Derek Webb’s “Stockholm Syndrome” available Tuesday

Tonight, at a special event at The Rutledge, Derek Webb played a one hour documentary about the making of his new album, Stockholm Syndrome, letting the packed crowd hear several songs in their entirety through studio footage. When the documentary finished, Derek and producer Josh Moore answered a couple questions, including explaining more about the label controversy. The song at the source of the controversy, What Matters Most, as rumored, has to do with how the christian community treats gays, and also includes a version of the Tony Campolo quote, “While you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”

Derek refused to back down and omit the song completely, so the compromise reached with INO, his label, is to release two versions of the record, one without the “offensive” song to the christian market, and the complete CD, what Derek called “the authorized version,” to the general market and available on Derek’s website. There will also be seven versions of the album: three CDs that will have varying content and extra material, including one version that includes the making-of documentary, three tiers of the digital download, and, my favorite one, a vinyl version of the album.

During the Q&A, Derek was asked a question about a specific lyric, one having to do with sexuality, if I remember right, and gave what I thought was a great answer: “I’ve tried to learn to not give short answers to long questions.” Imagine the dead air one would hear if a tv talking head ever took that approach.

The best news of the night, again as rumored, is that while the street date for Stockholm Syndrome isn’t until September 9th, pre-orders start this Tuesday, July 7th, and include an immediate full digital download. Stay tuned to Derek’s site for more info about the pre-orders.

And here now is Derek’s song, What Matters Most, a great song and one I’m glad has seen the light of day.

16 thoughts on “Derek Webb’s “Stockholm Syndrome” available Tuesday”

  1. Thank you for posting a review on this event. I’ve been scouring the web trying to find someone who was there and who can tell us what happened.*

  2. This is all making me realize how lame “Christian” music is. I actually wish that some mainstream “Christian” artists would crack on Derek for being such a rebel, but that’ll probably never happen. “Christians” don’t want a debate, and this type of censorship only proves that the mainstream church wants us to live in a world of black and white.

    In the end, I hope all the controversy will help promote the album and make the Christian marketers look foolish. But then again Derek is much more lovable preaching from the outside and if I ever hear of him attending the Dove Awards, I ‘ll have to stop listening to him.

  3. I disagree with the above poster regarding the lameness of Christian music. I don’t disagree that Christian music is lame, but I also don’t think it’s any less lame that “mainstream” music. I mean think of the Black Eyed Peas. They are the epitome of shallow banal lameness and they certainly have their equals in the CCM industry (I won’t name names). There are lame “Christian” artists and there are lame “secular” artists. We shouldn’t be comparing Derek Webb to cheesy Christian music anymore then we should be comparing The Arcade Fire to Daughtry or Radiohead to The Jonas Brothers. I could give you a very long list of superb Christian artists.

    Also, this isn’t censorship. Derek went to them and signed a contract with them so that they might help him distribute and market his records. We have to understand that Derek’s record company is a business and the owners of that business can set standards on their product line and have every right not to put into production a product they think goes against theirs or their buyers’ standards, be they moral or qualitative standards. Derek is part of their product line and it is their call as to whether or not his current work of “art” fits their product line. In an ironic way their decision to not include “What Matters Most” will more then likely help him to sell more records.

    However, I do agree with the above poster in that Derek’s voice will come through the strongest as an outsider. That is how prophets operate. We should not be surprised or resentful when the “insiders” ostracize someone who is pointing fingers at them. It is simply the order of things.

  4. The song, (what matters more) stands side by side with wedding dress in terms of quality and relevance. It’s been a while since Derek’s written a song that’s gotten me that fired up. While I wouldn’t want my children, (I don’t have any) running around the house saying sh*t, I believe that what Derek is saying is more important. As the song says, if we believe what we say we believe then we should be more damn careful with the words that we say. Homophobia goes hand in hand with Christianity, and that shouldn’t be. I do believe that Derek is redeeming language that Christians are guilty of misusing, ‘queer’, ‘sh*t’. When I first heard what he was up to I was mad, and thought that he was too hasty. After hearing ‘What Matters More’ I get it. I feel like a bucket of cold water just fell on me.

  5. It’s worth mentioning that the album is dedicated to Derek’s best friend, Allan Heinberg, – and a friend of many of the members of the Square Peg Alliance – a writer for comics like Young Avengers and TV writer and producer for shows like Sex and the City, Gilmore Girls, and Grey’s Anatomy. Allan is also gay.

  6. Derek, I was a strong supporter of your music right on through the Ringing Bell album… I got almost all the Caedmon’s Call releases & was sad when the band ousted you from the group the 1st time…
    But, after reading the way you pose things in the “what matters more” song, especially the use of vulgarity… I won’t blame the band if they oust you out again.
    What about when Jesus spoke about doing “those things” without leaving the others undone? What if we are to love the poor, the stranger & the orphan & ALSO not let unwholesome talk come out our mouths? Ever consider that? Holler back, okay?

  7. I don’t mind the language I mind the song. I don’t like the “electric-onica” Derek Webb. I didn’t care for the last album that was pay what you like. I would have liked the album and “What Matters More” if they were acoustic or at least not so sloppy. It reminds me of Radiohead’s Amnesiac.

  8. Nicholas, I’m not Derek, but I have a decent idea how he might answer:

    The big question, of course, is what is “unwholesome” language, really? When Paul spoke of not letting ‘filthy language come out of your mouth’, the English language as we know it didn’t even exist yet. So what was he talking about? Rough vernacular that fluctuates in acceptability based on social standards? Or something else? Language constantly changes – about a hundred years ago, a word like “goldarn” would raise the blood of most Christians because it was an obvious euphemism for something much more profane. But it’s not understood that way anymore. Likewise, words like ‘bloody’ and ‘bugger’ would draw major ire from Christians in England, but here in the states they just don’t mean the same things, because the cultural context is different.
    Add to that the fact that Jesus himself often used the harshest language possible, and the issue becomes more complex. In Luke 14:34,35, Jesus says “Salt is good; but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the “dunghill” – the phrase in Greek is ‘Kopria”, which would more accurately be translated “shit-hole”. It’s the strongest slang version of the word ‘manure’ in Greek. And what does the word really mean? It’s merely a bodily function, which modern parlance uses in a variety of ways. It can mean something worthless, or more recently, just be a stronger substitute for “stuff”. In the context of the song, it’s a combative, in-your-face way of saying “we don’t care”. Would it be better if he said “meanwhile we clap, just like we don’t give a crap”, which means exactly the same thing, but for some arbitrary reason is considered a softer phrase now? Is this really unwholesome language? To whom is the word “unwholesome”? I would argue, only to a small legalistic Christian enclave who cling to certain social standards that haven’t been normative in society at large for a couple decades now.
    The only language Jesus referred to as unwholesome was language that insulted and demeaned another person – calling them worthless (“Raca”) or stupid (“You fool”). Jesus said to use those words was to be in danger of hell fire. How many Christians pay heed to that? And really, maybe that’s the whole reason Derek chose to use that particular word in this song – to highlight how much of a shitstorm (sorry, couldn’t resist) would rain down over the use of it, when many Christians would throw around the word “fag” – a word that belittles and demeans a person – without blinking an eye.
    Wow. This post got WAY longer than I intended. Anyways, some food for thought, hopefully.

  9. whoops – sorry, meant Jeremy, not Nicholas. Was a little confused as to which names applied to which posts.

  10. Jeremy, the band did not “oust” Derek. If anything, he “ousted” the band. It was an amicable split, as evidenced by their work together on Overdressed 2 years ago.

    Nicholas, what do you mean by sloppy? The production? The writing? Lots of people are going to hate this record for lots of reasons, I’m just not sure “sloppy” makes any sense.

  11. i agree with the Amnesiac comparison but this is a little Kid A-ish… 🙂

    musically all Derek’s album differ from each other in sound. I wonder what’ he’ll gonna do next. bluegrass? jazz? hiphop?

  12. As far as the “cuss word” goes… much ado about nothing. Come. On. shit shit shit shit shit. crap crap crap crap. poop poop poop poop. dung dung dung dung. bile bile bile bile bile. A word is a pile of clicks and pitches made with your tongue, teeth and vocal chords. It’s what we do with them that matters. If Derek was calling someone a shithead, a dunghead, a poophead or a bilehead, it might have been unwholesome. But if he was saying something like: “that kind of talk is meant for the shitheap, or the dungheap, he would be right in line with the bible… since Jesus said it an all.

    Other than that, I think the tune is really cool. My favorite Derek stuff since Faithful. (I used to like old-school Derek best until this record) BTW, Josh Moore produced our record! Talented fella!

  13. I had wondered what you’d think about the tune, Seth. I remembered that Josh had produced your record, and there are definitely similar elements here.

    And of course I agree with everything else you said.

  14. Hey, Stephen. I’ve been out of the web for a while, but thought I’d drop by and see what interesting thoughts you had lately. Unsurprisingly, I find this post. I’ll have to watch the video/listen to the song later (blocked at work) but I get a flavor for what it may be like from your quote of Tony Campolo and from knowing Derek’s music.

    I’m not one to approve of the fowl language. For many reasons. And I know many people disagree with me on that. But, if as you say, Derek is basically repeating the Campolo quote then I may have a different opinion. Vulgarity for it’s own sake I just can’t agree with, but this has a point. In fact, it has a damn good point. Drawing to attention that people have a greater religious fervor over a dirty word than over the needs of people – it seems that Jesus made a similar point with the use of money (dedicating it to God – a good thing; neglecting your own parents to do so – not a good thing).

    And I agree with Seth, too. How much worse to insult a person (showing a lack of love) using a word than to say the same word in other use?

    Anyway, just a quick response. I’ll definitely check out the album. But not on vinyl (sorry).

  15. Seth Ward, is your vulgar outburst your way of “loving me” over to your way of seeing? People tried that before. I don’t hang with them any longer.
    You better find a better answer than that.

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