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Daniel Amos Biography

1981

Thanks to the collective ministry of Daniel Amos, the Christian world is about to make room for a new set of initials: "FCM"--standing for future Christian music, they arrive as a natural progression from contemporary Christian music--for both this four-man band and its following.

FCM is convenient, descriptive shorthand for a long-awaited "self confession", Daniel Amos" fourth album entitled ALARMA!. More fully seIf-described by the band members as "explicitly Christian rock 'n' that is also ahammered look at our own hypocrisy", it is an original collection of FCM. It is also a demanding collection, according to the group's chief songwriter, Terry Taylor: "It demands that you turn off the vacuum cleaner and listen to the voice of your consciousness, as well as His Spirit."

Having consistently strived to create something more thought-provok ing than has come's long way in praise and countering life-changing and worship background music, Daniel Amos pre-conceived notions about Christian music in general.

Six years back, when four men got fellowship, they initially set out together at a northern California music to develop a ministry via Christian country-pop. Formed partially out of the remnants of an earlier Christian group, Jubal's Last Band, the newly monikered Daniel Amos soon found an eager audience for its musical message.

But time proved the country-pop style too constricting for their tremendously growing outreach. Concert by concert, album by album, the band moved toward the broader directions of rock.

"What started out as a four piece country band, minus drums," states Daniel Amos, "then graduated to a six piece band, heavy on drums and percussion, and is now a band that has come full circle. We are now a four piece unit playing rock 'n' roll (the cowboy hats have been burned in effigy and replaced by space helmets!)." A number of personalities have participated as band members of Daniel Amos, all remaining close to the evolving concept of the band.

For Terry Taylor (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Jerry Chamberlain (lead guitar and vocals), Ed Mc.Taggart (drums, vocals) and Tim Chandler (bass guitar), that evolution has culminated in ALARMA!. Produced by their own Rebel Base Productions, ALARMA! appears on the NewPax label.

The music of ALARMA!, chiefly written by band members Terry and Jerry, is also the start of a four-album cycle called The Alarma! Chronicles. It is the "most personal, most lyrically valid and most Christian music we've made," reports Daniel Amos. To which they quickly add, "Surprise!"

Bandying around interview questions as if they were tennis balls, D.A. has a humorously backhanded approach to the answers. "Christians need to be surprised," they explain, "surprised into being themselves. It's not enough just to parrot back all the rote answers. By meeting challenges with humor and faith, you learn to live as a better person."

in keeping with that philosophy, ALARMA!'s lyrics refuse to ignore the slings and arrows of fortune and life. The music itself is an additional source of surprise, as energetic on vinyl as it is in live performance. Daniel Amos is a rare, self-contained unit that keeps that edge as easily as it keeps its faith.

The results of this success may musically go against the grain of some listeners. But in the process, it's destined to reach many more with its uncompromised message. And the message is always the point.

The band has consistently gone out of its way to get the point of the message through. During a recent stay in Bedford, England, played at a Christian music festival, they arranged for a free performance for all the hotel workers and townsfolk friends. The gathering quickly out'grew the hotel where they were staying, so they moved it to the largest public place they could find on short notice--the local pub.

Did their message get across in such a setting? "For many in the audience," Terry explains, "it was the first time anyone had bothered to pay any attention at all to them. They were some of the best listeners we've ever had."

For those with pre-conceived notions about ministries staying out of pubs, the music of ALARMA! will be that much more of a revelation.

For, in defining FCM in so inmediate a style, Daniel Amos has created a music "self-confession" to which all should be able to relate--Christian and future Christian alike.