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Interview: Talking Power, Glory and An Incredible Comeback Story with Rocker Benny DiChiara

by Rich and Laura Lynch

With their signature crunchy guitars, driving percussion, and frontman/primary songwriter Benny DiChiara's distinct and arresting vocals, Empowered shows no sign of losing the momentum from their previous chart-topping project with the release of their impressive and convincing 5-song EP Yahweh Nissi. The band's previous effort - Three Days - garnered six No. 1 hits on's Top 20 singles and Top 10 video charts, and over 300,000 Spotify streams to date. Something of a modern-day Renaissance man, DiChiara, a singer/songwriter, recording artist, businessman, motivational speaker, father, and husband, wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on the project as he continues to climb back from a near fatal fall in 2015 that left him with a serious brain injury. Today, the charismatic rocker continues to deal with some lingering effects from the accident that he has to overcome on a daily basis. We had the pleasure of speaking with Benny at NRB 2024 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Benny DiChiara of Empowered at NRB 2024 in Nashville!

SP: What is the meaning of the project's title - Yahweh Nissi?

BD: It's Hebrew for "The Lord Is My Banner"! So, I pray over all of our projects. You know, I am an old rock guy when I was in my secular life. So, now that I'm doing it for Jesus it "Yahweh Nissi" means "The Lord Is My Banner"! God said the world is really evil right now. But, there are a lot of Christians whose mouths are shut. So, he's like "I need a war cry. I need a battle cry. We're calling my people to war for me so we can combat some of this evil stuff."

And, it just comes out in a really energetic piece of creativity that he gave us. And, so it literally speaks of it. Heaven's not boring people. Just sayin'!

SP: What's the significance of your band's name, Empowered?

BD: God empowered us with the gift to be able to create music for Him, right? So, when we perform for people - or they hear us - our prayer is that they're empowered by it so that they can go out and empower other people. So, it's a trickle effect.

SP: How did your band come together, and who are the other members?

BD: This band has had several variations of members over the years, but for the past two records this IS the band. Benny DiChiara (Founder/Vocals); Shane Madere, Jr. (Lead Guitar/Backing Vox); Justin Burdette (Guitars/Backing Vox); Jeff Maddox (Bass/Backing Vox); and, Mic Capdevielle (Drums/Backing Vox).

SP: Your brain injury could have been catastrophic. At the time, did you realize the severity of your condition and the implications on your life and health?

BD: I did not as it happened. The first month of recovery I slept 20 hours a day. My wife would wake me every three hours to give me liquids, ensure (I wasn't eating), and meds. I lost like 30 pounds over the course of these recovery months.

SP: Your bio states that there are lingering effects of the TBI. What are those, and how do you cope with them day-to-day?

BD: Everything has come back to me except for my taste and smell. But, we're here talking right!?! Thank you, Jesus! I'd call that a win for sure. Food is just fuel for the engine that is my body right now, so I don't linger on it. If God wants it to come back to me, He'll give it back to me. I think of it as a reminder that He saved my life.

SP: How did such a traumatic experience impact your faith and ministry?

BD: Well, I was already saved, and the band was recording and performing already. But God kept giving me music to write for Him for others to be touched. My faith fire (wait, that could be a cool song...) was reignited, so look out. We're having a party for Jesus from the stage!

SP: You have stated that God may have been using the TBI to teach you not to be afraid. What fears did you or do you still encounter? How has your reaction to those fears changed?

BD: THAT'S a great question! I really don't have any fears now, nor do I encounter many. Fear, according to my pastor, is simply False Evidence Appearing Real. Nothing truer, my man.

SP: Benny - Vinyl has made a comeback. Cassette tapes have made a comeback. The preachers are saying Jesus is coming back. Can you see a scenario where the longtime standard of 1 Dollar per download or single purchase ever makes a return???

BD: The older media are making a comeback. I think that it's because digital media is colder. By that, I mean it's a more sterile delivery of the music to the consumer. It lacks the character of the band or artist. There's hardly any artwork, you get no lyrics, there's no touch or feel as in holding the older media, etcetera. Once a song or album is digitally stored in a person's on-phone or on-computer files, it can be easily forgotten. Not so when you can see what you've purchased. It's so much more. So far as the dollar standard per stream, I think it would take almost an uprising of the artists against the machine - I'm just sayin'.

SP: Benny - where do your fans go to buy your music?

BD: Digitally, we're streaming our entire catalog on over 30 streaming services, so they can purchase there. Also, if they want a physical CD, besides purchasing at shows, they can contact me via our website at We'll get 'em shipped out.

SP: So, you had some downtime during the pandemic. Did you do any writing during this period?

BD: Yeah, a little bit. What else were we doing during the pandemic? It was a slower pace to be able to do that. So, you had a little extra time to press in and try to put some things together.

SP: Good that you used the opportunity to be productive. Still, hasn't it felt a a little more "end-timesy" since 2020?

BD: Well, as far as I'm concerned - we're living in it. You know what I tell my kids? Do not read Revelation anymore. Just watch the news. It's there. It's in living color. It's kind of where we are. right. And God is giving us all platforms. For me, it's a stage and a band. That's my platform. For you, it's your magazine. So move in where he has so you can to make a difference for him.

Related Links: For more information on EMPOWERED and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Empowered | Empowered on BandCamp


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