WANAMINGO, Minnesota -- Marty Haugen and David Haas claim they could start to write a new church hymn at the start of mass "and have it finished by the homily." Haas said that his best songs "are composed in less time than it takes to listen to one of them, not that I've ever actually listened to one of them." In fact, Haugen and Haas are the two most prolific composers of contemporary Catholic music in America, and they're about to get busier. The two men say they’ve heard the Pope's call for a livelier Mass and pledge to deliver a “new Catholic sound” in honor of the Vatican within a week.

“We’re basically hippies, to be honest with you,” Haugen explained. “Hence our church music sounds like The Mamas & the Papas. Without the talent.” He admitted that in recent years their formula was starting to sound "a little stale." He corrected himself: "The formula was actually stale when we started, but now ordinary people are realizing it. We don’t feel like rock stars anymore.” Haas agreed: “The Pope's message is was a wake-up call for us.”

The music of Haugen and Haas has dominated the Catholic liturgical music industry for the last 20 years, and they say they’re not going to surrender their stranglehold just because the Pope wants to liven things up. “I can’t afford the pay cut if they stop playing my stuff,” Haugen confided, “Royalties, ya know, dude.” The duo admitted they benefited in large part over the years from "brain-dead" choir directors who would play "basically anything we wrote.”

As for their new church music, which is already three-quarters complete, they revealed that it would have an authentic urban feel. "Basically, without the profanity and misogyny, of course.” But, they said they wouldn’t seek collaborators from the hip-hop world.

“I like to think that we can still [compose] music that church-goers will hum no matter where they are - like a theme song from a TV sitcom,” Haugen explained, “what we have in mind are basically hip-hop versions of some our classic tunes.” He quickly corrected himself, “Hymns, rather.”