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Stephen Christian (born July 28, 1976) is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and author best known as lead vocalist of the alternative rock band Anberlin, as well as the vocalist of his acoustic side-project Anchor & Braille. He and his bandmates started Anberlin in 2002, after the demise of their previous group, known as SaGoh 24/7. He is one of the main songwriters for Anberlin along with Joseph Milligan, and with the band has released seven albums, the final being in 2014. Many of the albums in the Anberlin discography have peaked in the top ten on various Billboard charts.
He founded the non-profit and humanitarian-oriented band Faceless International, and is the founder of Wood Water Records, the home of Anchor & Braille. Christian wrote the memoir The Orphaned Anything's, which was released online in early 2008. Christian also started the solo project Anchor & Braille in 2007, and their debut album Felt, produced by Aaron Marsh of Copeland, was released in 2009. Felt debuted at number 30 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart. They released a second album, The Quiet Life, in 2012, with Christian again handling vocals and songwriting. Absolutepunk called The Quiet Life "a chaotic beauty of an album as well as [Christian's] most personal and eloquent effort to date."
- 1 Early life and education
- 2 Music career
- 3 Style and influences
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Publishing History
- 6 Discography
- 7 See also
- 8 Further reading
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Early life and education
Stephen Christian was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Christian's father worked with a non-profit organization called American Medical Relief that supplied medical equipment to third world countries, so he was exposed to humanitarianism at a young age. In an interview with myMag, Christian recalls going to Mexico with his father and seeing people living in garbage dumps and sifting through to find pieces of metal to scrap for food. Christian's father had plans to set up a hospital in the dump, and that is where Christian said he first developed an interest in non-profits.
Christian attended Winter Haven High School along with bandmates Deon Rexroat and Joseph Milligan. Following the completion of high school, the three formed the punk band SaGoh 24/7, which eventually transformed into Anberlin. Christian's younger brother Paul was an influence on some of the band's music. They released two albums, Servants After God's Own Heart (1999), and Then I Corrupt Youth (2001), with Christian signing lead vocals on both.
Christian is a graduate from University of Central Florida and the Florida State University College of Law, with a bachelor's degree in Psychology. He attended college to study non-profits, with plans to work for Habitat for Humanity or UNICEF, but Anberlin was signed a month after he graduated.
Following the signing of Anberlin, Christian wrote many of the band's albums. Anberlin has released seven albums: Blueprints for the Black Market, Never Take Friendship Personal, Cities, New Surrender, and Dark is the Way, Light is a Place, Vital, and Lowborn. Anberlin has also released a compilation album, Lost Songs. They released their final album in 2014.
Faceless International, memoir
Christian co-founded Faceless International along with his two friends, Seth Cain and Sarah Freeman. Faceless, a non-profit organization focused on fighting human trafficking and modern day slavery, "aims to defend the plight of exploited people worldwide who have gone faceless and unknown for far too long". The group organizes and undertakes humanitarian trips to areas in need, both internationally and domestically. He took the name "Faceless" from a local Winter Haven Band named Faceless.[no citations needed here] Members included Alex Rodriguez, drummer of Saosin, and Buddy Eason, former singer of the band Droid.[no citations needed here]
Christian wrote a memoir, The Orphaned Anything's, which was released online in early 2008.
2007-14: Anchor and Brail, Wood Water Records
He is also the founder of Wood Water Records which is also the home of Anchor & Braille. He founded the acoustic group Anchor & Braille, and they released a 7" single in 2007. He wrote all songs and performed vocals on their 2009 album Felt, which was recorded in 2008. The album was released through Christian's own label Wood Water Records and Federal Distribution on August 4, 2009 and was produced, engineered and mixed by Aaron Marsh from fellow Florida-based band Copeland. Felt debuted at number 30 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart.
His 2012 album with Anchor and Braille titled The Quiet Life was well received by critics, with most of the praise directed at Christian's songwriting. Of "Goes Without Saying", Artist Direct called it "One of the most brilliant and beautiful entries into Christian's catalog, and it's the perfect prelude to the sonic majesty contained in The Quiet Life." Absolutepunk called The Quite Life "a chaotic beauty of an album as well as [Christian's] most personal and eloquent effort to date."
Style and influences
Christian has stated that his interest in humanitarian efforts has influenced the themes of several of Anberlin's songs. Christian is a counter-tenor and is known for his "powerful, elegant vocal style" and wide vocal range.[no citations needed here]
- The Orphaned Anything's (February 2008)
With SaGoh 24/7
- Blueprints for the Black Market (2003), lead vocals
- Never Take Friendship Personal (2005), lead vocals
- Cities (2007), lead vocals
- Lost Songs (2007), lead vocals
- New Surrender (2008), lead vocals
- Dark is the Way, Light is a Place (2010), Vocals, guitar, piano, synthesizer
- Vital (2012), lead vocals
- Devotion (2013), lead vocals
- Lowborn (2014), lead vocals
With Anchor & Braille
The following is an incomplete list of songs that have Stephen Christian featured as either a vocalist or songwriter:
- 2008: The Human Flight Committee - Oh, When the Animals Unionize (guest vocalist on the song "Russian We're Barely Moving")
- 2009: Craig Owens - With Love EP (featured vocalist on the song "Products of Poverty")
- 2011: Darling Parade - "Remember" (featuring Stephen Christian of Anberlin)
- 2011: Hyland - "The One That Got Away" (featuring Stephen Christian during the chorus)
- Horsell Common - "I'm Dead" (featuring Stephen Christian)
- Esteban - "Follow" (featuring Stephen Christian)
- The Climbing - "Far From Loneliness" (featuring Stephen Christian)
- Interview: Stephen Christian of Anberlin by Songfacts (January 3, 2013)
- Interview: Anberlin’s Stephen Christian by Vulture Magazine (August 18, 2014)
- Interview: John O’Callaghan (the Maine) and Stephen Christian (Anberlin) talk co-headlining by Alt Press (October 15, 2013)
- Video: Interview with Stephen Christian by Real Feels (August 19, 2014)
- [[[:Template:BillboardURLbyName]] "Chart History - Heatseekers Albums"]. Billboard. Template:BillboardURLbyName. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
- "Message - AbsolutePunk.net". http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=28452120. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
- "myYearbook QAnberlin 's Question: Q: Where are you originally from? Just curious... A: i was born in kalamazoo, michigan but raised in St". Chatter.myyearbook.com. http://chatter.myyearbook.com/view/27588676/53c23fd3-2d1c-4bec-8515-e9021ede7908. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
- "Meet new people and chat online with MeetMe!". Myyearbook.com. http://www.myyearbook.com/?mysession=bWFnX2FydGljbGVfcmVhZCZhaWQ9MzQ0OTg=. Retrieved June 14, 2014.
- "Topic Galleries - South Florida". Sun-sentinel.com. October 19, 2011. http://www.sun-sentinel.com/entertainment/music/sfl-anberlin-buzz-bake-sale-1203,0,7669057.story. Retrieved November 17, 2011. Template:Dead link
- "Suburban Roads". Suburban Roads. February 9, 2007. http://www.suburbanroads.net/interviews/anberlin.html. Retrieved November 17, 2011. Template:Dead link
- "Be the Change". Faceless International. http://www.facelessinternational.com/content/about.php. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
- "Anchor & Braille Release Date, Track List". AbsolutePunk. http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=1104822. Retrieved June 18, 2009.
- Shea, Mike (November 2008). "Anberlin Podcast with Alternative Press Magazine". Alternative Press. http://media.altpress.com/specials/podcasts/AP_Podcast_29_ANBERLIN.m4a?. Retrieved December 2, 2008.
- "Anchor & Braille Debut "Goes Without Saying" on ARTISTdirect.com". ARTISTdirect. http://www.artistdirect.com/entertainment-news/article/anchor-braille-debut-goes-without-saying-on-artistdirect-com/10171290.