Skip to main content

Critical Mass: A band with a message!


How did the group Critical Mass come about?


We've been around for over 20 years.  We started out playing in churches but quickly went into the studio.  Our first demo, Faith Looks Up, was hugely successful.  Our first two studio albums, "Completely" and "Grasping for Hope in the Darkness" both won Best Rock Album honors at the Canadian Gospel Music Association Covenant Awards.  In 2002, we played for a million people at World Youth Day in Toronto, when Pope John Paul II came to visit.  I often say we are a very well kept secret as we probably have played in front of one of the largest audiences ever in history for a rock band.  However, because of the nature of the event, most people didn't know it was us playing at the event.  We have since released another 3 studio albums, with another on the way.  Because we all had day jobs (I am a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering) and family obligations (I have 9 children), we weren't able to hit the road like most bands.  This is another reason many people haven't heard about us.


How many members are in the group and can you describe their positions and contributions to Critical Mass?

Since the second album, I have been the lyricist and lead singer for the band .  We have numerous talented musicians and songwriters over the years in the band, but especially since the second studio album, I have been the one constant in Critical Mass.  In fact, I think there have been close to two dozen touring and studio musicians over the years.  Incredible talent and wonderful people.  When I reflect back on the years, I count myself incredibly blessed to have worked and written with these wonderfully talented folks.


How did Waterloo, Canada influence your group and what are some of the notable moments you experienced back home?


 We are in a university town.  I actually work at the University of Waterloo.  I have been here since my Masters degree.  As such, I have deep connections here, whether it is with respect to my day job or my extracurricular activities (church, soccer, coaching).  Most importantly, my producer, Andrew Horrocks, whom I consider both a mentor and a friend, has worked on every studio project with me.  If I were anywhere else, he and I may not have connected.  Andrew has won Best Producer Honors several times from the Canadian Gospel Music Association, and we have a great synergy in the studio.  Critical Mass would never have been as successful without his help.


I understand you have influences like the Beatles and Green Day, name some of the things that are parallel to these iconic groups?


The Beatles, in my opinion, are still the most influential music group ever, and I have to admit to being a huge fan.  All of our albums have a concept wrapped around the songs and that is due to my love of the Beatles' album, Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, which is considered to be the first concept album ever released.  However, many fans and crowd reviews of our music has pointed to a similarity in my singing style and musical delivery to Green Day.  It wasn't a purposeful direction  but it just happened.  


Give us some insight on the journey of Critical Mass and shed light on the creative process?


Our music is born out of a need to tell a story or to get a message out there.  Many of our fans have commented on our lyrics as having substance, and that is probably due to my day job as a professor.  Thus, when we start a project, it is always the message and lyrics that are written first.  The music is then written to the music.  Because I have many collaborators on the music, we often have quite an eclectic mix of styles and sounds on every album.  Most of our songs change up significantly from song to song.  


How has Covid-19 affected your music career currently?


Not only Covid-19 but also a recent high conflict divorce has greatly influenced the music that I am writing now.   Our first two singles that we have released are "Misery, My Friend", which talks about depression and mental wellness and "Serenity", which uses the serenity prayer as a way to help people through their personal crises.  So, as you can see, the music is greatly influenced by the pandemic and the resulting issues that come from the social isolation.   The next album will have a lot of personal songs that I wrote as a form of personal therapy.  You will definitely see the circumstances of my life in these lyrics.


If there's anything else you could be doing, what would it be?


I have lived a rich life with many highs.  I am a professor, musician, soccer coach, entrepreneur and played music with the pope.  However, I have also hit many lows including a bankruptcy, divorce and parental alienation.  Through it all, my friends, my counsellors and my faith have kept me going.  Now, I want to start sharing this with others.  On our website, www.criticalmassmusic.org, we have a section with our patrons called Life Hacks with Critical Mass, where I share my life stories, alongside with my music, in the hopes of being able to help others live their life abundantly.  This is what I want to focus on moving forward.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

21 Savage - Hot Take on Cheating?

21 Savage was spotted on the Million Dollaz Worth the Game Podcast. He was asked to give a hot take on amid cheating topics. 21 starts off by giving his experience a light that was hidden from the public view for many of years. Back in 2016, 21 Savage was caught in an affair with Wiz Khalifa's now turned ex-wife Amber Rose.  21 also was in a committed relationship with a woman he since then had met on Instagram but this woman has since moved on away from 21 as forgiveness was not given to him. The hot take referred to conquering the other sex and this was a hot button pressed for many of listeners of the podcast and didn't waste seconds approaching Social Media  DJ Akademiks (formerly of Complex News) reported that 21 was out of line for allowing cheating to be ok when it was wrong on both parties who commit the infidelity. for more news, stay tuned to Flyah Magazine.   

CHECK OUT GEM - FLYAH EXLUSIVE INTERVIEW

GEM is to headline the Los Angeles Power Women Summit in December, bringing this new style of medical-music to the masses. She has been able to make use of her time in isolation: perfecting her EP, creating a YouTube channel and working on a plethora of collaborations with other global artists. The new single, If I’m Honest, is arguably the first of its kind. It has been specifically produced in the key of B. The musical note B is associated with the crown chakra, the 7th chakras in the Buddhist tantric system. Buddhists believe that by listening to music in this key, corresponding to the crown chakra, it can heal and awaken the listener, helping to release stored negative energy and energetic blockages in the body. WE HAD THE CHANCE TO CATCH UP WITH GEM READ WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY!   How long have you been doing music and where you find the inspiration? Music has always been a part of my life, although being visible in the producers chair has been a natural progression over the past 4 ye

Michael Coleman Is back with another Anthem!

  WE HAD A CHANCE TO CATCH UP WITH MICHAEL COLEMAN, READ WHAT HE HAD TO SAY ABOUT HIS MUSICAL JOURNEY!   Michael Coleman, where are you from and what's it like in your hometown and how did you get the nickname "The Metropolitan Cowboy"?   I was actually born and raised in San Diego, California.  San Diego is just an awesome town although like everywhere else in California, it costs a fortune to live there.  My nickname, “The Metropolitan Cowboy” actually comes from a television project I was doing a few year’s back. I wrote and produced an adult-oriented sketch comedy show and since I was always dressed with a cowboy hat on and looked metrosexual we decided that should be the name of the show and my brand and I have been called that ever since.   How long have you been songwriting and where do you find the inspiration?   I’ve been writing since I was a kid, however I didn’t decide to take it seriously until I had a milestone birthday , I won’t tell you which one and it wa