Manic Drive Go Into the Wild

Canada’s Manic Drive have been around since 2004, but recently they’ve taken a new approach to their music. Rather than just writing songs for people who are already on their Christian walk, they’re now also reaching out to people who don’t know about Christ. That decision is represented by their new album and single, both called ‘Into the Wild’.

When they caught up with Alex recently, brothers Shawn and Michael Cavallo explained that they’d been thinking about how we’re all encouraged to go out and spread the Good News. ‘That kind of rang true to us, as Christian musicians especially, where instead of just writing songs for Christians, why don’t we go outside our comfort zones, and write music for people who need to hear it as well.’

The music video for Into the Wild is pretty impressive. Shawn and Michael spent three days shooting with Michigan Director Andrew Smith, who also created most of the props and staging. Then they had to return to the road, leaving Hunter, the child actor in the video, to finish filming. Andrew then spent a further six months putting it together. ‘I don’t like to boast about my own stuff,’ Shawn said, ‘but it’s one of the best Christian music videos. It has nothing to do with me. It’s just this Director.’

In the video, Shawn dresses as a wizard, and protects the young boy from dragon fire with a magical shield. ‘That was really hard,’ he said, ‘to work with the dragon. He’s a good actor, but when he was blowing that fire, it was really dangerous. It’s a one-take thing. He was moody. The guy’s flying in from Europe and everything.’

‘And then I was like hey, can I ride you, dragon? Can I go on for a ride? He wasn’t even willing! That’s the worst part! On set, Hunter was great, but the dragon? Complete jerk!’

The brothers are big fantasy fans, and were surprised that some Christians object to stories about magic. As Shawn points out, the world’s most popular writers of fantasy, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis and J. K. Rowling are all Christians, and their faith had a big influence on their fiction.

And it is fantasy. It’s not real, so you really shouldn’t be offended by something that doesn’t exist.

For the Cavallo brothers, the fantastical elements of the video are just a cool way to symbolise the struggle we’re all a part of. ‘There are evils that we fight and tangle with every day of our lives,’ Shawn said. ‘That’s not just in fantasy, but that’s in our everyday walk.’

‘You’re going to face a dragon. You’re going to face a giant, or some sort of obstacle that’s going to challenge you. And that’s where we’ve got to stand in the faith, and be brave and strong in those moments.’

Shawn faced his own epic struggle while writing this album. They had just heard God calling them to take their music beyond the walls of the Church. But they knew that meant potentially alienating the fan base they’d relied on for years. Sitting at his keyboard, Shawn felt exhausted and scared. He knew all his fears were just distractions, but that didn’t make them easier to set aside.

I just want to focus on Christ, and write some music. And that anxiety, that whole thing of letting everything go, was one of the toughest things we had to do as Christian musicians.

He wrote down how he was feeling at that moment, like he’d reached the summit of a mountain only to meet a giant, like life was just an endless series of obstacles. Out of that, a song started forming. A few days later, he showed his wife what he’d written. She said it was great, but it wasn’t finished. ‘Oh man!’ he thought. ‘I’m already worn out! I’ve got to still work on this thing?’

As he glumly headed downstairs to keep working, she said something that gave him the key to the song. ‘Christ has given you strength for moments like these,’ she told him. ‘And then it all clicked,’ he said. ‘I was like yeah, life doesn’t get easier, but that’s why we need to ask to be made stronger.’

‘No, getting there isn’t effortless,’ he sings. ‘I’m gonna need a hand with this. So help, I’m asking please, there’s gotta be another remedy.’ Easier is the sound of a band taking a risk, stepping into the wild, because Jesus didn’t ask us to stay home. He asked us to pick up our cross, and follow him. (Matthew 16:24 NIV) The path he walks is hard and dangerous, but if we let go of our fears, and have Faith, His strength can help us face down dragons.

Manic Drive’s new album, Into the Wild, is out now.

About the author

Jonathan Craig

MORE GREAT READS FROM

The Second City of Redemption

When Steven Malcolm was nine, his father was deported back to Jamaica. His mother turned to alcohol, and he gravitated toward the streets. But his search for identity would ultimately lead him to his heavenly Father. His new album, The Second City, tells some of that story. His father’s hometown, Montego Bay, is often called…

How Obeying God Helped Rivah Find her Voice

Under her real name, Bec Laughton, Brisbane pop artist Rivah was a headliner at Easterfest. Then, for a while, she disappeared. She told Alex she’d been with God in the wilderness, on a journey to find out what came next. ‘It was an intense and beautiful journey,’ she said, ‘and in the process, I actually…

Manic Drive Go Into the Wild

Canada’s Manic Drive have been around since 2004, but recently they’ve taken a new approach to their music. Rather than just writing songs for people who are already on their Christian walk, they’re now also reaching out to people who don’t know about Christ. That decision is represented by their new album and single, both…

Songs About Our Culture

We reckon every new track Branan Murphy puts out is gold. Adopted by older parents, he grew up listening to the Beatles and the Beach Boys, which taught him an old-school respect for melody. But his thoughtful reflections on living in faith really set him apart. ‘I grew up in the Southern United States,’ he…

Stand-Up and Standing Out

Being one of the few Christian comedians in Australia isn’t an easy road. ‘If you think you want to be a stand-up comedian,’ Newcastle’s Uncle Nath told Alex, ‘God’s probably calling you to do it. Or you’re insane. It’s one or the other.’ The cool thing about comedy, he says, is that unlike, say, a…

How Apollo LTD Got their Name

For Jordon Philips, the hardest part of being in a band is working out what to call it. ‘We’ve always hated naming bands,’ he admitted to Alex. ‘It’s the worst!’ Adam Stark shouted in the background. Read on for the story of how they decided on their name, or listen to the podcast of their…

More Than Conquerors

Can you preach the Gospel by bending, smashing and breaking stuff? That’s the mission of the Conquerors Strength team from the US. Each of their amazing feats has a message behind it. ‘Jesus died for U,’ they tell audiences, ‘like the shape of this horseshoe. But if you accept him into your life, He becomes…

Pastor Chef’s Tips for a Balanced Lifestyle

Mark Kujawa, the Pastor Chef, says that when it comes to cooking, everyone wants ‘quick and easy’. He says that’s partly because we live in ‘a lazy culture’. But if you’re well-prepared, ‘quick and easy’ is actually possible. ‘I can do Spag Bol in about 10 minutes,’ he said. ‘So quicker than a Friday night…

The Truth About Millennials

Millennials are just THE WORST, right? At least, that’s what our elders say. There are seemingly endless pieces in the press talking about how terrible we are. Pastor Ben Windle has spent two years researching us, and he says we aren’t as bad as all that. Next time someone starts a story with ‘back in…

Shooting for Jesus

Jeremy Kendle has played basketball for some of Australia’s best teams since he moved here from the USA in 2015. He’s part of the Toowoomba Mountaineers’ team and was named the Queensland league’s most valuable player. A great season with the Bendigo Braves earned him a spot on the Brisbane Bullets’ roster. He also played…

Alex in Nepal for Miracles Day

Recent Articles

The Second City of Redemption

When Steven Malcolm was nine, his father was deported back to Jamaica. His mother turned to alcohol, and he gravitated toward the streets. But his search for identity would ultimately lead him to his heavenly Father. His new album, The Second City, tells some of that story. His father’s hometown, Montego Bay, is often called…

How Obeying God Helped Rivah Find her Voice

Under her real name, Bec Laughton, Brisbane pop artist Rivah was a headliner at Easterfest. Then, for a while, she disappeared. She told Alex she’d been with God in the wilderness, on a journey to find out what came next. ‘It was an intense and beautiful journey,’ she said, ‘and in the process, I actually…

How Instagram Leads Us to God

I have always found pictures to be fascinating. Perhaps everyone does to some degree. After all, just look at Instagram. More than 80 million photos are uploaded to the site every day—and each one holds some sort of significance. They all tell a story or share a memory. However, it is not what’s in the…

Manic Drive Go Into the Wild

Canada’s Manic Drive have been around since 2004, but recently they’ve taken a new approach to their music. Rather than just writing songs for people who are already on their Christian walk, they’re now also reaching out to people who don’t know about Christ. That decision is represented by their new album and single, both…

Donate to vision

Over 80% of our income is from the freewill gifts of wonderful people just like you.
So thank you for helping. Your generous support is 'Connecting Faith to Life'.