Saturday, June 06, 2009

See Inside

SEE INSIDE Out of the Grey Interview by Sharon Harper ( Focusing on the essentials, the truth of the gospel, is a black and white issue for the pop duo Out of the Grey. Nothing will cloud the impact of that message, although the two performers hope listeners will dig into their lyrics for a deeper understanding of what it means to walk the walk. Scott and Christine Denté, the engaging talents with a flair for meaningful, artsy songs set to guitar driven vocals, are 'coming clean' with a push toward transparency in See Inside. "We want to draw people in and make them feel comfortable," Scott says, referring to previous packaging that he says made the couple appear aloof. "We want people to see inside us, inside our music, our lyrics, but to take the time and see inside themselves and what's in there. It kind of intertwines with all the ideas of what See Inside means." Themes of hope, trust, joy, and honesty weave through the tapestry of See Inside. Like deep calls to deep, these lyrical messages don't spoon-feed listeners. They must connect the threads themselves. "It draws you in and makes you want to pick up the lyric book in the CD and say, 'What is this person getting at?' So you have to do a little work. Any great art makes you work. Even if you look at a painting, you have to respond to it. We want people to respond to our lyrics and our music. Because if you don't have to respond, you're just passive," Scott says. On their fifth album, the Dentés decided a new approach would turn the tide of sameness their projects were slipping into. They traded friend and longtime producer Charlie Peacock for Brown Bannister, another master planner when it comes to spearheading a breakout album. "After the fourth record our music was starting to hit an ordinary kind of groove," Christine admits. "We wanted to challenge ourselves a little bit. We have grown so much with Charlie in the past years, but we needed to grow in a different way. It's scary. We definitely left our comfort zone for uncharted waters." As if they were starting all over again, the couple took a year off touring to concentrate on songwriting and cook up a whole batch of the good, the bad, and the best to choose from. Locking themselves in a 10x10 writers' room at Sparrow and calling up noted songwriters Brent Bougeouis and Phil Madeira to collaborate, the Dentés removed a tray of goodies sure to please palettes hungry for edgy, intellectual pop. "We really felt like we had some time to sit down and explore musically and not feel the weight of a deadline like we had in the past. So we had some time to travel down any creative avenue we wanted," Scott explains. "When we started working with Brown and some of the musicians we'd used in the past, it all came together," Christine adds. "It coalesced into the record we wanted to make. That's what See Inside is. We got the edge and the energy we wanted." Energy and musical diversity sets this project apart from their others. From the first cut, "No Leaving," when Christine cuts loose with raw breathy emotion, to the last, "Joy," sung with ethereal vocals to cello magic by John Catchings, this release will surprise and captivate listeners with a taste for something different. Scott showcases his acoustic guitar chops in remarkable riffs throughout See Inside. His handiwork will be featured on material in a male version of The Trio with guitar greats Phil Keaggy and Wes King to be released this fall. Christine joined Susan Ashton and Margaret Becker in the original Trio in '95's Along the Road. "Disappear" and "Constant" are the first releases to hit radio play. "'Disappear' really represents who Scott and I are. We struggle just like every other Christian with 'We know what the truth is, but here's where we are.' Then we read in Colossions 3: 'For you died and your life is hidden with Christ who died.' That's where I want to be." Although change is inevitable as growth occurs, the format for success lies in the Dentés' supreme talent for putting pen to paper. "I think our music appeals to people who want to delve into the lyric, who want to be able to rock with a pop song, but not be spoon-fed the lyric. We're riding that fine line of clarity versus art and creativity," Christine says, "and sometimes, I think we do it pretty well."