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Cody Perkins

join the discussion: What are your reactions and thoughts after viewing Country Boys?  What most struck you about the struggles of Chris Johnson and Cody Perkins --  two boys  coming of age in eastern Kentucky's Appalachian hills?

Note: This opportunity extends through Friday night, January 13, 2006. FRONTLINE cannot promise to post every question sent in to Cody, but we will do our best to represent the range of viewers' questions and comments.

Dear Cody,

Cody do you still think Ray is closed minded?

Gary Housley
Billings, Montana

Cody responds:

well, he's gotten better... I still stand by what I said at the time. He is kind of an old country dude, but he's definitely opened up a lot more than what he used to be.

Dear Cody,

Your music is obviously different from traditional metal, is there any bands that have influenced you especially and if so why? Good luck.

Winnipeg, Canada

Cody responds:

This is kind of a hard question, because my band's music is much different now than it was in the film. If you look at our website (www.sevenriseup.com), you'll find that real fast. I guess during the time David was filming, our influences were bands like Type O Negative, System of a Down, and Corrosion of Covformity, kind of slower music. These day's we're more into Slayer, Strapping Young Lad, any weird random noises that we hear.

Dear Cody,

I watched the first episode of Country Boys tonight. I'm curious about how this experience has affected what you're doing now.

Portsmouth, NH

Cody responds:

I don't really know how it's affected me, it really hasn't yet! But my band's website (www.sevenriseup.com) has gotten a lot of hits today... and I've had to get up earlier than usual to do radio interviews. For the most part, I'm just finishing a new CD with my band, working in heating and cooling, and going to school.

Dear Cody,

Hello.

My name is Nathan Bell. I went to Morehead State University for 5 semesters and met Cody through a friend named Nat Handloser. I came into contact with Cody on about 5 occasions and got to know him pretty well. Nat and I had a radio show in which we played Christian Heavy Metal music, and Cody came to visit from time to time. He is an excellent guitar player and 7 Rise Up is a very original band. I got to see Living Sacrifice with him in 2002, and last saw him a year ago today. He is undoubtebly a Christian. I was amazed at how God worked in his life even though he had no biological parents during his teenage years. I never had to go through a lot of the crap he went through, but if it were not for God and the loving parents he gave me, I might have.

I thought the documentary was very unbiased and accurate. PBS did not try to edit out any opinions but let the boys speak for themselves. I wondered if Cody was uneasy about letting even the worst parts of his life go on display, but come to think of it, he was one of those people that didn't care what people thought. If he wanted to burp in a loud fashion he just did so. He did not have an ego like many people in bands do.

If anyone is interested, some of the bands he played with were Beyond Flesh (who broke up and re-formed into Simeon), Voices of Aggression, and possibly Pin-up Model Massacre but the last 2 bands were not Christian. These "Applecore" bands are on some website like applecore.com or .org. One of these days 7 Rise up will finish recording! I heard a little bit of their upcoming recording back in in 2004 and it sounded good.

Nathan (Radar) Bell
Westerville, Ohio

Dear Cody,

I want to thank you for being part of this film. Having lived in Alabama, California and new york I can tell you that most American's do not understand that poverty and its associated problems exist in the US. How is your family holding up with the media exposure? Do you ever see Chris?

Susan Lee
NHP, NY

Cody responds:

As far as i know, everybody in my family is enjoying the excitement over the film, especially Ray, who's been getting email from all over the country about his music. But its been different, that's for sure! I rarely see Chris, because he lives about 45 minutes from me, but every now and then I'll see him around town.

Dear Cody,

Hey Cody,

Just finished watching part three of the series and it was great. Your part of the world is so very different than mine yet we both live in the same country -- truly fascinating. Anyway, I have a question for ya ...

There was the guy that 'came out' as gay in the series but not much was said about it. How are gay people treated in your neck of the woods? Tolerated? Ignored? Beat up? Or?

Much success to you two! You obviously have your head screwed on straight!

Brendan Bailey
San Francisco, CA

Cody responds:

Overall, people are pretty prejudiced here. Not everybody, but a good amount of people. It takes a lot of guts to come out here. I've never known of anybody getting beat up for it, but they definitely get some verbal abuse.

Dear Cody,

Cody & Jessica,

I applaud your life accomplishments and the sincerity in which they come across through this film. Thank God every day that there was at least one person whom loved you enough to stand next to you throughout your difficulties. My Question is this:After watching the finished film is there anything that you look at now and say "Man why did I say that?" OR "Were we really that young?"

Laurie Armstrong
Coos Bay , Oregon

Cody responds:

As far as "why did i say that", I've probably felt that way countless times. The first time I watched the film, I was in LA at the press tour, and I hid my head under a pillow just about the whole time we were watching. But i guess overall, i just accepted it as what it was. A lot of people have told me that they'd hate to see themselves on film at that age, so that kind of makes me feel better.

Dear Cody,

Cody you mentioned your music now is somewhat influenced by bands like Slayer. I am suprised because is'nt Slayer a Death Metal band that promots devil worship?

troy trent
tampa, fl

Cody responds:

Well, they are death metal, but they don't promote devil worship. Some of their lyrics definitely don't have the best values, but there are other songs that are just about addiction and horror-movie stuff. Even though I don't agree with it, I can always understand where they come from. I mainly like them for their music, not their message.

Dear Cody,

Cody, I was glad to see that music was a big part of your life. I thought your father-in-law wrote great songs with lyrics that were well written. Take time to learn from him, he should be your music guru. Do you and him play together at all? That should be a strong bond for you both. Good luck in all you and you your wife do. You two were fun to watch, she has a great sense of humor. And always stay true to yourself.

Tom Sulock
Snoqualmie, WA

Cody responds:

Ray and I have never done anything real serious, but we've played together many times.

Dear Cody,

Dear Cody,

First of all, I want to say that as an older punk rocker, in my day I would've hated someone like you, especially since we got a lot of Jesus freaks claiming to be punks in my day. To me, rock and roll/punk and Jesus were about as totally opposite as you can go.

But watching your story on this documentary has really opened my eyes, as well as my heart.

I find hope in folks like you who are plain spoken, open minded, and are real. I don't feel threatened or repulsed by you, rather I feel Christians like you are the ones who are authentic and who I welcome as neighbors, family, and friends.

But with so many "Christians" today advocating war (Iraq), violence (against gays and Abortion providers), and a One Government/One Religion (Intelligent Design), where do you feel you fit in?

KevinSan Francisco

Kevin Weaver
San Francisco, CA

Cody responds:

it's kind of weird, because there are liberal christians, too, and I'm not like that, but I'm not so conservative either. I guess I fit in where anybody agrees with me. I try to look at everything as a whole and make my own judgements and beliefs based on what I've seen and what I know. But also, I've got to say, who's more rock n' roll than jesus? He rebelled so heavily against the religion of that time they killed him for it. I don't even think Johnny Rotten ever did that.

Dear Cody,

I wanted to let you know how much your story has moved my family. It was awesome to see your spiritual growth right before our eyes. You never see that on tv these days not to mention in a reality show. Not many teenagers that are "cool" would be so open to speak up about their faith/religion like you did in school I thought "Right On" when you spoke about it. One thing you said has stuck with me, when you were speaking to your pastor and you said that you felt that the "Lord was calling you to serve him." I could see that all along while watching the program. You have a powerful story to tell and you are right people DO listen to you. Thank you for touching so many people with your story. Also, I have to add that it is apparent what a blessing Liz is in your life. Good luck and I know you will do great things.

San Diego, CA

Dear Cody,

Sorry if I missed this somewhere, as I only stumbled upon "Country Boys" halfway through the second night, but I'd love to hear your testimony. Is it recorded anywhere or available online to read?I pray that the Lord will bless you, keep you, and guide you with His mighty hand as He uses you for His Kingdom!

cindy t
Ball Ground, GA

Cody responds:

No, but I've gotten a couple requests for that, so I may post it on sevenriseup.com.

Dear Cody,

cody did you and chris ever hang out or talk outside of the davis school..i didnt see any in the movie or on this site...

mark potwora
batavia, new york

Cody responds:

I can't really think about any time we planned to hang out together, but if I see him around town we'll talk for awhile. We get along pretty well.

Dear Cody,

I was impressed you chose graphic arts right off the bat and It seems like a really good fit for you since you are obviously creative..wondered if you were still majoring in it or did you change to another major?

gretchen groff
Baltimore, MD

Cody responds:

I switched to heating and cooling because it was a little more practical. I figured that heating and cooling is a better fit if I want to be touring or moving around a lot.

Dear Cody,

Hiya cody, How many piercrings do ya have?

Logan Marriett
Davenport, Iowa

Cody responds:

(counting) six - one in each nipple, 3 in one ear, 1 in the other.

Dear Cody,

Hey Cody,I watched Country boys last night and part 2 tonight. It's impressive to see your growth between the two episodes. Reading the previous posts, I'm assuming you do fine through part 3 with no big hickups. Part 2 right now is at the part where you talk about Ray's drinking. It's clear though that he has a good degree of respect for you. My question for you revolves around the church. I'm personally an agnostic but I really admire your approach to religion. It's clear that kids today are at a different place now and old values and religious approaches no longer apply. It's important that someone be able to relate to them before trying to explain to them religion and spiritual value. In the first episode, you mentioned that you'd thought of opening a church to approach children from a more realistic angle rather than preaching and jamming religion down their throat. Is this still something you're thinking about?

Jeff Gabriel
calgary, Alberta, Canada

Cody responds:

To a degree, right now I'm kind of focused on bringing the message through my band, and if I do any speaking it would be probably through touring, traveling and not being in any one settled place. I think that more than one place needs to hear what I have to say.

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posted jan. 9, 2006

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