May 15, 2008. Atlanta, GA. Rocking Romans has an
ambitious goal: they want to discover, launch, and support quality
Catholic bands that will compete effectively with the secular music
market. Their goal: to bring Christ to the audiences of
classic and alternative rock music.
As Paul Mazurek, the president of
Rocking Romans, put it, “Our goal is not to compete
with Third Day (a well-known Christian band) but with Green
It’s a big goal. But this company with a
mission is starting to make some noise.
How Rocking Romans Began
Romans began as a vague idea two years ago when
a Regnum Christi men’s team wanted to create a male-oriented
apostolate parallel to Pure Fashion in its cultural impact.
|Critical Mass, a Catholic band from Canada.|
The opportunity to develop the idea came six months later
with the Youth and Family Encounter in Atlanta when Paul
Mazurek and his team decided to take on the task
of organizing the musical entertainment for the YFE’s youth rally.
it or not, hiring a good Christian band was not
as easy as it seemed. So in the face of
obstacles, they got creative.
Paul Mazurek began branching out and
working with a handful of other men to build a
web page with an online music contest featuring a picture
of each band, a sample of a selected song, and
a voting feature on the web page.
of 31 bands entered their first contest, and about 600
people voted for the bands they liked best. This online
“battle of the bands” resulted in two winners that went
on to perform at the YFE youth rally: a group
from Canada called “Critical Mass” and a soloist from Connecticut
|Singer Robert Galea.|
With the success of this creative initiative, Rocking Romans
was officially born in 2008 as a virtual company with
4 people actively involved, including Mazurek as its founder and
How Rocking Romans Helps Bands Go Live
Since then, Rocking Romans
has organized a series of contests bringing new Catholic artists
into the online spotlight and enabling them to reach a
wider audience of potential fans. The winning band then puts
on a live concert in a city like Atlanta, thus
gaining even more exposure to new audiences.
The most recent contest
resulted in a different kind of opportunity: winning bands will
be featured on a new CD, and part of the
profits from the CD sales will be shared with the
bands to support them in their work.
The “Rocking Romans
2008 Best of New Catholic Music” contest opened online on
Ash Wednesday and closed on Easter Sunday. There were 29
band entries hailing from the United States, Canada, Australia, Italy,
and Trinidad. The resulting CD, featuring 15 artists from 4
countries, will be released in
|Catholic vocalist Sue Peters.|
a few weeks.
A prior contest
was aimed at supporting a quality band to go to
Sydney to play at World Youth Day. Over 15 bands
entered the contest, many of them brand new. The winning
band hails from Massachusetts and is called Pointe Blank. To
listen to a sample of some of their music, click
Making Music Takes Money: More Initiatives in the Works
and promoting good music is expensive,” said Paul Mazurek. “If
we are going to compete with contemporary Christian and secular
music, we have got to be ambitious and make money
in order to invest it.”
Rocking Romans is keenly interested in
marketing strategies that will multiply not only exposure, but also
funds that can be reinvested in Catholic music.
so far includes a “Best of New Catholic Music”
competition that will become an annual event, like a franchise.
|The Pointe Blank band will be playing for pilgrims at the World Youth Day celebrations in Sydney.|
Rocking Romans is already international, but the idea is to
expand the contest especially into Latin America by tapping into
the Hispanic music market.
Plans are in the works for
a new web site with an online web store to
sell CDs and enable digital download music sales. Instead of
buying 99-cent songs from Apple iTunes, customers will be able
to download Catholic music from Rocking Romans—and the proceeds from
online music sales will help to support Catholic artists.
is also inaugurating a new “Rocking Romans Citizenship” program that
will bring increased revenues for Catholic artists. Here’s how it
works: any Catholic group or institution will be able to
come to the web site and quickly set up a
“RRoC” (Rocking Romans Citizen) code. The group would then share
that code with anyone they want (members, friends, benefactors). Whenever
members of the group purchase music from Rocking Romans, they
enter that code on the web site and Rocking Romans
will track the sales. Then, every quarter, they’ll send a
thank you check to that group equal to 15% of
the revenue tallied under their RRoC code.
So, for example,
if the Knights of Columbus or Focus or the Legionaries
of Christ set up a RRoC code for their members,
|A young Catholic band, Last Day.|
they will get 15% of all of the revenue from
the music purchased on the Rocking Romans web store with
As Paul Mazurek put it, “The idea is like
Girl Scout cookies, except it’s year round, introduces people to
our Lord and His Church, and doesn’t lead to tooth
decay or diets.”
He also pointed out that it can
be international, since customers can download music for sale anywhere
in the world.
Online and Onstage: Upcoming Concert on May 23
Rocking Romans, the web site is just the beginning. As
a company with a mission, it is focused on launching
quality Catholic bands—as well as new labels that are sponsoring
them – into the mainstream of the music culture.
means live concerts, like the one coming up on May
23, 2008 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center in
The concert will bring together “three of the nation’s hottest
new Catholic music groups”: Pointe Blank, Minister Theory, and Bryan
Murdaugh with Total Strangers. Proceeds from the concert will go
to support Pointe Blank as they head over to Sydney,
Australia to play for pilgrims at the World Youth Day
Youth Festival. For more information about the benefit concert, click