They wrote the theme song for the Pope's visit to England. They peformed center stage in Madrid, and last summer ooberfuse was asked to perform at a high-profile peace rally in London’s Trafalgar Square.
The occasion was the 1st anniversary of the assassination of Pakistan’s Minister for Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti. Ooberfuse is a music project that blends ingredients together that are usually kept apart. Whether it be the introduction of eastern flavours into western pop or faith inspirations into secular traditions the music challenges the tired conventions and formulas of regular everyday pop music. Hopefully the result of this experimentation, an explosion of soulful ryhthmic sounds, raises minds, hearts and souls.
I got a chance to ask Cherrie Anderson, a member of the band, some questions.
Q: How did you get started?
R: The band got together in late 2009 following a spiritual retreat for musicians and entered a national band search competition. From over 40,000 entrants ooberfuse were voted the most original and exciting band in the competition’s history. Since those early days things have gone from strength to strength from performing to 2 million people in Madrid last summer to working on a second album to follow the 2011 release of Still Love My Enemies.
Q: What is the mission and message of your music?
R: We don’t want people to think of our music as an escape providing a sanctuary separate from their ordinary lives. The songs come up from real life experiences whether these come from living in the east or the west. Our music expresses the heartache of everyday relationships or the rhapsodic moments of worship. Because we don’t compartmentalize these, parking our faith somewhere different from our musical interests, our songs give a fresh take on the otherwise predictable. We hope that our music lifts people up to perhaps see things and experience the world around them in more colorful vibrant ways. In short, we hope that people receive a new oober-fusiam for life through listening to our songs.
Q: Describe the place and time when the inspiration to write this song came?
We all sat in a room around a upright piano in the semi-darkness having spent the afternoon researching Shahbaz’s life. His story evokes such deep and almost irreconcilable emotions : the horror of his brutal murder in broad daylight combined with his gentle nature calling out Christ’s message that we should love one another instead of killing in the name of religion.
Q: What has your most exciting opportunity been?
Last summer we were asked to perform on the main stage in Madrid at World Youth Day moments before the arrival of the Pope at the formal opening ceremony. There was an estimated 2 million people gathered in Cibeles Square. Those who couldn’t see the stage were able to follow and hear through monstrously large TV monitors and the biggest PA system we have ever seen. The moment before we stepped out on stage was terrifying.
Q: Who is Christ for you and the band?
Christ is our Saviour. For us He is everything - our source of inspiration and joy! We believe He is as much present in popular music as He is in ancient sacred polyphony. He is present in our deepest desire for love and will transform the face of this earth and heal the wounds of our world if we would but tune our ear and respond to his voice. One of our new songs When You Call My Name says ‘Your footsteps tread soft like a dove / As the silence sounds in words of Love / So sweet’.
Q: What is the most significant spiritual experience that you have had?
There are occasions when you feel the living presence of Jesus almost tangibly breathing upon you and reassuring you that you are not alone. One of our most memorable spiritual experience is when we were part of the millions of youth gathered in Cuatro Vientos, Spain last year in silent adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.
Q: In a sentence, what would your advice be to young people to day?
Hear Him knocking on the door of your heart and let Him in!