When people try to generalize about Colorado music, they often talk about the Gothic Americana of 16 Horsepower and Slim Cessna, the piano-driven pop of the Fray and Meese, or the inside-out electronica of Pictureplane and Hollagramz. But the common thread among many Colorado artists (though not all of the aforementioned) is not so much a sound as a set of beliefs — specifically, Christianity.

It might come as a surprise in the notoriously iniquitous world of rock and pop music, but Denver’s music community is filled with current and former Christian believers of one kind or another. Some are devoted followers who put Jesus at the center of everything they do, including music. Others are committed churchgoers who choose to keep their beliefs separate from their art. And at least one is a former born-again Christian turned ardent atheist.

“I don’t want to blame all of my problems on religion,” says Patrick McGuire, frontman for Denver’s Flashbulb Fires, the enigma behind Jeremy Flood and an outspoken ex-Christian. “But I have a grudge and a beef, and I think it’s justified.”

Growing up with a Catholic father and a “very Mormon” mother, McGuire became a born-again Christian as a teenager, and held onto his faith well into his 20s. Over the years, however, the doctrine and beliefs lost their luster for the singer-songwriter, and he was left feeling that he’d been lied to. That feeling is at the core of many of McGuire’s songs.

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