Disciple, one of Christian rock’s great mainstays has been on an extensive touring schedule going back to back on two major headlining tours and the summer festival circuit. Francis had a chance to talk with Kevin Young, vocalist and bassist of the group via E-mail while on the road for their most recent venture, The Southern Hospitality tour alongside Spoken, The Wedding and High Flight Society.
Francis Petruziello: I understand you guys had an extensive touring schedule this year with the long-pressed Scars Remain and the annual summer festivals and now you’re on The Southern Hospitality tour with Spoken, The Wedding and High FlightSociety, what were the similarities and differences of those treks on the road?
Kevin Young: The tours and the shows were actually very similar. The biggest difference was the bands that we were on tour with. We’ve been very fortunate to have such great and awesome bands come out on the road with us. And they all have their distinct and different personalities which have made the last tours very memorable in a positive way.
F.P.: Will you guys be performing any upcoming material prepared for a future Disciple album or will it be a continuation of Scars Remain?
K.Y.: We’ve just started working on new material. So we’re not at the point of performing any of it yet. But hopefully we will be very soon.
F.P.: How have the fans reacted toward each set?
K.Y.: As far as I know, it has been a great reaction. We have some of the best fans in the world. And that makes it a lot of fun when we are performing. I honestly sometimes just sit back and watch them. One of the greatest compliments someone could ever give any of us in Disciple is to just come to the show and sing the songs with us. It doesn’t get much better when I see a fan that is excited to be there and they are singing every lyric to every song. It’s a great feeling.
F.P.: What was it like this summer and is it different performing on a larger spectrum than what you’re doing recently on the smaller stage for this tour?
K.Y.: I know this may sound like a cliche’, but I do my best to treat every show the same whether we are in front of 20 people or 20,000. If someone pays to come and see us, then I have no intentions of ripping them off. They will get 100% out of me.
F.P.: What’s it like with Spoken, The Wedding and High Flight Society?
K.Y.: We’ve been friends with Spoken for a long time. And honestly, it truly is honor to call those guys friends. They are great in every way. I am just another fan when Spoken is on the stage. The Wedding was a blast. They are the same on and off the stage. They really are a bunch of fun guys and a great live band. It was great getting to know High Flight Society. Their singer is one of the best singers I have ever heard, and the band is just as good. You can really see Jesus in their lives, and that’s probably the greatest compliment I could give them.
F.P.: Any interesting road stories you care to share with our readers?
K.Y.: Bands are usually infamous for the last night of the tour…Prank Night. During High Flight Society’s set we put a whole bunch of flowers and greenery from the church on stage with them. There were probably 30 pots of huge shrubbery all around the stage while they played. It was pretty funny. During The Wedding’s set we got a little crazy. I can’t remember who was involved, but me and three other guys had a chicken fight in the middle of their set. I think their singer got thrown off the stage at one point, and they took the drummers drums off the stage one at a time while the band was still playing. During Spoken’s set the drummer for The Wedding had an idea. He wanted to take their whole merchandise table on stage while they were playing. So he and I took it up there. Matt Baird (singer) actually got on the merchandise table and started performing. Then in between songs they started selling their merchandise. It was hilarious! Matt dragged me on the table with him and I sang background vocals with him. I started having a good time so I just stayed up there with him for the next two or three songs. He started laughing because I wouldn’t leave. I guess he shouldn’t have dragged me up there. Then Matt had everybody in the crowd turn around and face the back wall for an entire Spoken song!! I thought for sure that someone would turn around in the middle of the song and then other people would follow. Nope! Everybody stayed facing the back wall the entire song. I laughed until I couldn’t laugh anymore. It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
F.P.: What do you do to keep sane from your busy schedule during your down time from performing?
K.Y.: I really am a big nerd. I love to read. For some reason, getting to just be by myself with a book really helps even things out; especially if we are having to be around a lot of people the rest of the time.
F.P.: Do you believe that you’re shows or albums is a form of music ministry or just your own perspective of sharing your faith with your devoted fan base?
K.Y.: I would say both. I have always looked at Disciple as a ministry. I want nothing more than for God to use our music to touch people’s lives. I also write songs about my personal experiences with my faith and other issues. Those songs are really easy for people to relate to when they are going through some of the same things.
F.P.: What are your thoughts about the rise in Christian music; especially your brand of hard rock as it’s becoming more popular?
K.Y.: Well, it doesn’t hurt my feelings. I have loved Christian Rock music for a long time. I guess you could say before it was cool. So I’m glad to see that people are being more open minded to it. But you have to give the bands a lot of credit as well. There really are some great bands out there right now. And we are very fortunate to have the opportunity to play with a lot of them.
F.P.: What are Disciple’s plans for 2008?
K.Y.: 2008 is going to be a great year. We are going on tour with Superchik March through May. We are going into the studio some time in June hopefully. We also are looking forward to playing shows with our new players. Brad (Noah) has retired from playing on the road, but he is still going to be a huge part of the writing and recording process. The new players in the band are Nathan Ehman (guitar), formerly of Kids In The Way. IsraelBeechy (bass), formerly of Staple. And Andrew Welch (guitar), formerly of After Eight. They are amazing guys and I’m really looking forward to recording the next album and playing more shows with them.
F.P.: Any plans to put out a live album?
K.Y.: Not as of right now.
F.P.: If you didn’t pursue a career as a musician, what would you be doing today?
K.Y.: Again, not to sound like a cliche’, but this answer is the same one that I give my wife. Whatever God wants me to do, I hope that’s what I’m doing.
F.P.: Do you have anything to say to someone who wishes to pursue a career as a musician?
K.Y.: Well…it’s better to do what you love or what you are called to do and be starving then to be rich and be miserable.