Hello my friends, it’s been a while, but I’ve got another sweet interview for you to enjoy. Recently I attended the City Rock Fest Tour, featuring Disciple, Decyfer Down, Nine Lashes, and Seventh Day Slumber, when it made a stop in Minot, North Dakota. I didn’t have a chance to plan an interview in advance, but I figured I’d bring my iPod and mini microphone and see if any of the groups would be willing to chat for a few minutes. Disciple was glad to oblige (the other groups were too, it just never materialized), and amongst the talk of the tour and their album Attack, they informed me of an upcoming release fans will be happy to hear about.
I spoke with them before their performance, but needless to say they killed it. Lead singer and only remaining founding member Kevin Young poured out his heart in a powerful testimony, and by the end of the night around 20 people made a heart-changing commitment to Christ. This was one of the most Gospel-centric concerts I have ever attended, and it was a blessing to be there.
IVM: This is Vince with Indie Vision Music, and I’m hanging out with Disciple…
Josiah Prince: Yeah! Woo!
IVM: (laughs) This is actually before the show. They’re just getting prepared and eating some strawberry shortcake and other deliciousness.
Kevin Young: While we still have energy.
IVM: That looks so good! Seriously…
Kevin: Help yourself when this is over!
IVM: I just want a bite of that (laughs). So you guys are on the City Rock Fest Tour. How long have you been on this tour so far?
Josiah: 3 weeks, about a month.
IVM: How’s the response been to the tour so far?
Kevin: It has literally been one of the best tours we’ve been a part of. Every night has either been really close to being sold out or a really full room. For us, we’re having fun every night. I don’t think there’s been a night we walked off stage and were like, “Man, I wish we hadn’t done that.”
Josiah: Not only that, the lineup is super solid. All the dudes in all the bands are just excellent to be around and hard workers. Everything is just running perfectly.
IVM: That’s great to hear. You guys recently came out with the album Attack. What kinds of response have you heard from it? Some people say that you’re going back to what Disciple used to be years ago. It’s just a little bit of a change of styles from what you’ve done with the last couple of albums.
Kevin: Yeah, it’s interesting to hear people say that because i don’t think musically we’ve ever been where we are on Attack. I think musically it’s definitely a new frontier for us, especially because of the new writers in the band, it’s all of our first time writing an album together. But lyrically I probably did dip back in the past to some old ways that I used to like to write lyrics. For me, whenever I’m writing lyrics, it’s kind of just how I feel at the time, really whatever I am wanting to say. These songs were really…the themes and the messages were really important to me, things that I really wanted to say about being radical and not compromising and not, you know, just giving some of my life to God but really being sold out and making sure to give Him all of my heart. Not just to have righteous actions, but also have a righteous heart behind it. Those are just things that I was thinking about and wanting to say. I guess some people thought I said it before (group laughs). Or said something similar way back when, like 10 years ago or something.
Andrew Stanton: Part of it is because we did this album independently, so we didn’t work with a record label for it. All our awesome backers from Kickstarter helped us make the record, so that gives the freedom to, like Kevin said, say what we want to say and try new things musically and really follow our own plan, our own business model. Which has been good for us.
Kevin: I think if we had a record label we would’ve questioned whether we should say some of the things that we said because there’s always those two guys that need to give the green light to whatever songs go on the record. We probably would have been more careful with what we were saying if we knew that we basically had to please those 2 people. Knowing that the only people that needed the approval was ourselves, we just kind of said whatever we wanted to say, and that’s how the album came out that way.
IVM: Was this the first time you guys turned to Kickstarter to fund an album?
Kevin: It was.
IVM: Overall, was the experience a good one and would you do it again?
Kevin: Yes, it has been a great experience. We learned a lot from the mistakes of fulfilling the orders to our fans. We’re gonna definitely do a better job the next time around if we do this again. I was terrified to do this because all musicians are insecure to a certain point and it really becomes obvious if your fans like you or not if they’re going to support your Kickstarter. I wasn’t prepared to hear that they didn’t like us if it were to go that way. But we had amazing support for this record. We had goal and we more than doubled what we were looking for.
IVM: Did that support make this tour possible, or is this tour separate?
Kevin: This tour was a phone call. We got a phone call from Joseph and he said, “Hey, do you want to do this tour in the spring?” He got Decyfer Down on board and we were like “yes, absolutely.”
IVM: With all of the extra dollars that came in from your supporters, what were you then able to do above and beyond what you had originally planned?
Josiah: Shot a music video, which was nice to be able to do. We were able to go full production with it, and that was a cool experience. I think if we had just hit our goal, we would have had to really go lean on some stuff as far as…
Kevin: The producer, mixing, music…
Josiah: Yeah, all the steps in the process of making and producing and manufacturing the album would have been way on the leaner side, more conservative. But we were able to do exactly what we wanted to do and not pull any punches per say.
Kevin: Yeah. Even just the cost of designing our new website or designing our album cover, which a lot of people don’t take that into consideration. Whenever you’re marketing a new record all these things have to go along with it. Those costs alone would blow your mind, how expensive it is to ask somebody to make a record. You don’t have to spend that much if you don’t really want to, but the one thing that we were really trying to accomplish with this was to show that we could make a quality record without a record label. And so we really didn’t spare any expense. We went out and got the best.
Josiah: (clearly joking) 25oz filet mignons every night during the recording process (group laughs A LOT). No expense. We had to be in the right frame of mind.
Andrew: I’ll tell you right now, Attack sounds better in my Lamborghini than it does anywhere else (laughs).
IVM: You guys deserve it though! (laughs). What is next after the City Rock Fest Tour?
Josiah: We’re gonna to the State Rock Fest Tour, then the Country Rock Fest Tour, then the Continent Rock Fest Tour after that! (laughs) Eventually once the technology is available we’ll do Planet Rock Fest Tour.
Andrew: I think there’s only like 7 dates on the Continent Tour (laughs)
Josiah: (laughs) No, I think…well we have an EP that we’re going to be putting out soon that we’re pretty excited about. Those are songs that were actually written around the time of Attack and just didn’t make the album. But they’re still really awesome and we’re stoked about them. We’re going to put that out sometime this spring. We’re already all writing some new songs for whatever the next album ends up being. We’ve got a lot of summer festivals and we’re excited about those, they’re always fun. We’re talking about fall tours right now. We’ve got a few options on the table, none that we are committed to yet, but it’s gonna be a good year I think.
IVM: Kevin you’re the last original member remaining. How difficult is it for you to learn how to play with these new musicians once they come in? You still have that Disciple sound, so there’s still that cohesiveness to it. How do you guys do that?
Kevin: I think that’s really a testament to the guys who’ve come into the band. I remember when Josiah was writing songs, he was actually making an attempt to write Disciple sounding songs. Basically all the songwriters in this band, they all come from different backgrounds and write their own little style. Really, I think it’s just a matter of taking what feels natural to them and just leaning it a little in a certain direction, in a Disciple direction if you will. It just works out. The other ingredient: if you put my voice on it, there’s really nothing I can change about that, it’s going to always sound like this, so it ends up being Disciple no matter what. These guys are like little worker bees. Every day their writing songs.
Josiah: And I’m the Queen Bee (laughs)
Kevin: Yes, and Josiah’s the Queen Bee (laughs). The Queen Drama Bee (laughs). I’m just kidding, he’s not that way at all. The beautiful thing about it is when it comes time to pick songs for the record we’ll have a whole lot of songs to pick from. Instead of just trying to make 10 songs sound really good, we’ll be able to have 30 or 35 songs and pick which 10, 11, 12 songs are the best ones.
Andrew: And the cool thing about the EP that we’re getting ready to put out that Josiah mentioned is it’s kinda like what you would expect a b-sides EP to be like. Songs that didn’t make the cut but I think it’s more with the songs that didn’t get finished in time. As far as quality and how excited we are about it, they’re equal with the record. So it’s cool to be a part of a band like that where we don’t have to put out any leftovers to get some time till the next album. We’re putting some more stuff out that we’re excited about.
IVM: The EP…is there a release date on that?
Kevin: We’ve got to finish it first.
Josiah: It’s about 60% or 70% tracked right now, and we’re on tour so we can’t track right now. We’ll hopefully have it done by the end of this month, the tracking anyway, and then mixed and mastered after that. We’re still not set on a name yet, so…I think April or May would be awesome. I think we’re probably just going to do digital to start. April or May would be sweet.
IVM: That’s amazing!
Josiah: Can I say something else?
IVM: Go for it!
Josiah: If you guys like what our voices sound like right now, we have a podcast that is exactly this, just us making jokes and talking about things. (looks at Andrew) Andrew is wrapping a scarf around his face. (laughs)
IVM: It is cold outside, what is it, like -20 outside? You guys came on a good day.
Josiah: I know! (laughs). So if anyone wants to listen, our podcast is called Bus Banter, and it’s on iTunes and any other podcast app. We record it on tour, so it’s a fun little thing we do.
IVM: That’s awesome. Can’t wait to see your performance, it’s going to be amazing. Good luck, and keep filling up on strawberry shortcake. (laughs)
Josiah: No doubt.