New release by Greg X. Volz

Talk about Petra albums, songs, and concerts.
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Post by separateunion » Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:04 pm

I don't think Petra left the fans. There was a major shift in the Christian market not too long before the release of No Doubt, and Petra got left behind.
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Post by brent » Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:37 pm

separateunion wrote:I don't think Petra left the fans. There was a major shift in the Christian market not too long before the release of No Doubt, and Petra got left behind.
I think you just said the same thing as Petra left the fans. It's six of one, half a dozen of another.

The fact is that 80s metal/rock whatever crapped over night. When Nirvana hit, it was all over. Period. Petra had to either go grunge (which was wanted by Lichens) or go AC/pop rock. So John steered the ship in one direction and the fans went another. It was all in the same movement overnight.

CCM is not in some bubble. People are in the world listening to the music. CCM has to be comparable or it will tank. It needs to get beyond the four walls or it will continue to die, and it is. CCM and all other ethnic and niche genres are down a good 10%. CCM stations are tanking. Good. Serves them right. Make poor choices, make no money. I can say that smuggly because Christian Rock sales are the highest that they have been EVER. So people do listen to it. And the music that is the most listened to is the music that most compares to the music on the secular charts.

"Christian music is just stupid" - Bono, U2
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Post by Preacherman777 » Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:47 pm

Petra got left behind because they weren't giving the loyal fans what they wanted and they simply were not what the younger CCM fans wanted. No Doubt was a failed experiment. They should have come back with their next regular album (after Praise 2) and did something more along the lines Jekyll and Hyde (only with solos). If they had done that rather than what they did with God Fixation, they still may have been able to save the ship. However, with God Fixation and then the follow up disaster that was Double Take, Petra was left barely breathing. But in reality, they would have been far better off to have never done No Doubt the way they did it. If No Doubt had been another album more like Beyond Belief and had more than just a couple songs that really rocked, they would have been fine. From there, they could have expanded their sound gradually to include the fatter and heavier groove that they had in Jekyll and Hyde. I honestly believe that had they gone that route, they'd still be in high demand to this day.
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Post by Preacherman777 » Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:56 pm

Petra had to either go grunge (which was wanted by Lichens) or go AC/pop rock.
Interesting point. You may be right about that, but it would have been hard for me to see Petra going totally grunge. They were too talented for that. I don't think Bob could have dumbed down his songwriting enough to really pull that off. I suppose they could have attempted to take on more of a grunge guitar sound, but Bob's songwriting is what it is and it ain't grunge. I agree that they needed to advance their rock sound so that they didn't still just sound like an 80's band, but it had to stay heavy and it had to maintain the songwriting quality that Petra fans had come to expect.
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Re: Petra

Post by brent » Wed Dec 03, 2008 2:59 pm

Preacherman777 wrote:
Petra had to either go grunge (which was wanted by Lichens) or go AC/pop rock.
Interesting point. You may be right about that, but it would have been hard for me to see Petra going totally grunge. They were too talented for that. I don't think Bob could have dumbed down his songwriting enough to really pull that off. I suppose they could have attempted to take on more of a grunge guitar sound, but Bob's songwriting is what it is and it ain't grunge. I agree that they needed to advance their rock sound so that they didn't still just sound like an 80's band, but it had to stay heavy and it had to maintain the songwriting quality that Petra fans had come to expect.
I know I am right on this one. That was THE choice. It was go for an older audience and radio with No Doubt, or grunge. John could not see Petra doing the grunge thing. The Christian message would not have been in an appropriate wrapper either. That musical genre is all about rage and depression. The message must have an appropriate delivery.

There are also interviews say as much. Lichen's creative input conflict was well documented by him at one point.
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Post by Preacherman777 » Wed Dec 03, 2008 6:12 pm

Yeah, I knew there were issues with Lichens that eventually led to him getting the boot. I would have to agree with what John said tho about grunge not being the right vehicle for Petra's message.
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Post by adrinux » Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:30 pm

The thing about Lichens just sustains my opinion that: "where there are people, there are diffent likes" - with that come discussions and dissensions...

What drove Petra to "decline from the "top"" was that Bob didnt had a strong wrist to keep the songs flowing out from the same root...
and he shouldnt have stop giging neither passed the leadership of the band to John...
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Post by brent » Thu Dec 04, 2008 6:36 pm

adrinux wrote:The thing about Lichens just sustains my opinion that: "where there are people, there are diffent likes" - with that come discussions and dissensions...

What drove Petra to "decline from the "top"" was that Bob didnt had a strong wrist to keep the songs flowing out from the same root...
and he shouldnt have stop giging neither passed the leadership of the band to John...
It is always easy to think we know what is going on from the outside. Every band has it's issues and dark side. Petra was no different. Lichens was brought in by Bob to replace Bob so Bob could retire from the road.

It blows me away that some of you think that Petra could have existed doing the same thing all along. Bands don't do that. They get board. They get sick of the same old crap. They mature. Sometimes the audience follows. Sometimes they do not. But they had to quit sometime. They had to change. Rock was not paying the bills. The audience was not there, becuase radio was not there then. So they went where radio was and they still didn't get a break. So they changed again, and the back to rock to appease the 5,000 people in the world that bought J&H. Come on. Some of you guys need to get a grip. Nothing the band did pleased every fan.

I know more people from my generation. I talked to Sue about this the other day. I know pastors and professors at the local seminaries. They loved Petra. They thought Petra quit after Volz left. They quit looking for it. The majority say that. They didn't know John or about the other era.

So there is more than genre and personnel changes that have hurt them. There was a complete lack of competence handling the band post Becky Volz and those Star Song years. Becky was Petrified Productions. When they lost the grass roots front office, they started their decline IMO.
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Post by JMBJR72 » Thu Dec 04, 2008 8:57 pm

I started to to listening after Greg and just listen to albums. One of the reasons I see Petra's decline was around after No Doubt. Personel changed and at one point you did not know who was going to be there. Sure, you can be sure John will be there and Louie at that time. A lot has to do with personel at one point you can see during Fire through Wake up call.When you videos of that era you cant help say wow that was Petra. Dont get me wrong the chemistry during farwell was good but we were not able to have much time with them. Sure Petra is a Ministry but like church you know who is your pastor.
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Post by Dan » Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:55 pm

Another thing to remeber was Bob, John & Louie were in their 40's once Unseen Power came out, Petra was an older band at the time & had a young following.. so I think that sorta says something compaired to todays music fans...
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Post by adrinux » Fri Dec 05, 2008 5:14 am

brent wrote:
It blows me away that some of you think that Petra could have existed doing the same thing all along.
I'm not saying Petra should have kept doing the same thing until the end of time...

I'm a BIG FAN of them, of course, not living in USA like most of you, I could not see them live more than once...
But I can say that I love every album they released.
What I think we are discussing here is how and why petra faded out from "midia" or "radio" and why John could not make a rock album these days...
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Post by Shell » Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:16 am

The lyrics to the songs on "The Grafting" are wonderful, it's a great album, and I actually kind of like the mellower sound. So shoot me. :P "No Doubt" is a good album. Unfortunately that isn't necessarily what the media is looking for as has been pointed out.
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Post by adrinux » Fri Dec 05, 2008 11:58 am

So do I, dor me No Doubt is one of the best albuns. I always enjoy listening to it. I don't care if the media will accept or not... to heck with the media... :lol:
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Post by yamasaaaki har har » Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:39 pm

sue d. wrote:Coach Z? who's that?
the crazy green guy on homestarrunner .com that wears a baseball cap, has hygiene issues and talks with a weird airrrrccent
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Post by Preacherman777 » Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:50 pm

The media wasn't the problem for No Doubt, it was the fans. While I'm sure there were people who lost track of Petra after Volz left, I think it's short sighted to say (as Brent did) that that's when they began their decline. Petra was very popular in the late 80's and early 90's and this very board is a testament to how much the fans loved John Schlitt. I mean Volz is pretty much dust in the wind compared to the treatment John gets around here.

Anyway, the issue isn't that Petra should have never changed, the point is that they should have kept up their hard rockin edge, while allowing their sound to mature. There were tons of Christian hard rock bands in the mid 90's that tried to change their sound to the more alternative thing that was popular at the time and as I recall, they all failed miserably. Fans of hard rock and metal music did not want to see their favorite bands go in that direction. Rez, for example, never did that and I can tell you that fans of Christian hard rock and metal are still very much aware of them, in spite of the fact that they retired, and would gladly buy any new album they would put out, because they would know what to expect. Not to mention the fact that they are very well respected among those fans.

The sad reality with Petra is that those fans who made them what they were at the heights, gave up for not knowing what to expect anymore. Petra never did put out a solid hard rock album in the late 80's or early 90's that did poorly and yet they changed their sound anyway. There can be no question that this was an attempt to follow the current trends in music, but Petra was, even then, a bunch of older guys who were trying to make their way in a type of music that was born long after their time. They had no business being there and the fans of that kind of music had no interest in them. On the other hand, the fans of the kind of music that Petra did best, were left wondering what happened to the band they loved.

By the time Petra did Jekyll and Hyde, most of the their old hard rock fans had long since moved on and figured Petra's hard rockin' glory days were behind them. I'm pretty sure Jekyll and Hyde did better than 5,000 copies, unless my memory really fails me, but whatever it did, it would have done far better if not for the excursion into no man's land.
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