Remedy Drive’s New Album “Commodity”
Declares War on Human Trafficking
The amazing music and ministry of Remedy Drive fell into my life without me realizing it, but I’m very glad they did.
Let me explain.
Last year my church hired a band to perform a free concert. At the time I knew nothing about Remedy Drive. The more I researched Remedy Drive in preparation for the concert, the more impressed I became. I had familiarity with many of their songs, yet never connected the band to the music. Songs such as Resuscitate Me, Daylight, and my favorite, Better Than Life, are among only several of many treasures this band has created. This year the band is returning to my church, and I’m very excited to see them play — especially now that I know them better.
For those of you who have not yet connected this band to their music, you’re in for a treat. September 23rd is the official release date of their seventh studio album, Commodity. This band has great energy and stands strong for the Kingdom of the Great I AM.
But there’s far more to this band than meets the eye.
Lead singer David Zach has entrenched his passion for fighting slavery and human trafficking deep into the title track of the album. “Commodity” is not merely a great song; it is fast becoming an anthem for the victims it represents.
I had a recent conversation with David in which he shared how “Commodity” came to be. He’s already becoming a major spokesperson for the subject of worldwide human trafficking, and the song is a reflection of the anguish that David experienced after viewing the video Kony 2012. In this sobering, gut-wrenching video, boys are kidnapped from their villages and then brainwashed to fight a war for an insane warlord. He became involved in benefit concerts to raise awareness on this issue with a group called Invisible Children. Soon after, David began writing lyrics specific to these injustices.
As far as using the tool of music to fight injustice, David stated that “a song transcends words alone. Rhyming lyrics and a solid melody can affect people in ways mere words cannot.” “Commodity” is living proof that his theory is correct. The Christian community certainly agrees, as the song has now spent over 17 weeks on the BDS Christian Rock Music Chart — six of those weeks at Number 1!
While talking these issues over with David, his in-depth knowledge of the statistics behind human trafficking astounded me. It opened my eyes to something deeply unsettling: there is a vast black market that involves selling and destroying the lives of others for monetary gain. There are people out there, tragically, who view human life as nothing more than a commodity.
In addition to those eye-opening and deeply sobering issues, the song “Commodity” reflects an interesting dichotomy. During our conversation, David observed how his talent as an artist can become the commodity of others.
“…I’m a soul inside a body.
I’m not a commodity, no oh!
Untie me I’ve gotta be let go.
Don’t let ’em own me – Don’t let ’em use me!
–Lyric excerpt from the song “Commodity”
An artist pours their heart and soul into their creation, and we often never see the back-story or the adversity behind those efforts.
In David’s case, he and his family grew up in Nebraska where his father did much traveling as a state-side missionary, and that theme of traveling would be passed down to his sons. David is a founding member of Remedy Drive, and has been on the road since the late ’90s. That’s a long time to be out there, but he explained to me that his love of music and his mission for the King of Kings drives him to continue.
It hasn’t always been easy either. He began the Remedy Drive journey with his brothers. Unfortunately, life on the road placed a strain on that brotherly union, and all but Zach have departed the band, though his brother Phillip helped produce the current album.
The music of Remedy Drive is unique, and it maintains a refreshing authenticity. “The music for Commodity was rock and roll, and not overly produced,” said David. “Polishing a song with too much production causes you to often lose the spirit and heart of a song.” His recording philosophy is returning dividends. Remedy Drive has become known as a band that can reproduce the heart and soul of the original recordings live, and I’m excited to witness that in person when they stop at my church on their current tour.
I asked David if he had opportunities to help people he encounters on the road. “It’s impossible for a band to affect someone’s life in such a short time and build a relationship with people,” he replied. “My hope is for the music to affect everyone we leave behind, and it is those who stay behind who can make the difference.”
David’s band and their powerful ministry has certainly left a lasting impression on me, and, after hearing about their fight against human trafficking, that question is still burning in my heart: how can I make a difference?
If you’d like to make a difference, there are plenty of organizations that could use your support. I found a great list at Music Times.com:
“There are several groups in the United States that work to combat human trafficking within our borders by educating, bringing awareness and rescuing victims:
B.E.S.T. (Building Empowerment by Stopping Trafficking) (Aftercare resources)
Bishop Outreach (Rescue Group)
Not For Sale
The Defender Foundation (Rescue Group)
The Polar Project (Trafficking Policy and Advocacy)
Trafficking In America Task Force (Education)”