From Punk Rock to Faith: “Christ Has Changed My Life”

Francesco Lorenzi leader of a Funk Rock group meets Pope Francis

The popular Punk Rock Group ‘The Sun’ will be giving a Concert in Rome  on August 11 with Pope & Young People.

From many of their 700 concerts all over the world, Francesco Lorenzi (author, singer and guitarist), Riccardo Rossi (drummer), Matteo Reghelin (bassist), GianlucaMenegozzo and Andrea Cerato do not hold exciting memories. They had fulfilled the dreams of their childhood: but the world in which they lived, consisting of various excesses and addictions, “prejudically excluded God from human life.”

Halfway through the band’s 20 years of existence, its turning point had nothing to do with music: it is about Lorenzi’s approaching Christianity, after having being turned away from it since he was young, just as his fellow band members were too. Today, he tells Zenit, “I could no longer make music without being guided by the faith.”

In fact, “The Sun” has since played at the World Youth Day in Rio De Janeiro (2013) and Krakow (2016). And before that, at the invitation of Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, it had participated in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture on Emerging Youth Cultures. On August 11, at Circus Maximus in Rome, the group is expected to perform in the course of “We Are Here,” a meeting of young Italians with Pope Francis ahead of the upcoming Synod on Youth.

“The Sun” is considered the most fashionable rock band of Catholic inspiration today, in Italy and beyond. “We are atypical rockers, but fortunately we are! Because our lives are full of joy, love and fullness!” Francesco Lorenzi says, speaking for him and his bandmates. He does not hide that giving testimony to one’s faith is penalizing in the music business: “We will not become U2, but God has freed our souls and gives us so much joy through our work.”

Francesco Lorenzi, leader of the group is 35, and come from Thiene, Vicenza (Veneto, Italy). He is the author, composer, guitarist and singer in The Sun band. For some years he has also been a writer and, despite the eight Italian editions and the eight foreign translations of his book La Stradadel Sole [The Way of the Sun], he still feels very timid in talking about this last part of his professional experience.

In an inerview he said that “Although I’ve come a long way, in reality I’m, still at the beginning. I’ve played for more than twenty years, but I’m still a youngster. I’ve done over 700 concerts in three continents with ‘The Sun,’ but I still look at the world with the eyes of a child travelling for the first time. I have published records with Sony Music and my present editor is Mondadori, a leader in the market, but they are among the most independent authors in circulation.

I’m not a travel agency, but I take hundreds of young people with me to the Holy Land. Yes, because Christ has changed my life; however life in Christ is renewed every day, as a promise, as a marriage, and then to take so many young people to Jesus’ land reminds me where my heart is and my treasure.

I will go wherever the Lord calls me. Meanwhile, I’m on tour with The Sun’s new show “Ogni Benedetto Giorno” [“Every Blessed Day”]. Our tour began at the same time as the publication of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Gaudete etExultate, and in many aspects, it seems to be an artistic declination! In addition, I’m writing a new book, and it’s a further spiritual trial, which calls me to much prayer, discernment and study. The book will be a vademecum to live the spiritual struggle daily and find one’s path of happiness. A real challenge, which every one of us must face every blessed day.