CCM Magazine
April 1994 Volume 16 Number 10
© 1994 CCM Publications, Inc.
Pages 10-11

[Photo and caption: Passafist is Lynn Nichols and Dave Perkins.]

Passafist's Dave Perkins began his musical career in New York as a staff writer for CBS and a guitar-for-hire, playing in backup bands for years before a friend gave him the keys to his recording studio and permission to play around whenever it was available. In time his engineering skills brought him increasing opportunitites to produce songs from other players, and paved the way for recording his own project as well.

Lynn Nichols is a former vice president of Word Records who was instrumental in re-signing Phil Keaggy for a series of albums that started with the now-classic Sunday's Child record.

Nichols and Perkins first crossed paths several years ago when Perkins was producing Steve Taylor's I Predict 1990 record. And it was a couple of years later that Perkins mentioned to Taylor that he was interested in putting a band together. The two soon hooked up with Nichols, drummer Mike Mead and bassist Wade Jaynes to form Chagall Guevara. Their 1991 self-titled debut on MCA garnered critical praise but less than electrifying sales. Rather than dive into a second record together, the band members amicably opted to pursue individual endeavors.

For Perkins, one of those endeavors was a piece of music for a motion picture that was being made in London. He wound up putting together a composition called "Christ of the Nuclear Age" which was heavily influenced by the industrial sound of groups like Ministry and Nine Inch Nails. During this same time, Perkins and Nichols were compiling a producer's reel of their individual and corporate production work. When Nichols heard "Christ of the Nuclear Age," he loved it so much that the two of them began to think about doing an entire record together. With the programming help of Dessau's John Elliot, they were able to mesh the sound of their guitar playing against a hard techno/industrial backdrop.

The result is Passafist. The record's seven tracks approach highly topical issues from the perspective of their personal impact of the writers. Perkins describes "Emmanuel Chant" as "...a gasping prayer coming up off the floor of the post-apocalyptic planet." He sees it as a musical blend of Psalm 63 and the movie Soylent Green. Other themes include gun control ("Glock") and the use of sex as a marketing tool ("LOV-E900"). The record also includes a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man."

Perkins looks forward to a possible Passafist tour of festivals and other selected venues this summer. When asked about how he thinks of an oft-resistant Christian audience might respond to Passafist's bold social commentary, Perkins is optimistic. "You've got a lot of people out there in their cocoons waiting for Jesus to come back. But I like Johnny Appleseed's philosophy. He said, 'I'd still plant a tree today if I knew tomorrow was the end of the world.'"

After touring Perkins says anything is possible. He currently plays in three bands, mostly out of his love for music, and would love for an opportunity to do another Passafist record, "definitely with a hope to take it up a notch."

Derek Wesley Selby