Jesus’ mosh pit
Thee Imposters adds some Gospel to its punk
They’re sitting at Jon and Bon’s frozen yogurt shop downtown in a red pleather booth underneath a framed poster of Isaiah 40:31—three teens in full punk-rock garb talking about music and their love of Jesus.
The scene is a perfect illustration of what the trio’s band, Thee Imposters, is all about: looking tough, spreading the Gospel and just having some laughs with friends.
“We don’t want to be just a band,” said 16-year-old bassist Timo Wall. “This is our ministry.”
What Thee Imposters lack in experience—they’ve played only three shows since forming nearly a year ago and are in the process of recording their first demo—they make up for in conviction. Wall and his band mates, singer/ guitarist Daisy Mora and drummer Bryan Lyon, both 15, share a faith in Christianity that they spread through their music.
The three Pleasant Valley High School students believe that punk ideals can work well with Christian ethics, if you are open to considering a different perspective.
“Anarchism and nihilism and all the beliefs of punk rock should go hand in hand with Christianity,” Bryan said. “We’re going against what the world wants us to do—[such as] going out and drinking and stuff [in order] to have a good time. We’re saying no, just like anarchy does.”
Thee Imposters are more than Christians who also happen to play in a band, like local sweethearts Numberonegun. They are a punk band created to preach Christianity. “Our lyrics are about Christ, but even if we’re not talking about him, we’ll be talking about kids who don’t believe, or life situations,” Daisy said.
Bryan added, “We’re not going to compromise.”
Holding fast to your beliefs might not seem such a daunting task, but Thee Imposters have received a lot of backlash from the local punk community because of their Christian beliefs.
“They think we’re separating ourselves, but they’re the ones who are really separating themselves from us,” Timo said. “They think, ‘Oh, they’re here to convict us.’ Of course we’re going to share the Gospel, but we’re not going to ram it down their throats.”
He added, “It’s really hard to not get hurt by the insults. … They need to get it through their heads that we’re not going anywhere. A couple of insults aren’t going to stop us from being a band.”
On appearances alone, Thee Imposters are typical young punk rockers. Daisy’s hands are red from the dye she just used to color her mohawk, and she twiddles her lip ring between sentences, looking like a younger, more striking version of the Distillers’ lead singer, Brody Dalle. Timo and Bryan are dressed a little more conservatively, although all three are wearing the obligatory black studded belts.
In this high-school hangout, they share a high-school closeness—giggling endlessly (well, maybe just Daisy), finishing each other’s sentences and goodheartedly putting each other down.
Even though they’ve been playing together for only the last 11 months, Daisy has been friends with Timo and Bryan since grade school. The two boys didn’t meet, though, until Daisy and Timo needed a drummer for their band.
Bryan has grown up in a Christian household, but Daisy and Timo were the kind of church-going kids who slept and doodled during sermons. Through friends, especially local band Neutron Bomb and Vallejo-based Public Unrest, they got more into music while simultaneously getting more and more into religion. Now they attend the Calvary Chapel, as a band, a few times a week and hold their own Bible studies.
Although playing the speedy “oi” brand of street punk is their specialty, Timo said Thee Imposters are less about music and more about being there for what they call the “lost punks.”
Daisy stepped in, adding, "We want to know that people get something from our music."