Colony House’s second album is “Only the Lonely.” (Courtesy photo)

Chapman brothers in Colony House make way in secular world

There’s an uplifting quality to “Remembered For,” “This Beautiful Life” and “Cannot Do This Along,” songs on Colony House’s sophomore album “Only the Lonely.” Vocalist-guitarist Caleb Chapman and his percussionist brother Will are Christian-rock royalty, sons of artists Mary Beth Chapman and Steven Curtis Chapman, the recipient of 58 Dove Awards. But the kids followed a secular path with their quartet, which couches metaphysical lyrical questions in arena rock. As Caleb puts it, “This is just me – there’s no agenda, no bait and switch here.”

When did you guys understand that your dad was a huge star?

I don’t know when, exactly. But my brother and I ended up touring with my dad when we were in high school, with Will on drums and me on guitar. We were very unqualified, but somehow my father looked past that and gave us our shot. And Will and I always wanted to do music. But being exposed to tour life? That kind of lit the fire, I think.

Anything freak you out on the road back then?

Well, there of course weren’t a lot of groupies hanging around the tour bus. But we joke that it’s been downhill for us ever since we started touring with my dad, because we started on a huge bus, playing in big places, and we’ve been working our way down, back to the van, back to the clubs. But we’ve loved every step of it.

Was it a tough conversation, telling dad that Colony House was going secular?

My dad is our biggest fan and supporter, besides my mom. But we had a road paved for us with my dad’s career, and we had a (Christian) label knocking at our door, his management team and booking agent, all at the very beginning when we were kids. We played music in the church, growing up. But when we started singing our songs in church, we felt like it wasn’t connecting. So we found a booking agent and said, “Hey, can you book us as many shows as possible, wherever you can?” And once we started doing that, we just felt alive. So I have no memory of my dad ever going, “Wait, wait, wait – back up. Are you sure you know what you’re doing, you heathen?”

What advice did he give you?

He just told us to be honest and not hide anything, because honesty cuts through all the bulls—. And I feel like people actually listen when someone is just speaking the truth and what they’re passionate about. And that bridges the gap sometimes between religions and race and all that stuff.

Colony House
Where: Chapel, 777 Valencia St., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. March 28
Tickets: $15
Contact: (415) 551-5157,
Caleb ChapmanColony HouseOnly the LonelyPop MusicSteven Curtis ChapmanWill Chapman

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