Up until the last few years, Father John Misty was scared that people would find out he’d grown up in a Christian home. Playing drums in successful indie outfit Fleet Foxes, he’d give stock standard answers in interviews and worry what he’d do if the question of faith came up.
But in a recent interview with Relevant magazine, Misty explained the moment he decided to change his musical moniker and start using his solo music to ask some deeply probing questions, which would include his musings on religion.
He explains in the article, “Being someone who cannot get Christianity out of my system—I no longer even really want to—it’s an intimate thing to question God.”
His father was a Pastor, and Misty also attended a Christian university (Nyack College) for a year, before becoming deeply disillusioned. He explained in the article that during college he noticed the strange behaviour of the students that were tipped to become pastors, and said, “I found them very disturbing socially.”
He then flirted with atheism, but kept hanging out with musicians from the Christian hardcore music scene (even playing drums on a Demon Hunter record) before joining Fleet Foxes.
When he started releasing music as Father John Misty in 2012, he’d send copies of his albums to his parents, which they would refuse to open because they were sure they’d disagree with his musings.
Relevant explains his latest album ‘Pure Comedy’ as, “a sprawling, conceptual epic that starts at the birth of mankind and continues through mankind’s self-destruction at the hands of the technology, organized religion and the entertainment industrial complex. With something that unwieldy, it’s no wonder that not everyone’s on the same page about it.”
While people may see the work as gloomy, humanist, and godless; Misty affirmed that when he sings that we are all “random matter suspended in the dark” and adds “each other’s all we got” he’s not excluding God from the conversation.
He explained, “I think what Christ was really about was that—we experience Him through other people.”
While he added that he is yet to encounter a personal faith of his own, Misty said he respects that his Dad has a faith based on a personal experience, rather than dogma.
“When you look at all of it, the only response that I respect is [if someone says] “Christ did something in my life and it means something to me”... That’s the only answer that I can really respect. Everything else to me is f***ing Kirk Cameron bulls***. It’s all just the wisdom of man, and man’s wisdom is bulls***.”
Read the full, thought-provoking, interview here.