Changed Lives Through Christ - Blog
Current Blog... LOSING MY VOICE TO FIND IT 11/15/2020
Audio Adrenaline was a huge name in Christian rock music back in the 1990s. The band received two Grammy Awards and multiple Dove Awards. They had eight albums to their name, one of which was titled Bloom, released in 1996 that went “gold”. The lead singer, Mark Stuart, brought an edgy, gravelly quality to the overall sound of the band; a sound that couldn’t be replaced when he dropped out in 2013. With big hits like Ocean Floor, Hands and Feet, and Big House, why did the band call it quits?
In an article by Chris Carpenter at CBN.com, Mark explains, “I started struggling with my voice as early as 1998. It would kind of come and go. When we were making the Underdog record, I just felt my voice get weaker . . . I thought I just needed to take a break at the time, but we were under pressure to make record after record within a certain timeline. So . . . I asked Tyler (Burkum) our guitar player to sing different parts. My voice had a lot of grit to it, a lot of passion, and was almost like a brute force. His voice was more beautiful.
“From there, my voice would come and go based on getting steroid shots from doctors and resting it . . . I was still going to doctors and asking them to scope my vocal chords to see what was happening. But they couldn't tell me what it was. That was the most frustrating part . . . the downward spiral of all of this while I was in Audio Adrenaline. I never knew what was happening . . . [Later] I was diagnosed with a spasmodic dysphonia and it all made sense to me . . . The last three to four years of it I realized that it wasn't getting any better . . .”
Most musicians spend years honing their craft, sometimes beginning as early as childhood. Music was Mark’s life-long pursuit and it must have been very difficult for him to see his dreams come true only to have them taken away by something beyond his control. But he said, “I was so frustrated with making records and trying to perform without a voice that I was so ready to be done. I couldn't wait to get out, I guess. I didn't really step aside. The band at that point said, we're not going to go on without you so we actually just shut down. When we released Adios, it was the end of (the classic lineup) of Audio Adrenaline.” After 20 years of success, Mark Stuart retired in 2006 at the age of 38. At the same time, Stuart’s wife told him she was leaving. He not only lost his voice and his band; he lost his marriage. The question became, “Now what?”
The incredible story of a lead singer's rise to fame and his
crushing fall when he lost his singing voice, his career, and his marriage--
and then found a new calling more in tune with God
than he ever thought possible.
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Stuart confesses that he had been relying on himself a lot. He desperately needed to be good enough, musically speaking, to continue with the band but that wasn’t going to happen. He was also trying to be spiritually good enough to walk the Christian walk and be effective. That wasn’t working out so well either. John 15:5 says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing,” (KJV). Sometimes we have to learn these lessons the hard way. Mark learned this lesson through great loss. But soon God opened a new door for him to serve the Lord.
At one point, Mark’s band had started a “Hands and Feet” ministry in the country of Haiti. In 2010, a major earthquake hit there; it was 7.0 in magnatude and lasted just 40 seconds but it destroyed almost everything. An estimated three million people were affected with death tolls ranging from 100,000 to 160,000. Leah MarieAnn Klett interviewed Stuart at The Christian Post. He told her, “I jumped into that ministry wholeheartedly and ironically became the unofficial voice for Haitians. It was like God said to me, ‘Mark, I’m not done with you. You still have a voice. Audio A was one part of a bigger story, but it is not your identity. I am your identity.’”
That effort became a lasting ministry for Stuart as well as his true calling. He lost everything but gained so much more. He has truly learned the meaning of surrender. Jesus said, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it,” (Matthew 10:39; NLT). The deeper our surrender, the deeper our intimacy with our Creator. There is no better way to be fulfilled.
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