Why the Back Burner?
Years ago, I had a thought of using this as a name for a band, The Back Burner. Or The Back Burners or something to that effect. The idea wasn't to make a cheesy correlation to the fire and brimtone futures of a life without Christ, much like a lot of metal bands in Christian music did with their names and album titles in the early 1990s.
I was instead thinking of the creativity that goes beyond being able to write a memorable hook that panders to thousands upon thousands of people who have been weaned on candy-eared pop and sanitized rock on the local Top 40 station. I was also thinking of the Christian musicians who opt to stay independent or sign with mainstream labels in order to seek out more exposure from people who will actually appreciate their art for art's sake instead of jumping on the "they're Christians, so they must be good" bandwagon.
I found myself wanting to reach the churched and the unchurched alike, and oddly enough, for the exact same reasons. I wanted people to understand that true art has no label like "Christian" or "secular" attached to it because of its designated purpose. True, you can use any piece of art to symbolize anything, and it can be reinterpreted an infinite number of ways depending on whom you ask, but I don't believe that who you are definitively predicts how your art can be used.
Because of my artistic leanings and interpretations, the kind of art I produce, I feel, is often something that is passed over by most people on first glance or at first listen, but the ones who linger and try to ascertain what I'm attempting to say instead of looking for only what they want to hear are the ones who truly understand the heart of an artist and can appreciate what it might take to put one's soul upon the chopping block. I feel as though what I produce is often relegated to the back burner of artistic expression. On most stoves, the back burners can be used, although most people never think to use them unless the ones up front are already occupied. Otherwise, they seem to be ignored.
In no way do I want this to become a self-fulfilling prophecy, as someday I would like all artists to be appreciated for their art and not what label they attach to themselves. Until then, I'll keep stirring the pot, making the sauce, and setting fire to the bananas foster.
There Is No Box.