Jon recently did an interview with ChristianMusicZine.com. In these answers, you’ll find the heart of our new album and the passion we run with. Much love from the Dband!
Q1: Desperation Band has been around for 6 albums, a band since 2003. Tell us what keeps you all
excited at what you do when you create worship music for the church?
We love Jesus. At the core of everything we do, we want to express our love for Him. The amazing thing then is that we get to help others find Him as well. Worship has been at the core of our faith. Worship music is the cup God has asked us to carry. We love this cup. We have never spent more time looking after this cup. But its important to remember that the attention is be in what’s inside it. We believe we carry the living water of our God. Nothing changes the human condition like Jesus. We believe we are called to carry Him to others. And with Him comes His message. It is such a thrill to speak LIFE into DEATH and watch God’s people become who they have always meant to be!
Q2: Give us a background of the heart behind the album, as well as the lead single ‘Wonderful’?
As always, but with even more intentionality this time, we wanted to write songs and release songs that serve the church. Songs that will equip others to see God more clearly and worship Him more effectively. Songs that inspire participation. But also, we sought to create an album that would minister to the listener. I love spending TIME with God. I believe it is crucial to us knowing Him. Worship music can provide us with a soundtrack to that time. First and foremost, we want to help the church. But we are very proud to have accomplished the goal of creating beautiful sounds as well. Our producer Paul Mabury is to be given the highest credit for this. He owned the album till the end. His talent has no bounds it seems!
Q3: You have worked with quite a lot of artists on this project- Jason Ingram, Stu G, Kari Jobe, Mia
Fieldes, Matt Redman, Meredith Andrews, All Sons and Daughters to name a few. What was the
experience like with working with such prominent guest songwriters and vocalists?
I will never stop scratching my head on this one. I am amazed and undone at the community of people that came around this project. It was easily the most overwhelming part of the experience. The body of Christ is big. But it hasn’t always been TOGETHER. I saw the body of Christ come together on this album. We need each other. We are better together. Going into this, I knew that as a writer and as a band that the time had come for us to grow. But not in the safe way. it was time for us risk. It was time to go beyond ourselves and learn from others. Learn from those who thought differently, wrote differently, spoke differently, and created differently. While never losing who we are, we were stretched and messed with in all the right ways. The great community of people you just named are the reason for that. I will always be gratetful to them. Pslam 133 talks about unity. It is the place of commanded blessing! I sensed the Lord’s blessing as we all worked together. As we colloborated on songs, music, and the things of God.
Q4: As an associate Worship Pastor at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, how is your perspective
and role different than as a worship leader in the band as well?
No different. The band is an extension of what I do at church. The band provides us with the chance to grow together as a musical unit and as brothers, but it is just “church” with a name attached to it. The Desperation Band will always be more of a ministry than band. We are only growing more and more uneasy with the stage. Our desire is simply to call people out of their destructive thought patterns, addictions, self-absorbtion, pain, darkness…and see them decide to be who they really are. We are called to carry His name to others. To a neighbor, to an orphan, and anyone in between. Worship provides us with that chance.
Q5: There are quite a few worship bands and movements in the Christian music industry- Hillsong,
Planetshakers, Jesus Culture, Bethel Live, Passion Annual Conferences; what makes ‘Desperation
Band’ different, the aspect which makes the band unique and unlike other bands?
I think the only thing that makes us different is that we are not those people. God is moving powerfully through those movements. I am constantly inspired and partnering with many of those worship teams. But the last thing we should be is a carbon copy of something else. We are always talking about being the perfect original that God intended us to be. I think God would have more to use in believers if we were simply ourselves. Too often He’s finding us trying to be something else. I believe it grieves His heart. There is a lot that makes us similar to those bands and ministries. The desire to lift up the name of Jesus. The call to act as His hands and feet to love and reach the orphan, widow, poor, and less-fortunate. I hope we are united in our efforts. But we all need to commit to those efforts as we are! That’s the beauty of being the BODY of Christ.
Q6: Which songs are your favorites, and which are your most difficult, to write or sing?
I spend the majority of my “worship leading” life with the church. Nothing gives me greater joy than watching the church rise up, knowing who they are, and declaring truth! My favorite songs are the one that proclaim reality! We’re always declaring something. Just listen to how we talk. We’re declaring our weaknesses, our pains, our feelings. Much of what we declare is true. But that’s why I love church gatherings. Its a chance to get with other believers, and proclaim a greater reality. He is king. He is coming. He is here now. He is faithful. He is good. He is God! Nothing drowns out the struggles of Life like a greater truth.
I find that those are the most difficult to write as well. People need songs. I believe its one of the things God is using. But to write a song that people of all ages and backgrounds can not just enjoy, but own…that’s a big responsibility. I love the challenge. It is worth every drop of sweat.
Q7: What is the take home message you want listeners to obtain out of your album?
I hope it washes over people and messes with them. I hope that as proclamations of truth are being sung on this project, people will rise out of their situations and stand strong. I hope that the reality of God’s word will cut through the things of life and people will move. Move toward carrying His hope. His love.
Q8: Apart from promoting your new album, what are the plans for ‘Desperation Band’, and personal
goals for the upcoming year? Is the band planning to be on any tours this year?
We’re always balancing church life with family life with traveling life. Its a dance. Though we don’t do any full-time touring, we have been busier than ever on the road. But it’s always within the boundaries set up by our church and home. You’ll see us out more this year to support the project yes. And you’ll find us home serving our church. I’d like to record some of the songs LIVE at our conference this year and release that somehow. We’re hoping to record again this year with our church. I will continue to write with the friends that God has put in my life. My hope is that God-songs are birthed. Mostly, may this year bring us all closer to Jesus.
Q9: Who is your favorite artist, who has inspired you and collectively as a band on your musical
journey? Who would you love to work with in the future?
Hands down, our biggest inspiration is Delirious. They were instrumental in my life when God was speaking to me about leading worship and writing songs. All the boys have their own stories of being impacted by them. Working with Stu G on this Dband album was a dream come true. Absolutely. I’d love to sit down with Martin Smith and just talk. He’s a mentor that I’ve never met!
Q10: Is there anything God been teaching you in the Scriptures or any other book or media of late?
yes… Look at when Jesus was publicly commissioned into ministry. The skies opened, a dove appeared, and a thunderous voice from heaven spoke affectionately! Then the next sentence is… “then He was led out by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness.” ha! I have been so impacted by this idea lately that God leads us and teaches us so much in suffering. Jesus was tempted by the devil and responded as a son, knowing who he was. He knew that God was all he needed, that god can be trusted, and that God was in control. His time in the wilderness sealed it in his heart cause when he came out, it says he was full of power! That’s when he said, quoting Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” As the church we are guilty of promising grandiose things to those who will say yes to Jesus. But its so often that the grandois will never appear until we learn who we are in the journey. And it may never appear until the end. But the point is, God is indeed there. And he has much to teach us. Let us learn that HE IS ALL WE NEED. HE CAN BE TRUSTED. AND HE IS IN CONTROL.
Q11: Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers that we have not covered?
Let worship correct us. Too often we ask God for freedom so we can then go and be a blessing. God says to go and be a blessing, and there you will find your freedom. We all carry everything we need. Let us move!