TORONTO – Catholic musicians looking for publicity have found a new home at CatholicBands.com – and music lovers are benefitting.
Michael Marchand, 29, has been in youth ministry for 10 years and had a difficult time finding good Catholic music.
"Most of the few Catholic radio stations out there are talk format. And so there isn't anybody giving exposure to Catholic bands," he said.
Marchand's remedy is to introduce a new Catholic band each week to subscribers to his website – CatholicBands.com.
"You subscribe and every week we email you a profile of the Catholic band, along with downloads of two of their songs," he said.
To generate its stock of artists, the team – Marchand and his wife Crystal, a writer-researcher with a music background – search out and interview bands they already know and love. Additionally, subscribers will recommend bands.
Two main principles qualify Catholic music for Marchand's purposes. The bands must self-identify as Catholic and espouse Catholic values.
"They're actually vocally declaring that they are Catholic in that their Catholic faith is not only a part of their life, but influences their music, and their music supports and upholds Catholic values," he said.
"It's not necessarily that every song has to be about Mary or every song has to be about the Eucharist, but the songs are upholding Catholic values and being produced with their Catholic faith in mind."
The Marchands aim to gather a broad spectrum of quality music, from rock and roll to hip hop to country, even techno. Marchand does not expect that each subscriber will like every band, but promises to show them how wide the genre of Catholic music can be.