(Left: David Zach)
Creative Christian Moments
“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”
Blog Article 30: Email Interview with David Zach from Remedy Drive
There is a sound echoing in the heavens. It can be tasted in the air we breath and felt within the deepest crevices of the human soul. One of musical proportions cascading through Christians around the world. This melody echoes the sounds of closet prayer intercessors as they petition the Lord for vindication of the innocent in a world naked, inebriated, and typhlotic with a false foundation of relative truth. You can see it in the music of this generation as genres from across the Christian spectrum are uniting with one voice to present the Gospel message; the titanic retelling again and again of the story of the greatest abolitionist archetype of humanity, Jesus Christ Himself whose purpose was to annihilate the enslavement of death, sin, and Satan restoring the paradise lost in the fall. Abolitionist movements throughout history only further reflect and emulate this spiritual reality of what Jesus Christ paid for to ransom humanity on the cross of Calvary. One such band called Remedy Drive reverberates the voices of captives caught in the damnation of human trafficking as they pioneer proclamations of protest of the horrors of human trafficking through their soon to be released album Commodity.
Remedy Drive was originally formed in 1998 by brothers David, Daniel, Phillip, and Paul Zach from Nebraska releasing albums such as Magnify (2004), Rip Open the Skies (2006), Daylight Is Coming (2008) and The Daylight EP (2010). After twelve years of touring, brothers Daniel, Phillip, and Paul placed down their musical mantles to spend time with their families, children, and focus on a more predicable lifestyle. Thus Remedy Drive was reborn as the instrumental mantles of Daniel, Phillip, and Paul were chivalrously handed to new band members Dave Mohr (guitar), Corey Horn (bass), and Timmy Jones (drums). Together Zach, Mohr, Jones, and Horn would release the new albums Light Makes a Way (2011), Resuscitate (2012), and Commodity (2014). If you enjoy the music of bands like U2 and Coldplay, Remedy Drive will also find favor in your musical library.
My journey to interview Remedy Drive began with a simple email to their fan page on Facebook and the band exclaimed they were interested in an interview. I was then forwarded David Zach’s blog about his experiences with anti-human trafficking efforts serving in the trenches alongside The Exodus Road in Southeast Asia as well as an opportunity to present him my questions.
Barry Irwin Brophy: For those who may not know about you or your band, could you tell us a bit about yourself and the band?
David Zach: I’m from Omaha NE and I started the band with my brothers 14 years ago. They moved on from Remedy Drive to stay home with families and pursue other options and I found three amazing guys to continue making music with on the road. My younger brother Philip Zach joined us in the studio this past year to produce our new project Commodity. He’s become an amazing producer since he stopped touring four years ago.
Barry Irwin Brophy: How did you come to faith in Jesus Christ?
David Zach: I heard stories as a child like so many of us do about the King and his Kingdom. I continue to have a wavering pursuit to chase after a hope that I can’t see. It hasn’t been until recently that I’ve embraced the idea of doubts and fears being a huge part of what faith is. If we already have all the answers than what need is there for the mystery and the hope of glory (I think I’m loosely quoting the Apostle Paul in one of his letters to an early gathering in Rome). I think most recently the thing that is drawing me to faith is the questions my children ask me about life and death and resurrection. And the realization that for them – the opposite of faith is certainty. It’s their wide eyed wonder that returns me to that awesome realization that all of our hearts know – the only way we can enter that kingdom is the way a child does.
Barry Irwin Brophy: Tell us a bit about your current music projects. Music videos, new songs, tours, etc.?
David Zach: Commodity is a counter trafficking album. We’re releasing a record about freedom and we’re touring to support it and to make the captives dream of liberty loud – at 110db.
Barry Irwin Brophy: How has God been using the band to spread His Gospel message? Any stories?
David Zach: Jesus Christ from Nazareth quoted an ancient profit in one of his early public appearances – he said something along the lines of “I’ve come to proclaim freedom to the captives, liberty to the prisoners and a restoration of dignity to the oppressed and downtrodden.” I think if you’re looking for good news – that’s good news. And I believe we’re supposed to follow his lead in proclaiming it. And acting on it. His message was an abolitionist’s message – and he wasn’t merely talking about spiritual freedom. His followers through the ages have led movements towards freedom. Another profit named Jeremiah said “He defended the cause of the afflicted and needy; Then it was well. Is not that what it means to know Me? Declares the Lord”. Strip all the theological arguments aside – knowing the King of Kings is intimately tied to the action of defending the oppressed. That’s the good news – is that a group of people that formerly lived for themselves, for their own comfort and security – for their own cushioned, insulated, sanctuaries – are being called out to take the cause of freedom – to speak on behalf of those that have no voice – and to put themselves in harms way for the sake of someone else. There’s been some confusion I think in the evangelical community in America as to what it means to follow Jesus Christ – it looks like a really great deal – it’s advertised as a really great deal that will cost nothing. But when I read the words of Jesus Christ I realize that it’s actually going to cost me everything – it’s going to cost me my life, my talent, my time and my treasure. They overcame by the blood of the Lamb and they loved not their lives even to the death. So we’re using our platform, our album, our interviews and our concerts to tell the story of children that need defending.
Barry Irwin Brophy: I hear a lot of negative talk about how Christian rock music is not an effective means of sharing the Gospel. What do you think are the biggest obstacles within the Christian Church institution in America and how can we change to be more effective in preaching the Gospel?
David Zach: Comfort, security, prosperity, overpriced sanctuaries, overpaid celebrity spokespersons and the idea that Christianity is supposed to be safe and insulated. Maybe part of the problem is that it’s an institution. I don’t know – I’m not an expert in any of that. I just know that Jesus Christ promised that his followers would be known by love. Right not the fights that are being fought in the name of Jesus Christ seem to be the wrong fights – and fought with way too much angst and hurtful language. What if there is a time in the future where those following Jesus are known for being really loud about justice for the oppressed rather than an obsession with being “right” on social and political issues. What does it mean to love someone else the way I love myself? What does it mean to love someone else’s child the way I love my child? That’s the direction and the questions I want to move towards and I’d like to see people who claim to love Jesus Christ move towards.
The sweet breezes of change are rustling bringing news from the Kingdom – an underground movement is happening. It’s starts slowly and in small gatherings but I truly believe that change is eminent.
Barry Irwin Brophy: How do you think your music will influence the coming revival?
David Zach: I just hope that my songs contribute to the soundtrack of the resistance and the movement towards freedom.
Barry Irwin Brophy: I applaud the work you are doing by educating the community about human trafficking through the use of your music. I’m currently working on a novel myself about a human trafficked victim and her Cinderella story of escaping captivity and making something of her life through the power of the Gospel message. I saw your videos with the Exodus Road and they were powerful. How do you think music will play a role in standing up for the cause of anti-human trafficking movements? Are there any other artists or organizations you are working or know about that are doing the same?
David Zach: We’re funding The Exodus Road however we can. At a small event in Grand Island, NE we just raised enough money to send over a whole bunch of cyber forensics gear to Southeast Asia. People are doing monthly contributions, doing car washes, doing counter trafficking events and it’s starting to add up little by little. The songs are the soundtrack of the movement – but action must follow. Whenever I meet someone who has been on the front lines or is working for change in this area I’m immediately attracted to them and want to talk to them as much as possible to continue to develop a strategy that’s going to work. I want to contribute to the mobilization of a generation of abolitionist.
Barry Irwin Brophy: I’ve done some work with local anti-human trafficking organizations around the community and I’ve experienced quite a lack of support from the Christian community and just apathetic attitudes in general. What are some of your answers to individuals who want to reduce this epidemic down to something not important or dismiss the problem all together?
David Zach: Apathy is something that you’re never prepared to deal with – but you have to give people time to let it sink in. The righteous must rise out of indifference. I’m confident that there will be a move towards justice – there has to be. You have millions singing on Sunday mornings phrases like “let justice and praise become my embrace”. In the words of the Hebrew prophet Amos: “Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river and righteous actions like an ever flowing stream”.
Barry Irwin Brophy: On August 9th, I participated in a Men’s March Against Trafficking Demand representing the Christian author community and there was quite a collaboration occurring with religious and secular organizations in Seattle, WA. Some of the organizations represented were REST – Real Escape from Sex Trafficking, Escape to Peace, Seattle Against Slavery (hosted the event), The Defender Foundation Seattle Chapter, King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office (hosted the event), Seattle VICE police officers, Project I.A.N.A.O., Washington Engage, and multiple Christians from around the Puget Sound. Have you seen similar collaborative efforts arising within the community of organizations you have participated with? What are your opinions on how these organizations can better work together?
David Zach: I believe in coalition and in sharing resources. I’m not sure what this looks like in each situation though.
Barry Irwin Brophy: How can the Christian church get more involved in anti-human trafficking prevention than just awareness? What are some local and international organizations you have worked with that are making awesome progress in eradicating enslavement through alternative means?
David Zach: The Exodus Road is the group I work with. This issue should be something that every church talks about and gives updates on how they are involved weekly – justice to the oppressed, food for the hungry, clothing for the naked, restoration of dignity to the crushed.
Barry Irwin Brophy: What advice would you like to give to Christian musicians just getting started? Please provide any helpful tips or painful lessons of what not to do.
David Zach: I think we just need to write honest songs. Those notes will always ring true.
Barry Irwin Brophy: What software, equipment, etc. would you recommend to someone on a tight music budget or just getting started?
David Zach: I use Logic. It’s great.
Barry Irwin Brophy: I’ve also encounter many struggling Christian musicians who have given up on pursuing their calling because of chaotic hardships in every form imaginable. These guys and girls are really in the fire right now and have been severely burned. If you were speaking with them one on one what would you say to them?
David Zach: It’s worth fighting through. There is nothing in the universe like a melody.
Barry Irwin Brophy’s Closing Thoughts on the Interview: “Commodity” is the melodious muse by which I am writing these words. Zach’s words are truly poetic in the responses he gave me during the email interview. From reading Zach’s blogs, watching the videos of Remedy Drive, and my own passion for the anti-human trafficking movement, I feel this blog entry was divine providence as the Lord continues to bring me contacts with a plethora of organizations, Christian leaders, and survivors of trafficking.
In Zach’s own words he states that Remedy Drive hopes that this album will be the anthem for the anti-human trafficking movement. What drives individuals like Zach and myself is one simple word: love. Who will take the hands of these victims and lead them out as Zach so eloquently puts it? These victims do not have the merciful blessing of being born into families with fathers and mothers who will unconditionally love them. This is the part of my blog where I will ascend the soapbox of the bully pulpit and proclaim justice against human trafficking.
The horrifying truth of human trafficking is that it has infested every nook, crevice, and cranny of society. It is everywhere: victims are exploited in our neighborhoods, schools, and dare I say even some churches. Demand for the problem is 100% male! It is time for the men of this world to stop viewing women as just objects of sexual satisfaction and value them for their personalities, intellects, and talents given we are co-equal heirs with Christ. Until society ceases to view men, women ,and children as commodities by which to barter with to satisfy lustful perversions and insatiable sinful desires, human trafficking will continue. Human trafficking is just a symptom of the spiritual cancer that has decimated millions of men and women throughout the world: the loss of the stable family.
Who will arise in this eleventh hour of darkness girded with abolitionists’ mantles of the past. I’m calling upon the William Wilberforces of this generation to shake politics by pushing for intensive consequential laws against pimps and Johns. May orators arise with tongues of fiery rapiers ready to ravage ignorance through eloquence like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I’m calling upon Mother and Father Tereseas of this generation to parent the forgotten youth of this generation orphaned through broken homes of their biological parents. Christian leaders to tackle ignorance and resistance to the factual truths of the damage of sexual immorality honed with conversational diction. May these gifted men and women walk in an unconditional love reflective of the Christian faith; may their wakes abolish the lies of apathy, tolerance, and willful ignorance.
I am calling upon Christian artists to arise in this dark hour of humanity and use their talents to be the voice of the human trafficking resistance. I’m calling upon artists to illustrate tumultuous emotions of all spectrums through the use of photography, painting, drawing, and graphic design. Authors, poets, and videographers to document detailed stories of this horrific tragedy yet also depicting stories of hope found in Chris Jesus. I’m calling on musicians to write musical cries from the heart and soul illustrating the prayers of the victims seeking deliverance.
Christians understand that the battle of human trafficking is spiritual in nature. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” Ephesian 6:12. And I will prayerfully declare, Holy Spirit flow from the throne like a river and drown the principalities of perversion. To accomplish this, good must triumph over evil through acts of ravenous kindness, heartfelt humility, agape love, and fervent forgiveness. I would ask this generation to join with me in declaring the gargantuan Goliaths of this culture shall be overthrown through the humble natures of Christian men and women restoring lifestyles of purity to this culture!
As I sit here I will conclude with a challenge: don’t just read this blog post and shrug your shoulders thinking it was another informative read to add to your intellectual library of literary muses, do something about it by getting involved in human trafficking prevention in your community.
You can support Remedy Drive through prayer, by purchasing their new album on September 23, 2014, purchasing other albums and merchandise from their websites, hosting them at your ministry or church event, or just connecting with them on social media. Zach also has a anti-human trafficking blog below that details his experiences with The Exodus Road and what he witnessed while being undercover with some of there operations.
Remedy Drive’s Pages
Official Website: http://www.remedydrive.com
David Zach’s Blog: http://davidmzach.wordpress.com/
Anti-human Trafficking Organizations
The Exodus Road: http://www.theexodusroad.com/
REST – Real Escape from the Sex Trade: http://www.iwantrest.com
Seattle Against Slavery: http://www.seattleagainstslavery.org/
The Defender Foundation, Seattle Chapter: https://www.facebook.com/TheDefenderFoundationSeattleWA
Escape to Peace: http://www.escapetopeace.com/
Project I.A.N.A.O.: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectIanAo
Washington Engage: http://www.waengage.com/
Commodity: A Counter Trafficking Album, YouTube, 3:14, posted by Remedy Drive, May 14, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bE8qGbDOX3I&list=UUiDxk3WI8Q79u6E3wEGPIKQ (accessed September 4, 2014)
Remedy Drive. “Biography.” Amazon.com. http://www.amazon.com/Remedy-Drive/e/B001LH7W3E/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1410062513&sr=8-2 (accessed September 5, 2014)
Remedy Drive. Band Profile Picture. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/remedydrive/photos/pb.6314728663.-2207520000.1410062565./10152675079218664/?type=3&theater (September 5, 2014 )
REMEDY DRIVE // Commodity (official audio – radio version) “I’m not a commodity,” YouTube, 3:39, posted by Remedy Drive, June 30, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VU5Mq-Op0IY&list=UUiDxk3WI8Q79u6E3wEGPIKQ (accessed September 4, 2014)
Remedy Drive Tops Chart with Trafficking Protest Song, YouTube, 7:44, posted by CBN News, July 28, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zTAjyr-TEs (accessed September 4, 2014)
Zach, David, email message to author, August 26, 2014.