Ghoti Hook - Jamie Tolosa
By Andrea Saylor


Jamie Tolosa
ACT III

(Christian suggests that we talk to some of the other members of Ghoti Hook, so we snag the unsuspecting Jamie…)

Andrea: In your opinion, do you think there's a big dichotomy between the Christian and secular music markets?

Jamie: They're very distinct, the two of them, but in a lot of ways they're similar. Usually it's about the money, like the labels. People are just trying to get money. But any industry is like that, so it's not that different. But it's different in the music, and I guess what people expect and what people's perceived notions are about the music. In that way it's different.

Andrea: Do you think it's good, or bad, or a little of both?

Jamie: I think it's bad… I don't think they should be separated, the two of them. Because in my opinion, music is music. I mean, whether, we have songs that deal with God and songs that deal with cars, you know, and I don't think that makes us a Christian band one half of the record and a non-Christian band the other half of the record… I just think music is music and what you sing about- that's what makes the difference in the music.

Andrea: That's basically what Christian said. Do you guys discuss this kind of stuff as a band, or do you just happen to have the same opinions on things?

Jamie: I mean, it comes up because people ask us questions like that all the time, but it's not like we think of the same answer… I think if you think about it for a while that's the answer you'll come up with. It just doesn't make much sense to me, calling a band a Christian band. Is it because of what they're saying or is it because they're Christians in a band? If it's because they're Christians in a band, like for us, if we sing a song about a car, and we're Christians, does that mean it's Christian music, or does that mean it's non-Christian music? Or, on the other hand, if we're singing about God, does that make it Christian? So, it doesn't really make much sense to me.

Andrea: For you personally, do you find that being in Ghoti Hook is a job, or do you think of it more as a passion you have?

Jamie: It's first a passion, second a job. I don't think anyone in the band would be doing this unless they really enjoyed playing music and developing music… We've all got these, you know, thousand CD collections… Life is about relationships, and sharing relationships with other people. Music, to me, is a way to connect with people that's a lot more intimate and cooler than any other medium. So, we're all big fans of music and we would all listen to music whether we were in a band or not, so it's just cool that we get to do it. But it's also a job, you know, if you're trying to support yourself, and your family. Sooner or later you have to get a job, you know? We're fortunate, at least up to this point. God's blessed us, that we can do both. We can do what we want to do and also pay the bills.

Andrea: When you're on the road, how do you maintain your spiritual focus?

Jamie: It's all about discipline- you making the effort to sit down and read your Bible and do your devotions and pray… We're trying to improve that aspect of our tour life, trying to find a devotional that we can all do together, because it's too easy for any one to ignore that part, you know? To spend eight hours of their day doing one thing, and they're lucky if they spend 30 minutes reading the Bible or having a devotional. And we're just as guilty as anyone else, especially on the road. I mean, we get so busy, driving and playing shows that we don't think we have time, but everyone has time. That's definitely a point where we need to work on, and I think being in a band is probably the worst thing for your spiritual life. Because you're away from family and friends, your support group, and you're away from church, and you're always busy and so it's- I wouldn't recommend it! For your spiritual life, it's probably the worst thing you can do.

Andrea: Do you think there are any pros of that? Do you think that there's anything that, like, by being in this band, that's helped you spiritually?

Jamie: Yeah. I think being in a band, touring around, playing shows, helps you learn to deal with people that aren't like you. I mean, you learn to have an open mind and accept people for where they're at and who they are as opposed to living in a bubble, thinking that everyone should come to you, that if they're not like you, they're not worth the time, or they're "bad." So being in a band kind of forces you to deal with all kinds of people, every day. So you get used to people being weird, you get used to people being normal, so you learn how to treat everyone the same… which you should.

Andrea: Who are some of your heroes?

Jamie: Probably my parents- I mean, besides, the obvious, "Bible answers," you know, like God and Jesus and all that stuff, besides those obvious answers- probably my parents, certain theologians down the street. I have some guitar heroes… I mean, I admire a lot of people for different things… There's different traits that I admire in people…

Andrea: Fun question, you don't have to answer it. What's the most embarrassing thing that's happened to you since being in Ghoti Hook?

Jamie: Releasing the first demo was probably my most embarrassing moment. So if anyone out there has that demo, please burn it. Throw it away.

Andrea: What kind of music do you like to listen to? What are your favorite artists?

Jamie: We in the band listen to a bunch of different, variety of stuff. Everything from punk to rock to bluegrass to country to rap. I think there's cool things to find in all kinds of music. My favorite bands are mostly rock bands, like AC/DC, Supersuckers. I like Willie Nelson. Weezer. Dead Milkmen. All kinds of bands.

Andrea: What kind of stuff do you like to do besides music?

Jamie: Unless we're playing music or doing something music related, we usually just hang out with friends. Whether it's at a restaurant, at a club, going camping, just whatever's hanging out with other people that's fun.

Andrea: If you could start Ghoti Hook over again, what would you do differently?

Jamie: That's kind of a tricky question… I like what God's done for us. I really believe that if you're a Christian, and you love God, then everything works out for the good, you know, within the will of God. So I guess I wouldn't change anything, because I think God's laid out a perfect plan for us. So, just kind of go along for the ride. See what happens.

Andrea: That's cool… I guess this will be our last one. If there was a spiritual principle that you could teach everyone, what would it be?

Jamie: It probably would be that- Romans 8:28, where all things work for the good of those that love God, who have been called according to his purpose. I think once you can get over worrying about your future, worrying about decisions, and whether you're gonna find Mrs. Right, or whether you're gonna have the right job or whether you're gonna live in the right place or whether you're gonna have the right friends- I mean, if you can get over that and realize that God has already laid that out for you, the perfect plan, you know? The best life that you could possibly life, it's gonna happen. So all you have to do is just trust him and enjoy the ride, I guess. I mean, it's not always pleasant, but it's gonna be the best for you.

Christina: Kind of like, take things as they come, and deal with them, and trust God to help.

Jamie: Yeah. If you can accept that truth, and just grab that truth, and live by that, then you're going to be a lot happier person. I mean, you'll actually have joy because you won't be stressed all the time, worrying about what tomorrow holds.


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