Fay originally wanted to write the story of two musicians who unexpectedly “blow up” in popularity, and suggested opera given Ryan’s training in the genre. But as the two discussed the idea they found they shared a common past more ripe for exploration.
“We both grew up in Chrisitan youth groups and they would always have the cool christian band come to play at schools and fetes and churches… in the nineties it was bands that sounded like Pearl Jam or Nirvana, but with Chrisitan messages,” Fay says, and the pair decided to explore what that would look like today.
“All the weird influences from our teenage years are there; the suburbs, the youth groups, the shopping malls and food courts, the girl who said she’d come to your party but didn’t, we just threw it all in there”
Fay insisted that if they were writing a musical comedy, they had to take the music seriously by getting a professional singer songwriter on board. Ryan had worked with Megan Washington a few years earlier and suggested she could play the female lead. As fate would have it, she also had experience in a Christian youth group.
Fay’s luck continued as they searched for an actor to play “The Rev”; the cool, motorcycle-riding pastor who sees potential in the band. Fay and Ryan had a shortlist of actors and both had their heart set on John Waters. When they contacted Waters, he was thrilled to come aboard.
Fay admits that when he first told his mother about CrossBread she was wary, worrying he might take a cynical look at the Christian upbringing of his youth. But Fay’s team ignores the cheap gags and condescending attitudes that could’ve easily sunk a series like this; it’s all played with genuine affection for the characters involved.
The series has even garnered praise from Christian press. Eternity News describes the podcast as “a surprisingly sharp series which doesn’t exist to destroy or mock Christians… and presents an excellent opportunity to humorously consider what you live for.”
“[I was a little worried] when I saw it pop up on Twitter, but honestly it’s the most amazing review [of my work] I’ve ever read,” says Fay.
“And now, because of that review, my mum loves the show.”