Project 86 Interview
I recently had the privilege of interviewing Andrew of Project 86 when they spent a few nights at my house during their tour. I was impressed with all the well thought out answers that he gave. Project 86 plays really hard and creative music. Come, join our conversation.
Conrad: What is your name?
Andrew: Andrew. I'm the vocalist.
C: Give us background about yourself.
A: I spend time at home with my family and friends. I read a lot of books by Christian authors...non-fiction stuff....like self growth stuff. I just read a Keith Green book. Now I'm reading Jerry Bridges. I mostly spend a lot of time reading because we tour a lot...I really like spending time with my family and friends because were always touring...and the band is pretty much my job...so I'm on the road a lot. I work with my youth group a lot when I can.
C: What kind of church is it?
A: It's a non-denominational church.
C: How do you see Christians and the arts?
A: I think that if Christians are to be glorifying God, first and foremost the only way to do that is to put out the best art possible. If you were an architect, I think the best way to glorify God in what you are doing is to do the best job that you can with that. With music, or whatever art Christians are involved in, it seems like the opinion of most Christians is that if you're too focused on the music or the artform, then you obviously aren't serving God enough. But I think its totally possible to be completely competitive. You can work as hard as possible to put out the best music possible and still be 100 percent spiritual while being creative.
C: Why do you think the majority of the Christian music industry thinks that you have to have evangelism in your music.
A: I just think its honestly an ignorance thing - a lack of understanding of how God works. It's a narrow-mindedness...of saying God only works one way. I think if you are Christians, God is going to come out some how...that doesn't necessarily mean its going to come out in the most obvious way. I think that there are some artists and labels that are evangelical that are still 100 percent glorifying God.
C: Where did you learn what you believe?
A: School, from how I grew up, friends and family. But the main way is just from being in the band and seeing how God works.
Across the USA almost everyone has heard the gospel before. They all have heard all the speeches, and that requires a totally different evangelical approach. I think that's where the gap is...most Christians don't understand that. One of the first things that you learn from Jesus is that he is very relevant to each culture he spoke to.
C: How do you think the shift to Post-Christian culture has effected every day kids?
A: I think the tendency is that the lines between Christians and non-Christians is really gray. Kids get confused about what it means to live a Christian life because there are so many people in our culture who say they are Christian, while their lives don't back it up according to the Bible.
To the average kid, there is a misconception about what it means to be living for God and you have a lot of kids going to shows who are just on the edge.
Another impact is that because there is so much grayness...it causes a super spiritual group...and those kids separate themselves from those people on the edge and that can completely turn the edge kids away.
It's two groups and neither [one] are on the right track.
C: What do Christian kids lack the most in their spiritual lives (the kids at shows)?
A: Hope and direction. In my experience I see a lot of kids without a plan, purpose or direction for Christ. They don't foresee themselves with a specific role in Christ or with a job in society...and music is an escape from their life...and one of the goals of our band is to put fourth the message that there is a specific hope and direction for everyone.
C: What is your personal calling?
A: Personally I definitely feel like it's an evolving thing. God has me doing this for a reason. It's not just to play music and the lyrics that are written and the way we portray ourselves. I know for a fact that kids lives are changed by that...and I think I'm learning and growing and maturing to go on to something different.
I'm always going to be doing something that has to do with reaching people and helping people. I think music will always be a part of my life, but somewhere down the line I think God is going to call me to be a responsible citizen and not be a 'band guy' floating through life.
I think right now with Project, we're going a lot more of a secular route. We're not doing anything differently - we just think were going to be doing more secular shows. There's a big debate about preaching at secular shows...we've always been subtle but forceful at the same time...for us to go out there and play with bands. We're not going to go in there and say 'hey were the Christian band' ...were going to carry ourselves like a normal band. Hopefully people will like our music and investigate into the band...and they will learn our beliefs. If you don't do it that way, I just think you should only play Christian shows...because a lot of the times, club owners won't even let you in. It's very ineffective to just preach from stage.
C: There's so many different bands with Christians in them, and there are some God calls to preach on stage, and there are others who aren't...everyone is reached...youth groups...and then the population who won't listen to preaching.
A: I think, first and foremost, you have to be able to backup everything you say. But at a club, I don't think it's appropriate to preach. There's never been a point where you can look around you and see that most people have heard the Gospel and don't want to hear it anymore.
C: What's one message you'd like to give to the Christian kids out there?
Andrew trying to think of a way out of this interview.
A: I would say, broaden your perspective of how Ggod works in know that there are many ways that God uses music to touch people's lives. And the form of preaching on stage, is not the only way people are reached - for a fact. I know that there are many kids who view that as compromising one. And there are a lot of bands that use that as an excuse - but there are bands out there who want to serve God with all their hearts that want to serve God with a tactful approach. And that's what God calls us to do ...serve him.
C: Well that's it...thank you very much.
Visit their Website: Project 86
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