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Christian rocker separates music, religion

Sam Neal

Published: Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 19:07

musician religion


The 71’s promotional for the upcoming cross-country tour.

Why are musicians always judged by their religion?

Keeton Coffman, lead singer of the 71's, is a devout Christian who wants to break this religious stereotype through his music.

Coffman believes that when a person associates themselves with a religion, other people immediately judge every aspect of that person's life. He finds that musicians in particular are heavily judged by their religious beliefs.

"I don't know why musicians are always judged on their beliefs." Coffman said. "When I go to the doctor and he fixes my broken bone, I don't ask him if he is a Christian."

Coffman does not consider The 71's to be a Christian band. He believes that when a musician makes his or her beliefs public, people have difficulty separating their music from the artist's religion.

"I wish that there was a way for people to listen to the music and not stereotype based on the person's religion." Coffman said. "I love rock and roll music, so why can't I just do that and not be judged by my religion?"

Some religious listeners are disenchanted with bands who they believe are abusing the Christian label to gain popularity.

"It really bugs me when a band calls themselves ‘Christian' just to get attention," said Kelsi Turner, freshman general studies major and Christian music fan. "It's easy to separate the fakers from the believers; just look at their life offstage."

Through his music, Coffman tells stories that people of any belief or background can connect with emotionally. He believes that music exists to bring people together, but that religious-themed music pushes people further apart.

"I write about the human experience; I just want people to hear my music and feel connected to one another," Coffman said. "I don't have an agenda and I'm not trying to toe the line between preaching and entertainment. When people listen to my music, I just want them to think about how the music relates to their lives."

Coffman is always open to discussing Christianity with his fans, but believes that it is best suited to a one-on-one conversation.

"A nice conversation over a good beer is a better way to talk about God than onstage during a show," Coffman said.

Coffman's band, The 71's, are having a free concert at 10pm on Friday at Schotzi's, and he wants everyone to come out and enjoy the show.

The 71's have been to College Station once before, and were very well received by the students.

"They had really high energy and kept the crowd really involved," said sophomore psychology major Chance King, who was in attendance at their last concert.

"My favorite show last year was the one in College Station," Coffman said. "The crowd was incredible, and I have been looking forward to this show ever since."


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