Well, it looks like he's finally done it: in an email sent out early this morning, Nashville musician Derek Webb reveals that his new record, Stockholm Syndrome "has gotten out of control," meaning that it's too offensive for his label, INO Records, to release it. "It seems I've finally found the line beyond which my label can support me, and apparently I've crossed it," Webb wrote.
Well! Frustrating as it must be for Derek, this may be the best Christian music censorship story we've had in a long time. Judging by our inbox, this kind of thing happens on an almost weekly basis in the industry, but leave it to Derek Webb to make all the details public. Not exactly, as his email has next to zero details ("because of various legal/publishing issues"). Apparently most of the controversy surrounds one song, the most important on his most important record, he says. Given the name of his new charity/activism website (not active yet), it's reasonable to guess that it might be the first Christian song ever to feature the s-word. (Update, May 14: We have confirmed, via someone who has heard the song, that it deals with Christian treatment of gay people, and, sure enough, includes the word "shit.")
Here's the gratuitously mysterious original email for you to peruse for yourself. We'll be watching this one with interest.
i haven't sent many personal emails to this email list but we're in a situation that has gotten a little out of control and it's time to fill you in. as some of you may know, i've been working for months on my new record, 'stockholm syndrome', which i've recently finished and turned in to the record label. they've been very supportive over the years, but this time we didn't get the response we expected. it seems i've finally found the line beyond which my label can support me, and apparently i've crossed it.
i consider this my most important record and am adamant about all of you hearing it. we had originally hoped to have 'stockholm syndrome' out this month (next week even), but at this point we're not sure when the record will come out and in what form. the majority of the controversy is surrounding one song, which i consider to be among the most important songs on the record. so we've decided it's an appropriate time to break the rules.
but because of various legal/publishing issues we're having to be rather careful with how we do what we're going to do next. that's really all i can say for now and i've probably said too much.
we have a plan and we're moving ahead, but we're not sure what kind of trouble we might be getting into. we'll let you know as soon as we know our next move-
David Sessions is the founding editor of Patrol. He covers religion for Newsweek and The Daily Beast, and is a graduate student in the Draper Program for Humanities and Social Thought at New York University. He can be reached at hdavidsessions at gmail dot com.
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