Interlinc Interview with Jars of Clay,
Creation West, July 23, 1999 George, WA
Interlinc is "an organization dedicated to linking the resources of the Christian music industry with the needs of local youth ministries. Interlinc offers resources that help youthworkers integrate Christian music into their ministry… products and opportunities that make it easy for youth leaders to harness the power of music to attract new teenagers, to teach God's truth using music, and to maximize music events for their ministry. " -- interlinc-online.com
Interlinc director, Allen Weed: It's going to be warm, so we'll go at it. How are you guys feeling? Are you ok?
Dan: It's nice in here.
Allen Weed: Yeah, it's toasty isn't it? Let's pray and jump in. Thank you Father for this time together. Thank you for what you're going to do. Thank you for all the student's lives that are going to be touched through the impact of this time today. We ask that you would do that Lord, please. Thanks for the youth leaders who faithfully serve. Thanks for Jars of Clay, Lord. Thank you for their heart for You. Thank you for the unique calling that you've given them. And Lord would you make this a special meeting today? Would you speak through the guys in Jars of Clay? Would you speak to them through youth leaders? And we commit this time to You and look forward to what You're going to do. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Allen Weed: We're going to talk loud here. We're going to start by assuming that you guys know nothing about these guys other than they're great musicians, they have a heart for God. Steve, why don't you tell them a little bit about you, how you came to Christ, a little bit about your background.
Steve: Do they have an AWANA out here? (crowd cheers) Awesome!! Sparks for Jesus! I came to know the Lord through a Wednesday night service at AWANA. Came home and told my mom what I had been asked about. She prayed with me… and I came to know the Lord! Accepted Him to be my Savior. That was really just the beginning as I'm sure we can all relate. I grew up in a "Christian" home, if homes can become Christians… I don't know(?) (chuckles) They're still debating that.
AW: You're already starting off very philosophical. (smiles)
Steve: Right! I HAVE ISSUES!? …As it were, a Christian home. I guess it was my freshman year of High School. My folks separated and then eventually divorced. Really, that was the first time I was confronted with anything out of the ordinary in terms of my walk with Christ and what it really meant to struggle through life and to not have easy answers. Cause I think I grew up with easy answers… everything was pretty easy to deal with. And that was tough, cause these were two Bible believing Christians that couldn't seem to reconcile their differences and that was really hard. I have to say that if it weren't for the intervention and interaction I had with my youth pastor, who walked through the same thing, I probably wouldn't have made it out of that very well. But I walked through that time, and slowly learned through my own biases, growing up in the church that I grew up in, that no one is perfect… especially not our parents. That ultimately, we have to rely on Christ for His perfection in our lives and it can't come from us. It's about who He is and who we aren't.
AW: You were how old when they separated?
Steve: Freshman in High School… not a very transitional age at all (?) So there wasn't much going on (?)…
AW: You were just checking to see if they were awake?
Steve: Right. Thank you.
AW: You heard a groan… that's good. (chuckles) Let's talk about how you guys wound up getting together?
Steve: I could continue with that…! Umm. I was a big roller skater and I wasn't a very good roller skater…
AW: Should he go ahead and continue Dan?
Steve: And that's kind of how it started.
AW: So which corner are you in now?? That's what I want to know? Dan, bring a little reality to this.
Dan: No, that's how it happened! Umm. We met at college. Charlie and I came into Greenville College as freshmen and I was wearing a Toad the Wet Sprocket t-shirt. And Charlie came up to me and said, "Hey, you listen to Toad the Wet Sprocket?" And I said, "Yeah," so we struck up a friendship that way. The next year, Steve came to Greenville College and I was wearing the same Toad the Wet Sprocket t-shirt. (laughter) It's college so I only had ONE t-shirt.
Charlie: He's lucky cause I didn't have any.
Dan: That's probably more why you struck up a conversation… it was kind of a cold day.
Charlie: And I wanted it!
AW: You wanted his t-shirt?
Steve: … or someone to rub up against. It's kind of cold in the Mid-West… you know breeze!… freezing!
Dan: Ok, yeah… so we kind of struck up a friendship. We were in different classes. Steve had sort of a psycho roommate his freshman year.
Steve: Sort of… Well no. He WAS psycho!
AW: No, it was Steve's roommate that had a psycho roommate!
Steve: Yeah. He had a bat and he had glass… Umm, this is the first Interlinc that this has actually come out. We've just usually passed over him as the psycho roommate. But, he had a bat and he had glued glass to it. And I don't know why??
But it would sit in the corner.
AW: Do you have pictures? That's what I want to know.
Dan: He was psycho. Ok, so I invite Steve to come live in the dorm where Charlie and I live, which was sort of the prestigious dorm. Actually it was the basement of one of the dorms, and a few of us artsy, fartsy folk took over and made it our own. So we invited Steve to come live with us down there and we started writing songs and…
Matt comes into the picture a lot earlier than Steve and I did. Charlie and Matt… well, they were in diapers together. So they were childhood friends. (audience oohs and aahs)
Steve: This is their eighth grade year, though.
Dan: Not the same diaper.
Steve: Kind of strange…
Dan: Sort of a study in gerontology I think, or something like that anyway, umm. So they knew each other and we needed another guitar player when we moved down to Nashville. So we asked Charlie if his friend Matt would come and play guitar with us… come and spend time with a few guys he didn't know doing something he probably didn't really want to do. And he decided to do it! So he came and we became Jars of Clay! (audience applauds)
AW: That's good. Steve you're in rare form today, buddy! I tell ya! I don't know if I can stay any where close to your vibe today. It's great. It's good.
Guys, talk a little bit about the mission and background. Well, we know some of the background. But talk about, if you had to distill Jars of Clay down, what is it? What are you guys all about? Why do you do this? I mean, you've got wives and soon to have kids. You go out and travel a lot. Obviously there's a reason for that. Talk about that a little bit.
Steve: I think it's boiled down to bridge building. And that changed from just playing in churches and doing youth events to what we would call now bridge building. I'll have Charlie tell you a little more about that.
Charlie: Well our mission has kind of changed in the last three or four years. Maybe I should give a quick definition of that. When we started out, really there wasn't much of an intention of having a mass appeal… having any fans. I mean, it was really that we loved each other, we loved music and it was a product of that. So when we got a record deal, did a record, and went on tour, we played mostly in churches. We toured with PFR for our first two tours, kind of learned under them, which was really great for us. And then we did a Michael W. Smith tour, which at that time was pretty much the pinnacle of what we could do. It was a huge event for us… really exciting. We were going to finish that tour off, go back into the studio and do another record. Mid of that Smitty tour, Flood started getting a lot of mainstream attention on modern rock radio. We were invited to play in clubs… like we would do a Michael tour one night and then fly out after that show to a different city to play a club late that night. And this was REALLY foreign to us. We were pretty comfortable playing in churches, playing youth groups… pretty used to that. We'd been doing it for about a year. So this whole invitation to play in clubs and bars was weird for us. But somehow within, discussing it and feeling it out, we really felt, "Let's at least try it! Let's do it and see what happens." So we started playing clubs. And I think in being in these clubs and seeing a lot of really dark people and being in a lot of really lost places, we really started to have a burden for the people that were there… that were virtually untouched by the church. We realized, "Here's an open door for us to be in contact with an audience that maybe don't have contact with any other Christians most of their life." So that was exciting to us! I think that gave us a new purpose. Instead of feeling like we were hopping from church to church playing for youth groups, it really gave us a passion for these people that we ran into. And that's kind of where our mission is at now, I think. We do a lot of both. We'll do a lot of Christian festivals and then we'll do a modern rock radio festival, or we'll go talk to a radio station. It's kind of a balance of those things. We're really praying this new album that we're almost finished with, would open more opportunities with mainstream audiences and being in dark places… hopefully being a light to these people that don't have any contact with the church. (crowd applauds)
AW: Your applause is good. That's what we're about, isn't it. Taking the Gospel to the world, so that's great! Hey Dan, one thing you said at Atlantafest… we talked about just what Charlie said and it was intriguing to me. I guess I'd always thought that you guys just sort of set out to do this. But the thing you said, and I'd like for you to say it again… is how this new calling sort of dawned on you guys, that this might be what God wanted you to do.
Dan: Well, when we were in the middle of this Michael W. Smith tour and going out and playing clubs, I think we really did see this audience… this cross section of the United States or culture that the church wasn't really a part of. We didn't have any idea of what we really wanted to do and it seemed like our career was sort of guiding us where we were going. We played in the Christian market and all these churches because our songs were getting played on Christian radio… and we did a Michael W. Smith tour because Michael asked if we would go out with him. We said, "Great! Yeah we'd love to!" and everything was sort of reactionary. Then the song started getting played on just regular radio on these rock stations. So they said, "Why don't you come and play in our town?" And the places they'd have us play were these clubs. We really thought that's where we'd be. In fact, it was really just a reaction to what was going on. But once we got there and really saw these audiences…
The first show we did was at this club called The Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco. For a bunch of Christian guys who don't spend that much time out in the clubs, it was pretty scary. We walked into this club and there was a big goat's head thing behind the stage. And we walked in and one of the security guards has this t-shirt on it that says, "My favorite number is 666." So we walk past him and we're starting to get set up, and there's this bar fight that kind of breaks out! We're in the corner and we're thinking, "Boy, we do not belong here! This is not where we should be playing." And we just saw throughout the evening, when we started playing, the transformation of this audience, be it from the songs, or from the message, or of course from the Holy Spirit just being there. We found our calling, I think.
AW: That's great! The other thing too, Matt, that I'd like for you to kick in on, that you said. That a lot of times for the church… when we're out there, we're going... "It's far easier to interpret stuff that's very clear to us immediately, ok?" Praise and worship… They couldn't be doing that for the wrong motive, could they? Oh yes they could, but it's so much easier for us, to go, "Man, that's good!" I can immediately understand that. And I think the issue is with what God's called these guys to do… and they struggle with it. They go, "Lord, maybe we just need to do Christian concerts the way everybody else does." But they keep coming back to know that "God's called us to do this." And the thing said, I think about when you do this, and your songs actually got put on a movie or in a TV show, it does get a little messy. Could you talk about that? I mean, to me, that was a great insight.
Matt: Yeah, one of the things that we, throughout this whole process, have dealt with… you ARE in a club. And we have been asked by numerous people, "How can you condone something like alcoholism or drugs or things that go on in these kinds of areas by even your showing up?" And we've struggled with that. Or "How can you allow your music to be used in an R rated film that may have objectionable material in it, or probably does." Those are big questions that we take very seriously. And I know that y'all take very seriously. I think, we have really learned to deal with, in our particular calling, that we're called to a messy place. I don't really feel like the Gospel calls us to clean, neat conformed places. I think the Gospel ultimately calls all of us into our uncomfortable spots and into places where we don't really have all the answers… where we're really relying on the Spirit to show up and to work. And in dealing with a lot of those questions, we really feel like it's God's desire for us to come to Him each time a new opportunity comes and say, "Lord, is this where you're leading us or is this not?" I think this is really the kind of process where we've begun to learn, I guess. To just know that God has called us to do some things that even now, I look back, and I don't even really know if they really made that much sense that I can figure out. I just pray that through us just trying our best to go where He has led, hopefully, we hit a few places right. And hopefully, even through our mistakes, He's been able to kind of redeem what maybe Satan meant for evil.
AW: That's great. You know I think.. Just so you know too. (to audience) That's why they want to come do meetings like this. So you can hear their heart and know, "Hey, I got it. I'm understanding what's going on." Because you're going to have to interpret this to some people… pastors, adults, parents back at your church. You go, "What are these guys doing? What's the deal?" But the other side, I think there has been real fruit from this. And I'd like for you guys maybe to think about a couple of stories, where God has actually done some things. I'll start with one… I was out on the dc Talk tour and ran into a guy named Jeff. He was guitar tech for you guys. This guy, has a secular background. December 7th a year ago, he came to know Christ on this tour. He was working with the guys and came to know Christ. The guy was so fired up all this spring. Every night, he'd finish his job and he'd go back to his bunk and he was reading the Message. He said, "Man, I'm doing good… I'm on page 26." We were talking about something. I can't remember the specific issue in the scripture that came up. And I go, "Hey Jeff, let me show you this!" We turned over and it was in I Corinthians or something like that. And he goes, "Oh no, I'm never going to get over there. That's page 200!" He didn't realize it, but there's been real fruit that's come from this ministry. Talk about it, guys, a little bit.
Steve: I think one of the stories that we keep going back to… John Fischer, a guy who writes a lot of books and a lot of songs too. He used it as an example. He went to see us in Dallas, I think it was, at an alternative rock festival. And there was some guy there. He had like five earrings… at least piercings. They weren't all in his ears. And he saw John had a back stage pass, cause we wanted to get together with him a little bit. He said, "Are you with Jars of Clay?" And he said, "Well, I'm going back to talk to them." Well, make sure and tell them, "Thank you!" Because it was through that first record that he found the Lord and actually… The story goes… He bought the album on just hearing Flood on one of the stations down there. He bought the record and listened through the whole album, having no prior knowledge that this was a band of Christians or a Christian band, or whatever. And actually pulled a friend that he knew was a Christian out of a party and asked him to explain a little bit more about it cause he was so curious. And he came to know the Lord as a result! That was one, which kind of confirmed for us that it doesn't require us actually preaching from stage for God to work. It doesn't require us stopping and praying with people and doing an altar call-type scenario. But that God will work in ways that we just have no clue about. It continues to blow our minds in how He uses our music, and uses places that we play to His glory and for eternal value.
AW: That's great!
Matt: Yeah. It's really a similar story, so I'll just be really quick. I just met, probably two weeks ago, a guy in Maryland, who was a musician and got turned on to our music by… I'm not sure who? But, through the music as kind of a catalyst, he was led to the Lord by several of his friends who were then in a band… a bunch of Christian guys that were doing music on a local level. Since then, this guy's joined the band with them and I know that those guys have continued to disciple and nurture him. It was just a really neat treat to meet him. So that was cool!
AW: Any stories from a club? Anything that comes to mind there?
Dan: I don't know if there are any specific stories… I mean I always consider it a blessing to even hear the fruit of our labor. Because as all of you know who work with kids, sometimes you don't ever know the impact that you have on them. You just really go by faith that the work you put into it and the things that you try to teach these kids will someday come back around to really impact their lives. And we've been able to soften some ground that was fairly hard through bad experiences with the church or no experience with the church... that some of these people that have heard us play had been in the midst of. So I guess we really pray that God works in those areas.
AW: That's great! Let's do some questions and answers. Joel, are you back there? Charlie, can we trust him??
Charlie: We can trust him.
Steve: He's got a good pair of shoes! If you're going to trust a man, make sure he's wearing good shoes.
Charlie: That's right!
AW: He's got to have Vans. Well you know what? I need some Vans. Ok, questions or thoughts for the guys? Let's keep it… not like… Steve, how many piercings do you have kind of thing? But let's go somewhere with it.
Charlie: Actually, don't ask that one!
Question #1: Hi, I just wanted to say you guys are awesome and I've really enjoyed listening to you guys perform. I've been to a few of your concerts. I've actually sung a few songs in youth groups, so I really enjoyed that. And my question was… I really love your "Coffee" song that you guys do! Are you ever going to put it on a Cd? That song is awesome!
Steve: Boy! It's actually… is it on our live record? I don't think it was. I don't know! (laughs)
Dan: We're not sure! We've got a live record that's coming out through our fan club, and umm, we think it's on there (?) We're not sure. (laughs) It's been recorded so it's floating around some place. Yeah.
Question #2: You mentioned being in the mainstream. And now I see in the workbook they have a very mainstream topic about fathers and relationships. Which one or all of you have been inspired by a good relationship gone bad with dad, and how'd you deal with it personally?
Steve: I think me and Dan probably… cause we came from broken homes…
Dan: Yeah, I think it all sort of started with a movie, actually. The song "Five Candles" which I think is what you're speaking about. We were asked to write a song for the movie, "Liar, Liar" with Jim Carey. So that was the song that we wrote, which dealt obviously with the relationship between a father and a son. And definitely has some real ties to probably both of our personal lives. Having come from broken relationships, you have to deal with a lot of disappointment, and deal with parents that aren't always there. I think Steve said it really well… that our parents aren't perfect. And that once we kind of look to Christ and we see Him as really the only thing we can gain satisfaction or anything from, it allows us to probably forgive these people a little easier for maybe not being around when they should be, or just helps us to deal with those relationships a lot better.
Question #3: You guys talked about playing at alternative rock festivals. Do you feel like because of your musical credibility and your access to these other bands, that you have a unique opportunity to witness to them? (1) and (2) Is it fair for us as youth leaders, and fans, and students to hold you at a higher standard?… not unlike we do with pastors, as somebody who is walking the walk, talking the talk publicly, so we expect higher things of you? And when an artist stumbles, we're just crushed by it. Is it fair?
Steve: To do with your second question… about the higher standard. I think definitely when someone steps up to preach the Gospel, immediately they should be under scrutiny. Because there are things that are going on at this festival that I can say that I don't necessarily agree with… that people are preaching heresy. So I think everyone should be under that scrutiny. I think, however, in our contemporary Christendom, it's become that, because we don't do an altar call at our show, or because Dan doesn't stop and preach in the middle… THAT becomes the scrutiny and that's the issue more than "Are these guys where God wants them to be?" I think those minor issues become the greater issues and they aren't. The reality is which I said earlier, about that guy that the Lord used just listening to the record, not even talking to anyone just yet, to reveal Himself. We believe that the Gospel is SO powerful that it will continue to astound us how it challenges people and how it calls people to Him. So I agree with you in terms that we should be under that scrutiny. I think that just the hearsay and the idea that ministry should happen a certain way, becomes the issue, which it shouldn't be.
Dan: And the first question… just dealing with having a relationship with a lot of these other bands, and people like that. It definitely affords us the opportunity to show them a side of Christianity that they don't normally see. Like when we would go out and do these radio festivals or go to mainstream radio stations and talk to people, a lot of what our time was spent doing was just sort of breaking down barriers. Because, there really is this kind of bad stigma about Christians being very judgmental. Ultimately we can't necessarily judge the lost because they don't know Christ. You know, they're lost. So what we'd spend most of our time doing is just letting them know we're human, and building a bridge and trying to get to a place where we could just at least be friends. And sometimes that takes a long time. So we can't necessarily… you know, if we're doing a show with whomever, Sting, or someone like that. We have the opportunity by our lifestyle to hopefully show something different. But we don't necessarily feel like we should ruin the opportunity to share the Gospel by preaching the Gospel to them with our words. I think a lot of times our lifestyle and the way that we just love them speaks volumes far and above saying, "This is what we believe and you should believe this!" kind of mentality.
AW: That's good. The whole issue is all the way from breaking up hard ground to harvesting the crop. I think what Dan's saying is they're called to break some hard ground so that maybe the seed can be sown next time. Boy, what a need today! Cause I think our society's changed.
Question #5: Your call reminds me a lot of what Jesus prayed for his disciples… to send them into the world, but to protect them. I'm sure there's got to be some intense warfare due to the secular nature of some of the venues and places you go, as well as just the call of God in your lives. What are the struggles in the world? And how does the Lord protect you? What is the covering… maybe church background, or pastoring, accountability? What goes on in the day to day life that keeps you guys strong?
Matt: Well, there are several struggles, obviously, I think. We all struggle at some point with what it means to live the Christian life and live out our calling before God. I think for us, the struggles have come in a few unexpected areas. I think we have truly struggled with the perception of our audience or the perception by the church, how they've reacted to us… especially when we were spending a lot of time in clubs or doing concerts, or being a part of things that weren't explicitly Christian. We did get a lot of questions or just unfair characterizations I think, of who we were. And that kind of stuff hurts and creates some kind of resentment that we have to deal with. And we have definitely been guilty of writing off the church at different points in our career as I'm sure maybe some of you all that work with youth, and are accountable to a church probably have struggled with authority at different periods of your ministry. So that is a struggle for us, but we feel like God continues to humble us. We know that we are fools if we think we can walk boldly out in the world and forsake what God has given us in terms of His body to support us. We're definitely not lone ranger Christians and are not on a crusade, like we have the answers to evangelizing the 20th century world. We really rely heavily on our relationships with y'all especially as youth pastors, as people that can go before us… as people that can maybe use our music to take it to the next step with kids or with people that are coming into contact with it. Our music is just music. It's what God has given us. But without the work of the Holy Spirit, without the body of Christ coming along side of it, it's just music!
AW: Why don't you guys talk a little bit about… I was saying something to Steve, so you might have said this and I might have missed it. Your ties to the local church… We went to the same church. You said that right? The thing that's always so intriguing... You wouldn't know this. (to audience) I used to go to Wednesday night Bible Study at Christ Community Church. And it so happens that musicians are in mostly in the middle of the week. These guys were always there! They were the most faithful of any guys you'd ever meet for years and years and years… during the time they were in Nashville.
I go to a little breakfast place in Franklin and I used to see him (Matt) there doing Bible Study with the college and singles pastor. You don't meet with him anymore now that you're married?
Matt: I haven't seen Kevin in a while.
AW: But, I mean these guys are serious and you (to audience) don't know that. A lot of guys who do student ministry go, "Hey! What are those guys all about?" Talk about the church, your relationship with your pastor. Talk about Guido and the ministry there. Talk about your wives. By the way, their wives are here too!
Steve: All but one!
AW: You guys introduce your wives! Do that and we'll get more into…
Dan: Well, this is my wife, Katie! (applause) And she's great! And she walked across this entire desert to get to be here today. She's very devoted! (laughs)
Charlie: In corner two, standing next to Katie is my wife, Sonja! (applause)
Steve: And next to Sonja, in the blue shirt, is my wife, Rob!! (laughter)
AW: We sort of knew he'd do that… didn't we?
Matt: This is my lovely wife, Kristen. She enjoys knitting, basket weaving, and water sports! (applause)
AW to Steve: You've got to tell them the truth, now. Come on!
Steve: My wife is in a very cool place!
AW: I'm going to tell the truth then, is that ok?
His wife is about eight months pregnant. She's over in the trailer over there. She didn't feel like she could… So she is in a cool place. They're expecting in about three weeks! And I hear Katie is prepared to deliver on the bus… the midwife on the bus! I've got to say too, and I think I know Katie probably best of these gals. We're involved in a ministry to musicians in Nashville. And Katie has been really, really involved in ministering to the wives of the musicians in Bible Studies when these guys go out on the road. It's not just these four guys' wives… there's an entourage of 20 guys!
Steve: Our homies!
AW: Roadies and band members. Katie's been real involved in organizing a time where they can get together to pray every week for the guys and so forth. So that's pretty cool! (applause) Talk about the church! I've said enough.
Charlie: When we're home, we love being in church. We all go to the same church together. It's a non-denominational church in Franklin, TN associated with the Presbyterian Church. When we're home we love being there. Unfortunately, a lot of the time we're one the road and traveling. (The other guys are snickering among themselves.) And one way that we kind of stay connected with what's going on at church…what they're learning…
You two want to keep it down over there?? (laughter)
One way we keep in touch with what the church is doing is through sermon tapes… getting them shipped out to meet us on the road. Well, on Sunday morning, we'll meet on the bus and listen to a tape. We have a road pastor that comes out quite often on a normal tour and spends time with us. We joke… Guido is SO full of scripture. He basically just speaks scripture to you and it's really great!! Sometimes it gets really overwhelming. But it's so healthy for us when there's so much other stuff… media stuff and stuff about us that we get so filled up with, and kind of lose our perspective. He really does humble us and ground us and bring us back to a knowledge of the Word. I think a combination of him and just really immersing ourselves in worship when we're on the road together kind of keeps us in unity there. The wives also… when we're on the road and they're home, they are one way we can really stay in touch with what's going on with church too, and they try to keep us caught up.
Question #6: First of all… I'm a big fan! Thank you very much for all the music you've inspired us to listen to, and at the same time praising God. I just want to know about your new album? What kind of themes do you cover? Just so I can possibly tell the kids to check it out and why? And also, the second part… how have you guys grown through this latest album?
Steve: How have we grown? I think a lot of the growth took place in a small, small city in Iowa. Actually a member of the student council from that city's college is here with us, Trevan Deona. (other Jars seemed surprised) You guys didn't know that? I have "eagle" eyes!
We spent a week on retreat, a week and a half maybe, in Decora, Iowa, just writing songs and hanging out at Luther College… twenty dollars a night at this off-campus housing.
Matt: That was awesome!
Steve: That was part of it! Gosh, we spent a lot of time writing on the road. Yeah that's it.
Question #7: How may songs got rejected out of the songs that you wrote? Did you write like 25 songs?
Steve: We wrote 2500! (laughter from crowd)
Dan: 2500 songs! Most of them were really just jingles for other products… and other colleges. No, we wrote somewhere between 25 and 30 songs and we're a firm believer in the short attention span of the world now. So we'll probably only put 10 or 11 songs on the record. So we haven't actually narrowed it all down yet, but we're trying to.
Steve: So you're not getting a "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie" album. We're not going to put 18 tracks on our record.
Dan: As far as themes go, this will probably answer two of your questions, just in terms of how we've grown. A lot of the songs are interpersonal. They deal with relationships. We've all been involved in this study called "Sonship" and it's all about knowing you're a son of Christ… a son or daughter of Christ, and how that tends to reflect in your relationships with other people around you. That you are no longer an orphan, that you are a child of God. And you belong to a family, and you have a loving father, and the way that should allow you to deal with certain areas of life… be it conflict or anything that you deal with interpersonally. So a lot of the topics on the record deal with those kinds of struggles. And also, simply because of the millennium and everything, there's an urgency in some of the songs that deal with what it means to accept Christ in the 90's now. One of the songs called Famous Last Words deals with a person who's really struggling. "Like yeah, I've heard about Christ, but I'm not really sure this is what I want right now"… that kind of a thing. It deals with that… so lots of different issues. And also, we hope that it's a fun record, because we've been sort of the introspective shoe-gazing band for a while and I think this record's a little more fun too. So we're excited about it!
Steve: We're smiling a lot lately! Lots of smiles.
AW: Smiley guys. Ok, we can do just one or two more questions.
Steve: The lady in the black and white stripes had a question.
Question #8: It's not a question. It's a comment. Two years ago you were at Jesus Northwest and we had a group go from our church to Jesus Northwest. I had no idea what it was! I didn't know Christianity was fun. I had no idea! But our daughter happened to go, and she is a young woman. She was thirteen at the time. And she has a definite attitude. Definite, definite! (crowd laughs)
Dan: I didn't think thirteen year olds had an attitude!
#8: She has an attitude plus! She went to this concert. I had my reservations about letting her go. And she came home and she told me about this group called Jars of Clay… Jars of Clay! And I thought, "Who is this Jars of Clay?" You know? So she happened to get a Cd and she didn't play her other music anymore. It really changed a lot of things for her. You made things fun! You just changed a lot! And now that's basically what we listen to in our home is Christian Cds and you are our favorite! Mine is number four on the green Cd… (laughter) I don't know the name of it, but it's a good song!! And I have a t-shirt that I'd like you to sign for her, if you wouldn't mind?
Steve: Sure, that's great!
Dan: Yeah, we'll do that!
#8: Thank you.
Steve: Thank you! Thanks for listening. (applause)
AW: Can we come to this brother here who had it in his hand?
Question #9: This may be a difficult question… I don't know. I was actually going to ask your wives this. I have a wife that guards me pretty closely cause I have four children. How do you deal with your husband's ministry?
Katie Haseltine: I think it's very difficult. They are gone all the time! And if you ever hear them or see them, they're probably not with us, so you can pray for us. It's very hard and I will tell you that all of us have stomped our feet to the ground and said, "Ok, that's it! You're done! This can't be God's will. You're away from us. We miss you! This is a marriage. It works as a cooperation." But there also is an order in marriage that God did establish, that when he speaks to the man, the man speaks to the woman and eventually you pray for God speaking to you. And you do have a peace when God is leading your husband and when he's doing what he should be doing. But I think if I could say anything that we do… I think all of us would stand here and say the God we know today is SO different from who we would have said we knew two or three years ago. And we knew God, but we didn't know Him as our sole provider. And we didn't know Him as the only thing in this world that would be fulfilling and satisfying. And these guys all mess up! They will make wrong decisions. And they won't be home when we need them. But there is a greater provision in Christ that I think we're learning of. And we still stomp our feet! And we still throw our hands up in the air and say, "I don't like this band! Don't like this tour schedule!!" But if you could pray anything for us, it would be that we would just continue to grow deeper in Christ, because He truly is fulfilling! He's the only one who'll never fail. And as far as them going into dark places… there are so many promises in the Bible that when Jesus saves… He saves completely! And He who began it, will complete it! And that he who is faithful, will do it. These guys aren't out there being perfect… warding off temptation and everything. These are His children! These are God's children and they will come up against some really awful stuff, but He's theirs. And that is my hope. It's not in that these are really respectable pure men, though they are… because they could fall at any second! It's in that they are God's children. Ok, I'm done.
Dan: She gets to go home with me!!
AW: That's about as good as it gets! We need to end there.
Dan: We're going to let them do all our TalkBacks from now on, Allen!
AW: There were a couple of really interesting ideas there. Let's close the time in prayer and thank God. This is really good. This is good. Lord Jesus, you're so good to us. Thank you for melding our hearts together in this time. Thank you for the way you've spoken to each of us here in this room today, in this time. Thank you for understanding. Lord, help each of the youth leaders here know how to pray for these guys as they travel. Thank you for the understanding, as well, from this band as they seek more and more how to serve you effectively and how to balance home and ministry, and home and outreach, and home and travel, and home and tours. God give them even greater grace as they juggle these things. May they be men of principle. Thank you for their wives who are strong women of God. And I just pray you uphold them as well. Again, thank you for this time. We bless you. In Jesus' name. Amen.