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Dave Brockie of Gwar

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LarryMac once again got the chance to sit down with Dave Brockie and discuss the latest happenings in the world of Gwar. Find out what Dave had to say about Gwar, rock and roll, the music industry, video games, movies and pretty much anything else that popped up.


Photos Courtesy of Eris

LarryMac: We’ll skip rehashing all the background stuff and pick up right where we left off the last time you guys came through. How’s the second year of the 25th anniversary been?

Dave Brockie: It’s actually been, despite all considerations to the contrary, more crazy than the first one. I mean, it was quite a responsibility to fill up two years with a ton of shit but actually this year has every indication of being even bigger than last year. This tour is huge. We’re going to Australia and New Zealand. The new album, I think, is going to be huge for Gwar and we’re gonna be on Jimmy Fallon next month. I’ve kept the Red Eye thing going the whole time. The whole Gwar juggernaut is just gaining steam. I’m really pleased to see that like in Blabbermouth, people still get offended by the shit that I say. I mean, we live to make fun of metal gods, we live to poke fun at metal, you know? Metal really lost its sense of humor a long time ago. Gwar’s been one of the only bands that’s kept it in there. Metal and humor go together like Spinal Tap and too-small sandwich bread. Ya know? It’s like, you’ve gotta have it. And there’s still nimrods out there that get genuinely upset when I talk shit about Rob Zombie or Lordi or some other innocuous boob. That people even take Oderus seriously or not seriously or get offended, that just delights me to no end. So, I would say things are going really good for Gwar right now.

 

LM: I was looking over the interview we did last year, basically because I’m old and half-senile and don’t want to ask all of the same questions I asked last time.

DB: Oh, I’m sure I’m older and seniler, I would have forgotten it anyway so it doesn’t matter.

LM: You said then that you wanted to have another album out by Halloween and said that was completely ridiculous. Well, you missed that by like a week, but nice job.

DB: I know, I can’t believe it. It was really an amazing thing to accomplish. The craziest thing about it is it was really easy. We just said “hey, that’s what we’re gonna do” and we did it and it came out great. We’re really stoked about it, we didn’t feel rushed, we didn’t feel hurried. We knew we had X amount of time and we just did what we had to do and it kicked ass. We wanted to go the extra nine yards for the fans this year and also just to prove it to ourselves, ya know? We are…say what you will about Gwar, but we are the hardest working band in show business. Who else puts out two records, much less two good ones, in two years anymore? Back in the old days, in the punk rock school, which is pretty much what we came out of, an album a year was normal. There would be a new Ramones album every year, there would be a new Clash album every year. When the hardcore thing started, there would be albums coming out even…Husker Du would have an album every six months, ya know?! So that’s really not all that weird for us to do that. Nowadays, three or four years will go by easily. And a lot of the old timers, they’ve pretty much given up on putting out new material. You’ll get an album out of them every five or six years. I think that’s a crime. I think that’s a way of just laying down and dying. If you have enough balls to want to play heavy metal for a living, be fuckin’ real about it and go all the way and challenge yourself; write music constantly, don’t let these young punks come in off the street and take over! I honestly think you get better at making music as you get older. Now, sooner or later, I’ll just get to the point where my brain turns to jelly and I’m like “aahhhhh…I ain’t doin’ it anymore” but right now, we’re still swinging! Brett Favre is throwing bullets…well, actually, he’s not throwing really bullets this year…but he’s at least throwing and that dude’s 41 years old. What, we can’t do Gwar until the very fucking last dying breath?! And to all the detractors of Gwar, I hope that pisses them off to no end: as their idols crumble and betray them, Gwar will remain just this unremovable herpe on the face of the most idiotic, ignorant, self-serving, plagiaristic, uninspired industry that has ever been created: the music industry. All it does is feed on people’s talent, chew them up and spit them out. They promise you this big lie and you don’t get shit. Two guys at the top get all the money, everyone else gets fucked, the band is always the last ones to get paid and on the very rare occasion that a band actually does make it, they turn into a bunch of dicks. And you’re never gonna get any of that shit from us!

 

LM: Tell me about Bloody Pit of Horror. What is Gwar up to these days and what do we get musically from the album?

DB: After the events of Lust in Space, Gwar was saddened and shocked to learn that Earth was the only planet in the universe that had crack and even though we would take tons of crack with us when we went back to outer space in our new scumship, the SS CrippleKiller, we would always come back and have to get more. Crack doesn’t grow in outer space for some reason. So we came back to Earth and we were just sitting there thinking “what are we gonna do this time around?”. The Master has been driven back into the void, Cardinal Syn’s had his ass kicked, Gor Gor’s been on a three year bender, Techno Destructo’s vanished, we’ve got this Sawborg motherfucker flying around but he’s not really…doesn’t scare us that much, we can’t figure out if he wants to be our friend or kill us. So what we decided to do was slaughter the human race, as usual, but this time zombify them, turn them into an elite zombie shock army, fill the hold of the SS Cripple Killer with this mutated zombie army and invade the galaxy. That’s the plan. And that’s the theme of the first four songs, anyway, of the new record. Then it just gets into a bunch of random hateful shit. It’s not as much of a theme album as Lust in Space or Beyond Hell, but it’s got a little bit of that, and it’s kind of a Gwar/zombies thing going on. We figured the zombies thing is getting pretty popular and it was about time that Gwar did a take on zombies. So yeah, we’re encouraging our fans to zombify themselves.

 

LM: Any update on the rumors of a video for the album?

DB: We’re right in the midst of finishing up the edit for the first video, “Zombies March”, which is being shot by Fangoria magazine so it should be pretty fucking good. We shot a whole bunch of it before we left and then we left it in the able hands of our director, Dave McKendry, back in Richmond, Virginia and he’s finished up shooting . It’s a really cool video. Basically, Gwar’s practicing in a theater, getting ready for the tour and they’re making a video – it’s kind of a video within a video. There’s these people shooting them and nothing’s going right, nothing’s working out so the director’s like “try it again” and they’re playing the song and the music awakens all the dead within hearing distance of the music and they all come up out of the ground and the place where Gwar is playing gets attacked by zombies but instead of attacking Gwar, they attack the camera crew and end up making Gwar’s new video for them. That will be out, hopefully, in another couple weeks or so. As far as any longform stuff, no plans just yet. We’re still waiting for the day that Rob Zombie comes down from Heaven with a $10 million budget for our new movie, but after all the shit I’ve talked about him lately, I really doubt that’s gonna happen.

 

LM: We also discussed your Fox News correspondent work and you predicted GWAR shoving their way through the door to television once Oderus was established. Here we are, like two weeks away from you guys appearing on Jimmy Fallon! So…you know your shit, you know the business, you know something!

DB: WOW! It all came by accident and if you asked me what I thought we were going to be doing next year, I wouldn’t really be able to give you a good take on it. I could see doing another album, I could see – and I was keeping my fingers crossed when I said that – I could see Red Eye leading to something else, but honestly right now I don’t know what the fuck’s gonna happen as far as next year. Really, the only thing left that could happen is for Gwar to finally just explode in the mainstream media and finally get real major status where we’re playing arenas, where we can have a Gwar video game, where we can have a Gwar movie, where we can have a haunted casino in Vegas where Gwar’s the house band, we can have the Gwar bar – in Richmond, Virginia, there’s like a dive bar where punk rock bands play but it’s also a museum for all the old Gwar props and costumes, we’ll have the Gwar cemetery – we’re going to buy a hill somewhere in the middle of nowhere and on the promise that Gwar will someday be buried there if they ever die, we’re gonna sell plots to our fans, so all the Gwarriors can be buried as one…of course, it will just be a mass grave, it’s nothing fancy.

 

LM: While we’re on the topic of the stuff we talked about last time, I’m going to guess that you’ve done a good 1000 or so interviews over the years. What’s one question you’re just tired of?

DB: “What is the grossest thing that’s ever happened on stage?” No hesitation on that one. Or, not even that, “what’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened on tour?”. I draw a blank, ya know? My life is just this pastiche of atrocities that I’ve seen over the years and nothing stands forth as the craziest thing ever. I guess the craziest thing ever is that people would still ask that stupid question!

 

LM: You’ve also got a pretty large catalog to play but there are certain standards, like “Gor Gor” and “Sick of You” that everybody always wants. Are there any songs you just get sick of playing all the time?

DB: A lot of the guys get sick of playing “Sick of You”. We go through phases where we don’t want to play that song but I always insist we play it because it is the closest thing we’ve ever had to a real hit and it’s just kind of the signature Gwar tune, even though it doesn’t really sound that much like what Gwar sounds like anymore, it will still always get a huge crowd reaction and as an artist, as a performer, you feed off that. That gives you energy. If you’re having a shitty show then the crowd suddenly goes berserk, you’re going to get energy off of that. And I always love that because you really need a shot of that energy when you get down towards the end of the set, I’ll tell you!

 

LM: You’ve got the album catalog and the videos. You’ve showed up on TV, you’ve now got plans for the casino, the cemetery and everything else. You’ve built this thing into a multimedia monster. What’s the trick? Is it just a question of having crazy costumes and a cool storyline?

DB: Well that’s a huge part of it. Crazy costumes, anyone can come up with crazy costumes. But ours, really, the guys who’ve designed them over the years are just a bunch of sick motherfuckers who came up with some great looks and we’ve inspired…you know, the “Gwar look”, you’ll find it everywhere now. Every orc and monster band out there is DIRECTLY inspired by Gwar, just like we were directly inspired by Kiss. We pushed the scale down the road a little bit and other people have picked it up, but I don’t think anyone has really outdone us. Especially when you consider we haven’t had the millions of dollars of support that these other guys have had. The reason that Gwar’s different than everybody is because it is a really cool idea and we’re able to present it in a way that’s always interesting. I don’t know how we’ve managed to do that. I think a lot of it is I’ve got the gift of gab, I always have, that’s why I still do these interviews. And I don’t get sick of doing them either! I love to talk about how cool Gwar is. And I’ll never get sick of telling people how lucky and happy I am to work with such an amazing group of artists. It’s really unbelievable that all these guys are still around after 25 years. I’ve still got the same core artists and musicians that I had on Scumdogs of the Universe and in some cases even Hell-O and no one is here because we’re making money off of it, you know? We survive, but nobody’s getting rich, there’s no insurance plan, no retirement plan, ya know? And money never a valid…never a motivational factor for me. I’m proud of my punk rock roots, I’m not about to lose them, I’m not ever gonna sell them out. Of course, if we DID make millions of dollars, that would be great.

 

LM: If you could reform, reshape, reorganize Gwar any way you wanted, are you still handling the vocals or are you back on bass? Or even guitar, even though you claim you suck?

DB: I would keep it just the way it is. I tried so hard to NOT be the lead singer of this band, so I know that I MUST be the lead singer of this band because it just was fate. Destiny itself pretty much chose it. Even after I had the job, I got somebody else to come back in, I got Joey Slutman to take over then he ended up leaving so I just said “fuck it, I’m just gonna do this; I know it’s gonna be a hard job and I’m not sure if I’m up to the task” but I’ve never looked back.

 

LM: Obviously, there’s also a Lovecraft vibe that runs through the Gwar universe. What’s your favorite story and why do you think that movies always wind up sucking?

DB: My favorite story is “At the Mountains of Madness”. I heard they’re making a movie of that right now with the same guy that did Pan’s Labyrinth, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. The reason the movies suck is because they never really make a movie that’s based on the story. They just take the title and maybe a couple elements from the story and then run with it. So even though there have been several Lovecraft movies, none of them really have anything to do with H.P. Lovecraft. Hopefully this time they’ll get it right because that is one of the scariest, most fucked up stories you’ll ever read. And obviously, you see there’s a huge Lovecraft/Gwar thing. I mean “Mountains of Madness”, Antarctica, come on! I just plagiarize more obscure stuff, ya know? Oderus got his sword from Elric. There’s a fine line between plagiarism and…paying homage.

 

LM: Are you as into horror movies as we all think?

DB: No, I’m not. I love horror movies, I’m just really not a movie person because I don’t have the time. I don’t have time to sit around and watch movies. I have a really short attention span and a movie’s really got to grab me to watch it. I am a movie lover and a student of film, but if I had a “buff” area, I’m more of a war film buff. I love war movies and especially World War II movies, I’m a total freak for that stuff.

 

LM: Give me a good one.

DB: Cross of Iron by Sam Peckinpah is a very overlooked movie. It’s about German soldiers on the Russian front when the front’s collapsing. It’s just a great movie. It was put out at the height of the withdrawal from Vietnam, so the last thing people wanted to go see was a war movie. Especially about Germans being portrayed as just normal people. It’s completely authentic; they shot it in Yugoslavia and used like Yugoslavian National Guard T34 tanks and everything was perfect and Sam Peckinpah is just like my favorite director anyway. And the cast is just unbelievable: James Mason, David Warner, James Coburn. It’s just a fucking great movie.

 

LM: Last time we spoke you commented on the big, black fucking holes of time that you need to kill on the road. What games are you playing or what are you reading these days?

DB: Well, it sucks. The bus we have, nobody brought their 360 along, so I won’t be playing Nazi Zombies on this tour, which is probably good because I spent HALF of the last tour sitting here playing Nazi Zombies, so I’ll get other, more creative stuff done. So we’ve been playing just laptop games and stuff and I’ve been playing this game called “Hearts of Iron III”, which is a World War II strategy game where you have the whole world and you can pick Germany or Canada or America or whatever and it is the most complicated, ridiculous, fucked up game you’ll ever see. I challenge anyone to go out there and download the demo and play it for five minutes. You’ll just be going (wide eyed) “What? How can anyone take pleasure in this?”. It’s like doing trigonometry in Russian. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s not like any game that I’ve ever seen and you know what, I love it. So, that’s what I’ve been playing.

 

LM: Rapid fire: three bands that everybody should listen to and three bands that people should stop listening to.

DB: Everyone should listen to Motorhead, the Sex Pistols and Foreigner. Nobody should listen to Lordi…ummm, Lordi (laughs). I can’t even say that. You know, I don’t have anything against Lordi, I just think their music’s shit. It’s crap, it’s like kiddie rock. So yeah, stay away from that stuff, it has no balls, don’t listen to Lordi. Don’t listen to Rob Zombie’s latest re-issue of his latest re-issue. Lordi, Rob Zombie and…ahhh…the new Misfits (laughs), with Jerry Only, only. No, I’m not gonna bag on him either. God, I’m so bad about…I don’t really hate anybody. Yeah, I fucked that one all up. Just say “he kinda meandered off and wouldn’t say anything about anybody”.

 

LM: The stage is yours. Any parting words?

DB: I hope the Browns get better. It must suck, year after year, just to deal with that. We know all about it. It’s great to be here in Cleveland, we’re gonna have a great show tonight and I want everyone out there to buy the new album, Bloody Pit of Horror, continue to support Gwar – the band that has taken 25 years to get this far and for some fucked up reason is STILL getting bigger. I mean, I used to think the Scumdogs/America Must Be Destroyed era was like the biggest era of Gwar, like we would never really reach that level again, but now I’m starting to think we’re past that and more people probably and are backing us than at any other point of our career. Now Gwar’s like a family tradition! Dad will bring the kids down to see Gwar, bring the wife along. Sometimes, Granny will come along as well! Sometimes, Granny’s only like 55 years old or so – 25 years ago, she was a kid, banging her head! Rock n roll, especially heavy metal, has turned into the biggest, longest genre. Back when I was a kid, the mere thought of listening to the same kind of music my parents did was just like “What?! Impossible!” but now it’s a family affair. So get out there and breed and create some more Gwar fans.

LM: So, you’re telling me next time you guys come through, I should just go ahead and bring my daughters?

DB: Bring your daughters. How old?

LM: Twelve and ten.

DB: They’re fine! Even if they don’t dig it too much, they’ll have something to talk to their friends about. “This is what MY dad’s into!”

Bill Bailey interviews Nick Hipa from As I Lay Dying

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Bill got the chance to hang with the guys in As I Lay Dying and discuss the band, their music and life on the Christian music scene. Here’s his sit-down with guitarist Nick Hipa.

Photos Courtesy of Tim Rader

Bill Bailey: So tell me about your DVD set This is Who We Are,and what was your inspiration behind it?

Nick Hipa: The DVD is an all-encompassing As I Lay Dying visual product I would say. It’s got a pretty in-depth documentary as far as where the band started from when Tim and Jordan initially founded it and where it went along the way to get here. And the second part is actually a series of live performances from a couple places in the southern California area. The third DVD is a combination of music videos and just random bonus features of people being goofy and funny and stuff like that.

 

BB: It’s interesting that you guys are on the label that started Metallica and other metal greats from the beginning. Is there a sense of honor with that would you say?

NH: I think the coolest thing about being on Metal Blade is just the people that are there. Like Brian Slagel, who’s the owner and founder of Metal Blade. He’s the dude that was responsible for putting out the first recordings of those bands. It’s just so cool to be involved with a label that really does live and breathe metal; they really care about what’s going on in the world of heavy music. They care about our band, they care about us, so it’s been an awesome label to be a part of and we’re really happy with it.

 

BB: Who were your main influences growing up, and what got you into metal and hardcore?

NH: Well when I was a kid, my favorite guitar player was Randy Rhoads, Ozzy’s guitar player. In addition to him, I liked all the usual suspects in the metal and rock world. The metal side: I liked Dimebag, I loved the Metallica dudes, and of course you’ve got your rock guys like Eddie Van Halen, Jimmy Page, and all those dudes. Pretty much everyone that Guitar Worldwould tell me is an awesome guitar player when I was a kid, I would scope them out and love ’em. So that was it, but yeah I’d say Randy Rhoads was my biggest influence when I was younger…and also David Gilmour from Pink Floyd was a huge one because my mom used to always listen to that and I just loved Pink Floyd. It’s still one of my favorite bands today.

 

BB: And is there a preference on who you tour with? Do you enjoy the secular tours versus the more Christian tours and events?

NH: Well I’d say we don’t really do any Christian tours, not that we’re opposed to it, but I just feel like our band exists in the world of normal music. Sometimes we’ll have bands on tour that have similar beliefs as us, say a band like Underoath or August Burns Red or War of Ages or guys like that, and they’ll be on a tour with us and we’ll have maybe half non-Christian bands and half Christian bands. And it’s both the same as far as hanging out and just the getting along. We for the most part get along with all the other bands we tour with, it’s just with those bands in particular, we have a lot more in common and so we kinda connect with those guys a little bit.

 

BB: What were your first instruments that you started playing?

NH: When I first started playing music, it was all about the guitar. It’s still my favorite instrument.

 

BB: How do you keep your guitars in tune with the low tuning that you use?

NH: Our guitar tech. No I’m kidding (laughs). You just have to use a heavier gauge of string I think. There’s a couple things you can do. Some of my guitars have a longer scale length, and those hold the lower tunings a little bit more because there’s more tension there, and also using a heavier gauge of string. You’re able to hold a lower tuning without having super floppy strings or anything like that.

 

BB: What’s been your most inspiring moment during your music career?

NH: It’s hard to say because there’s so many different types of moments within the band that it’s been really. I don’t wanna say inspiring, but just really powerful moments. On one end, we’ll have shows in Russia or Japan that are absolutely crazy, where kids are just singing along to every word of the songs and…I mean there’s definitely a language barrier there. But so to see that a band that we put so much time and effort and thought into kinda transcends those boundaries and connects with people halfway around the world is a pretty awesome feeling. But then, we can play a city like this, and a kid can come talk to us after the show and say that maybe Tim’s lyrics like changed his life for the better or something like that or like pulled somebody out of depression, or when you hear that the band makes an impact on someone’s life, it makes us feel like we’re doing something worthwhile.

 

BB: Yeah, that’s cool. So where do you see the band heading musically in the future?

NH: Musically, I can see us still trying to expand on what we do, and well, never stray from what we do, you know we’re a heavy band first and foremost, and we’re always going to try and put out some pretty aggressive and intense records. But I think there’s just so many different things that we kinda touch on, whether it’s some of the texturing that Phil’s done, you know with guitar, or maybe with more shredding, you know, you never know, just more interesting song arrangements really the sky’s the limit and I think we’re just gonna try and find new ways to be a heavy band (laughs).

 

BB: Do you guys ever run into or deal with any Christian band stereotyping, and if you do, do you think it helps you guys or hurts you guys when playing with other bands?

NH: I don’t think we’ve ever run into any stereotypes that were detrimental to us. I mean, we’ll start a tour off and a band will just be kinda like reserved just to see how we are, but when they see that we treat everyone with the same love and respect that we’d like to be treated with for having our core set of beliefs, then they’re a little bit more open and friendly around us. Because I wouldn’t say we go overboard to the point where we’re telling anyone that they’re doing anything too, too wrong or what it is that they believe is…

BB: You’re not pushy.

NH: Yeah, I guess we’re just not pushing it man. Because we don’t want anyone to push anything on us.

 

BB: Yeah, exactly. I remember before I got saved. I had pushy family members, or just anybody in the church pushing it, and that was just pushing me away, you know? It just seemed like…you just gotta experience it yourself, you know? And that’s kinda how it was for me; when God wants ya, he’ll get ya, you know? And what’s the toughest thing about being a Christian and being out on the road and all around the darkness of the world all the time?

NH: I’d say the hardest thing is to just keep progressing and not getting lazy. For instance, when you’re on tour and you’re just watching TV or playing guitar, just hanging out all the time, you’re not really doing anything that’s spiritually edifying. If you’re not lifting each other up and moving forward, then I feel like you can’t just stay there; you’re moving backwards. So for us, we just try and get together every week and just talk with each other and get into real spiritual issues just to keep each other like, accountable, and just not let anything get out of control.

 

BB: Yeah, that’s great. Like do you guys do any kind of Bible study or anything?

NH: Yea, well before, we used to do straight up like, Bible studies, but now we’re just doing like, topics. Like we’ll talk about something like a Christian issue. Like right now, we’re talking about the consistencies in the Christian religion with other religions of the world and how that’s gonna use as an argument against Christianity by saying that the story of Jesus was shared with cultures that existed before that, and how, you know when you get into a conversation with someone along those lines, if you’re not educated in it at all, you really have no argument against it. So we’re in the process of just coming up with stuff this week and trying to think of a logical way to diffuse that topic if it’s ever presented to us.

 

BB: Yeah that’s great. I saw you guys at Alive Fest in 2009, and that’s where I got a chance to talk with Tim a little bit. But at Alive Fest, there was a Christian music festival. So we shared a little bit on stage, you know, the gospel message. But at shows like this, do you guys ever share the gospel message with the crowd during shows? And if not, with everything we’re dealing with in the world today, no matter how unpopular it may be at times, do you think more musicians of faith need to stand proud and present the message? Because you know, we all know that God would use that message at the right time when somebody needs to hear it. I mean do you think it’s something you would support? On these kind of tours?

NH: I don’t know, it depends because…this might be a difference of opinion within the band, but I don’t think we need to because I don’t think any of the people here are here to hear any sort of message in particular. And this is me, this is like my view: I just want to put on a good show, but that’s just me. Tim’s the one who writes the lyrics, and I feel like he would be a little bit more outspoken, but he doesn’t really say anything either. And that’s like really the responsibility that I feel like I need to uphold in just being the guitar player who kids are coming to see like our band for our records. And people can look down on that, but I’m not in this band for any sort of evangelical intentions. I love playing guitar first and foremost, and I’m happy to be in a band with dudes who have the same set of beliefs as I do. But really I just enjoy being a musician playing in this band.

 

BB: Yeah, and I’m not saying like make it a whole…like read a whole scripture or anything like that. I was just saying like a brief, whatever.

NH: I mean, I guess, but then if you just throw it out briefly, then I feel like that doesn’t really make it…I feel like you either go for it or you don’t.

 

BB: I see what you’re saying.

NH: Like if you just kind of casually mentioned anything, I don’t know if that would even plant a seed if it’s like five seconds of like a little quip of a thought between songs. It’s just hard, like I guess it depends what the setting is. Like if we really were trying to spread a gospel message of any sort, I would think that we’d thoroughly present it, and not just, you know. But you know we’re playing at a club in Cleveland and people are here for the show and that’s what I think we’re going to give them.

 

BB: Are there three pieces of advice you would give to a younger musician? And what is one thing that really surprised you or still surprises you about the music industry?

NH: Well three pieces of advice…one would be to find other musicians to play with (laughs), and try to find other musicians that will push you. You know, people that can challenge you. I’ve noticed that I’ve grown the most as a guitar player by being around other guitar players like on tour who I’ll watch and they’ll have like this crushing tone or this really good technique, and I’ll learn from that, and that makes me better. So I would say find other musicians in your area, whether it’s like kids in your school, or even local bands, befriending other bands that are where you’re from. The second thing I would say, at least if your intention is to be in a band, that song composition and writing is the most important thing. You can’t really get anywhere in a band if you can’t write awesome stuff. So I would definitely encourage people to nurture their creativity and just go for it. Don’t be afraid to try and write a song because you don’t know how. I would say just go for it and make yourself use that creative side of your mind, because that’s the only way you’re going to develop it at all. The third thing I would say is to never get discouraged with the level that you’re at. Because I guarantee you, any other musician that’s out there wishes they were better and practices for it. So because you’re not as good as you know, this person, doesn’t mean you’re not a good guitar player; don’t sell yourself short. You just have to remember it’s a journey. And yea, don’t get put by yourself (laughs).

 

BB: Alright. What are three bands that you think they should require people to listen to in high school before they can graduate?

NH: Geez, that’s really hard. I’d say Pink Floyd is one for sure. Just because I think they’re an amazing band, a band of substance. They write powerful music and they have very intelligent lyrics. I love Roger Waters’ lyrics. Um, Metallica (laughs). Listen to Master of Puppets. You know, get one of the metal classics under your belt. And then maybe Led Zeppelin. Those are all classic bands that I feel like kids should just get into. And it’s funny, I have a little brother who’s in high school, and I’ll show him bands for the first time, and it’s just like, “I can’t believe I’m showing you this! I mean, you’ve never even heard this in your life.” You know? (laughs)

 

BB: What books and movies would you say have changed your life?

NH: Wow. I can’t really answer that question because I haven’t read anything or watched anything lately that’s blown my mind, but I was just talking to our bass player Josh while the TV was on. We were talking about the movie The Sandlot. You know, simple movies. Like a fun…I don’t wanna say coming of age…but it’s a very light-hearted movie that, whenever that movie comes on, I just watch the whole thing. I don’t know, it makes me feel like life is good, you know? So if you’re ever feeling bummed, I suggest watching that one.

 

BB: Okay. What kind of message do you hope fans get out of your music or take away from your shows?

NH: I would hope that we just empower people, like lyrically, to just use their minds a little bit; think about what it is that they believe in or that they live for and what they stand for. I don’t think we try and challenge anyone in a negative way, but in a positive way. And I hope that the people that listen to the band will take that away from it. From our shows, on a very, very basic level, I hope people will have the time of their lives when they come to see us. That they’re stoked that they spent the $15 to go to the show and that they had a blast, you know?

 

BB: Cool. And I was wondering if you had any message that you would like to send out to the troops that are serving overseas?

NH: Definitely. Get back safe, and we love, appreciate, and support you guys, as a band.

 

BB: And then I wanted to see if you wouldn’t mind sharing like a brief testimony of what your life was like before you had received Christ and the changes He’s made in your life, and what your life is like now that you have Christ.

NH: Briefly huh? (laughs) Well I got saved in eighth grade. And that’s still pretty young, you know, I didn’t really experience a hard life before that. But I got saved right around the same time my mom did. I grew with…it was just my mom and I most of the time. We moved to Texas and my dad is still deploying. And it was just really hard for us. My mom was at a point where she really just felt defeated in life. She didn’t really have like any peace or any true feeling of love and acceptance. And when she got saved, I noticed an immediate change in her and I felt the same way as her before. When I saw it happen to my mom, and I heard the gospel for the first time, it just made sense, you know? Like it seemed like there was something fundamentally missing in my life. And it’s very basic, but I felt at peace and where I should be when I got saved as an eighth grader. It’s been like that my whole life.

 

BB: Wow that’s awesome.

NH: Yea, nothing too gnarly of a life, I was just a kid, you know?

 

BB: Yea. Well that’s cool man! I guess that’s about it.

NH: Thank you guys!

 

Jeremy Depoyster and Mike Hranica of The Devil Wears Prada

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Domain Cleveland caught up with the guys in The Devil Wears Prada as they prepared to tear up the Grog Shop. Jamie Johnson got the chance to sit down with vocalist Mike Hranica and guitarist/vocalist Jeremy DePoyster to discuss the band’s approach to the Christian music scene as well as whether or not it’s okay for metal bands to dance. Check it out!


Photos Courtesy of Tim Rader

Jamie Johnson: What was the biggest highlight of this tour?

Mike Hranica: It all went over well. Just getting to meet all the other bands. All the hot shows and hanging out is what we are gonna remember most.

Jeremy DePoyster: Yeah!

 

JJ: As an openly Christian band do you feel like you are treated differently than other bands?

JD: I don’t think we ever have, just being a more heavy band and louder and stuff, not as a distinctly “Christian” band. We are in a couple of different scenes, not just like a Christian scene.

 

JJ: What is the biggest change from Dear Love: A Beautiful Discord to With Roots Above Branches Below?

JD: One is the music, one isn’t. We are playing older songs, ’cause the fans wanted it. We aren’t particularly happy with those songs. When we do support, like we will be doing God willing, we want to play the newer stuff. That’s how we feel musically. It’s what we want to put out there now.

MH: We’ve grown a lot, we can tell the fans don’t really look at it the same way. We like our new stuff better, that’s why we make it a point to play it more.

 

JJ: When can we expect a new full length album?

JD: I don’t know what you call soon. I know at the end of the year we plan on working on it and writing. I know Chris has consistently, over the past five years just been writing. We’ll eventually be like “right now let’s start working on this stuff”. I know Chris has some right now. I think at the end of the year we’ll start. Probably early next year.

 

JJ: What’s the biggest inspiration for your music?

MH: Originally we all had the same musical influences. Now we’ve branched out a little. We come to the middle though, with bands like Underoath and As I Lay Dying, bands that we all love. That’s a big inspiration. On a spiritual level, it’s the fact we have something we like to talk about. That’s what we want to put out there. It not only inspires us, but it’s why we are put here.

 

JJ: What is your biggest struggle while you are touring?

JD: It depends on what you mean by struggle. When we start out we’re all stoked, but as it goes on the wear on your body and your voice for us. Just being away from home. When you are home you build up your life. When you go out on tour you just kinda put it to the side. That’s the biggest battle. I don’t think we really struggle. Mainly just your body and voice being tired.

 

JJ: Do you have any personal favorite bands?

MH: For me, I’d say Converge, I don’t know it’s hard to pick favorites.

JD: Just depends on the mood I guess.

 

JJ: What is your favorite thing about playing shows?

JD: We’re lucky, we play a style of music that’s more aggressive. Just a bunch of guys when we look out there we see this big pit with people hitting and such. It’s just fun. It’s a weird energy.

 

JJ: Is it different for you playing Christian events as opposed to these shows?

MH: We play the same show whether it’s a festival or not. I think the difference is that the people at the festivals don’t know what to expect. Or they ask us to tone it down, which we don’t. We’re a bunch of dirty dudes to the more fundamentalist types.

JD: I think people see our videos and they may tone it down, but then think “they just do whatever they want”. I mean as a band we can’t tell our fans “we’re gonna tone it down a little” cause the fans will be like “this sucks”.

 

JJ: How have you changed since the early days of being formed?

MH: I think we’ve changed personally, like anyone who’s changed from high school to college. Which is where we are at. What hasn’t changed is our belief in God, that’s what holds us together. It’s unique that we’ve had the same line up for five years. We are all on the same page.

 

JJ: What is your favorite song to play on tour?

JD: It depends on the show, but we’ve been playing “Danger” (“Danger: Wildman”, from With Roots Above and Branches Below) a lot. That’s pretty fun because people get really stoked when we start it.

MH: I have songs that I really like early on, then later on stop liking it. Whenever we play new songs it’s exciting.

 

JJ: You guys have a quickly rising fan base, what do you do to keep yourselves level headed?

JD: I don’t think any of us have that mindset. When we go home, it’s like “what’s up bros?”, not like “we are awesome”. I think our faith demands humility out of us. We are constantly reminded of our faith and it keeps us humble.

 

JJ: A few years back you broke into the scene. How has the hardcore scene changed since you started?

MH: Definitely too much purple. The fact that everyone has become an image, that bands have to have a gimmick to get noticed. When we started we got into MySpace and all that. We focused, though, on our music and strategic touring first. Whereas a lot of bands focused on MySpace and not as much on music. The metal got too poppy. Metal shouldn’t have dancing.

 

JJ: Last question. What’s the hardest part about bringing people together for a band?

JD: Just conflicting personalities. On stage people see six different guys, but in reality it really is SIX DIFFERENT GUYS ya know? We are lucky enough that we generally have the same goals. That we have similar likes.

MH: We definitely have cliques within the band in a sense. We don’t see eye to eye on all subjects. I feel like if we weren’t trying to make music for God then probably somebody would’ve been kicked out. But we are all on the same page as far as doing this for God. We’re definitely individuals though.

Robby Baca of The Contortionist

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LarryMac caught up with guitarist Robby Baca and the rest of The Contortionist after they set the stage for the Project AK-47 tour’s Cleveland stop. They discussed the band, their debut Good Fight release, ‘Exoplanet’, and what’s next for this hot new band that’s tearing up the progressive metal scene.


Photos Courtesy of Adrenaline PR / The Contortionist

LarryMac: How are things in the world of The Contortionist? How’s the album doing? How’s the tour going?

Robby Baca: The tour’s sick. All the dudes on the tour are awesome. Exoplanet is selling pretty well.

 

LM: Tell me about the disc, Exoplanet. How’s it doing and why do I need to add it to my music library?

RB: You need to add Exoplanet to your music library because it’s not already in there (laughs) and just because it’s a change of pace, something a little different.

 

LM : You guys have developed a reputation for awesome songwriting and experimentation. Did signing with a label hold you back at all once there were more eyes looking over your shoulders?

RB: No. Actually, they were all for it. They were definitely all about the experimentation. They never once put a restriction on the songwriting or anything.

 

LM: You got where you’re at going the DIY route and putting out two releases of your own before you got a deal. What advice do you have for other new bands just starting out and trying to do the same thing?

RB: Just keep writing. Find your niche; don’t just try to do what’s cool, what’s popular. Find the sound that you can elaborate on and, if that’s metal plus something else, cool; if it’s something totally different that no one’s ever heard, awesome. Just find your own sound and build on that and not completely on what others have done.

 

LM: Name two bands that shaped your sound and inspired you.

RB: Definitely Between the Buried and Me (the rest of the band agrees)…and, personally, I would have to say Pat Metheny. He does a lot of jazz and world music and he’s just awesome.

 

LM: You guys automatically get labeled “progressive” because you don’t keep rehashing the same structures to your songs or the same progressions. But I’d be hard pressed to compare you to Dream Theater or the Mars Volta. How would YOU define your sound? What genre would you put yourselves into?

RB: I agree with the “progressive” thing and obviously, it’s metal for the most part.

 

LM: “Progressive”? Because once you’re “prog rock”, everybody thinks you’re Dream Theater…

RB: They’re sick, by the way.

 

LM: Ignoring all the press clippings that compare you to bands that a reviewer who listened to your disc once thinks you sound like, name a band that you’d compare your sound to for people who haven’t heard you.

RB: I’m probably about to name off a bunch of bands that no one knows about. I would have to say Between the Buried and Me…Meshuggah…and…Cynic.

 

LM: Here’s a tougher one. Any band or bands that you’re tired of always being compared to or totally don’t get WHY you’re compared to?

RB: Sumerian bands. We get Sumerian core a lot. I’ve seen a couple of interviews where we’re labeled as Sumerian-core. If you’re on Sumerian Records, you’re Sumerian core. We’re not on Sumerian Records and we don’t really sound like any of the bands who are on Sumerian. I think it’s just somebody who listens to a lot of Sumerian bands and then they listen to us and they’re like “Hey, this Sumerian music is like the only thing I know and it kinda sounds like it, so I’m just gonna call it Sumerian core.

 

LM: So what’s next for you guys after this tour wraps up?

RB: We’re going out with Acacia Strain, The Red Chord, Terror. This tours runs straight into that one, which starts at the end of the month.

 

LM: The stage is yours. Any parting words?

RB: I just wanna say thanks to everyone who has bought Exoplanet, everyone who has come to a show and picked up merch, bought Exoplanet at a show, just come up to us and said hi. It’s been awesome meeting all these cool people on tour.

Ryan Clark of Demon Hunter

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Our own Bill Bailey and Nathanael Dolesh had the chance to sit down with Demon Hunter’s Ryan Clark while Demon Hunter was in town. Find out what he had to say about life in the Christian music scene. Thanks to Nathanael for doing the heavy lifting and transcribing it all!

Demon Hunter's Ryan Clark with Bill Bailey
Photos by Tim Rader

Bill Bailey: Well I’m pretty excited about this. It’s like I was telling Jeremiah, I first got exposed to you guys while I was serving over in Kuwait. Your label sent us a copy of Storm the Gates, and before I gave it to one of our reviewers to write a review on, I threw it on my iPod real quick so I had a lot of music to listen to while I was over there. When I was over there working out, it’s like Storm the Gates would come on, you know, “Lead us Home”, and all that music was inspiring me. At the time I wasn’t saved; I was far from it. It was music that was just rockin and helping inspire me, especially like “Lead us Home”, you know, just for the simple fact that I want to get home. But it’s like part of it helped plant the seed because when I came home I was dealing with a lot of personal issues. And like they say, there is no atheist in foxholes, you know? I came home in January 2009 and got saved in March of 2009 and got baptized in May, and now I’m livin’ for Christ.

Ryan Clark: Cool, awesome.

 

BB: And I’m using the connections and everything I have with the music industry and Domain Cleveland and interviewing bands to try and expose the youth and the scene and everything to the Christian musicians, and you know, the scene out there.

RC: Right. Awesome.

 

BB: I was really excited to hear you guys were coming into town; I really wanted to set up this interview. And this’ll be my first time seeing you guys live and learning about you guys. So enough about me; let’s get into talking about you guys. What is the meaning behind the Blessed Resistance, and in your own words, what is it that we must prepare to resist everyday?

RC: Well, Blessed Resistance is kinda based on the song “Relentless Intolerance”, which was a song on the Triptych record. It’s essentially just resisting the ways of the flesh; the ways of the world. That’s kind of like an ongoing topic or subject throughout every Demon Hunter record and a lot of the songs; just a resistance of what’s modern and accepted and what people view as okay and permissible these days that I don’t believe should be viewed that way. And everyone kinda has a live for yourself mentality, seemingly more these days than ever before. So that’s really what the Blessed Resistance name is all about. It was just something that we came up with the fan club idea around the time of that song, and it just kinda lent itself well with that idea.

 

BB: Awesome. How do you guys deal with the whole Christian band stereotype? Do you think it helps you guys or hurts when you’re playing out with other bands?

RC: We haven’t run into a ton of issues as far as that stuff goes. We get a lot of scrutiny, a lot of questions; but it’s usually from Christian people. We don’t get a ton from the other side. Every once in a while we do, but really the most scrutinizing questions we get are from Christian parents or youth pastors or people that don’t really understand what it is we do and why we have a certain sound and look a certain way; things like that. That’s harder for a lot of people to swallow than I think the other side. We do get questions from non-Christian fans and stuff like that, but we haven’t really run into any major issues out playing or anything like that, being a Christian band. I think anyone who’s heard of us before kinda just knows up front that we are. We’ve never really made any bones about it or tried to tip-toe it along that fact. So yea, people seem to be pretty cool with it; we haven’t run into a lot of issues with it.

 

BB: Yeah, it’s a shame with the Christian parents too, because a lot of times it’s like we do more harm than good for our own cause. It’s like we’re trying to help bring in more young believers, you know, kids that are out there looking for something because they already have a stereotype of who Christians are because we give it to them.

RC: Right, right, totally.

 

BB: Especially a lot of the adults. We were just talking on the way here about the politics in the church too. I work on this new ministry called the Upper Room, which is trying to reach out to the youth in the area, and it’s like this vision that we originally had…already the politics are taking place. My pastor told me that I had the ability to reach people that he can’t even imagine reaching because of where I came from and being involved with the music scene and stuff. But then the politics rears its ugly head like “I don’t think that’s what Christ had in mind.” You know?

RC: Right. I think it’s just about being real with people. Kids don’t want a bunch of guidelines and rules. So if you make it seem like that’s what it is, then I don’t think any adolescent is going to be prone to be into that, you know? They just kinda have this desire or need to rebel anyway, so you can’t make it sound like it’s this rigid, strict, regimented thing, ’cause it’s not going to work.

 

BB: It’s all about transparency too, you know?

RC: Right.

 

BB: What’s the toughest thing about being a Christian and being out on the road and all around the darkness of the world all the time?

RC: I would say just not getting jaded by it all; not allowing those things to kinda make you throw your hands up and say “this is too much”. A lot of guys in Christian bands end up getting real jaded by the whole Christian music industry. And they kinda distance themselves from it, because, like anything else, it’s just a flawed thing; it’s a human thing so it’s not going to be perfect. So you see a lot of guys falling away after being in the music scene for a few years just because it’s not entirely different from the regular music scene. It’s supposed to be, in theory, I guess it should be, but it’s not always. So I think people get really bummed out when it doesn’t meet their expectations. Christian promoters can be like the worst promoters on the face of the earth. And Christian clubs can be the most judgmental, lame places to play. Things like that make it really difficult to have your head on straight about what the Christian music scene is and what it means to be in a Christian band. There’s a real lack of professionalism in the Christian music scene for the most part. So it’s really hard to come to terms with that and have to deal with that everyday. ‘Cause people, you know, especially promoters, they’ll think “well we’re Christians, so you have to forgive me for not being able to pay you even though you drove this far and played…” you know? So they use that as like a crutch to stand on, like “we’ve got to be civil with one another, and you’ve got to give me a break because we’re bros”. But you know that’s…we’re talking about someone’s job and a profession. Sometime you gotta take that out of it. I mean it’s gotta be just be a profession. That happens way too often. WAY too often. All the time. Like me, and my friends’ bands, like in the last two months…and it’s always the Christian ones. (laughs) It’s always the Christian festivals, promoters, venues; stuff like that. There are probably exceptions to the rule, but the issue is just as a general statement, it’s almost always.

 

BB: Like I was just telling you, this is gonna be my first time seeing you guys live and stuff so I don’t know if you already do this, but do you ever like share a gospel message with the crowd during shows? And if not, with everything that we’re dealing with in the world today, no matter how unpopular it may be at times, do you feel that more musicians are faithful to stand proud and present the message? ‘Cause we all know that God uses that to reach someone somewhere when they need it the most.

RC: We don’t do the thing from stage. I don’t feel like I’m a gifted speaker necessarily. I think that what this band is called to do is to meet people on a personal level more individually. We play our set, and we encourage people to come and hang out with us afterwards and talk to us. We make ourselves available to people. That’s one thing this band does that we’ve never stopped doing and we won’t stop doing, is absolutely every single show, going out and talking to kids until they’re gone. So that’s where we see it as most effective and most real for us. I know a lot of bands do that and I’m totally all for it. I don’t see myself as someone that is gifted in that area as far as stage banter, you know talking from stage and actually doing that kind of thing.

 

BB: What inspired “The World is a Thorn” and what made you decide to do “Driving Nails” with orchestration? Those are two separate questions, I’m sorry.

RC: That’s ok. “The World is a Thorn” is a lot like what we were talking about earlier. It’s just about what the world is today and what it stands for; the path that it encourages people to take, whether that’s through advertising or anything. Just daily life. The world I’d say is unbeknownst to the powers that be. Technically the idea of satanism is more about self-worship than actually worshiping the devil. I think that people don’t realize that they worship self, but I think worshiping self is like the biggest issue that we see with what’s wrong with the world. ‘Cause people are putting their stomachs in their minds and their own personal what have you in front of everything else. So “The World is a Thorn” is basically just about taking a stand on the opposite side of that. Songs like “This is the Line” and “Tie This Around Your Neck” and the title track and “Descending Upon Us”…those are all kind of in the same mindset; the same overall theme. And it’s just about kinda the wickedness of the world and like making a stance adverse to that.

 

BB: Awesome. And then what made you decide to do “Driving Nails” with the acoustic?

RC: Basically we worked with a guy, Chris Carmichael who does all the orchestration stuff, and we’ve worked with him in the past, and we knew we wanted to have some strings and stuff like that on the record. And that song just kind of lent itself really well to that whole sound and vibe. When we got it back, they were perfect; they were great. You know, he nails it every single time. And so it sounded like he pretty much filled out the entire song with orchestration. So when we did the version that’s like only string version, I was just thinking that you could take everything out and it would probably be pretty much full of orchestration even without the regular instruments. And so it was just kind of an idea and it ended up working really well.

 

BB: Awesome. Back to what we were talking about earlier with the bands getting jaded and stuff like that with the music industry, are there three pieces of advice that you would give to a younger musician? Or what is one thing that really surprised or still surprises you about the music industry?

RC: Like I was saying earlier, I would say don’t expect to be pleasantly surprised at this scene. ‘Cause typically the Christian music scene is gonna be like a more perfect version than the regular music scene. Be realistic with your expectations of it. And be on your guard about the idea that people, whether they’re Christian people or not, are gonna be flawed. They’re not always going to do the things that you want them to do or the things that are professional or ethical or responsible. So having a realistic mindset about those kind of things will help you not get your expectations out of whack.
As far as Christian music is concerned, in general I think that one of the biggest issue with the music element of it is that of originality. I think that a lot of Christian bands kinda thrive on the idea of being like a Christian version of something else. And I think that’s why a lot of people don’t take Christian music seriously. There have been way too many Christian bands that have been the Christian version of something else. And it’s usually the second-rate Christian version of something else. There’s a lot of great bands that do original stuff and it kind of helped push that idea out of the mindset of people. But I still think that there’s a long ways to go before Christian music is really seen on an artistic side as really legitimate, you know? I think the best way to do that is to keep it really original; work on being original and not on being some other band.

 

BB: What are three bands that you think they should require people to listen to in high school before they can graduate?

RC: (laughs) Maybe old Metallica, Zeppelin. And let’s see…in a perfect world…maybe Living Sacrifice.

 

BB: And what books and movies would you say have changed your life?

RC: Obviously the Bible for books. There are also a few other books that have been real great reads. “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel, “Liar Lunatic or Lord”, “More than a Carpenter” is a great book; short little easy read. As far as movies…some of my favorite movies just because I feel like they’re very well thought out and creative…I think “Internal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” is a super creative movie. It makes you think about things. It’s not like from a Christian perspective per se, but I think you can take those things and put them into your life and evaluate your life through those kind of things. That’s one of my favorite movies as far as the creativity and the mindset of it. I’m more of a comedy guy (laughs), so I don’t know if those really shape my person or not.

 

BB: What kind of messages do you hope fans get out of your music or take away from your shows?

RC: An alternative to what they’re fed elsewhere from the world through bands or just through their daily lives. I hope people see us as something that’s different. With the Christian kids, I think a lot of people are uncomfortable with that; with being a Christian and talking to their friends about that kind of stuff and standing up for it. I know when I was young, certain bands that I listened to made me feel like it was cool, or cooler to be a Christian than it sometimes felt. Bands like Mortification, Living Sacrifice; all those early metal bands actually made me feel stoked to be a Christian. So I think if we can do that for kids, that’s pretty awesome.

 

BB: I read your Veteran’s Day message that was on the website. I notice you have a battle band on, which is cool. So I was wondering if you had any message that you’d like to send to the guys and gals serving overseas right now.

RC: Yea, just thank you. I know that it can be a thankless job at times. We always try to make it known that despite what is said in popular music or popular culture within this nation or others that we actually appreciate what they’re doing and we understand what they’re doing. It’s a lot of risk, it’s a lot of hardship and it’s difficult. And we want to take a stance on the opposite side of what we are hearing, especially in popular music. It seemed like a couple years ago, every popular band would put out this negative material about the whole ordeal. And if you don’t like the idea of war, I guess that’s understandable, but I think that some bands or music artists took it a little beyond that. And so we want to make sure that the people know that they’re still being supported and still appreciated.

 

BB: Yea, whether you don’t like the administration or whoever’s sending them to war, we’re all just following orders.

RC: Yeah, totally. I think a lot of people just kinda bundle it all up into a little ball and they don’t realize that it’s not just that simple.

 

BB: And then real quick, I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind – I’m trying to put together this little video series I’ve been doing with a lot of the Christian bands I’ve been interviewing, trying to get a brief testimony from each person that I’ve interviewed – would you mind doing one?

RC: No, sure. So I pretty much grew up in a Christian surrounding; Christian home. And throughout my adolescence, the spiritual element of my life was kind of a fluctuating thing. It was more just tumultuous than nonexistent. For me, it became more and more real when I started really seeking it out on my own. When you’re a pastor’s kid like I was, a lot of the stuff just starts to feel redundant, like you’ve kinda heard it all, things like that. But noticing the power of prayer when you really find yourself in a difficult place, that’s been one of the things that, to me, has been that reality about the whole thing….and just the pieces that I have personally put together about my Christian walk and the faith that I have. I believe that the truth is out there for people that want it. And I think that a lot of people don’t/aren’t necessarily comfortable with the truth that they find. A lot of people want the truth that works for them; whatever works best for them and whatever is conducive to their lifestyle. Christianity can seem like something that is just guidelines or rules or scrutiny for people. Those of us that see it for what it is, realize that it’s not, and that there’s actually a lot of freedom in Christianity. And I think people don’t understand that and don’t give it enough time to realize what that means. For me, it was realizing that putting myself and the things that I want first, actually kinda has this negative, reversal effect of making you even less satisfied with your life. And so it’s not until you learn to put God first, and the people around you in your life second…and by virtue of putting God first, you’re gonna be treating people with more respect and more patience and forgiveness and all of those kind of attributes. Those are the kind of things that, by virtue of pleasing and serving God, will just come second nature. I think people think they have to work really hard at that kind of stuff, but really all you have to do is…if your one focus is just to please God, then all that stuff kinda falls in line. So yea, that’s basically it.

 

BB: Awesome, man. Thank you so much for your time. Looking forward to the show.

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