An Interview About Wrath by Preson Phillips

The (ONE)21 Music: Wrath is your third release since 2008. How does your role as Pastor and Worship Leader compliment and feed you as a recording artist and vice versa?
Preson Phillips: I never think of myself as a recording artist as if it were a second job that I had. I am simply a pastor, and the way that I am best able to communicate the gospel to people is through a mixture of preaching and songwriting/leading. If those things spread beyond the walls of the church, so be it.
I don’t think that either one of those things, either the music or the preaching, would be very effective without the other. I need to do both of them. You can say things through lyrics that you could never say in preaching, or even normal conversations, because it would be awkward and cheesy. Music and lyrics are the atmosphere that make those “cheesy” statements acceptable, and even powerful!

ONE21:Your music seems to embody the weightiness of traditional hymns with the excuberance of modern worship music. How did these two styles of “Church” music come together to influence your sound?
Phillips: I didn’t really write like that in the past, but being a pastor means that you have to read a whole lot of really really old theology books. Any student will tell you that when you first start reading those books (polycarp, augustine, brother lawrence, william law, and even calvin and luther) they are really hard to read and its a slow and exhausting process to comprehend what they are saying. But the longer you keep it up, it becomes simple… almost normal. Then you start to appreciatte the way our forefathers wrote and communicated the gospel, and you sit there and say “man, I wish I could write like that and not get laughed at!”.
The lucky thing is, with music I am allowed to do that. I can write as if I was some snobbish Elizabethan playwright… and no one even thinks twice about it. There are much more beautiful ways of saying things than the modern english language allows for. Our speech is too efficient. We get to our point fast, we just want people to get it. Old english was like that. They took their time getting to the point, and they often times circled around it for a while before landing there.
Where we sometimes just say “he came”, people used to say “Pleased as man with men to dwell, Jesus our immanuel”. Same thing, different weight.

ONE21:Your band seems to play a more prominent role on Wrath than on your first two recordings. What is drove the change in sound?
Phillips: This has really taken a turn from solo project into a full on band over the years. I put two LP albums out with no band, and now 3 with a band. We’ve even kicked around the idea of naming the band, but I guess it might a little late for that.
All in all it was almost the exact same group of people that recorded the last 2 records (we added Ryan Payne, who was playing in the band at the time, he played allot of the guitar on “wrath”). We actually recorded almost the whole record in a couple of weeks in December 2010. I think the difference is that we sat on it for almost a year and would regularly go back to it and think about how we could produce it to make it stand on it’s own. I want every record to have its own identity and sound, while still being rooted in the southern folk hymn sound.
The best songs on every record are the ones the band took ownership of and changed, songs like “Grace and Peace” and “Wandering Soul”. We love them, so we play them over and over until they become something else, something bigger than what they were.
I have a pretty solid conviction that you shouldn’t be recording a song you haven’t been playing regularly for at least 6 months, it hasn’t even really been born yet and you are taking it out to people?
Got off topic, sorry.

ONE21: Wrath is not a very popular subject in the modern Church and your music is so exuberant. Where did the title come from?
Phillips: Love is the subject of 99.99% of worship songs, but people never quite think about the fact that you cannot have love without wrath. A man who loves his wife will furiously defend her against other men who are competing for her eye. He will even let himself be killed in an act of love.
If you love someone, you hate and wish wrath on the heads of all who want to destroy what you love wether it be your children or your way of life or your freedom.
“Dealt a traitors fate,
With Roman nails to hold your weight,
Suffering as you died
Stil pleading for afflictors lives”.
I know we see the love in that story, but if we can’t see the wrath in it then it will never have the weight it was meant to.
The pharisees dealt wrath on Jesus for destroying their idols.
Satan leveled wrath against Jesus because he loved himself.
Jesus himself felt the wrath of God so that he could save his own family.

Love is not love where there is no wrath.

ONE21: You create worship music. Can you describe your songwriting process?
Phillips: Most of the time it simply starts with one of 2 things: a phrase, or a small catchy melody in your head. I usually record it in my phone or type it in my evernote box and then I’ll forget about it… usually for almost a year. Once a month or so I open up all my songwriting notes and see if any of them can be expanded or combined or put to different timing. Sometimes I get songs out of em, most of the time I do not. It’s all kind of a regular exercise that I work into my life. If I don’t keep it up, I’ll run out of ideas. Its pretty messy, but It works.

ONE21:As you have played the songs in your Church and around the country, which ones seem to be evoking the most intense reactions?
Phillips: Playing at my church is the most enjoyable situation. There is nothing more joyful than filling a sanctuary with the voices of my brothers and sisters. That pretty much rules. I enjoy hitting the road once in a while, and every summer, but there’s only really been a couple of times when I’ve really been able to deeply connect with a crowd at a show. Honestly, if I’m gonna go out and play I really enjoy playing at secular clubs and bars. We can play the louder and faster stuff, and there is usually a more “music-loving” crowd in those places. I seem to get a better reaction, and I get to have more philosophically meaningful conversations with people who are curious about my beliefs but do not share them.
Thats really what this is all about for me. Meaningful and eternal connections with other eternal beings. If I can bring out a little bit of the eternal in every interaction that I have with people, I believe that God will do the rest. That’s why I write and record, and its why I preach.

Enjoy this live video of “Wandering Soul”, that we filmed at Conerstone Festival in 2011

You can download 4 of the songs off of Wrath through Come&Live! here

Free Download: Preson Phillips-Wrath

preson phillips wrath

Preson Phillips was one of our first free downloads on this website about two years ago. Since then we have seen Mr. Phillips grow into an incredible song writer, and his latest album, Wrath, is the type of music that you need to sit down to listen to. Its honest, intelligent, and driving. He and his band have crafted a stunning collection of indie folk rock songs that hint at influences of Johnny Cash and John Mark McMillian, but quickly progress into rock that would appeal to fans of Manchester Orchestra and Thrice. Wrath is a beautiful album that will challenge you, and demand repeat listens so that you can fully grasp the fullness of the songs playing.

Now, I do need to confess that this album download is a little different from our normal fare in that the link will not get you the whole album. Preson explains on his website: This record is being released in conjunction with a fundraiser that my church is doing to raise money for a new home that will provide the facilities to effectively minister in our neighborhood. The first half of the record is free, through Come&Live!, and the second half will be available in all online stores (buy it through Amazon MP3 )and through physical CD’s (and will eventually be free also). All of the proceeds will go directly to Watermark Church in Tampa, where I minister as senior pastor, and will be used to launch ministries that will provide counseling for the hurting, food for the poor, friendship for the lonely, and life to all who hear the message of the Gospel in Tampa.

As a cool bonus, here is a video (taken by us) of Preson Phillips performing one of the songs off of Wrath, called “Wandering Soul”

Preson Phillips at Cornerstone 2011 from The ONE21 Music on Vimeo.

Download Wrath by Preson Phillips from Come&Live!

New Releases For October 28th and November 1st, 2011

lauryn peacock keep it simple let the sun come out
Keep It Simple Let The Sun Come Out
Lauryn Peacock

Independent
Indie Folk
Buy now: Amazon MP3, iTunes

New Releases For November 1st, 2011

B.Reith-How The Story Ends
How The Story Ends
B.Reith

Independent
Pop/Hip-Hop
available through breith.com

The Issacs-Why Can’t We
Why Can’t We?
The Issacs

Spring House
Gospel/R&B
Buy now: Amazon

John Mark McMillan-Economy
Economy
John Mark McMillan

Integrity Records
Indie Rock/Worship
Buy now: Amazon MP3

preson phillips wrath
Wrath
Preson Phillips

Come&Live!
Indie Folk/Rock
Buy now:
Amazon MP3

shake the nation colliding grace
Colliding Grace
Shake The Nation

Dream Records
Worship
Buy now: Amazon

New Song From Preson Phillips

Preson Phillips is working on a new cd for release this fall.  Watch Preson Phillips perform “Wandering Soul” at Cornerstone 2011. If this is an example of what is coming, we are very excited.

Free Download:The One21 Top Recordings Of 2010 Compilation

I know I have already posted this last Friday, but I spent some good man hours putting this together, and I wanted to make sure everybody had a chance to download this. DO IT! There is no dead weight on this download. ENJOY!

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Download The ONE21 Top Recordings Compilation

1. Red, Red by Doug Burr (from O Ye Devastator)
2. Lord Willing by Deepspace5 (from The Future Aint What It Used To Be)
3. The Audience by The Chariot (from Long Live)
4. How Great Thou Art by Ascend The Hill (from Hymns: Take The World But Give Me Jesus)
5. I Don’t Want To Live Forever (acoustic) by Listener (from Wooden Heart)
6. God Is Love by The Innocence Mission (from My Room In The Trees)
7. Carolina by Bradley Hathaway (from A Thousand Angry Panthers)
8. All Delighted People (original version) by Sufjan Stevens (from the All Delighted People EP)
9. Chalk Outline by Heath McNease (from The Gun Show)
10. You Amaze Me by Josh White (from Achor)
11. Song For The Broken by Close Your Eyes (from We Will Overcome)
12. If You Can’t Tell By Gileah Taylor (from the What Kind Of Fool EP)
13. All Of Us by Gileah Taylor (from A Crooked Line EP)
14. Pilgrim by Preson Phillips (from Weep…He Loves The Mourners Tears)
15. The Threshingfloor by Wovenhand (from The Threshingfloor)
16. Faith’s Review & Expectation by Sandra McCracken (from In Feast Or Fallow)
17. Seraphim by For Today (from Breaker)
18. Lower Still by My Epic (from YET)

Doug Burr appears courtesy of Spune Music
The Chariot appears courtesy of Good Fight Records
Preson Phillips and Ascend The Hill appear courtesy of Come&Live!
The Innocence Mission appears courtesy of Badman Records
Sufjan Stevens appears courtesy of Asthmatic Kitty
Josh White appears courtsey of BEC Recordings
Close Your Eyes appears courtesy of Victory Records
Gileah Taylor appears courtesy of Love Library
Wovenhand appears courtesy of Sounds Familyre
For Today and My Epic appear courtesy of Facedown Records

Cornerstone Festival 2010: Day Two- COME&LIVE!

On our second day at Cornerstone Festival 2010, we decided to spend the majority of the day at the Anchor Fellowship/Come&Live! stage, and it ended up probably one of my favorite favorite days of the entire fest.

Typically this day (sometimes referred to as Day 0) in Cornerstone was called Tooth & Nail Day, in which Tooth & Nail/Solid State/BEC Recordings artists took over the whole festival and did their thing. This was a day to see almost the entire catalog of artists on the labels’ rosters, and maybe even some new up and comers. In 2003, Chuck and I watched a wild, unsigned and unknown, screamo band called Emery who signed with Tooth & Nail shortly after and are one of the label’s biggest artists. As of 2007, however, Tooth & Nail Day is no more, but I have to say I would take Come&Live! Day over it any year.

I feel like I need to say that the people of The Anchor Fellowship church out of Nashville were amazing. They stayed close to the tent the whole day and loved on everybody there. My wife and I had the pleasure of meeting several of them personally, including their pastor Joshua who was camped not to far from where we were. They prayed with us several times throughout the week, and we felt like we were part of the family even though they hardly knew us. Please check out their website, and maybe if you live in Nashville, TN go spend some time with them. The Anchor Fellowship.

We started with our buddy Preson Phillips! We have featured Preson‘s music on the site several times and he was even one of our Voices Of The Underground. The band and Mr. Phillips played all of my personal favorites, and really impressed all of us with their blend of folk, worship, and indie rock. On top of that Preson seemed right at home on stage, joking with the crowd, and charming everyone in the room. I could not have picked a more perfect way to start the day off.
Preson Phillips Cornerstone 2010

Then , after a year of hearing about them, we finally experienced the reggae hippie worship music of Men As Trees Walking. The stage seemed a little too small for their elaborate set up and 8 members, but they quickly entered into their set while in the middle of their sound check. I really still need some time to digest their music, even though I really liked it, but their show is really interesting.  On another cool note, in the middle of the set my wife and I realized that we actually knew their drummer Jason from our college days. It was good to catch up and find out that God had really been at work in his life since last we saw him. Men As Trees Walking is always on tour, if they come through your town, defiantly check them out and say hi.

I Am Alpha & Omega simply tore the stage apart! They brought a ton of energy with their brand of melodic hardcore, and in the ended up being the only heavy band of the day. Voaclist Donnie attacked every song like it was his last as the rest of the band never stopped moving from moment one! I had never seen these guys before, but I know now it wont be my last. They were awesome. Later on in the day we were able to talk with Donnie a little more and really got to know the guy’s heart. This is a band truely seeking God’s face, and are some really genuine people. Love that band!
I Am A and O 3~

So Long Forgotten was one of my must see bands for the festival, and they lived up to every expectation I had for them. Below is a video we shot of the band performing a very old song, and then a brand new one, hopefully it conveys the passion and creativity that filled the tent as we watched this amazing band perform their beautiful music.

We took a break for a while to go get some food, and returned later that night to witness our good friends, White Collar Sideshow perform their amazing show once again. TD and the gang have been busy since last we spoke to them a year ago. They have tweaked and refined the Sideshow, but the core of their show is the breath-taking presentation of an amazing testimony. It was great to see the show after so long, especially since listening to their music this past year gave me more of an appreciation of they do. We will talk about them more later on as we saw them again later in the week ( one of the only two artists we saw more than once). By the end of their show everyone in the room was speechless, no joke.
White Collar Sideshow Pig Cornerstone 2010

We ended our very long day with worship from Ascend The Hill, at 1:30 AM. They keep the energy high, and the passion even higher.  This kind of music is what will make you forget about time, and just sink into the sound.  Hey when God is moving through incrediable music, you dont leave.

The 2nd day filled me with so much joy about our Cornerstone experience, I can hardly express it here. We witnessed masterful music from just a wide range of sounds, that all were being made for Christ’s glory. This is what this festival was all about.

The one thing I took away from all the artists that we saw was a sense of genuine abandon.  Nobody preforming that day was rich, but they were fully committed to their ministry first and their music and their passion was a reflection of that.

Free MP3 Download:The Lilies & Sparrows-Busy Bees EP

busy bees ep

This week we have a little folk/bluegrass/worship music from Lilies & Sparrows. Never heard of them? That’s okey, because they dont tour or play a lot due to the fact that most of the member are in the Blood & Ink Records southern metalcore band Divide The Sea. Lilies & Sparrows bears little rsemblance to the members more aggressive project, indulging their folk and country influences to bring a very interesting sound that is somewhat familiar and at the same time interesting.

One of the things I really loved about Divide The Sea was their ability to make every song they record “special” in some way. The Busy Bee EP is full of very intersting moments that give it a life of it’s own. The songs themselves are a slightly more southern versions on folk based worship. They drive aggressively but lyrically they are songs for the broken and seeking.

This is a good one for sure, check it out!

For fans of: Preson Phillips, David Crowder Band, Bradley Hathaway

Download The Lilies & Sparrows- The Bus Bees EP

New Releases For March 16th, 2010

flatfoot 56 black thorn
Black Thorn
Flatfoot 56

Old Shoe Records
Punk

lmno fonk garden
fOnk garden
LMNO

Up Above Records
Underground Hip-Hop
Buy NOW:
Amazon
iTunes

preson phillips weep he loves the mourners tears
Weep…He Loves The Mourners Tears
Preson Phillips

Come&Live!
Worship
(will be available as a pay-what-you-want format on Come&Live!’s website this week)

wrench in the works decrease increase
Decrease/Increase
Wrench In The Works

Facedown Records
Chaos Metal
Buy NOW:
Amazon
iTunes

Voices of The Underground2 Finale

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Voices Of The Underground is a series that seeks to explore one question from many different angles. Every week, we will ask one question of many of your favorite music artists. We will post their responses below, and what you will find is that there is never truly one answer to every question, but instead a whole world of ideas that come from simple matters of taste, to deep held beliefs. Our hope is that through this series you are able to see past the promo pictures and the stage persona, and get to know the hearts of believers who are creating music every day.

Need to catch up?
Read Pt.1-What do you love about music?
Read Pt.2- What was your first musical experience?
Read Pt.3-What is your favorite/ultimate song?
Read Pt.4-What is the best live show you have ever seen?
Read Pt.5-If you hadn’t gotten into music, what would see yourself doing as a job?
Read Pt.6-Who is Jesus Christ to you?
Read Pt.7-What is Christian music?
Read Pt.8- The facets of the Christian music?
Read Pt.9-Can art/music not have a message behind it?
Read Pt.10-How do you keep yourself accountable in your out on the road?
Read Pt.11-What are your opinions on the modern music industry?
Read Pt.12-Is it easier or harder to be a musician today in contrast to maybe 10 years ago?
Read Pt.13-What is the one thing that people don’t understand about YOUR music?
Read Pt.14-What responsibility (if any) does an artist/performer have to it’s listener?

For the fan reading this right now or listening to your music and wanting to start a band/career of their own, what is some advice you could give them that you didn’t know starting out?

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I’m going to address the girls: (Keep in mind that these are lessons I’ve learned the hard way….I wish I could have been wiser when I was young!)
Discipline yourself to write songs and learn your instruments and train your voice. I’ll gently suggest that you try to include your family as much as possible. You need accountability. Be modest in your heart and in your dress. Give your music to God now, before pride becomes an issue. (That was one of my big ones- I thought I was so awesome. Man, I was dumb.) Pray for open doors, but don’t just sit and wait for something good to fall in your lap. Again, discipline yourself in your art so you’ll be ready if you get the chance to share your music with the world!

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I would say for starters that there is more to life than being in a band. Not to be a downer, because I love doing this so, so much, but I think a lot of young bands have the tendency to elevate the idea of being in a band, an how “cool” that is, above a lot of things like friendships and relationships and maybe the other things God has called us to do. I’m not discouraging anyone from starting a band, but if you’re starting a band and your bass player really wants to go to college or get married or whatever, he’s not a jerk and you should still talk to him and be his friend. I’ve seen a lot of friends in bands, as well as myself, thinking being in a band is then end-all-be-all to my entire life, but there is so much more to God’s creation and kingdom than playing rock and roll.

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My advice is to not read reviews. Whether they are good or bad, finding out what a stranger thinks of what you’re making is always a negative experience. Even if it is on a sub-conscious level, you end up seeking approval instead of being open.

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Be less concerned with what is cool or trendy and more aware of creating music that you feel is genuine and well written.

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Focus on God and build relationships with others. The great commandment. Be honest, transparent and wear your heart on your sleeve. Through this, you can be the change you want to see in the world. Don’t worry about “industry, business, units, friends or Myspace plays.” Just do what God is calling you to do and focus on him.

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Don’t start your band and start touring right away. Take your time building your local fan base, then gradually tour out regionally, then eventually and slowly work your way out to different areas of the country. Don’t expect to make money right away, unless your a cover band for some strange reason. And be smart with your money you do have, as much as it sucks, money can really make or break your band. Try to save on whatever you can, recording costs, duplication, merch, etc. I don’t know. This is all business stuff. But that’s what I wish we knew when we started.

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If you like writing, and playing music, don’t forget that you like writing and playing music.

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Be humble, don’t have expectations other than to be a vessel of the Lord. Work to perfect your art. If you aren’t completely happy with a song don’t make us listen to it. Throw it away and write a new one. God demands our best and He deserves it. Be willing to play to a room of 2 people. You are not above it. And most of all, SMILE IN YOUR BAND PHOTOS!

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Follow the path that God is opening up for you. Be FAITHFUL in the opportunities you are given… Make sure you are following God’s path, not someone else’s path that you are trying to emulate. You don’t wanna become an imitator of some other band. Just be in prayer, seek after God – and walk through the doors that he opens for you. And continue to be faithful once he gives you the opportunity.

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It’s not as easy as it seems. If it’s not about the music, it’s not gonna work.

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The best advice is to not get ahead of yourself. A lot of musicians want to start a band, and hit the road the next day. I think it is important to build up a local fan base, to spend time writing quality music, and make sure you are going to do decent on the road. I know we hit the road for a brief summer tour 2 years ago, and we were not ready for the road at all. We had no idea what we were doing yet, and our music was not up to par for a touring band at the time. We also ended up getting $6,000 worth of gear stolen out of our trailer.

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Practice! Always keep your priorities straight. If you’re a Christian band keep God first. Whatever your band has to say believe in it and practice it.

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If any of you desire to make it as a musician, I must stress to you, that you must know your instrument. Practice your instrument and get good at it, a band only makes it if they’re good. Be a good person with a good personality, it’s hard to be in a band with someone they can’t get along with.

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Don’t quit. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Put Him first and all will be added to you.

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Be patient, everything in this industry takes time. What makes you/your band stand out from the rest(musical identity)? Find that, and embrace it. If you’re in it for the money, stop now. God will bless you if you’re faithful, and you work hard, but you need to be ready to eat at gas stations and sleep on van floors for a while….sometimes a long while. It’s all about awareness, get your band/music in front of people. God will do the impossible if you do the possible.

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Just make music out of love for it. Music totally sucks when you get into the whole rat-race. I’m constantly fighting that. Just dig your head into the notes and love every part of it.

*NOTE: this is the last of our Voices Of The Underground series. Thanks to all of the artists that participated, its been really great getting to know you guys better. Thanks to everybody who has been reading VOTU since we started it almost 8 months ago! For now, this is going to be the end of the series, we feel it is time to move on and do some some new stuff. Thanks again….

Voices Of The Underground2 Pt.14

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Voices Of The Underground is a series that seeks to explore one question from many different angles. Every week, we will ask one question of many of your favorite music artists. We will post their responses below, and what you will find is that there is never truly one answer to every question, but instead a whole world of ideas that come from simple matters of taste, to deep held beliefs. Our hope is that through this series you are able to see past the promo pictures and the stage persona, and get to know the hearts of believers who are creating music every day.

Need to catch up?
Read Pt.1-What do you love about music?
Read Pt.2- What was your first musical experience?
Read Pt.3-What is your favorite/ultimate song?
Read Pt.4-What is the best live show you have ever seen?
Read Pt.5-If you hadn’t gotten into music, what would see yourself doing as a job?
Read Pt.6-Who is Jesus Christ to you?
Read Pt.7-What is Christian music?
Read Pt.8- The facets of the Christian music?
Read Pt.9-Can art/music not have a message behind it?
Read Pt.10-How do you keep yourself accountable in your out on the road?
Read Pt.11-What are your opinions on the modern music industry?
Read Pt.12-Is it easier or harder to be a musician today in contrast to maybe 10 years ago?
Read Pt.13-What is the one thing that people don’t understand about YOUR music?

What responsibility (if any) does an artist/performer have to it’s listener?

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Being honest and doing his/her best.

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The choice is ultimately up to the artist to care about this or not, but I’d say the minute you decided to play music for a living, you decided to be a role model, whether you like it or not. And you can have a positive or negative effect..it’s up to you.

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I believe we as artists are accountable for everything we write, record, perform, and speak. We are supposed to be examples of who or what we serve. I know I will fall short but i pray as this journey continues that I can represent Christ to all who i come across.

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In our line of work, we must stay on path. If we label ourselves a Christian band and try to set an example for the kids that come to see us, and we are caught doing something bad, such as doing drugs or fighting, we failed as a Christian example. I feel we must stay in line for the ministry’s sake and that we must play good music.

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It depends on the artist. As for my band we feel our responsibility is to love our listener and be with them as much as possible whether its prayer or just conversations about anything they want to talk about. It means the world to us that people take the time to listen or watch us or whatever.

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Well I think that the responsibility is to care about your fans. To try to write music that speaks to the people who listen to your band, to care about making relationships with those who relate to your music, and to always try to give your shows 100 percent so everyone who pays to see you has a good time. Our favorite part about being a band is making friends all over the county. We have met some of the most amazing people in the last year of touring, and its been nothing but amazing.

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I guess the only thing I can think of is one particular scenario. If you’re performing for someone who has paid money to see you perform, at least make an effort to perform to the best of your ability. I mean, they paid money, you know?

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The artist should be responsible to explain what the message of their music is I think… Even if there is no direct message. I think often an artist can write songs about things that are not necessarily the message they really want to communicate. I think that artists should be willing to explain to their listeners what they are really trying to communicate through their music.

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None. Their responsibility is to the Lord. Fans are fickle. They will abandon you over a bad interview (which will probably happen to be after this one), or if you don’t scream enough on your new album or something. It’s crazy. Follow God, not people. They are fans, not idols.

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When you are musician people look to you, whether you like it or not and they listen to what you have to say whether its worth listening to or not. As for me, in the past I have struggled with the weight of responsibility that is placed on me as a Christian, who is also a musician. How do you minister to everyone? How do you always be the best example? You can go mental trying to find the right formula. But the Lord revealed to me that you simply have to listen, be sensitive to His spirit, and just be real. This is my responsibility.

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To put out heartfelt music, even if it’s different from the last record, or takes a totally different direction. Artists responsibilities are to stay true to what they love.

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We do what we do to glorify God. To raise him up and spread his message of love and hope. As long as we are open and honest about this, I don’t feel like our “listeners” would demand anything from us other than the Truth.

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The answer to that really depends on why you’re creating music. For us, we hope to share a message of love, understanding, compassion, justice, etc. and I see it as our responsibility to do so, both for those hearing us and those they can act in these ways towards.

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An artist should make things that they like, that they think are good. That seems to be the most generous thing they can do for their audience.

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Man that’s a tough question. When artists start creating art to please an audience, I really think the art suffers. Sure it may sell well and make the kids dance at the shows, and if that’s your thing then go for it, but if the goal is to create art, then it will suffer if you start trying to please everyone else. I think more that artists have a responsibility to society to effectively translate the human condition and social issues into art that speaks to people, even if just themselves. The ability to create and recognize art is what separates us from all other forms of life on this planet, and I think it is crucial to us as a people and society to endear.

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For every artist there is a different answer. I can only speak for myself: I have a huge responsibility. I have been called to live my life to the glory of God, and that standard applies to my music.