Recently, I had the opportunity to meet a man who stood out from others in the way he represented the Christian faith. Garrett Russell is the lead singer of the Christian metalcore band Silent Planet. What stood out to me the most out of anything was his treatment of his fans and his willingness to speak to them about any topic.
Silent Planet began playing small venues in Los Angeles in 2009. Garrett Russell started the band as a result of a calling he felt from God to express his Christian ideals through music. He chose to name his band after the book written by C. S. Lewis, “Out of the Silent Planet.” His band makes a point of speaking to real world problems through their music. So far, the band has released two EPs and a full album.
Garrett is an artist who is known for pouring his convictions into his music. In songs like "City Grave," he tells the story of a human trafficking victim. In "Tiny Hands," Garrett speaks to injustice and evil through the story of a woman who lived in Nazi Germany. The EP Lastsleep tells the stories of women who were oppressed by domineering regimes. Silent Planet makes a point of speaking to real world topics.
One thing that Garrett Russell is famous for among his dedicated fan base is his kind treatment of them. Often for Christian artists, interaction with fans is where the “rubber meets the road” pertaining to the faith that they hold. Even if a Christian artist broadcasts nearly spotless orthodoxy, they seems to lose some legitimacy if the same orthodoxy does not affect how they treats people. Garrett and Silent Planet make excellent fan interactions a primary characteristic of their music making. I was able to speak to Garrett after one of Silent Planet’s concerts about the meaning behind one of their songs, "Tiny Hands." The first thing he did was thank me for coming to hear the performance. During the few minutes that I was able to speak with him, I felt more valued as a human being than I had for months before. Garrett kindly explained the meaning behind his song and gave me a hug when I complemented his music. I walked away feeling like I was the most important person in the world. I realized then that the way his band operated put them in a unique position to witness to non-Christians in the heavy metal community. By being so open to any questions asked of him and by treating his fans so well, he and his band put an accurate face of love and kindness to the name of Christianity. What non-Christians need is an example of Christ.
In my opinion, a loving example of Christianity is something that many non-believers are missing. How many more might come to Christ if we simply treat them with love, rather than immediately judging their sins? The metal community is one that contemporary Christians often judge, but really there should be love if people are to come to Christ. I would like to be the first to say that I appreciate Garrett Russell and Silent Planet for being an example that the metal community needs.