Symphony In Peril

December 24th, 2003, by Tobe

As you may have already noticed we claim to be a "spiritfilled" website so what makes more sense than featuring a band that claims that too. With Symphony In Peril there is a new band with well known faces in their ranks that has released a great chaotic metalcore debut on Facedown Records a few weeks ago. We talked to Shawn Jonas (ex-ZAO singer) who now sings in Symphony in Peril about his new band, musical influences and the "spiritfilled hardcore scene" in general.

BOF: First question. What is the deeper meaning of the bandname "Symphony in Peril"?
Shawn: When I came up with the name I wanted something unique and different. When I think of symphony I think of something beautiful and harmonious. Peril means dangerous or chaotic moment in time. I put the two together and to me it meant you can live your life beautifully no matter what is going on around you.

BOF: Talking about SIP most people are like "oh isn’t it the new band of Shawn Jonas". Is that annoying and how do you handle that people might be only interested in SIP because you were once in ZAO?
Shawn: Well yes and no. I will not lie Zao was an incredible time in my life. I loved the time I spent with that band. So if people want to check S.I.P. out due to my work in Zao then I welcome them with open arms. Now if people start to make comparisons and remarks off of the comparisons then that can be annoying because we are two different types of bands. I just hope people can respect Symphony in Peril for who we are and what we do and I feel that is starting to happen. The Zao thing will fade away.

BOF: Did anyone else in the band have some former bands?
Shawn: Not Really. A few of them played in small emo bands and punk rock bands but nothing too big.

BOF: I just heard that you had a member change on drums? Is that right?
Shawn: Yes! We are finally locking down our permanent drummer and trust me there is going to be a real mixing up in the band. The announcement will be going out real soon on our website. No one is leaving we are just moving some people around if you know what I mean.

BOF: You have released your debut on Facedown Records some weeks ago. How are the reactions you’ve got so far? Can you explain the coverartwork?
Shawn: So far so good. We have had a few haters but more lovers. It is doing really well in most major stores and on the radio. The reaction so far at our shows have been unbelievable. As far as the cover art goes, Caleb at Bootcore Graphics did a great job on the layout and we are pleased. I guess the best way to explain the cover would be to mix the title with the picture she is fading out with a picture in her head. Memoirs are memories of the past. So her memories of the past that are within her mind are fading away. I hope that makes sense.

BOF: What were the biggest musical influences for "Lost Memories..."
Shawn: Everytime I Die, Converge, Coalesce, and Dilinger Escape Plan.

BOF: There was a great interview on where you said that you want to bring back "Spirit-filled hardcore". What are your personal expectations about "Lost Memories.." and what do you want to reach with this record?
Shawn: I thank God for that interview because it spoke so loud to a lot of people. Spirit-filled hardcore is coming alive again in America and hopefully overseas. I know for sure that in California that the kids are starting to grasp a hold of the reality that it is not dead. There are so many bands embracing it and it is an awesome thing to see. Spirit-filled hardcore is more than just a group of bands that talk about God on stage it is "people," it is God’s people that want to stand up to be seen and speak loud to be heard. I hope this album can be an encouragement.

BOF: What do you think about the development of the Spirit-filled hardcore scene in the last years? Good and bad.
Shawn: What development? It died when bands wanted to be more about rock and less about walk. So many good Christian bands were taken by fashion over faith. They wanted to look good and sound good. Which is not all that bad but when you let it be your everything I think people get confused. Young people need a positive influence and they need more than just a bunch of pretty boys that go crazy on stage. I feel that the last two years have been good because bands like Sinai Beach, Beloved, Symphony in Peril, and Haste the Day are standing up for Jesus once again and people are beginning to take notice.

BOF: Some bands in the "Spirit-filled hardmusic scene" don’t claim any longer to be a Christian band. What do you claim as a band?
Shawn: Jesus has made a change in my life and I claim that at each and every show no matter how big or small.

BOF: I guess one of the mainproblems is lack of churches behind a band and its vision. What do you think about the importance of having a spiritual home in a church as a musician that tours a lot?
Shawn: We all go to different churches but the church I do go to is very supportive. The youth Pastor was turned on to the music and now there is this little fan club of followers each and every Sunday. My wife just rolls her eyes and laughs. It is good to have the support but church to me is more for learning and fellowship and less about the band. I use it as a time to grow with my family.

BOF: A friend of mine saw you at Cornerstone this year and he told me that you were the only band where he felt something like a true "spirit" or that you were the only band he saw that made a clear statement on stage. What do you think should be the difference between a Christian band and a secular band?
Shawn: Calling. If you are called to be a Christian band then be a Christian band. If you are not don’t be. I look at bands like P.O.D., they have been in the secular scene for many years now and they are still true to their roots. I feel that they have been respected by the secular community because they have not compromised. It’s sad to see these little Christian bands get a taste of fame and then turn their separate ways from their faith. It makes me wonder why they are doing it at all if they turned from their purpose.

BOF: Maybe this next question sounds a little bit cheesy but anyways... Do you think mission through hardcore music (still) works in 2003?
Shawn: It can. It just depends on how dedicated you are to getting involved with people. You can’t just say that you know the way and then not been down in the gutter with someone to get them out. You have to love people. I hate the fact that I just speak a word and then just jet. I wish I could stay and pour into the people more but that is not my job. My job is to be speak my heart.

BOF: Any plans on coming over for a European tour.
Shawn: Yes and no. We want to but finding the time off to do it is hard. I have a family and the guys have college so it is really hard for us to get away for that long of a time. Pray that we can find a way.

BOF: What can we expect for 2004?
Shawn: Well 2004 is just around the corner and we already are hard at work. In 2004 expect a new line up which will be announced real soon. You can also expect a lot of new material. We already have one new song written and more to come. Last but not least in late summer or early fall we are going to release a new album on Facedown Records so be on the lookout for it around that time but until then we are going to just keep on keeping on and doing what we love to do. God Bless.

Interview by Benjamin Poszgai

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