Died: Michael Knott, Christian Alternative Musician Who Helped Launch Tooth & Nail

Knott wrote rock operas, sang with honesty and conviction, called out hypocrites, and bucked the norms of the Christian music industry.

Michael Knott, whose music and influence helped cultivate the Christian alternative music scene of the 1990s and 2000s, died Tuesday at the age of 61. He is survived by his daughter, Stormie Fraser.

Knott was the founder of the label Blonde Vinyl and later collaborated with Brandon Ebel to launch the highly influential Tooth & Nail Records, known for bands like Underoath and MxPx.

His raw, innovative, and controversial music pushed against the norms of the industry and laid the groundwork for contemporary communities around Christian alt music.

“Knott helped prove that Christian music could be something legitimate, rather than running two to three years behind mainstream trends,” said Matt Crosslin, who runs the site Knottheads and has become an unofficial archivist of Knott’s work.

Even with his reputation for bucking standards, Knott’s sense of mission was earnest and singular.

“He wanted people to come to Jesus and be saved,” said Nathan Myrick, assistant professor of church music at Mercer University. “He seemed to offer a way of holding faith and raw authenticity in tension.”

Knott was born in Aurora, Illinois, and grew up with six sisters in what he described as a modern “von Trapp family.” They were constantly singing and immersed in music through their father, a folk singer, and their mother, a church organist.

When Knott was in second grade, his family moved to Southern California, where he began to take piano and guitar lessons at the YMCA. He started writing songs in his preteen years and would bury them in a folder in his backyard, convinced that nothing would ever come of his private creative life.

Despite his early shyness about his songwriting, Knott …

Continue reading

Read More

This post was originally published on this site

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.