#1061: Rocket In My Heart by Paul Janz
In 1951 Paul Janz was born into a Mennonite family and his dad was a Mennonite minister. They lived for a few years in Three Hills, Alberta. At the age of four Janz moved with his family to Balen, Switzerland. He was raised on gospel and traditional church music and from childhood sang in a church choir. Early on he was inspired by his upbringing and started to experiment with musical arrangements by the age of ten. When he turned 13 he showed off his emerging skills on the trumpet in a Salvation Army Band. In his teen years he acquired proficiency on drums, guitar and opera with the Basel Conservatory of Music. He also ended up arranging and conducting with the Basel Symphony. He formed a group called Deliverance and based himself in Munich for much of the 70s. The group had success in Germany and scored a minor hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979 called “Leaving L.A.” that peaked in the ‘States at #56. The song drew on the popular style of the Bee Gees in the aftermath of Saturday Night Fever.
Janz returned to Canada in 1980 and began studying philosophy at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. Simultaneously, he pursued his passion for music. In 1981 he took part in the German selection for the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Steine (Stones)”. He finished tenth behind musicians like Taco and Peter Cornelius who’s group, Enigma, had a smash international hit in 1990 called “Sadeness Pt. 1“. Meanwhile, he also got a stint with local Vancouver band, Prism, and also was writing jingles for commercials. Janz’s dream to get a record deal in North America materialized when he landed a contract with A&M Records in 1984. His debut album, High Strung, featured his first single, “I Go To Pieces” that peaked at #19 in Vancouver in June 1985. A second album in 1987, Electricity, was met with praise, but produced no reciprocal response from the buying public.
Next he released Renegade Romantic in 1990. His debut single, “Every Little Tear” climbed into the Top Ten to #5 on the Canadian RPM singles chart. His follow-up single from the album was “Rocket In My Heart,” a power rock song celebrating a fusion of love and desire.
In 1992 Janz turned his lyrical hand to more spiritual subject matter in his album, Trust. Janz had done missionary work in South America and the album included tunes like “Amazon Rain” which climbed into the Top 30 on the Canadian RPM singles chart. With his shifting musical direction his record label dropped him. Janz subsequently left the music industry in the mid 90’s and finished a B.A. in Philosophy at Simon Fraser University. From there he took at Masters degree in Theology at the University of Cambridge. Upon graduation he took an Associate Professorship in Philosophy and Religious Studies at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia. Four years later, in 2005, he was hired at King’s College in London as Lecturer in Systematic Theology. He continues to lecture, write and publish on a variety of subjects concerning theology.
January 24, 2017
Paul Janz bio, Canadian Bands.com
Paul Janz, “Steine (Stones),” Eurovision, 1981.
Deliverance, “Leaving L.A.,” 1979
Paul Janz, “I Go to Pieces,” 1985
Colin Arthur Weibe, Paul Janz – I Go To Pieces, Colin Weibe.com, May 3, 2012.
Juno Award winning recording artist, Paul Janz, trades in singing to teach philosophy at Trinity Western University, Trinity Western University, Langley, British Columbia, August 21, 2012
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