papal Visit?
HSJ: We’re working on an album.
CA: I’m not even looking that far ahead!
CG: How many tracks have you got?
CA: 12. Gerry’s pretty much helping us out with many of them.
CG: As a song writer?
HSJ: No, he said he wanted us to focus on the songs which have more faith content in them, so he said with this he’d be more happy to help.
CA: So we’ve got things like… our own Holy holy.
CG: Have you guys hears of Catholic Underground London?
CA: Yeah.
CG: I’m one of the committee members of Catholic Underground.
CA: That’s the one that Ruth was talking about.
HSJ: And Gerry.
CG: Gerry’s talked about Catholic Underground? What’s he saying?!
CA: He said it’s amazing.
HSJ: It’s on once a month?
CG: Once every other month… so would you be interested in performing at Catholic Underground London?
HSJ: Yeah. CA: Definitely!
HSJ: We've now got 12 tracks. One is the Holy holy, one is the Lord have Mercy, and one is the Lamb of God. So you know.
CG: We’d absolutely love to have you perform at Catholic Underground London.
HSJ: How does it work? Do you have just one band in the night?
CG: We’re pretty flexible. If the band can’t do the whole set, then we could always have two acts. But it all takes place in Balham which is really closeby.
CA: Catholic Underground is one that we’ve always wanted to do. We’ve heard so much good stuff about it from Ruth Totus Tuus and Gerry.
CG: Oh… Ruth... she wanted to interview me at Youth2000 in Walsingham!
CA: We were supposed to open the Youth2000 festival, because we wanted to launch the track there in advance! But we had to do the video!
HSJ: Yeah we spent two days on a plane just to shoot half an hour of video in the Philippines.
CG: Well, as much as it would have been great for you to be there at Walsingham, it’s gonna be time worth spent because a video, something visual of you guys could be reached by a much wider audience, and these guys would get it – they’re seriously clued in, they’re really into their faith, and they’ll be watching out. And if you’re there at Hyde Park…
CA: Well, come on, above all we could ever ask for…
HSJ: ‘Exceedingly, abundantly…’ (nodding over to Cherrie) she’s got a great faith.
CG: You guys have both got amazing faith!
CA: No, like, you know what Paul said what God does for us is always ‘exceedingly, abundantly, beyond’ anything we could ever ask for. That’s Ooberfuse, and hopefully that will happen in Hyde Park. [group laughter]
HSJ: On Monday morning, if you’d have typed in Ooberfuse on Google, you’d have seen 10 hits.
CA: Last week, it was 0!
HSJ: But once we’d sent the press release, at 9, 10, 11am on the Monday morning, by the afternoon, it had gone crazy.
CA: I was trying to track it… but now I’ve given up! I was thinking ‘oh my gosh… China, Japan, Korea?! Kuwait?!?!?!
HSJ: It was just a click of the button.
CG: The click of a button… that’s all it takes.
CA: Paraguay was asking ‘where’s the video so that we can see!’ The video is going to be amazing.
HSJ: You look really grumpy at the beginning.
CA: Oh my gosh, why did you do that?!
HSJ: Because we thought it was funny. [group laughter]
CA: Maybe I should have proofed!
HSJ: Too late now. But hey… we’re always looking for people [CA: to collaborate with] who want to do what we do musically i.e. express the deeper aspects of their faith through music.
CG: I was on a pilgrimage, and wrote a couple of songs as I wanted to return back to my compositional side of music. I wrote a beautiful track, I’m so shocked it sounds like that, but it’s devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Holy Spirit was with me when I wrote it.
CA: Cool… you have to let us hear it!
CG: I haven’t recorded it yet… it needs some fine tuning…
CA: We should do Catholic Underground together! HSJ: yeah, yeah!
CG: No, I want you to share your story! It’s not recorded, but I would love to share it, and I’d love to have different versions of it. I’d love an acoustic version, and a remix too! [group laughter]
HSJ: Yeah because when we were interviewed on Premiere Christian Radio, by Loretta Fenton, we were saying to her that there are lots of Christian unsigned acts… why don’t we just do one track that’s a bit like the Band Aid thing where you each have a little phrase. Something ecumenical from all different Christian religions and traditions, with a Passion…
CG: Well, with this new found fame, it would put you in a position where you’d be able to achieve that. A lot of people will approach you now and say ‘Hey, I’m here, what do you think about me?’ sort of thing, and you could be that avenue of getting everyone together in a sense.
HSJ: Don’t forget, it’s not about ego, it’s about how can you best get the word out there, in a way that isn’t insulting to people’s musical abilities. Some worship music can be a bit sub-standard, but you feel you’re obliged to go along with it as an act of kindness… I don’t think you should have to compromise your musical integrity to enjoy your faith.

CG: Well, I’m really really excited for you guys, and I hope it all goes really well. Thank you for coming to meet me and sharing your story.  CA, HSJ: No… thank you!

Ooberfuse are an amazing group, so full of potential, and I really really look forward to seeing a lot more of them in the future. Plus... I owe them a Filipino dinner!

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