Electric Jesus tells the story of one of those groups, a fictional teenage Christian metal band called 316. Set in 1986, the film offers an affectionate look at ’80s Christian youth culture as it documents 316’s journey from playing bible camp talent shows and church lock-ins, to performing at Christian music festivals and hardcore metal nightclubs.Any decent fictional rock biopic requires a convincing soundtrack, and Electric Jesus’ director Chris White found the perfect collaborator in Daniel Smith. Smith is a prolific figure in indie rock, having worked under the Danielson moniker (and its variations- Danielson Famile, Brother Danielson) over the past two decades. Smith is known for his highly unique vocal style, which is characterized by the frequent use of a screeching falsetto. Serendipitously, this sound overlaps perfectly with the screaming falsetto vocals of hair metal. Smith also brings a nuanced sensitivity to the film’s source material. His father is a prominent Christian music songwriter, and Smith’s own work carries a deeply spiritual perspective.
While the lyrics were handled by director Chris White, Smith composed, or co-composed all of 316’s original music — and the results are spot-on. While composing for Electric Jesus, Smith immersed himself in the hair metal music of his youth, binge-listening to a steady rotation of bands like Ratt, Twisted Sister, and Mötley Crüe. Electric Jesus captures the hair metal sound in all its melodramatic excess, from the overwrought power ballads, to the histrionic guitar pyrotechnics. In addition to the music of 316, the Electric Jesus soundtrack features new material from Smith’s Danielson projects — featuring four new proper Danielson songs (including the fantastic sunshine pop of Danielson’s Beach Boys-influenced “You Can Fly”), plus a track from Steve Taylor & the Danielson Foil, and instrumental score by Smith’s “Familyre Friends”. The soundtrack also contains music Smith composed for 316’s black metal rivals Satan’s Clutch, and Bloody Mass.
- 316 - "Commando For Christ"
- Danielson - "You Can Fly"
- Familyre Friends - "Vacation Bible Bop"
- Bloody Mass - "Love"
- Danielson - "Passing Through the Wall of Flame"
- 316 - "Barabbas"
- Danielson - "Heavenly Metal"
- Familyre Friends - "Do the Barabbas!"
- Soul Exhumation - "Beat You Off"
- Familyre Friends - "Arcade Reigns"
- 316 - "Love Comes Down"
- 316 - "Girl (I Love Jesus Too)"
- Sarah Wember & 316 - "This World Is Not My Home"
- Familyre Friends - "Have You Ever Had a Girlfriend?"
- Satan's Clutch - "All Hail Hell"
- Joy Explosion - "We Just"
- Steve Taylor & the Danielson Foil - "Ecstatic Delight"
- Danielson - "Come And Save Me"
- 316 - "Makes Me Wanna Sing"
- Familyre Friends - "We All Went Commando"
- Fleming & John - "Don't Toss Us Away"