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Emery to Leave Tooth and Nail and Start New Label, Controversial Blog, Podcast and More

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September 10, 2013

The members of Emery have been no strangers to controversy over the years. And their mission to stir the pot is coming to a head with a new project they're calling "Bad Christian." On their blog "UN-learning," the band writes...

If you are familiar with Emery, then you know the lyrics from the song “Listening to Freddie Mercury.”

We are all the sisters and the brothers
Until we find we don’t believe the same, like

Gary’s getting drunk to forget Sarah.
Sarah’s stealing money from her parents.
Aaron’s lying straight to Jon
About Megan and the things that went on.
Jessica’s a gossip, Laura’s a slut.
Derrick hits Bridget and Ben deals drugs.
Seth spends all his money gambling.
Joey stopped praying.
It’s all the same.
We are all the same people.
With sinning hearts that make us equal.
Here’s my hand, not words said desperately.
It’s not our job to make anyone believe.

Like Charles Barkley said, “I am [We] are not role models.” We (Emery) are messed up guys who play music.

As a band, we have always strived for transparency and honesty. While this has made for good music and lyrics, it has also brought forth much controversy. We have purposely steered our music careers away from churches in favor of playing in what Christians call “secular bars and clubs”—what we call “normal places.” Yet we have always and will continue to sing about our lives and who we really are. So naturally our lyrics will include Jesus. This pursuit of being real has resulted in a lot of anger from those that see us as squandering our platform of positive influence and from those that simply want us to stop talking about all this “religious bullshit,” as they put it.

In short, a common theme and belief of ours is that the pursuit of being a “good Christian” is a flawed goal, as it circumvents and distracts the pursuit of Jesus Christ himself. We liken the pursuit of being a “good Christian” to what the Bible would label as being a good Pharisee. We prefer to label followers of Jesus as Bad Christians who fortunately have a Great Savior. We also believe that Jesus grows, changes, and makes people better. As Jesus pursues change in our hearts, our most effective response is BEING HONEST and transparent with our weaknesses and struggles. Through Bad Christian, this is what we intend to personally do—and encourage others to do the same.

We will continue to be ourselves while we also entertain, love, and serve others through our music. Our plans are to continually branch out from there.

We strongly desire to share the perspectives and experiences that we’ve acquired while traveling hundreds of days each year for over ten years. In those ten years, there has been an amazing shift in music culture and we’ve been fortunate to have seen up close and been a part of this shift. One of the many changes from this shift has been an increase in music fans’ openness to Christians and Christian artists. And as a result, Jesus. This has occurred because of bands’ willingness to actually get involved with the culture at large and authentically build relationships with people who don’t believe the same.

We believe this change can certainly extend beyond the music scene to alter spheres of culture around the whole world. Yes, we believe that we can change the world. Our use of the word, “we,” means all of our supporters, fans, and readers, not just Matt, Toby, and Joey.

This is how we are going to start…

** With Emery’s original bassist, Joey Svendsen, Matt & Toby will continue their controversial blog, UN-learning, but it will be rebranded as Bad Christian. (

** Emery will no longer be on Tooth and Nail Records, as they will venture out with side project Matt and Toby, as well as other artists (TBA) to establish the label, Bad Christian Music. (NOTE: Tooth and Nail is and always will be AWESOME. We love them but we just want to do our own thing)

** We will begin a weekly podcast, featuring raw and honest conversation, including guests and various interviews.

** We will self-publish an eBook full of revealing personal stories and a detailed outline of our beliefs and philosophy.

** We will continue our travels, visiting people and performing in living rooms. (

** We will not be a church. We will support and help the church by serving at our own churches and by helping plant Bad Christian groups that will exist within and alongside local churches. Hopefully these groups can support churches that already have effective Sunday gatherings, but are ineffective in their pursuit of fruitful community.

** We will be traveling to speak, teach, perform, and build communities.

Will you join us?
Matt, Toby and Joey

# # #

For more info on Emery visit the JFH Artists Database.
For more info on Matt and Toby visit the JFH Artists Database.


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