Talk:The Elms (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Biography / Musicians (Rated Stub-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Biography, a collaborative effort to create, develop and organize Wikipedia's articles about people. All interested editors are invited to join the project and contribute to the discussion. For instructions on how to use this banner, please refer to the documentation.
Stub-Class article Stub  This article has been rated as Stub-Class on the project's quality scale.
Taskforce icon
This article is supported by WikiProject Musicians.


The band is not a Christian band. Regardless of what their lyrics say, they're a general market recording artist, and are registered at All Music Guide as a "Rock" band. Please leave the word "Christian" out of the Wiki description, as it is inaccurate.

Incidentally, I was at one of the band's shows recently, and asked them what they would consider themselves. They implicitly stated that they were a "Rock And Roll" band.—Preceding unsigned comment added by SoulSinging (talkcontribs)

like stated below, thier lyrics certainly have a christian message in them. They're featured on many christian music sample CD's, and Christain music organizations consider them so. They're not as hit-you-over-the-head about it as some groups, but bands like Relient K have similar amounts of Christian messages in thier songs, and their article describes them as Chirstian. --YbborT 18:06, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
It is possible at one time that because of the band's association with a Christian record company, that the band could've been considered such. The band is no longer formally associated with the Christian music scene, but is now on a major general market label. Whether the band members personally have religious convictions or not is inconsequential here. And regarding The Elms' music being used on "Christian Sample CD's", please note that it has been over four years since the inclusion of the band's music on one of these said CD's. Again, please note that All Music Guide ( lists the band as "Rock" by genre, not "Christian". Please do not sully the credibility of this Wikipedia entry with your own personal opinions of what The Elms' genre is when the global music industry at large considers this band a "Rock" band. Wikipedia is a resource based on the integrity of its contributors to use factual information. And factually, the band is considered "Rock" by the major music industry standard-bearers. -SoulSinging, 14:51, 15 October 2006 (CST)
I feel that at least a mention of the bands Christian roots should be mentioned. For example, Hopesfall has an article which states that the band used to be a Christian band. Given that the bands lyrics used to heavily feature Christian themes, I feel it is important to mention it. They may not consider themselves currently Christian, something I feel is probably done to appeal to a wider audience, the fact remains that they used to be an obviously Christian band. If there are no disputes with this, I will add it to the article some time in the near future. Adamshappy 19:53, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
Allmusicsource is not the definitive guide, It's all a matter of taste. iTunes for instance lists The Big surprise and Truth, Soul, and Rock n' Roll as "inspirational," and talks about the Christian content in those albums. (It should be noted that iTunes credits allmusicsource as the source of it's guide. This may imply that their records were once tagged as "inspirational" but revisionism has labeled them otherwise.) And if you look on Amazon, many people who bought any of The Elms' CD's, whether current or former, bought albums by similar Christian artists. While what people bought doesn't make something true, it implies that their fanbase is looking for bands with Christian roots. And if similar audiences are buying songs by Christian groups (as well as secular ones), it implies that there is at least some consensus among their consumers that they have a Christian connection.
Regardless of the direction they have been moving lately, you definitely cannot deny that a great deal of their (especially early) history contained a large amount of Christian content. This is an encyclopedia, and it's job is to describe the entire span of their musical career; anyone coming to wikipedia looking for more information about the band should be aware of all of their history, not just what you heard them say at a concert (remember: WP:OR). Under your revision there is no mention anywhere of their connection to Christianity, whereas under most other users' versions the fact is given mention once, as one of the two most important adjectives (along with Rock and Roll). I'll try to make a revision now that should be acceptable to both sides, if you agree, remove the NPIOV box and be done with it. --YbborT 20:17, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
Several points:
--First, it is noted that the band once was on a Christian label, and therefore could have once been considered a Christian band, with a generated fanbase once comprised by primarily Christians. I am not opposed to the mention of the band once being on a Gospel label.
--I oppose the idea of the band being generally described as "Christian", as "Christian Music" epitomizes a specific style of music that has never been in The Elms' repertoire. Throughout time, artists have used spiritual imagery in their material, but done so housed in specific styles of music. The Elms have done exactly this, while always housing their music in guitar-driven rock & roll, NOT housing it in "Christian Music". The "sound" of Christian Music could be best epitomized by artists/bands such as Steven Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, or Mercy Me. Staple sounds in Christian Music include electronic drum loops, large orchestras, overly-compressed stereo recordings, and digital keyboards. The Elms have never used these mediums in their music. To describe their sound as "Christian" is simply not accurate factually.
--Next, All Music Guide is not simply an entertainment trade or distributor. The information garnered by AMG and its parent sites is label-issued, and AMG's information is officially licensed by some of the world's top brands as their definitive information source, including Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo!, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Ticketmaster, Musicmatch and Napster.
--I would not be opposed to a section of the Wiki entry including the band's history on a Gospel label. I oppose the word "Christian" being used to describe the kind of band that they are.
It is common grammar on wikipedia talk pages to indent your response if you are replying to a specific comment, see WP:TALK for more information.
First: Actually it is not noted that band was once on a Christian label: you only say that here on the talk page. Unless someone already knows that Sparrow is a Christian Label, they would never have gotten the fact that The Elms had any association with Christianity.
Second: What general stereotypes about Christian music is is no reason not to use correct terms. You'll notice in my revision that under the word "Christian," I linked to Christian rock, a very different type of sound than the Contemporary Christian music you seem to be referring to (which it should be noted includes a wide variety of subcategories; The Wikipedia article includes everything from Worship music to Christian Pop Music, to Christian hardcore, to Christian hip hop). Because you associate the music with a particular sound is no reason to exclude it if the description fits. Propose another subgenre if you like, but the fact that a great deal of the music includes Christian lyrics and themes should not be overlooked, and one could argue it is as important as the Rock and Roll part of their identity.--YbborT 22:21, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
No sub-genre is necessary. Please see my revisions of the last update. The last update was poorly worded and confusing, and it did very little to begin to delve into the intricacies of the songwriting. I've included mention of Sparrow being a Gospel label. I also feel that it's appropriate to remove the "Christian Rock" sub-genre from the description box, since now it is implicitly stated that the band was once on a Christian label, but is no longer.

on an unrelated note, could everyone make sure they sign their post with the 4 tildes pleaee Adamshappy 17:05, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

Okay, you know what, Soul, you have to compromise too. I mean let's face it, the current revision is much, much more in your vision than it is in mine or Adam's, but I guess for whatever reason we've agreed to imply that The Elms' dealings with Christianity is a result of thier affiliation with Sparrow (while you and I know it's much more complex than that, the average reader coming to the page will not). Well you know what, I'm putting my foot down. If this is supposed to be a give and take compromise you have taken far more than you have given. Leave Christian Rock in the info box because it's ann inescapable fact of The Elms' history, and does not damage the genre. You can't win this fight simply because we're being the nice guys and letting you run wild with your version. --YbborT 00:30, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Well said Ybbor. The Christian Rock should definitely stay. The bands previous music wasnt just vaguely spiritual, the album big surprise is outright Christian, and a mention of this is needed. Adamshappy 11:23, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Okay, and Soul Singing (and I think you are the same user, with soul just forgetting to sign in. please correct me if I'm wrong), you need to really stop. We've given in by letting you get the article to imply that they had only a tangent relationship to Christianity, but you need to give a little too. If you have a concern about the connotations of the "Christian music" label, than I would say 1)connotations are never going to change if people think that once a bad like the Elms is "good enough" Christian music becomes a degrading label. The Elms are a good band that deal with Christianity, how about we improve people's opinions of bands like this, rather than only allowing bad bands to recieve the label. 2)Christian Rock draws from a different pool of artists than Christian Contemporary Music. 3)Up until you came here, there was a fairly stable consensus that the Elms were a Christian band, you can't change this over and over and refuse to at least give basic counter-arguments on this page. Please review the lyrics of their songs, and tell me they aren't Christian. I mean come on, if I had no prior knowledge of the elms and read your version I would almost think that they only sang Christian songs so they could be on the Sparrow label. up to this point there's pretty much been a consensus of editors and it seems really immature for you to come in and tell us we're wrong and refuse to compromise.
So I'm not going to put the Christian Rock label back in despite it's accuracy, because that doesn't seem like it's going to solve anything. Instead I'm going to put the NPOV warning back in and ask you to put Christian Rock in the box. There are options beyond this. Wikipedia has a process for this: Wikipedia:Resolving disputes. We've done step one: "Do not simply revert changes in a dispute. When someone makes an edit you consider biased or inaccurate, improve the edit, rather than reverting it." We're tried reaching a compromise version, but you have really twisted the compromise version. "First step: Talk to the other parties involved" that seems to be going on right now, and isn't getting anywhere. "Second step: Disengage for a while" "A simple solution to a dispute is to stop having it — by leaving the article and/or bringing in an outside editor. This is particularly helpful when disputing with new users" which your contribution history indicates you are, "as it gives them a chance to familiarize themselves with Wikipedia's policy and culture." So maybe we should wait a while, and attempt to drag and it out, see who can outlast who. But that seems childish, so maybe we should follow the advice of "bringing in an outside user." We could put in a request at WP:TINMC. And quite frankly I think they would see that long list of lyrics in which words like "be just Like Jesus," "you are my maker," "we all want to be saved," "searching for the love that saves," "you're waiting for salvation, it is waiting for you, too," "When all my ambition became my religion," and not to mention the general message of all the songs, they will think that it's silly to brush aside mention of Christianity. So I'm asking you to please compromise. --YbborT 00:20, 19 October 2006 (UTC)
First, I understand both of your points. Secondly, I've been willing to make a compromise. I never would've liked to refer to the band's days with Sparrow/EMI, but we have. You must remember, however, that I just inherently disagree with labeling the band "Christian Rock" simply because I don't feel that stylistically, they are such. You can refer to the Switchfoot philosophy here (who I'm also a big fan of)... Tim Foreman was quoted once as saying, "We want to be known as Christians by lifestyle, not by genre." Switchfoot's Wiki entry remains free of any "Christian" classification (as does U2, Bob Dylan, P.O.D., and others with lyrical spiritual history), as I'm sure the band appreciates, as would The Elms. There has been mention of The Elms's history w/ Sparrow in the article, but I think that a "Christian" umbrella classification is not accurate, as they are a rock band who happened to be on a Christian label, and "Christian Rock" is a stylistic classification that is untrue and unfair. I think you guys are mistaken into thinking that because an artist has spiritual content in their lyrics (even saying "Jesus"), they're supposed to be classified "Christian". This is UNTRUE. If it were so, than Elvis Presley, Bo Diddley, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, U2, and others would be "Christian" artists. Being classified as a "Christian" act is an artistic and stylistic decision made by an artist. I get the feeling that you two are simply feeling like the band getting a major-label deal is "abandoning" Christian music, and you would like to make them own their association to it. Our current Wiki article does that. Do you feel at all that the band's input would be pertinent here? They're very hands-on with their fans and we could likely write them an email asking what they'd like to see, as they could be helpful to us. And just for the record, whoever has been working on the page in the last day or two, it looks really good. I'll be more involved in the conversation now. --SoulSinging (1:18am, October 20, 2006)
Please sign your posts using four tildes (~~~~), not just your name and time on the clock
Okay I really see where you're coming from. (Although I think mentioning the label with which the band has produced two-thirds of their albums with greatly stretches the definition of "compromise," but whatever.) Obviously you can see a difference between the Elms and Elvis when dealing with Spirituality. If you want to bring the band in and think they'll respond, by all means go ahead. We're probably breaking every wikipedia rule on the book (first and foremost WP:BLP, not to mention WP:OR), but if they can make the article better I think I and every user here would never dare challenge them (although it would be nice if they could cite external sources, even their blog would be work). I personally disagree with you that of the dozens of areas Christian music could be broken into that The Elms don't fit a single one, if you can bring the band in here to cleanup and expand their article, by all means do so. --YbborT 23:44, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I've written the band an email and we'll see if they respond. Although, I'm not sure how to prove the validity of and email here on Wikipedia. What do you suggest? In any event, I think we should remove the dispute box from the article and continue discussing things without the dispute box. Are you cool with that??? --SoulSinging (12:03am CST, October 23, 2006)
I can't say it enough, sign your posts by writing four tildes (~~~~)
And What you bring up is a fundamental problem with wikipedia. I don't know if you've heard about the Colbert Fiasco, but essentially they can't come on here and claim to be anyone famous without someone from their office calling up wikipedia and confirming that it's them, which is far more trouble than it's worth. So they can register under just about any name except "TheElms" "OwenThomas" etc. And we'll just have to have faith that when some mysterious user pops in around the same time you recieve an e-mail reply that it's actually one of them (and not you or I creating some alternate account). Again the reason this doesn't work well is because it's not what wikipedia was designed for , and it's pretty much against the rules(if anyone asks, we're justifying it with WP:IAR and WP:DUH!, which is usually a path to disaster, but...). And don't remove the dispute template until this is over.--YbborT 23:51, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
Hey all, I saw the band perform this weekend in Cincinnati, OH, and told Owen about all the discussion on here,, and Owen even mentioned that he'd seen some of it a while back. He did tell me that the Elms certainly weren't a "Christian" band, and told me that he thought that the categorical term "Christian Rock" was "restrictive" and that it didn't describe the band correctly. I told him about the issue with me not being able to actually PROVE that I spoke to him. He said that any of you were welcome to write him thru the band's website to discuss.... I think the Wiki article is good. I think we should remove the dispute box, assuming any of you don't want to write Owen personally in the next day or two to further ask his Opinion. Let's remove the box in a couple days. (---SoulSinging, Novememer 6, 2006, 4:44pm)
I thought you said you already wrote him. (And remember to log in before you post.)--YbborT 01:59, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
No, I waited 'till I saw them at the show in Ohio. I got the feeling due to your last post that you wouldn't believe me if I came in with an email, per your words: "...we'll just have to have faith that when some mysterious user pops in around the same time you recieve an e-mail reply that it's actually one of them..." Anyhow, I'll remove the box in a couple days if nobody objects, and that will give you time to further discussion or write the band personally. And FYI, I don't really do the html and code well, so I am signed in right now, but I just don't sign it with code. (---SoulSinging, November 7, 2006, 12:10am)
I am still unhappy about the dispute template being removed. I also feel asking the bands themselves is redundant. We all know asking a band what genre their music is is met with vague answers such as 'we dont want to be pigeonholed". The fact is, the bands first album had obviously Christian lyrics, the album featured on Christian music websites, they played at Christian music festivals, and featured in Christian music charts. I feel, for this article to be accurate, and to satisfy the varying POV, it should be mentioned that the band were at one time, a Christian band, but it is a style and image the band are currently distancing themselves from. Other peoples perspective on this idea would be appreciated. Adamshappy 14:56, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
You don't need to know anything about HTML to know how to sign. just put 4 tildes (~~~~) at the end. Or press the little button at the top that looks like this: Button sig.png
I agree 100%. If we're going to remove the NPOV template, we would be almost compelled to add the {{OriginalResearch}} template. If we can't come to a consensus I think we should seriously consider bringing in an outside editor. --YbborT 03:09, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
The band's affiliation with Sparrow is mentioned FOUR times in the article, and the fact that Sparrow is a gospel label is clearly stated. I don't perceive The Elms to be a Christian band, yet in the article there is more mention of their former Christian label than ANY OTHER TOPIC! I would like to move past this issue and start to construct a MODERN Wikipedia entry for the band. Their past albums, label, even links to lyrics are on display in the article. But to call them a "Christian" band is simply inaccurate. Their past affiliation with Gospel music is blatantly clear, to the point of being the most written-about topic in the article. What we also need here is context, and history can help us. As I previously stated, here have been numerous artists in history who have had religious or spiritual verbage in their music, but who are not stylistically "Christian" artists. Elvis Presley even had hymns albums released on Gospel labels, but he was certainly not considered a "Christian" artist. I honestly believe that the context of the band's material has to guide the article's content, not whether the band played some religious festivals or were on Christian websites. You should also note that while The Elms were developing on Sparrow, they spent a considerable amount of their time on the road performing in rock clubs and supporting 'secular' artists. I believe that the art (it's sound, feeling, timbre) should define the genre, not cultural coverage or affiliation. U2's albums are covered on Christian sites, yet they are not considered a Christian band. Please refer, again, to the Switchfoot story and philosophy. Oh, and thanks for the help with telling me about the tildes. (SoulSinging 07:04, 10 November 2006 (UTC))

Soul singing, I am not requesting that they are specifically described as a christian band. What I do want, is a mention that they used to be an openly christian band. Saying that their lyrics deal with spirituality or god is simply too vague. Regardless of their current style, under the sparrow label, they released music with aggresivly christian lyrics. So, I feel that it should be mentioned, rather than vague ramblings about how some of their lyrics link to spirituality, which in all fairness the vast majority of musical lyrics in the public sector do to some degree. Adamshappy 18:11, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Adamshappy, you may not be lobbying for the band to be described as "Christian", but if you'll trace the conversation, Ybbor has repeatedly tried to get that description applied to the article. And as far as you wanting to say that The Elms "used to be a Christian band", this is where I have a fundamental disagreement, as I've tried to explain by typing paragraphs upon paragraphs. I don't believe that just because the band had an association with a Christian label, and had a song (the one below) that mentioned Jesus, that they should be classified a "former Christian band". My main point, I'll say yet again, is that "Christian Music" is a style of music, a genre, a sound, that The Elms have never typified. You talk about "aggressively Christian lyrics". When you say "aggressive" Christian lyrics, this is extremely subjective, open to interpretation. Wikipedia doesn't exist so people can voice opinions, that's what blogs and forums are for. Please also remember that during the band's tenure with Sparrow, they constantly toured mainstream venues, had more mainstream radio coverage than Christian, and were featured in mainstream press and had their videos on MTV. The same lyrics you consider "aggressively Christian" were openly welcomed in mainstream circles, where "openly Christian" lyrics aren't typically welcomed. The point to be made here is that the lyrics will affect you based on your perspectives. However, these are opinions, not facts based in historical and factual reference. Except for the aforementioned lyrics in "Real Men Cry", the band have always remained accessible lyrically to mainstream audiences, and their successes there prove that. I'm getting tired of discussing this, but I'll continue the conversation for as long is it takes to assure that your religious views don't marginalize or polarize the Wiki entry. I'm as familiar with this band's body of work as anyone, and am also a huge fan of rock history. And I think that you have to reference history to find accuracy here, not your personal convictions. (SoulSinging 07:27, 11 November 2006 (UTC))
Oh, out of curiosity, do any of you know how to upload a photo of the band to the article? (SoulSinging 07:53, 11 November 2006 (UTC))
Since nobody has followed up since my last post, I'm removing the dispute box. We can continue the conversation if you so desire. (SoulSinging 11:45, 21 November 2006 (UTC))

Christian band[edit]

the band are clearly a christian band, for example

"And when you get past our egos, there’s a heart that wants to be just like…

Jesus. The man of all men. The only One who makes hearts whole again."

"When you can’t impress, there’s your real test… are you just like… Jesus?

so could the anonymous user stop deleting the word Christian!!!!! Adamshappy 22:11, 28 July 2006 (UTC)


The article says that all memebers of the band live in S. Indiana, but then Chris' bio says they(he and his wife) live in Kentucky. Someone should verify and change which ever fact as needed Lisa

regarding 'God' lyrics[edit]

It seems a little biased to say that during their Sparrow days the music "also contained subject matter pertaining to God and spirituality, and it raised questions about conscience and providence".I don't see that the music on the latest record necessarily lacks that aspect. It seems like whoever wrote that is trying to delicately get the point across that the men in the band are Christians, or poorly appease the "Christian Band" label camp. The Christian Band label is nonsense, by the way. But I feel that maybe this whole debate about labelling a band as such, The Elms' experience with that within the "Christian Music Industry" would be intersting to have on here. That would, however, require someone to dig up the old interviews and take the time to refence everything; something I don't have time to do. And since first hand research isn't supposed to be on Wikipedia, I can't just write something up by memory. I think that bringing the issue an debate into the open and getting quotes from the band on the subject would be best. I know those quotes are out there somewhere.

other stuff[edit]

Someone should add in former members; at least Keith, the former bassist. Their live DVD should go under discography, yes? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 10:05, 6 December 2006 (UTC).

Added DVD to list. 07:09, 14 June 2007 (UTC)