Chadwick Johnson of Hundredth

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How are you fed spiritually while out on tour?

We always try to stay rooted in the truth while we are out. And we are always talking about spiritual stuff in the van, whether it be questions, or new ideas. We always try to keep it fresh and be open and honest with each other about what we are going through. We are always reading different books. Before the band really got going, we all gave a good read through the book Jesus For President by Shane Claiborne, and it wrecked us all super hard and got us ready to get out and do something with our lives. I would definitely recommend that book to everyone along with The Irresistible Revolution. We are always looking for new books to read that will push us and our outlooks one step further.

How do you think faith and politics affect each other? How do you think they should affect each other?

I think our Kingdom should be of another world. I think we need to begin to question the presence of secret societies within our government. I think Believers everywhere need to begin thinking for themselves rather than blindly supporting something that is based on corruption and greed and renowned for killing and invoking death upon the innocent. Its time for us to create our own ‘New World Order’ and to end injustice and sweatshop labor. Where the nation isn’t rising up, the Church needs to be tenfold. We have a mandate to stand up for the weak and weary. We have to get out of the comfort of America’s lavish lifestyles, and get our hands dirty. It all starts with the question of who we are supporting. Are we supporting corporations based solely on greed and an eye for an eye mentality? Are we seeking ‘low prices’ at the cost of bloodshed overseas? Do we refuse to believe it because we enjoy being comfortable and saving our dollars on which ‘In God We Trust’ is printed? Do we really trust or is that just apart of the lie we’ve been fed? Are our leaders really aiming to change the world in a good way? It’s time for a revolution. We cannot just believe everything we are told by our Nation. We have to dig deeper and pray that God will use us and deliver us from what we have pledged to for our entire lives. I say this not for controversy, I say this to spark thought and question. Jesus came to turn the world right side up. If we focus on him rather than politics, and pledge to his Kingdom, we will be an unstoppable force.

What do you think of the label “Christian Music” in a genre/scene that is not very open to Christ?

I’m pretty bummed out about what the term “Christian” means these days to begin with. Its become synonymous with abstaining from sex, alcohol, and drugs, and then that’s where it stops, so that’s why it’s a term I rarely use. We’ve created these three rules and we think that is what it takes, when in reality its a transformation. That being said, I believe some bands are called to hugely label and promote themselves as a ‘Christian’ or ‘Ministry’ band, where they are very forward about their message on stage. For our band, however, we aren’t necessarily an evangelical band. We like to think of our band as an honest outrage of Spirituality. We get up on stage and attempt to let every emotion out of us in a positive way. We are firm believers people can be moved without spoken word. Music is powerful and we believe that’s where the Revival is coming from, heavy music especially. The amount of passion inside of a hardcore or metal show is leaps and bounds higher than most churches on Sundays. People can come as they are, and not feel like they are inferior to anyone. It’s a collection of the outcasts, who all enjoy the same thing. So while our beliefs, opinions and convictions may be different, there’s no way around arguing we are uniting under one roof. Our vision is that while we are all united, to bring an honest and desperate call for true unity. For a purpose higher than our own. I think that there is an entire different realm of faith-filled bands about to rise up. And it’s going to be birthed out of desperation and raw emotion. It’s time we get real with everyone. The message isn’t an easy and happy-go-lucky one, but thankfully, it is one of hope.

Has anyone ever talked to you at a show about Christ?

Definitely. Other than what is included in our songs, we are definitely a bit of a mystery to a lot of people when we play live. So we definitely get questions about what we are about, which is awesome. It gives us a chance to get personal with people who are really seeking and feeling something bigger than just us playing. We’ve been able to talk about some serious stuff with people on the road so far, and its been great. Everyone appreciates a personal one-on-one conversation. That’s where the respect is earned. And that should be the first step in discipleship.

Is Hundredth more of a band or a ministry?

We play and write really personal songs that mean everything to us. They are honest struggles and questions and just what we are really going through deep down. Our songs are very personal, and our band is a huge outlet for us. Being able to release raw, intense emotion, everything is somewhat therapy for us. If we can relate to people while doing that, then we are beyond stoked. Whether we are a band or a ministry is in the ear of the listener. If our songs minister to their lives, there’s no arguing our band is a ‘ministry’.

How has God impacted you guys as individuals through the bands good times and bad times?

2009 was the craziest year of our lives. We lost so many friends its unbelievable. One of them being a merch guy we had out with us for a bit. We left for another tour and he stayed back to take care of some things and was murdered the first night of our tour. That was the beginning of a long and super hard couple months. It’s been a journey of ups and downs. Its even as recent as this tour we are out on now.  We got word one of our friends was killed by a drunk driver; two of our other friends were in critical condition after a head-on collision with a different drunk driver, and one of our friends committed suicide, all within three days. That along with four other deaths back home within six months, we have learned so many things. We’ve cried, laughed, and were forever confused trying to figure out “why”. We’ve come to realize we will never be able to explain the things that happen on this Earth, but what we can do is adjust our minds and prepare for the future. We can’t change the past, but we can use it to take the next step in maturity, and the ability to deal with things that we are inevitably going to have to deal with many times in life. We’ve grown up in the world of experience, but still hold closely our youth, and I don’t see us losing that any time soon. Most of all, we’ve learned to keep our chins up and to make every second count. God has used this year to stretch us like never before, and in 2010 nothing can stop us. We’ve been walking through hell for the past 4 months, but we refuse to let it grab a hold of us. We have a purpose far too great to hang our heads in shame and sadness. That’s the word our band is standing firm on right now.

What is your best show so far and what made it your best?

July 8th, 2009 at Crazy J’s in our hometown, Myrtle Beach, was probably the most special show we have played thus far. Luckily, we caught it on tape. Two of our friends who passed away not long after are up front most of the video either singing along or just getting absolutely wild. It was the middle of summer in the only basement in Myrtle Beach. It was an absolute sweat-fest. Halfway through the first song everyone was already drenched. There was so much unity in that room. I’ve never felt anything like it in my entire life.

Where do you guys see yourself as a band in the next 5 years?

Still touring. Still writing songs that mean everything to us.

We heard Chadwick likes to punch the floors during shows, has he ever hurt or broke his hand doing that?

Ha-ha! I’ve had no broken bones so far. I’ve definitely had some killer bruises though. It’s all in good righteous anger though, right?

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you on stage?

Not too much has happened, but we have had a pretty close call. One of our friends was filling in for us on guitar and played an entire show with his zipper down. When he took his guitar off after our set, he had a little surprise hanging out. Luckily he doesn’t play his guitar too high and we don’t do any of those meltdown head bangs or he would have turned up the party big time.

Who is the prankster on Hundredth?  What are some memorable pranks?

I wouldn’t say we have a single hoodlum; we are all pretty much out of our minds at some point in the day. The only way for us to stay sane on tour is to accept that we are losing our minds. It’s a weird situation. We are always joking with each other and doing absolutely ridiculous things. We recently brought on a new guitarist full-time and he’s got comedy in his blood, or so he says. So he’s always up to something. It keeps tour fresh for sure.

I am sure you guys have heard of the punk goes pop series and August Burns Red’s take on Brittany Spears.  Is there any song of a different genre you guys would like to cover?

We sit in the van all day long and talk about covers we should do. We rarely listen to a lot of heavy music on tour, so we do have some plans for some old ’emo’ classics to come out at some point. But apparently ’emotion is dead.’ If you get my drift, then sweet.

I was told to ask you about “Naked Homo Dodge Ball.”  Feel free not to answer if you want.  A reader insisted we should ask you.

We did a tour with our friends in Alcina and created a new tour sensation, that we coined, ‘Homo Burrito Dodge Ball.’ Our friend Andy was tour managing and was referee and egged us on until we all felt miserable. Here is the premise. Basically its normal dodge ball, except it feels like its never going to end. Every time someone gets out, they have a way to get back into the game. Either they can drink 2 full glasses of chocolate milk or eat one bean burrito. If anyone is vegan, it’s two cups of sweet tea. Also there is a special colored ball floating around that when struck by, one must remove an article of clothing and continue playing. Needless to say, in the end its usually a half-naked vomit-fest and everyone feels miserable. Since we are so competitive we push ourselves entirely too far. I ended up hiding burritos all around the gymnasium and pretending I ate them. Guilty. Sorry Alcina if you end up reading this. And Andy, I don’t know how you didn’t catch me. Our team ended up losing anyways. But I will say, on a regular game of dodge ball, we are always up for a challenge. ‘Homo Burrito Dodge Ball’ is only for special occasions.

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