If you haven’t heard this great summer single by O.A.R, you’re missing out. I was lucky enough to catch it on one of my recent car radio surfing extravaganzas (apparently it was released in June but it was new to me), and I actually thought that I had scanned to one of my many local Christian stations at first. But the song, “Heaven,” is so much better than you might guess from the title. Give it a listen:
I’ve scoured the internet to the best of my ability and can’t find any clear statement about the religious beliefs of the band’s members. I found plenty of links posted to Atheist Nexus, but all that means is that atheists like the song, which I already knew. I did come across this interview with lead singer Marc Roberge in which he indicates that he has some degree of Jewish identity.
SF: Yeah, that’s the weird part; when does this [experiences with fans] cross the line?
Marc: It’s always religious based. It’s always like dudes coming out with the Bible, “Hey, man, your song, I know it’s about this section.” I’m like, “I have never… okay… cool, thanks.” And on one hand you’re like, “That’s really sweet,” and on the other hand you’re saying, “That’s kinda weird.” I don’t know why that is, I don’t know why Bible passages can scare you so much.
SF: What’s scary is the type of people that are so willing to read something out of your lyrics into their perception of what their religion is.
Marc: Meanwhile, I’m a Jew from Maryland. (laughing)
There’s also this nice “making of” video O.A.R. posted to their YouTube channel which adds some more insight to the way they thought about the lyrics. They’re still vague about their personal beliefs, but you don’t have to lack religion entirely to appreciate the value of the life we have now and to disavow the discrimination and hatred so often practiced by True Believers™. Anyway, if you have a couple more minutes to spare, check it out: