On the "Holy Roller's Tour" with Five Iron Frenzy and The Insyderz - are
the much talented, swingin' compadres of The W's. Showing no visible signs
of pre-show jitters, the soft-spoken alto-saxist James Carter recently took
some time out a half hour before a Minneapolis performance to talk with
---Do you face people criticizing The W's for jumping on the swing
"bandwagon" so to speak?
J: There's those people out there, but I don't really pay any attention to
them. We never really planned on playing any certain style of music. We
just write and play whatever music we have fun doing. I think "swing" and
"ska" are just terms people are comfortable using. I don't think they
completely describe the music we play at all.
---How do you approach the spiritual aspects of your music and band? Do you
consider The W's a ministry?
J: That's a tough question. I think the reason we're in this band is
because God wants us to be here. We're not pastors or ministers or anything
like that. We're musicians, and God created us to be in this band to
entertain people and let them enjoy our music. I think the way that we
minister to people is definitely through our lives. We don't preach from
stage because none of us our gifted in that way, and when we went to shows
when we were younger, that was never apart of the show. We want to make our
shows a place where you can bring your non-Christian friends and be
completely content with any portrayal of Christianity they got from our show.
---A lot of bands in the Christian market get frustrated for different
reasons. What are some of the pros and cons of the Christian music scene?
J: Pros would be that there are a lot of bands out there God has called to
encourage and minister to the church and youth groups. Those bands, because
of the Christian music industry, are given an easy outlet to do that. The
cons I feel are a lot of the shows that Christian bands do give the wrong
idea of what Christianity is, and I think the whole (Christian music)
industry pretty much perpetuates that. Having to have a lyrical content
that says "Jesus," and promoters expecting you to preach from the stage puts
a lot of unneeded pressure on the bands.
--What can we expect from the W's in the near future?
J: You can expect The W's to be playing in all secular venues with all
secular bands. Our newest album is "The Trouble with X" and that just came
out about a week in a half ago. But we are writing for our next album
--Do you think one instrument is sort of the backbone in your type of music,
or do you think any one instrument plays a unique or special role in the
J: I think with our music the bass is very important because it really
drives the songs, and I think our drummer is very important, his name is
Brian! (Brian enters the scene.)
---Do you guys have any embarrassing moments onstage worth sharing?
J: One time after we finished our first album we had a show and I didn't
know any of our songs yet, except from recording, so I was embarrassed
because I couldn't play any of the songs! I just sort of faked it and
messed up a lot.
--Do you have any rituals or things you do before performance?
J: Usually, probably about 90% of the time I use the restroom, and wash my