The W's
By Cathy Jensen


James Carter
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 Decapolis.

---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 already, though!

--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 band?

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.)

Brian: Hey!

---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 face!




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