An Interactive Mezzamorphis (Crosswalk.com)
Last modified: 01 Jul 1999
Date: Jul 1999
Stuart Garrard and Martin Smith are two of the primary songwriters at the heart of the English band, Delirious. In the last two years, Sparrow Records has delivered music that goes all the way back to its inception in 1992 as a worship band for monthly youth events in Littlehampton, on England's southern coast. In '97, America heard Cutting Edge, named for these very events, a two-disc collection of atmospheric praise, calling its youthful listeners to a commitment to faith in the Creator God, made known in Jesus, "The King of Love." Then last year, we heard King of Fools, a coming of age album, where Delirious stretched out, embracing a bigger, bolder rock sound. Now, over a year in the making, comes Mezzamorphis, which they describe as a transitional album. Stu and Martin describe their songs:
Stu: "The mezzanine isn't the ground floor or the second floor, it's that floor in between. We feel that we're at a point where we've left where we were, but we're not yet where we believe we're going to end up. So, we're on the way, in the middle, on the mezzanine floor."
Martin: "This is definitely the theme tune for the whole album. It sums up where we are. We can't ever go back to what we were doing, and we're not where we want to be yet, which is to have a larger platform, and lots more folk from outside the church coming to the gigs. So we're caught in this middle place at the moment. The whole point with Mezzamorphis, we want to reflect that whole vibe that we're changing, that we're moving on. We're not walking out on what we have accomplished or our roots at all, we're just moving on. It's a natural part of life."
Stu: "The inspiration came when we were in Northern Ireland, travelling down the Falls Road, which has seen a lot of the violence of the last twenty years. We were discussing how that was a place where it felt like the devil had been, which became the first line of the song. That's the reason that song has such an aggressive sound; it had to conjure up the rich emotion. It olds the ugliness and the violence in tension with the beauty and hope that heaven is our home."
Martin: "This one related to another song, 'Mezzanine Floor.' Our life, if we're wholly honest, is really the mezzanine floor, we're never completely satisfied while we're in this skin. There are tensions, hopes and dreams, joy and pain. We have to come to realize that we come form the dust, yet we believe one day we'll meet Jesus. In the meantime, we're caught between two worlds. Heaven is my home."
Martin: "This is a good statement for us to make at this point in time. It's definitely not like the U2 song, 'I Will Follow,' which is quite triumphalistic. It's quite more melancholic. It says sometimes I struggle, but still, I'm going to follow you, God. I'm really pleased with the word on this one."
Stu: "We'd been writing for this album, but everything was medium tempo. I asked Martin if he had any lyrics, I took them home for the weekend and 'Bliss' came out. It's a statement, that we're not backing down. We know exactly where we want to go, we want to take our music to the world and have it recognized as being as good as anything that's out there. But we're not going to compromise or back away from our integrity as Christians."
Martin: "This is a little bit of a statement to the cynical end of the mainstream music business. It's saying here we are, we're not going to go away, and you're not going to knock us down. We're trying to reflect God in all that we're doing, how God is in all the parts of our lives. And, I suppose it's a statement about how destitute the whole music scene is really, how shallow it all is. I suppose we're trying to be a part of that, and be a positive influence too."
Stu: "We try to craft our songs with real poetic integrity, so they communicate well to people outside the church as much as people inside. While it's obvious what the song is about, it's not confrontational. It's about light, literally in the beginning it's about the physical sun, but by the end it's about Jesus. Everybody needs the light, whether it's plant growth, or just daylight to see what's going on, everybody needs the light of the world."
Stu: "The song begins with a direct reference to Communion, and has the prodigal saying, 'I've been away for a while, but I'm coming back.' The song is about the fact that out in the world, although everybody wants to be their own selves, we're pulled this way and that. Everyone you meet wants you to be something or another. The song asks God to help us to be our own true selves, as God sees us, not the way folk pressure us to be what they want us to be."
SEE THE STAR
Stu: "At a meeting at out church a woman sang a prophetic song about 'the star breaking through the sky upon the people of promise.' Everyone in this life is on this journey; we're all traveling down this road together, but it's not always easy. There are ups and downs in life, but we need to keep our eyes on the road ahead. It's a 'run the race, get the prize, don't give up' message for the modern-day."
Stu: "Again, it's a song about the being in the middle of opposing influences. You'd think we would learn form history, and not continue to repeat our mistakes, but often in the heat of the moment we do. Gravity represents the natural forces that pull us one way, yet Heaven is pulling us at the same time to be good, and pure, and holy. Often people assume that because we're doing what we are that we have some kind of secret to great spirituality, but we're just like everybody else. It's quite a happy pop song, but it deals with the realities that can be quite hard."
LOVE FALLS DOWN
Martin: "This one's got a few 'Cutting Edge' inflections from the old days. It's really about how God fills up the earth with singing. We have a whole generation who are learning how to sing God's praises. The title says it; we've felt God's love falling down on us, and on our community. It's a response to God."
Martin: "This is quite a dark moment on the record in some respects. It's a response to when one of the guys in the band, his wife had a miscarriage the year before. It came out of her going through the whole experience, feeling blindfolded, and asking where do you go, where do you turn in a situation like that? I wanted to write something that didn't have a happy ending but in the end it foes into the 'glory' section. It's saying that sometimes it's the only thing we can sing, even if we don't understand or feel like it at the moment."
KISS YOUR FEET
Martin: "It's a personal statement. God has blessed us so much in what we're doing, we've had a lot of favor and received a lot of accolades. This is my statement that that really doesn't mean anything compared to knowing God personally. It's really an old fashioned song."
Martin: "This is probably the most overt song on the record. It's a gospel song with a modern recording, really. It's a powerful statement, it reminds me of a old-fashioned pentecostal hymn."