Children 18:3

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An Interview with Lee Marie of the band Children 18:3

by Brandon Jones for Indie Vision Music

Hey guys and gal, and I just want to be clear on something, I am your biggest fan!! Ever since your debut came out on Tooth and Nail a few years ago, I’ve been following your music and careers. I just want to say that I absolutely love your new music and I think you all have a bright future ahead of you. Okay with that said, here are our questions for the interview. Some of these were fan submitted.

Brandon: So you have a new album titled “Rains a Comin” which will be released on June 29th through Tooth and Nail Records. What are the biggest differences between “Children 18:3” and “Rains a Comin”?

LM: I think of our self titled cd as CH183 in first grade, while this new album is like second grade. It is our same style but hopefull bumped up a notch, we have some faster stuff, and harder, but also some slower, prettier songs.

Brandon: Now I have only heard 4 songs from your new album because your label sent them to me as a downloadable sampler. I have the new album but it’s a stream and I refuse to listen to streams. So based on these 4 songs I’ve heard, I think the direction you take on “Rains a Comin'” will take you into the spotlight and will definitely put you on par with some of today’s biggest bands. How do you feel about that? What message do you want fans to come away with after listening to your music for the first time?

LM: First of all, thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed the listen and were impressed. As far as being “on par” with other bands, I will leave that in the Lord’s hands. He is the one who directs the courses of our lives in every way and there isn’t one band in the world who made it big without the move of His hand (whether they ever realize it or not). The Lord knows how much we can handle and He will give us grace accordingly. One of the hardest tests in life is success. Let’s pray that we pass. :)

Of course, the first thing I’d like fans to come away with is, let’s listen to that again! :And if our music can be a tool for the Lord to use, there can be no better ministry than that!

Brandon: What inspires you musically and spiritually?

LM: I’m inspired by musicians who play with excellence. I listen to a lot of Tooth and Nail bands past and present, and we all listen to various different styles of music.

We have been greatly blessed with parents who are very close to the Lord and possess a storehouse of godly wisdom. They have influenced, taught and inspired us from the time we were born. They also have a very large library of books by very inspiring and great teachers (and if you could see us on the road you’d most likely see us with our nose in one of them!). Authors such as Rick Joyner, Mike Bickle, Bill Johnson, Bob Sorge, A.W. Tozer and C.S. Lewis have all been very inspiring to me personally in my walk with God.

Brandon: Children 18:3 have sort of become a cult hit and an extremely underrated band. What do you think leads to your status as an “underground” band? How do you feel about being a critically acclaimed yet not quite a major band? What are your goals for the future and where do you want to take your band?

LM: David, Seth and I have three very different styles and tastes, but we have all been able to bring something to the supper table, so to speak. Maybe as a result we aren’t as set into one style as to be easily marketable? D. and I are very dramatic and we love making the live show theatrical. When he was younger D. was inspired by the live shows of bands like Norma Jean and the Chariot. We are definitely not that style of music, but we like to run around. Seth is just extremely talented musically and is always wanting to stretch and experiment into different styles. I think we are a little hard to understand as a band, we really don’t fit into a lot of the boxes out there.

Brandon: The “punk rock” tag has often been lumped onto to you guys, how do you feel about that label association? Are you guys fans of punk rock music and if so, what are some of your favorite bands?

LM: I am a fan of punk rock. I like to listen to all the Tooth and Nail pop-punk of the 90’s. If someone wants me to describe our style (it’s always hard to describe yourself) I would just say rock-n-roll, since that’s not descriptive at all! But if someone calls us punk-rock, that’s okay by me.

Brandon: Do you plan on doing any nationwide or worldwide tours this year? If so, can you reveal any details on your plans? What bands are you taking out on tour with you?

LM: We are planning on doing a Tooth and Nail “back to school” tour this fall with our friends Run Kid Run and a few other bands. We are also working on a later tour with a band called Kiros and our friends in Abandoned Kansas. We’ll be all over the states so everyone please come say hey and listen to some cool bands. :) Oh, and we are also going over to the Netherlands in August and Germany in December, just for a few shows.

Brandon: Any bands you’d love to tour with but haven’t been given the opportunity yet?

LM: Yes. But we have toured with some really great bands! Norma Jean, Haste the Day, Showbread, Project 86, The Wedding…. to name a few. I love to tour with bands that I’m a fan of.

Brandon: Of the past decade what has been some of your favorite albums? Favorite bands that influence your songwriting?

LM: My songwriting is influenced by girl bands from the 80’s and my brother’s songs. David would probably name a Beatles record, a Bob Dylan record, maybe a Rancid or Mxpx album as influences.

Brandon: The press loved to tag you guys as home schooled kids. Who decided to market you guys in such a manner and do you agree with it? What message would you give to those magazines/zines that may have talked ill of your music and message?

LM: Ha ha! Well, it’s the truth so I’d have to agree with it. The press jumps on anything unusual and odd. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It’s hard for me to understand someone not liking our music because I love it!

Brandon: You’re obviously all Christians in Children 18:3. How does your faith interweave into the music of Children 18:3. Do you feel comfortable sharing your faith at shows either on stage or off? What do you think of the tag “Christian band”?

LM: Christianity is not a style of music. It is a belief. We all believe in Jesus. But with that said, I don’t mind being called a Christian band because it’s an understandable term to people. I love to be able to pray with kids at shows. I think sharing your faith is hardly ever comfortable nor is it meant to be. Being in a band is my job. Apart from that, my life goal is to be as close to Jesus as possible, and if it’s in His will, to lead others to Him.

Brandon: How has your relationship been with Tooth and Nail Records? Are you pretty happy with your label home? Anything you’d like them to do for you that hasn’t been done yet?

LM: TOOTH AND NAIL RECORDS IS THE BEST RECORD LABEL IN THE WORLD. We love them.

Brandon: You had some “Ska” beats on your last album. What do you think about “Ska” in general? Love it or hate it?

LM: Children 18:3 started as a ska band in the summer of 1999. There’s still some leftovers in our music today.

Brandon: What magazines would you love to see your faces in? Any favorites that you all read?

LM: Sometimes I read HM or AP when they come in the mail… I don’t really have time to read magazines. But I get really excited when we are in them. I love to read reviews and interviews of ours.

That about wraps up my interview, now below you’ll find a few fan submitted questions. Thanks for doing the interview with me guys!

LM: Thank YOU!

Fan Submitted Questions:

Brandon: What is the hardest thing about being on Tour?

LM: What do you mean? We are LIVING THE DREAM. Ha ha!

There are hard things. Sleeping in the van is not fun. Non-heated venues in January or blowing out your AC in July is a bummer. Being away from my sister…

Brandon: What is your purpose as a band? If you could come up with a mission statement for Children 18:3, what would it say?

LM: My LIFE is my ministry, being in a rock-band is just my job. I believe the Lord could use me just as much if I were going to school, getting married, working in an office or babysitting. Right now, it’s His will that we are in a touring band. I hope to be a blessing and encouragement to many along the way.

Brandon: Will you ever play “The City” on upcoming tours?

LM: Ha ha! I’m sure we will sometime. That’s a fun song.

Brandon: A reader said he saw Lee Marie wearing a “Hold Fast” shirt. Is this the ministry in Pennsylvania and if so, does the band as a whole support the outlaw preachers like Jay Bakker?

LM: No, it’s not related to that at all. It’s actually from a clothing company called Anchor Apparel. They make cool shirts, and they gave me that one for free.

Brandon: What did you hope to accomplish with the lyrics or is there no preset agenda or inspiration?

LM: There are always inspirations and agendas. I hope that my inspiration comes from the Lord and that my agenda is God’s agenda. This is not always so, but we are on a journey.

Brandon: Is there an overriding theme or attitude that is present is most or all the songs on “Rains a Comin'” and if so, what is it?

LM: If there is a theme it is of Revival. Something IS coming. And it is big. Are you ready for it?

Brandon: Would you consider touring with Our Corpse Destroyed

LM: I know the name but I have not listened to them so I don’t have a comment.

Brandon: How do you typically approach writing lyrics?

LM: We get an idea. Then we agonize for hours, days, months. Writing lyrics is not easy… well for us anyways.

Brandon: Which comes first, the music or the lyrics?

LM: I don’t think there’s a set rule.

Brandon: Do you hold yourselves to a higher standard because you know you have a bunch of fans watching you, who are influenced by you, a lot of which are teenagers?

LM: Jesus talked a lot about what you do in the secret place, when no one is watching you. My main concern is that my Father in heaven sees what I do at all times, onstage, in the van, at the merch table, in my room alone. I am a sinner saved by blood and grace, I am not perfect. But I’m trying. God looks down on you and sees your feeble efforts and is very VERY pleased with you. YOU, reading this right now. If you can somehow understand that, it’ll change your life.

Brandon: In a three on three battle with Mxpx, could you take them musically of physically?

LM: Huh?

Brandon: Do you prefer to tour with Christian or Non Christian bands?

LM: I don’t know.

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