Fast Fwd – What They’re Up 2 Now: Bill Power of Blenderhead
Blenderhead were one of those rare catalyst bands that got me into so many other artists from the Tooth & Nail roster. I remember quite vividly cruising around town blasting “Prime Candidate for Burnout” from my car speakers and singing a long. Like all band stories, theirs came to an end early in the game and even after a slight “reunion”, the music went silent. Bill has spent decades involved in the music industry and guided several bands on one of my favorite labels for years. This is Bill’s story…..
BrandonIVM: So tell me a little bit of your personal history. When and how did you first get involved in music making and when did you start working in the “industry”?
Bill Power: I came from a family of musicians. My grandpa was a high school band director for 30 years. My Dad was also a high school music teacher and then later a minister of music in the church. He is retired now but still leads music at a church. So I started on piano at the age of 5 and was classically trained. Around 4th or 5th grade I also did percussion (snare drum in concert band at school). That was the time I got into popular music.
My favorite band in 5th grade was KISS and I was Paul Stanley (with make-up) in a talent show at school where we lip sync’d with fake instruments. The following year I started listening to Rodney On The ROQ which was a Sunday late night radio show on KROQ radio station in Los Angeles. I used to tape episodes of that show and listen to those cassettes over and over – bands like the Dead Kennedys, Devo, B-52’s, Oingo Boino (one of the first records I owned was a 10″ vinyl by them) Plasmatics, Talking Heads, Blondie, etc. From that point forward I was pretty much hooked on punk rock, new wave, etc. Around 6th grade my father and grandfather decided that I should learn how to play trumpet. So I played trumpet in community bands and eventually high school band. In junior high my parents moved from the L.A. beach area (South Bay) to a small town called Fallbrook in north county. I became friends with the only other 2 weird kids in the whole school and started a band with this guy named paul. I played drums (sort of – mostly banging on a snare) and he sang and played guitar. Mostly we listened to records and hung out.
My Dad got a job in San Diego, so we moved again the summer of 1983. I got in a fight mid-semester of my freshman year and was kicked out of band. My Dad was stoked! Ha. Around that time I picked up a bass at the Church where my Dad worked. I was singing in choir at the church, playing piano and bass in the “contemporary” service, playing handbells, etc. Basically my punishment for getting kicked out of band was that I had to be in virtually every music group at the church where my Dad worked which was very close to our house. I taught myself to play bass by playing to punk records, especially Urban Struggle by The Vandals.
My youth group leaders wife gave me a cassette tape of a band called Undercover. The record was God Rules. This was the first time I had ever heard anything that sounded like music I listened to but with Christian themes. I went to a festival in Azusa, California called Exit Festival where they played (along with Quickflight, Steve Taylor, Sheila Walsh and others). But seeing Undercover live was what made me want to be in a band. Later that year (1983) I started a band with one of my youth group leaders, Mitch. Mitch had a really large music collection (vinyl) and used to make tapes for me of all this “Christian music” he had of bands like Altar Boys, Lifesavers, etc. I was the singer/bassist and he was the guitarist and we were called Pontius Pilate & The Pious Punks. The guitarist was my friend Kevin and another friend Ray played drums. We used to put on shows in the basement of the Church. We recorded a demo tape in 1986 which we circulated to various fanzines. Through those reviews, interviews and write-ups I met Mark Salomon who had just started a band called The Crucified. We changed our name to Point Blank and toured up to Fresno to open the very first show for The Crucified in April of 86. Around that time I also saw shows by the Descendents at UCSD, Agent Orange at SDSU and Circle Jerks. These shows were hugely influential to me. I spent about 45 minutes talking to Stephen Egerton (guitarist of Descendents) about playing music. It was cool to meet musicians who just seemed like average people.
I played in Point Blank all through high school until I graduated in 1987. I had joined the Army to be in the Army band. So, a couple months after graduating I was in basic training in Alabama. I went to the all forces school of music in Virginia and hated it. I was failing the theory section and decided to change jobs to mobile telecommunications. I continued to play music during my time in active duty in Germany. I continued to buy tons of records and led music at the chapel on base.
When I got out of the service in 1990 I moved to Seattle (where my family had re-located from San Diego. I had enrolled in the music business program at the Art Institute of Seattle. I was basically working all night as a janitor at McDonald’s…come home sleep 4 hours and study…go to school…sleep 4 more hours and work all night. Around the same time I met this guy Sam who was working at a music store I went to (he was wearing a Crucified shirt) and we formed a band called Ashes To Ashes. We went into the studio to record a 4 song demo. In the weekend we recorded I learned more than my entire semester at school. I dropped out. I started working odd jobs (phone surveys, setting up computers, shipping and receiving).
I eventually quit the band with Sam and joined another band called Gloria as a bass player. Gloria was part of Calvary Fellowship in Seattle. They had a youth room at the Church where I started promoting shows. Bands from Portland like The Clergy would come play. I continued to book shows with them and another band from Calvary called Poor Old Lu who were good friends. Aaron and Jessie Sprinkle’s (from Poor Old Lu) father was a pastor at the church. Anyway, I continued to book shows there. Dave Bazan (Pedro The Lion) and Damien Jurado also played shows there and with us. Dave and Damien were in a punk band called The Guilty. There were a ton of musicians and bands to come out of there. I was trying to get bands from out of state to come. I worked at a show (doing lights) in Tacoma with my friend Tom Stevenson (publisher of zine ACM Journal) for a group called Scaterd Few from California. At that show I met Mikee Bridges (of Sometime Sunday and organizer of Tom Festival) who lived in Portland. We came up this idea of networking between Portland, Seattle and Vancouver BC to bring touring bands from out of state to the northwest. At one of those meetings I met Brandon Ebel (founder of Tooth & Nail) who was a DJ at a radio station at Oregon State University. He had a show called the Thirsty Moon River show.
BrandonIVM: When and how did Blenderhead first come together? Were you guys all friends or did you meet through classified ads?
Bill Power: Around 93 I met Matt Johnson and Ed Carrigan at a Louis Palaou crusade. They were the only punk looking people at the thing and we just started talking. Turns out they were in a funk-punk band called Don’t Know. I eventually recruited Matt on drums and Ed on guitar to start Blenderhead. My friend Brian Gray, who had played in Mortal and Rocks In Pink Cement (later founder of The Blamed) moved up and was playing bass. We booked our first show at a hall and I got The Crucified to come up and play as the headliner. Brandon Ebel and his brother were both at that show. A couple shows later Brian quit and we got Paul from Don’t Know to join on bass and then Eben to join on guitar (he saw us play a show as a 3 piece).
BrandonIVM: Did you start work at T&N Records before or after “Prime Candidate for Burnout” was released? Can you tell me a little bit about that relationship? How many years did you work for the nail?
Bill Power: Brandon graduated college and moved to California and got a job working at Frontline Records. We stayed in touch and I sent him a compilation CD I put out called Songs From The Rain Factory which had Gloria, Poor Old Lu, Empty Tomb (later members formed Crux), etc. I also put out cassettes by Don’t Know and Sometime Sunday on my label Fearless Donkey (later, Morphine Records). Blenderhead continued to play shows and I continued to promote and work day jobs.
Brandon got a loan from his grandfather and started Tooth & Nail out of his apartment in Irvine. He contacted me about putting Blenderhead on a compilation he was working on called Helpless Amongst Friends. He released Wish For Eden “Pet The Fish” and Focused “Bow”. Those two bands went on a west coast tour at that time and I promoted the shows in Seattle where Blenderhead played as well. One of the shows was at the House-O-Funk (a group house where many guys in our band lived and where we had house shows) and Brandon was up to visit his family (it was around Christmas time) and came to the show. After the show he offered me a record deal for Blendherhead. While we were recording that album I convinced him to let me run his mail order ( I was already running a small mail order for my releases ) from Seattle. That’s how I got hired. This was when the label had about a dozen releases out.
Brandon decided he wanted to move back to the northwest to be near his family, but felt that Seattle was a better choice as a location. I helped him find office space and was promoted to Operations Manager for the label. At the end of our West Coast tour, Matt and I picked up a moving van and moved Brandon and the label from California to Seattle. 2 guys that were working for Brandon in California (Aaron and Matt from Havalina) decided not to move. So Brandon hired James Morelos as publicist who also moved up with Brandon. And we hired my friend Audra as well as my wife at the time to do accounting. So, there was 5 of us. I worked at Tooth & Nail from 1993-2003, so 10 years.
BrandonIVM: While “Prime Candidate For Burnout” took on a decidedly more “punk” direction, “Muchacho Vivo” was much more restrained and dare I say, “mellow” yet with that distinct chaotic noise Blenderhead became known for. What was it like moving from Prime Candidate for Burnout to your 2nd release? What do you think about the quality of those early albums against the quality of releases from today? How do you think they hold up? I love the punk diy spirit spewing from those early efforts and I personally think they sound great still.
Bill Power: I think Muchacho Vivo was just a reflection of a lot of the music we were listening to at the time. We were really into bands like Fugazi, Jawbox, Skiploader, Seaweed, Sunny Day Real Estate, Polvo, etc. We were wanting to experiment more with volume and melody. It was really just a natural evolution. We were getting away from some of the straight ahead punk/hardcore sounding stuff. I don’t know if I’d call it “mellow” though. There’s some pretty heavy songs on that record. Thanks for saying you think they hold up. I hated the production on Muchacho Vivo. We used our own amps and I wish we had used better equipment. I like the songs, but it’s tough to listen to. Also, right before Prime Candidate was recorded I got really sick and could barely record my vocals. I was going through Fisherman’s Friend cough drops like candy! Some of the vocal takes were so bad that I had to re-do them when we mixed the record. So a lot of the aggression of the vocals from that record was not very authentic in one sense because my voice was extra harsh from being sick, not because that’s how my voice sounded. If you contrast the vocals from that record to the 3rd one (Figureheads) you’ll see what I mean. Yelling has always been tough for me and rough on my vocal chords. I could never master that whole singing from your gut thing you’re supposed to do. It got really bad when we toured as I would repeatedly blow my voice out.
BrandonIVM: You guys disbanded briefly after the release of Muchacho Vivo but reunited for the release of the 2000 album “Figureheads on the Forefront of Pop Culture”. What explains that hiatus and reunion however brief it may have been? How was the quality and songwriting different on the 3rd album “Figureheads….”? What was going through your head at the time of writing that last Blenderhead album?
Bill Power: Because I’m an jerk and felt threatened by Eben singing on more and more songs (on Muchacho Vivo) and didn’t like his singing I kicked him out of the band. I’m not proud of that. Ed quit and then we basically broke up. Just part of being a kid in your 20’s and being human, I guess. I never stopped wanting to play music though. Matt Johnson (drums) was one of my closest friends and I wanted to try to play with him again because he is an incredible drummer. We briefly had Flav (Squirtgun) playing guitar and eventually found Tyler to replace Eben and got Ed to come back I definitely feel like the production on Figureheads is the best of our 3 records. By then I had worked on hundreds of releases on Tooth & Nail as an A&R guy. I had spent countless hours in the studio and finally understood how to make a good sounding record in 10 days. Lyrically I was coming off of a painful divorce and that was what most of the writing was about. It was a huge part of the inspiration for making the record. And Kip Beelman (producer) just did a great job. I love the guitars on that album.
BrandonIVM: Do you have any cool stories of time spent touring and playing shows with Blenderhead? What shows really stand out in your mind as some of your favorites? What bands did you most enjoy playing with back in the day?
Bill Power: Favorite shows would be Underground Stage at Cornerstone in 1995 (there’s footage on YouTube of this show) and Tom Fest at the end of that tour. We played with Ted Leo once which was cool. Our national tour was with MxPx and that was really fun. I still have a lot of fond memories from that tour, aside from the worst food poisoning of my life that I got in Texas. We liked playing with Focused and Bloodshed who did a leg of that tour with us. We used to love playing in Vancouver, Canada and any time we would go to Portland. That all just seems like a lifetime ago. We loved playing with The Crucified. Mark is a lifelong friend so that was always cool. I’m sort of drawing a blank on cool stories. It was just fun to play and I felt lucky and blessed to be able to do it. It’s not all fun and games, of course.
BrandonIVM: Which bands inspired you most as a songwriter and lyricist? Who do you look up to the most when getting inspired and what works continue to influence your writing?
Bill Power: I like a pretty wide variety of music. But my greatest influences are pretty much all from the punk subculture. I like loud guitars. Bands that were hugely influential to me in the time of Blenderhead would be Fugazi, Jawbox and Quicksand. As far as lyric writing I am more inspired by movies and books and life. I don’t really try to emulate other people. I tend to write from personal experience and rarely write fiction. I’m mostly inspired by real life. Sadly, I am usually inspired to write by negative things. I wish I could write uplifting things about love and peace, etc. I never was able to do that well.
BrandonIVM: What are some of your favorite releases from the past including some of the stuff you helped sign on Tooth & Nail over the years? Any favorites from that roster?
Bill Power: As far as Tooth & Nail, favorites would be Stavesacre (all), Puller (What’s Mine At Twilight), Further Seems Forever, Stretch Arm Strong (Rituals of Life), Element 101 (Stereo Girl), Slick Shoes (Burn Out), MxPx (Life In General). I’m especially sentimental about Element 101 because they were instrumental in me meeting my current wife who is the love of my life. I can’t listen to those records without thinking about her and when we met. Danny (guitar player) went to Church and breakfast with us this morning. It’s hard to play favorites though. I’m really proud of so many records I was a part of including Extol, Frodus, Blindside, Ghoti Hook and many others.
BrandonIVM: Do you still talk with Brandon Ebel and what do you think about their current independent status now (Tooth & Nail Records)? Did you film any scenes for the T&N Documentary? When will that be released?
Bill Power: I don’t really talk to Brandon too often. We live on opposite sides of the country and he’s a busy guy. We have been in touch about the documentary. I filmed an extensive interview for it several years ago in Nashville. They decided in the end to focus primarily on the first 10 years when I worked there. I’m really excited to see it. My understanding is that it will be released this year. It was submitted to Tribeca Film Festival. I’m hoping it gets accepted so I can go see it in New York. I know it was a real labor of love for the guys who worked on it. It will be fun.
BrandonIVM: Several bands over the years probably passed on signing with Tooth & Nail Records for whatever reason. Were there any bands that you just really wanted but couldn’t convince otherwise? Any secrets you want to spill?
Bill Power: Brandon and I had a constant back and forth revolving around 2 bands in particular. He was always mad that I convinced him to pass on Five Iron Frenzy. I would always dig back that I wanted to sign Thrice and instead he signed Off The Record. I call that a draw! The only band that I can think of that I wanted to sign but was unable to was The Beautiful Mistake who ended up signing with The Militia Group. I still have the Thrice demo letter signed by all members of the band.
BrandonIVM: What were some of your favorite non-T&N releases from Christian artists/musicians that came out during the 90’s? Any that really stand out still in your mind?
Bill Power: Mike Knott was an incredible songwriter and I loved a lot of his stuff. Sixpence None The Richer and Over The Rhine were great. I wasn’t really listening to a lot of “Christian” music in the 90’s aside from Tooth & Nail releases since that was my job. I’m sure there were others I liked or appreciated. I know Burnt Toast put out some good releases. I loved Damien Jurado “Waters Avenue South” on Sub Pop. Music is just music to me. I try not to divide it up into categories.
BrandonIVM: Will there ever be another Blenderhead reunion or future material? You have my support and the backing of IVM should there be any future recordings/music?
Bill Power: Ha, thanks. I really doubt that will ever happen. I’m trying to learn to never say “never,” but, the odds are really so small. I haven’t been back to Seattle since I moved away in 2003 (where most ex-members live). I haven’t really kept in touch with those guys except for Matt. I recorded an album’s worth of songs last year that I hope to finish with my friend Chris Wible from Everdown (drums). I played all the bass and guitar and did scratch drums. I didn’t sing on it yet. I don’t know if I’ll ever finish it, but I am happy with the music on them.
BrandonIVM: Moving forward here. Where are you at currently in your life and occupation? What do you do for fun? Any cool stories you want to share of your current life?
Bill Power: I currently manage a School of Rock music school (sorredbank.com) in Red Bank, New Jersey. My school has about 95 students and we put on 3 seasonal rock shows a year with the kids, so it’s a lot of work. I live with my wife, Ronee in her hometown which is about 8 miles from midtown Manhattan. We love New York city! So, I take every chance I get to explore the city. I love to take photographs (you can check out a long series of black and whites at billypower.com) but don’t consider myself to be a photographer. It’s fun for me. My commute is an hour each way to school so I listen to a lot of podcasts…particularly sermons by Tim Keller and the NPR show Snap Judgement. I really listen to more sermons and podcasts than music these days because every work day is full of music. I get a little burned out on it. I have been taking drums lessons – 45 years old and I just started playing drums! Ha. I am really enjoying that. I try to practice every day first thing when I get to the school. I think I might be getting pretty decent. I find playing drums to be very therapeutic. There’s a lot going on, so you really get out of your head and stress of the day. It’s a good distraction and good exercise! I also love to ride bicycles when I get the chance. These days, almost never.
BrandonIVM: Do you listen to any current bands/music? If so, what are some of your favorite current releases from the past couple of years?
Bill Power: I really like that band F#@ked Up from Canada and OFF!. According to my last.fm profile my Top 20 most listened to artists are M83, Robyn, Hot Water Music, Paramore, Bad Religion, Mastodon, Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Tegan and Sara, Rival Schools, Hostage Calm, Savages, Living With Lions and Dropkick Murphys. Dropkick is probably my favorite punk band. I saw them 3 times live last year. I think I just like the idea of guys my age still making great records and killing it live. Generally speaking though I listen to a lot of older music more than new music.
BrandonIVM: As you know, several older bands have reunited and begun playing shows again. Some have gone the crowd funding campaign direction while others have chosen to go with an established label. Either way, some of us are excited to be reliving our youth through these bands and their new music, while others young ones are just getting into these bands for the first time. What words of advice do you have for bands considering “reunions” and what do you think about them in general? What do you think of what Five Iron Frenzy has done with their campaign and the album they released a few months ago? Any favorite band reunions you’ve been appreciating and what others would you tell to just quit?
Bill Power: The members of Five Iron Frenzy are some of the greatest people ever. I went out for drinks with them in NYC when they were out here recording. A more lovely group of people you will not meet. I’m serious. So, if they are happy making records and playing shows again then I am stoked for them. I don’t know if I have any advice aside from that. Creativity is important and it’s a muscle that atrophies if you don’t use it. Prior to recording those songs last year I had not really picked up an instrument in over 10 years. Honestly though, I have not really listened to any reunion projects that I can think of. I am interested in hearing the new Steve Taylor project and the band Molly McGuire who I liked back in the 90’s. I am sort of out of the loop on anything else. I always prefer DIY to labels. I think if you can do it yourself then that’s the best way to do it. I’ve never been a fan of the business side of music. Always hated it. I just looked at it as a means to an end in helping friends get their music out. I love the idea of fan supported albums.
BrandonIVM: Will there ever be a vinyl repressing of your 3 T&N Releases or maybe “Prime Candidate for Burnout”? Would you support a vinyl repressing of your early work?
Bill Power: All our masters are owned by EMI, so I don’t think it would even be possible. I’m not really into vinyl. I know it’s popular again. I sold my entire CD/vinyl collection and have my entire music collection (about 26,000 songs) on a hard drive and backed up to the Amazon cloud (including all T&N releases). I’ve moved over 20 times and I got real un-sentimental about physical media after carting that stuff around the country. I prefer the convenience of iPhone and iPods and being able to instantly search and listen to things. I almost always listen to music on the go. So, if somebody could figure out how to do it and wanted to spend the money then I certainly wouldn’t stop them. But I don’t see that ever happening. Sorry!
BrandonIVM: Are there any bsides floating around or unreleased tracks that you want to see released? Any chance on those surfacing again?
Bill Power: Everything Blenderhead ever recorded was released.
BrandonIVM: You have/had a record label of your own and Everdown was one of your recent signings. Whatever happened to that project and the album they were working on?
Bill Power: I put out Evelyn Hope, Yellow Second, Movies With Heroes and Everdown on Urban Achiever. That’s done, though. I really just did that 2 song deal for Everdown to help my friend Chris. He’s one of my closest and dearest friends. That band is done. As far as I know they will never release that album.
BrandonIVM: Would you ever sign another band and put out future work by other bands on your label? Please connect with Mark of Stavesacre and work together on something, be it future Stavesacre work or repressing of Stavesacre albums on Vinyl. Make it happen 😉
Bill Power: I don’t have any plans to release any records. When and if I ever finish the songs I did last year (project is called Spoken In Tongues – from a song lyric by Dag Nasty) I will just give the album away for free on BandCamp. I really don’t have the money to invest in anything. I spent a lot of money on a clothing brand called Ride Above. I feel like that’s the last time I will invest in a company of my own.
I’ve been friends with Mark for nearly 30 years. I don’t know anybody outside my family who I’ve known longer. He was recently in New York with his wife Stephanie for their anniversary and we had a great time catching up. He continues to work on music and writing projects. I hope he puts things out again in the future. I am a huge fan. He’s one of my favorite people.
BrandonIVM: Whatever happened with Zambooie? I know you worked there for a while. Do you want to talk about that?
Bill Power: Zambooie merged with this other company called Music City Networks. My wife and I were already ready to move back to New Jersey, though. We did not like living in the south or Nashville at all. We are city people. The only person left working there from when I was there is Bruce (from Living Sacrifice). For all intents and purposes Zambooie as an entity has ceased to exist. Mike Lewis (from Puller and co-owner of Zambooie) is my best friend. We went to Africa together a few years ago. He was also recently in New York and it was great to see him. He left that company and started a new company called Go Big Win that does merch. A couple of the old Zambooie people work there as well. I worked there for 7 years. It was a ton of fun and I loved working with Mike and Bruce, but after the merger it was not fun. I really just like working for small companies with my friends. Once things get big and corporate and all about $$$ then I lose interest really quick. I am motivated by spiritual concerns and friendship first and money last. I would rather do something I believe in and love with friends for half the money. I took a job for money after Zambooie and it was a disaster. I will try to never make that mistake again. After that I was unemployed for about 9 months and had applied to about 100 jobs when I finally got the gig at School of Rock.
BrandonIVM: Where are you at spiritually in your life at current time and what is inspiring your walk in recent years? Where do you see yourself 5, 10 years from now? What do you want to be accomplishing as a working man, songwriter, that you maybe haven’t been given the opportunity to do before?
Bill Power: My wife and I were going to Tim Keller’s Church, Redeemer in New York City for the last year or so. We recently started going to a new Church plant in Montclair that is part of Hillsong NYC. We are really enjoying that. I have been reading through the Bible in a year using the Bible app. I’m in Psalms. Thank God I finally made it through Leviticus! ha ha I also enjoy the teaching of Greg Boyd who wrote “Myth of a Christian Nation.” I have mostly been praying for God to soften my heart. As you get older and have more experiences it’s tough not to get bitter, jaded, cynical and beaten down by life. My #1 goal spiritually is to get over myself. I want to be a person that is filled with joy and optimism and is able to be filled with gratitude and encouragement for others. So, that’s my focus.
After my trip to Kenya I really became more passionate than ever about helping the poor. Mike Lewis and I had a t-shirt brand, This Shirt Changes Lives for a while there. I was also volunteering at charity: water in NYC during my unemployment. I would really like to do some sort of non-profit work full time in the future, God willing. That’s really where my heart is at. I would like to write a book, but I can’t seem to ever get out more than a few pages (not that you’d know it from reading this interview!!). Music really is something I only do for enjoyment aside from my work at School of Rock. It’s tough to change occupations when you’re entire adult life has been dedicated to the music business. If I could work for Compassion International, charity: water or any other organization that helps the poor I would quit my job tomorrow to do that. I will just keep praying for that. In the meantime, I’m sure God has me where I am at for a reason. I am trying to be sensitive to that. Every season in life has a purpose and it’s tricky sometimes to discern what that is.
BrandonIVM: I just want to thank you for your time and for answering these questions of mine. I appreciate your contributions to the music scene and I think Blenderhead were one of those rare underrated artists that just broke up far too soon. You have helped so many bands over the years and been involved in so much of the inner workings of the industry that I think many people just don’t realize. If there is anything else you’d like to share below, please do so. Thank you for the interview and may God continue to bless your life in the many years to come.
Bill Power: Thanks Brandon! I’m honored and humbled to be thought of. All this stuff seems like a lifetime ago to me now and it’s nice to know that it has been looked back on fondly by people. All the greatest friendships of my life have come out of my time at Tooth & Nail. That’s no exaggeration. So I am beyond grateful for the opportunity I had to be a part of that. I try to never forget that. I know that these days many people have fallen out of the faith (including many of my old band friends). It makes me sad. I have definitely struggled with doubt in my life. Really struggled to the point I didn’t know if I even believed anymore. But I don’t think the answer is to walk away. I’m trying to lean into God and I would encourage you and anybody reading this to do the same.