Canadian duo Jodi King and Chris Rademaker (who form the band Love & The Outcome) release their debut self-titled album on Word Records on August 27th, featuring the radio hit ‘He is With Us’ and other standout tracks like ‘City of God’, ‘What a Promise’ and ‘King of My Heart’. Recently I had a great pleasure at interviewing Jodi via email, discussing the themes behind the album and what God has been teaching them throughout the whole recording process and forming of Love and the Outcome. Below are the interview questions and answers.
Question 1: While Love and the Outcome is a new band releasing their self titled debut album in August, you (Jodi) have done some solo work for about 3-4 years before forming this duo. Can you tell us the differences in performing as a solo artist compared to that of a band/duo? What are the things that can be learnt from solo artist work that can be helpful in a band setting?
The best part is that we never get homesick anymore! We both started our musical journeys on separate paths, Chris being in his own band, & there was a point where we hardly saw each other. So ever since he began playing with me, going out on the road is so much more enjoyable. Being a solo artist makes you a lot more independent, especially at the level I was at before Chris joined me – I basically booked all my own shows & made my way across the country because I knew that was what I had to do to spread the word. So it definitely taught me a lot about the business of music, but it’s way more fun to rock out with your husband beside you at every show!
Question 2: Forming last year (2012), what has been the highlight over this past year playing in shows across America, as well as creating your debut album as a duo? What has motivated you, in both solo work and as a band, throughout your band history (and solo artist history) as you perform music every day in a different city for many Christians and non-Christians alike?
Our greatest motivation is knowing in our hearts that the musical ability God has blessed us with is our best stuff for building His kingdom, and that in turns inspires us to get better at all the other elements – writing, performing, travelling, doing interviews. It was really exciting for us to get to go on the road with Francesca Batistelli & The Afters this spring, & we realized how much passion there is in people across the country to see God be glorified! We’re very thankful to be Canadian & we love our country, but there seems to be an extra dose of hot sauce to the American audiences!
Question 3: For those who don’t know the history behind Love and the Outcome, or even how they sound like, can you let us at IndieVisionMusic know how the duo formed, and who you think, out of the CCM artists currently active, your music sounds like? Personally, the music reminds me of a similar style to artists like Natalie Grant, Amy Grant, Britt Nicole and Kerrie Roberts.
Chris & I had been performing together for a couple years with my solo project, so the foundation was already laid, and we just thought that we could take it all a step further if we viewed ourselves as a band, & maybe incorporate some of the influences we had been absorbing along the way. I grew up a huge fan of Amy Grant, just her way of connecting with people even though she’s this superstar talented singer. Chris definitely leans more toward the British style rock bands like delirious? and U2, with their big anthemic songs, so he likes to say that our band sounds like Amy Grant joined the Killers!
Question 4: Your debut album incorporates a pop-contemporary orientated genre, along with a message of hope, perseverance and reliance on Jesus Christ always. How is the musical sound of your debut album, and what do you hope listeners can walk away with in terms of messages and overarching themes of the album? ‘He is With Us’ is the first single from the album, and also one of my favourites from the album, as well as favourite songs from the year so far. Can you share the message behind the song, and if the song has any special meaning for both of you personally as you share the message of hope and trust in 3 and a half minutes? Is there anything that you have learnt from writing and recording this song that you think listeners can benefit from when they hear this track?
I think you nailed it when you mention words like ‘perseverance’ & ‘reliance’ on God – this journey would have been impossible without relying on His guidance, and a song like ‘He Is With Us’ definitely speaks to that. We wrote it with our friend Seth Mosley and it kind of started with improvising the line ‘Remember when…’ over the bass line Chris plays in the verses… we were trying to write something very direct, I think; my favorite line is, ‘Though it might hurt now, we won’t be ruined…’ When you go through something painful like losing a loved one, you realize that God works through the people who’ve supported you because everyone knows what that feels like. Our experience with Seth as a producer was almost as if he’d become the third member of our band; it was a very collaborative relationship & he was very open to all of our ideas even though most of the time his were so much better! Ben Glover & David Garcia produced as a team on our project & it made for a very creative combination… they can almost finish each other’s sentences so the ideas flowed fast & furious when we were all in the same room together! I think we captured some of that atmospheric, British rock flavor working with Seth while Ben & David helped us craft incredibly melodic pop anthems… the flow of the songs feels very natural & we hope people will appreciate the subtle differences between the two.
Question 5: It must be great to share a record label with fellow artists Everfound, Meredith Andrews, Skillet, Switchfoot, Point of Grace and Jason Castro. Are there any bands within your label (or outside your label) that you admire, or that you’d like to tour/write and record with someday if given the chance?
It is a bit overwhelming to think about being on the same team with all these amazing, talented people that you kind of grew up wanting to be like… we had dinner with Shelly Breen (of Point of Grace) & her husband David and I had a little starstruck moment where it was like, ‘I know all of your songs!’ We sat down to write with so many gifted people for this record and I think Chris was pretty excited to have an afternoon working with Stu G, the guitarist from delirious? They were a huge influence on him & it took a little while for him to calm down afterwards.
Question 6: Your journey to become Love and the Outcome was not an easy feat, selling basically everything you had in 2010 to become a touring artist throughout these past three years. What has God been teaching you on the road as you travel and perform your songs of encouragement? Is there any song that you have sung on your travels that God still ministers to you with (personally and as a band)?
We have definitely learned to embrace a minimalist approach to our lifestyle, and making the decision to sell our beloved condo was the catalyst for that. The classic hymn ‘Be Thou My Vision’ has been a staple in our live set for a while now, with a few little L&TO tweaks, and it perfectly captures that desire to have the kingdom of God front & center. I think we knew that as long as we could perform together, doing what we do best, keeping our eyes focused on God always, that all the other parts of life would make sense in their own time – and a funny example is that we ended up selling all the furniture with the condo, but last month our friends decided to move out west & they gave us their couch!
Question 7: Is there any particular artist (band or individual singer, Christian or mainstream) that has influenced Love and the Outcome the most throughout your history as a band? Any musical style from other artists creep into the songwriting process and musical composition of songs placed on the debut album?
Amy Grant and Sheryl Crow will always be at the top of my list, & I can remember the dc Talk dance routines with my sister back in the day! I know for Chris his playlist is incomplete without U2 and the Beatles, but a lot of the more minimalist rock bands like the Black Keys and pretty much anything Jack White puts out has been grabbing his attention lately – I think we’re both intrigued at how far we can push the duo/band idea onstage, & so far we’re getting good at making a lot of noise just the two of us!
Question 8: Are there any songs on the album that were difficult to write (for any reason)? Has there ever been a case where the difficult songs to write, record and perform each night the also the songs that have become the catalyst used by God to speak to you through your daily life and walk with Christ? Any encouraging stories from the road relating to how a song of yours impacted their life somehow?
It’s definitely been cool to see how people have responded so positively since ‘He Is With Us’ hit the airwaves… even though you move to Nashville and sign a record deal with an amazing team like Word you never really know how things will connect, and judging by the comments online & the number of people who come talk to us after a show, there’s a lot of excitement for this album. We talked to a woman in Michigan after a show there, & she was so encouraging in telling us how she had been fearful of leaving her job to pursue a new career in television as a producer, and she had been listening to ‘He Is With Us’ on the radio, and said that it was the spark she needed to get over her fear! That just blows my mind!
Question 9: I love the ingenious album cover with the car and you guys stepping out under the wall with the band name on; as well as the font for the words ‘Love and the Outcome’. What was the process in choosing the album cover design? Personally, I think you guys should win the ‘Best album cover of the Year’ for the 2014 Dove Awards! (they still have that category right?) Also love the ‘City of God’ video as well and how you utilised the design of your name and incorporated it on the walls of where you filmed the video!
It’s in our DNA to ‘take it to the streets’ so to speak. We’ve always been in motion, with God’s love propelling us forward, so it only seemed right to do the photo shoot the way we did. ‘Joyful revolution’ is a term we’ve thrown around a lot, and making people feel welcome to interpret it personally was important to us. We have the best design team in the world at Word, & our manager Andrew Kennedy helped us conceive the idea of using street art for our logo to match the heartbeat of our band. We wanted to capture the anticipation & the chaos of the moment – they ended up painting a wall in East Nashville and we had to shoot the video & do all the photos within a 24 hour period before it had to be cleaned off!
Question 10: Looking ahead to the band’s second label-distributed album (whenever that may be), what do you think will change (or stay the same) in regards to the album recording process?
Chris & I are always trying to push ourselves into new areas, new ways of thinking about writing & performing our material. This album was a very long process but also incredibly enjoyable – I can see why many bands choose to work with the same people over & over again – if it ain’t broke, why fix it? But sometimes the best albums get made when you least expect it – I think ‘Born Again’ by Newsboys is a great example of changing it up & still having a great result!
Question 11: How is the rest of 2013 for you, as a band and personally for each of you? Are there any tour plans for the remainder of the year, whether it is inside the U.S. or around the world?
We are really excited to be joining Newsong on their fall tour, which will run through September & October, and we’re travelling with them on their Christmas dates in December as well. We love performing almost more than anything else and getting to play in front of brand new audiences for us is always a treat!
Question 12: You guys have been a band for a while. What keeps you all grounded and places things in perspective as you travel and create music? Is there any song, or Bible verse, or even famous quote that reminds you about why you do what you do and the motivation behind it all? For those who are reading this interview who could be feeling down or worried or anxious about their life circumstances, what advice can you give them? Also to young musical artists wanting to break into the music industry via a label signing, is there any advice that you can give as to how to succeed in the industry yet also keep your beliefs, values and integrity intact? Is there anything else that you would like to add that hasn’t been covered in this interview yet? Any parting words, encouragements or even confronting pearls of wisdom you are willing to part with and hopefully impact the readers of this interview with?
My favorite piece of scripture right now is the beginning of Romans 12, where Paul encourages us that in whatever we do, we do it for Christ – whether you’re a teacher, a police officer, a politician, whether you’re at a football game or on Facebook, & especially when I’m driving, having our focus on the love of Jesus & everything He is teaching us through scripture, prayer & revelation is the most important thing to remember every day. The second most important thing for Love & The Outcome is to have great coffee every morning!! Jodi’s brother Graham opened a specialty coffee shop in our hometown of Winnipeg and ever since we’ve made it our mission to find the best shops in every town we visit… (Detroit is the current favorite)
Be sure to check out Love & The Outcome’s album on the 27th August. Until then, here below is their music video they made for their hit single, ‘He is With Us’.