Since the release of their EP, Ruined in 2009, Sydney heavy hardcore outfit, Creations have shaken crowds internationally through their powerful message self-decribed as both "offensive" and "pissed off". With an onslaught of shows up their sleeves – having played with the likes of As I Lay Dying, Liferuiner and For Today across the United States and Australia – the determination of this five-piece demonstrates the conviction to their purpose as a band, transcending that of merely musicians and entertainers. Recently, we caught up with James Thorpe who provided his insight into the Gospel, the world, ‘Christian Hardcore’ and everything in between.
Let’s start this off appropriately – if you could date any cartoon character of your choice who would it be and why?
Pengu – I know it’s claymation, but he/she rules.
Okay, please state your name, role in and favourite thing about Creations?
My name is James and I play guitar. My favourite thing about the band is radical breakdowns and nu-metal stomps.
If you could sum up Creations in one sentence, what would it be?
Jesus, breakdowns, radical hangs, travel, nu-metal, pinches and PISSED OFF.
In 2009 you guys released a debut EP Ruined, that was both self-released and self-recorded. For the unknowing reader, what were your major influences in that record and how has the response been so far?
We released RUINED in November last year. Our main influences at the time were probably The Acacia Strain, Impending Doom, Advent, etc. We have been amazed at how many kids dig the CD. It’s been awesome playing in random cities and seeing kids singing along with us.
Whilst currently based in Sydney, more than half of your band is American. How did that come about, and how did you guys form to become ‘Creations’?
Me, Jonny and Ben are true blue, so that’s a little more than half. Basically Jonny and I knew each other from previous bands/shows, and both wanted to play some heavy music and share the Gospel with people. We formed the band, and met Michael and Blair (The yanks) through a local bible college they were studying at. We started jamming, writing music and recording songs straight away, which culminated in our EP at the end of 2009.
Possibly one of the most active unsigned bands in Australia, you guys have spent more time touring and working in America than you have over here, just recently wrapping up your second tour of the States last month. What’s the deal? Are you bitter with the folk down-under, miss the hotdogs or just love riding planes?
Haha, definitely no beef with Australia. We love the great southland, but unfortunately there aren’t the same opportunities for a band our size to tour constantly here. We have been so blessed during our time in the states, we have gotten to play/hang out with some of our favourite bands, play some big festivals and see more of the States than most American’s have. Definitely don’t miss the hot dogs. Ughhhh
How is the reaction from American crowds in comparison to here at home?
In general, the shows are a little bigger, but overall it is much the same.
Since your formation you dudes have undergone quite a few line-up changes. What instigates this constant change in members and is the band completely settled now?
We have gone through a ridiculous amount of drummers (I think the count is at 9 or 10 now). We met Blair early on, but he wasn’t able to play for us until late 2009. The line-up is definitely settled now.
In your short time around, you guys have established yourself as one of the most controversial bands in the country. How can you describe ‘Christian Hardcore’?
I understand why we are so controversial – we preach a controversial message. Christian hardcore is a joke. We’re not out to be in some kind of ‘Christian club’, we’re out to ‘make disciples of all nations’.
It is apparent in your perspective that your role as a band strays from simply that of musicians and entertainers, and takes on the purpose of something far greater. What does this kind of music mean to you, how does it apply to Creations, how do others react and what do you have to say in response?
Hardcore is an important part of all our lives. I grew up listening to heavy music, and I still love it. Creations is simply an expression of what Jesus has done in all of our hearts, and a desire to spread the Gospel to people through hardcore.
With such a secular society and growing trend of anti-religion within the scene, have there been any outstanding outbursts from a crowd in reaction to your message and purpose as a band, and how do you deal with this sort of opposition when it arises?
Yeah definitely, this is pretty much every Sydney show. The message we preach is offensive. Jesus calls all of humanity to ‘repent of your sins and believe the Gospel’. It’s expected that people will be offended, outraged and angry at us and our message. Thanks to ‘sloppy evangelism’, people think that Christianity is from the stone age and has been disproved by science and that Jesus is some hippy with long hair, who kisses babies and strokes rabbit’s. The reality is the opposite; Christian theism still stands as the most rational worldview, and the God it proclaims is holy, righteous and just, and stands as the Judge of the world. One day Jesus will return, and it will not be a good day for a lot of people. We get a lot of people walking out while we talk; it sucks but it’s something we just live with. If people don’t have the intellectual honesty to listen to someone’s opinion for 5 minutes, what can you do? Isn’t hardcore about standing for what you believe?
Acutely aware of the attitudes and perspectives within hardcore, what attracted you to this type of music and what is it about this style that keeps you doing what you are doing?
We honestly just love the music and the kids in the scene. Jesus is the reason why we keep doing what we are doing – He desires that all would come to repentance, and be reconciled to Him. So we do ministry so Jesus will receive the reward for His suffering on the cross.
You guys are currently in the process of recording your debut full-length – The Gospel. What can fans expect to receive from this album and how is it different to your previous release?
Heavy, passionate, energetic, and righteously pissed hardcore. We have progressed a lot as a band musically, and the stuff we have written for this release is a lot darker and less generic than our EP.
Our album is called ‘The Gospel’. The Gospel is the central message of Christianity; God created everything in existence, and we as humanity turned our backs on Him. The bible says we are ‘enemies of God’, that we ‘hate God’. God looks down on humanity and sees that every intention of our heart is only evil. Yet in His Grace, he came down and paid our debt on the cross. God is holy and righteous, and demands atonement for sin. He demands blood. The amazing thing about Jesus, is that He became that atonement for us. God died in our place, for our sins. If you repent and trust in Jesus, your sin goes onto Jesus body on the cross, and you receive His righteousness of His perfect life, so when you stand before God at the end of time, you will be allowed into His presence forever.
So, with that said, the concept for the CD is twofold; Firstly, we want to preach that message through our music.
The second part is a call to discernment. In our travels and ministry with the band, we have been consistently disgusted at what is called ‘Christian’ these days. Bands, events and festivals have strayed from the Gospel and biblical ministry, and wandered off into myths. We want Christians to come back to the Cross; to stop trying to ‘convince’ people to be Christian, and let God do the work through the preaching of the Gospel.
Throughout America and Australia, different studios, venues and crowds, what has your experiences within Creations revealed about the community of this music?
People are just as sinful and in need of Jesus in Australia as they are in the rest of the world. People,by nature don’t want to love God, they want to be God. They don’t want to glorify and worship God, they want to be the person glorified and worshipped instead of God. It’s the same everywhere. The entire world is in need of the Gospel, the good news of salvation through Jesus, and we are just doing our part in sharing it.
As 2010 is quickly coming to an end and emerging into the new year, what are your upcoming plans?
We’re finishing off this record, and playing a few shows around NSW at the moment. We’re doing a New Zealand tour in a few months, possibly an Australian tour in December/January, then relocating the band to California in February. In 2011 we are looking at touring 300 days out of the year.
Thanks a lot for this interview, are there any final words you have for fans, haters, readers, the community and the internet?
In the words of Fixtures: “Go explore the Gospel for yourself”