Delirious with Devotion (
Last modified: 01 Jun 1999

Author: Michael Lyttle
Date: Jun 1999

British contemporary-Christian-rock band Delirious hope to make a run at the upper echelon of the CCM chart on the heels of the critical success of their first two releases, Cutting Edge and King of Fools. writer Michael Lyttle spoke with the band's keyboardist, Tim Jupp, on the eve of the release of the eminently hummable Mezzamorphis. Mezzamorphis is a big departure for Delirious, don't you think?

Tim Jupp: It's not so much of a departure, just another step along the way, really. In some ways I guess it is a little bit of a departure, but hopefully it still embraces a lot of what we have done before. It sounds to me like the group experimented more in the studio on Mezzamorphis.

Jupp: Yes we did. We had a lot more time, I think, which is one of the main things we have really been trying to get. In fact, last year we [took] 10 or 11 trips to America, albeit some of them quite brief. Productionwise I think it is a little bit more out there, with deliberate intention in terms of trying to get the record out into the mainstream. Musically, for it to stand up in that kind of arena, that obviously demanded a bit more time spent on it. Hopefully, it has paid off. I hear bits of hip-hop and electronica sprinkled in. Is this more a reflection of the group's listening interests or of the producer's doing?

Jupp: It is definitely of the producer's doing, but the producer was us. We did it entirely ourselves, and have done all the records [that way]. We had someone in to help us in the early days; he is an additional member of the team, really. Some of us come from that background--working in studios and making records for other people. Back here in England, we are starting to get some really great mainstream reviews of it. Everybody is so encouraging in the Christian [music arena], which is really great. But sometimes if you're not insane you wonder, "Is it really as good as you would hope it is? Is it going to stand up against what other people hear on the radio?" I know that the British music press can be extremely cynical and critical. How do they treat you, considering you're a Christian band?

Jupp: There are very different reactions. With the radio we have really struggled. There is no Christian radio, just one or two small stations. To break out in the church thing you have to go that way, and they are very cynical. We are definitely struggling to win their support.

But we are actually picking up masses of press, because there is a story behind the band. There is a bit of mystery about us, like, "How come these guys are doing this--they are selling all of these records, they are filling these venues, yet we don't know about them." We have run our own label, we have produced the records ourselves. We are selling out big venues all around Britain where all the other big bands play. I played the new record for my brother-in-law, who had never heard of Delirious, and the first thing he said was, "Gosh, they sound like Radiohead!"

Jupp: We would take that as a really big compliment. I know that in your earlier music the praise-and-worship element was strong; is that hard to maintain sometimes?

Jupp: It is a question that we get asked all the time. I think a lot of it comes down to an understanding of what we are about and who we are and what the music is about--even an understanding of how we define and look at what praise and worship is. In America, from our perspective, artists seem to be placed into boxes more often--you have a praise-and-worship box and a contemporary box. And for us the worship part of our music is a heart thing, an attitude thing, a life thing. We would like to think that these are still worship songs. On the other hand, these are not the sort of songs that everybody is going to put on their overhead-projector screens on Sunday morning so that you can sing along to them in church. We need to understand that worship is a lifestyle not a music style. The Christian community can be pretty vicious toward its own people. They get judgmental, accusing bands of going contemporary and losing the message.

Jupp: Lyrically, our music is still really in your face about the truth about our faith. What are your audiences like in England? Is there a British Christian scene?

Jupp: There really is not much of a scene at all, not Christianwise. Mainly Christian audiences attend our shows, but now that there is a lot of mainstream exposure, the audiences are tending to be more mixed. We are playing this summer at Glastonbury on the main stage for something like 80,000 people and that is going to be quite an exciting day for us--to get out there, [with] Lenny Kravitz on the same day!

Related Pages:
Albums: Mezzamorphis