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Eric Champion Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and Eric Champion lyrics)
Eric Champion Biography
Eric Champion has entered a bold new reality. It's a place where sci-fi techno-rock meets heartfelt soul and pop . . . where precise, computer-driven grooves intersect with the beating of human hearts. It's a picture of the meeting place between God and mean, and a futuristic vision of a world bent on denying the very existence of its Creator. It's Vertical Reality, Eric Champion's newest album and statement of faith amidst a world in turmoil.
THE PROJECT: Vertical Reality signals the coming of age of the artist, long considered a prodigy of contemporary Christian music. Drawing on influences from the spectrum of pop music, Eric and co-producer Tommy Sims have created a landmark work that defies traditional categories. It's cutting-edge, but comfortable . . . inventive, but familiar - challenging and reassuring, all at the same time.
The marriage of Eric Champion's writing and vision with the technical wizardry of producer Tommy Sims, a multi-faceted producer and writer, as well as one of the most sought-after bass players in the world, will make Vertical Reality one of the most talked-about records of the year.
THE STORY: When Eric began writing the album in late 1992, he quickly found himself in the midst of a work that was taking on a life of it's own.
"I saw a common thread in content early on,' says Eric. "The theme was simple: getting to know God in a real and closer way, and applying that to your life. That's where the title, Vertical Reality, comes from. Vertical relationships pertain to us and God. All these songs are written either to God or from God."
The common thread was woven into a richly textured tapestry of fantasy and faith, and by the project's completion, the songs on Vertical Reality emerged as an allegory of humankind's search for God in a secular, ungodly world.
Vertical Reality tells the tale of Sam, a computer hacker in a world where individuals are reduced to numbers and monitored through the master mainframe at Govtrol, the agency of world domination. Sam and a group of compatriots have managed to hack themselves out of the system's memory, and they set out to find the true God... a concept Govtrol has long-since erased from the human data base. Reminiscent of a modern-day Pilgrim's Progress, where virtues and attributes are given personalities and human dimensions to convey spiritual truths, Vertical Reality uses science fiction and fantasy to communicate real-life questions and answers.
"I've always been a fan of fantasy," says Eric. "The media today so often use intricate devices and effects to make essentially worthless things seem appealing. I thought it would be great to use elements of fantasy to reveal truths that people wouldn't ordinarily see.
"One of the problems I see in the church today is that people do not fully understand the reality of God in their lives," he elaborates. "We do not apply the Bible literally enough in our lives to find out that it really works. I want to use new means and approaches to make people think about the reality of God. Personally, in this day and age, I can't imagine staying sane and living without my relationship with God."
THE MINISTRY: Eric's heart is set on giving his audience something of both immediate impact and eternal value.
"I think that Vertical Reality could open kids up to the message of Christ big time because they relate to sci-fi and comic books and fantasy. I'm using those tools to bring them the Gospel. This is uncharted territory, but that just makes it all the more exciting. I really have to share with young people especially," he says, "because there are so many of them, in the churches and out, who are just completely lost. Touring a lot has brought that home to me so clearly. I've had some amazing responses in concerts finding young people really wanting to give their lives to something they can believe in . . . and really wanting to be part of a change and part of solutions."
THE SONGS: "'Touch' is probably the most straightforward, binding lyric of the whole album." comments Eric. "The song is about becoming aware of God in a more real way - actually being able to touch His face and feel His presence in our lives." This hook-laden AC/CHR pop hit very simply states the theme of the album.
"'More About You' is a lyrical extension of 'Touch,'" continues Eric, "Once we touch the face of God and see how good He is, we just want more."
Among Eric's personal favorites on Vertical Reality is the gorgeous ballad, "Endless." "Of all the songs I've written, this may be my favorite," says Eric. "On one hand, it's true that we are all just worthless sinners saved by grace. But on the other hand, if you look at all the trouble God's gone to just to redeem us and bring us back, He must think we're the most special, important thing in the world. He literally loved us to death. "'Endless' expresses that love much like one person would to another person they love incredibly. It's a wonderful thing to think of God loving us just that much . . . and more."
Eric says that "My Life Is In Your Hands," a radio-ready, mid-tempo ballad from Vertical Reality, has also had a therapeutic effect on his life.
"I can't even count the times this song has brought me back to reality when I get stressed out and worried," he says. "If I'm really seeking God, and He does indeed have the position in my life I've placed Him in, He's got it under control. My life is in His hands, and I just need to relax and rest in that fact. That one simple truth ministers to me over and over again."
THE TOUR: Long renowned fir his sophisticated stage show, Eric will be touring this year with a full band, as well as his giant-screen video wall and elaborate stage sets. Eric sees the Vertical Reality tour as a major step forward in both ministry and entertainment.
"I have no problem at all calling myself an entertainer," he says. "I love entertaining and have been doing it since I was a kid. My shows are very entertaining, and that's what gives them maximum impact on an emotional level. But there is also a definite, solid message in everything I do.
"We're going to integrate a lot of drama into the concert, coinciding very closely with the music to convey those messages. It's going to be a theatrical rock show that will closely follow the story of Vertical Reality."