Published in Pegasus magazine, By Sarah Sekula
It was quite a year for Stephen Christian: After writing a fictional novella, he zipped off to Hollywood to record his fourth album as lead singer of Anberlin. In July, the shaggy-haired vocalist shared the stage with All American Rejects, Pennywise and Reel Big Fish at the Vans Warped Tour, and later he trekked to Guatemala to work alongside fair trade coffee farmers. By year’s end he will also travel to India to help stop human trafficking.
Quite a dizzying whirlwind, he admits, but Stephen is “absolutely content.” To him, “the bigger the stage, the larger the platform is to share your heart, successes, failures, beliefs and causes you fight for with people from all over the world.”
While swiftly adjusting to fast fortune and acclaim, he planned on neither. His psychology degree, he thought, would spark a career with UNICEF, as it taught him to empathize with people of all backgrounds. Little did he know that the garage-band anthems pumping out of his Oviedo home post graduation would lead to chart-topping stardom. His philanthropic heart is on overload, too. With Faceless International — a new outreach program he co-launched in 2006 — he’s snagged the best of both worlds as part beneficent, part punk-rocker.
Stephen’s altruistic efforts paired with endless tours (alongside Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance and Story of the Year) lead to some unusual companions like Brian Baumgartner, who plays Kevin on the hit NBC show The Office, and Reno 911’s Jonesy, with whom he recently sang karaoke. Even during this interview, as Stephen sat at a Sunset Strip Starbucks, Pauly Shore plopped down at the adjacent table.
His life: a thrilling epic no doubt. Yet, Stephen much prefers playing frisbee golf with his 5-year-old niece in Tallahassee or hanging out with the family in Winter Haven. Check out his latest antics on www.anberlin.com. To get a copy of his book The Orphaned Anything’s: Memoir of a Lesser Known, visit www.amazon.com.