Hey Micah. First off I just want to say thank you for taking the time to answer each and every one of these questions for our readers here at Indie Vision Music.
You guys have a new album coming out that is a concept album. What inspired you to do something that ambitious? And was there anyone in particular who came up with the subject of the lyrics or is that a group effort?
Yes, the new album is indeed a concept album (a full story from start to finish). Actually for the first couple of songs that we wrote I had no plans for a concept album. It wasn’t until I was working on the lyrics to the song “Son of the Morning” when the idea for a concept album hit me and when I presented the idea to the rest of the guys, they were all on-board 100%. I head up the lyric department in the band but everyone has put input in at one time or another that has changed the direction of lyrics and has inspired some of our favorite parts. Although I write the majority of the lyrics, they wouldn’t be what they are today without the continued support and encouragement of the other guys in the band.
You guys constantly seem to attempt to break away from what your peers are doing too. Is this something you are consciously trying to do? For example, a lot of bands may focus their songs around a breakdown but you guys don’t seem to do that. Is there a goal in mind when the band comes together to write a song?
Haha I’m glad you noticed that! When we get together to create music we honestly just want to write music that WE as a band would want to listen to. We don’t believe that a breakdown is the most important part of a song. There are breakdowns in every song of the new album, but we didn’t and will not ever write songs around breakdowns. We feel like it is more important to have a song that flows intelligently musically than to just riddle it with nonsensical breakdowns. As far as lyrical direction is concerned, we also don’t want to add to the already over-saturated market of “I’m in love with a girl songs” or “I was betrayed by a girl songs”. What we would like to convey to the listener through this album is encouragement, strength, and inspiration to rise up and be a conquerors in their life. A fight-song-soundtrack to a present-day warrior’s life.
How often do people criticize the lyrics without really trying to understand or grasp the spiritual messages?
Haha DAILY! but it doesn’t bother me, it’s not going to make me write any different either. We write music for people who want to dive deeper and actually read-into and discover their own connection to the songs. Everything that is written lyrically for this band is showered in prayer and I believe that God has the power to reach people through it… if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be in this band.
Are all members of the band Christian? And what does it mean to you guys to be a Christian band?
We are all in different places in our spiritual lives and I don’t want to speak on behalf of everyone else on something so personal. I can, however, speak for myself on this. I am a Christian but I am not religious. I believe in a very close and personal relationship with Christ and hope to portray through our lyrics what having this relationship with God really is. It’s a constant battle and a fight against your own body to stay pure and focused… it’s the hardest thing I have ever tried to do. It is in no way just a set of practices or a weekly church service. It is a day by day, minute by minute, second by second decision to put the glory of God before the glory of yourself and to be watchful for the an enemy who never sleeps. When I became a Christian this was not made apparent to me and I was told that everything was just going to work out and make sense if I accepted Christ. That wasn’t the case with me, everything became 1000 times more complicated as I fully realized conviction in my heart and and with this band I want to prepare people for that or at least reach out to people who are experiencing what I felt and encourage them that there is a horizon of understanding in front of them, it just requires training and an actual pursuit of God’s heart to achieve it.
Describe a moment when you realized the Lord was going to do some awesome things in this band?
Haha, ummm other than everything working out so obviously un-coincidentally and orchestrated… I’d probably have to say when we received a picture of our first Oh, Sleeper tattoo. A We Are The Archers chest piece. I was amped out of my mind and it was proof to me that God had used the music to speak to that person in a way so personal and unique, in a way that only He could. Since then I have had countless talks, emails, and other accounts that continue to assure me that God is alive and working through this music.
In your music video (We Are The Archers) you made before When I Am God was released your vocals sounded quite a bit different. Was this a conscious change in technique/style or did it just evolve this way?
Hahahaha, actually that was because We Are The Archers was only the second song that I had EVER recorded screaming vocals on and it was pretty much just a single take all the way through. I had no idea what I was doing (still don’t, to be honest haha) over the past few years, I’ve tried to explore and develop my vocals to accommodate and grow with our music.
Have any fans ever approached you guys after a show and told them how one of your songs touched their life? Elaborate.
Yes, and it is the best feeling in the world. Seriously, all can be going wrong with my day and I can be completely drained by a tour and the second someone approaches me and wants to talk about a song and how God has touched their life through it, it completely makes WHATEVER was bringing me down disappear and recharges me for another day. It really means the world to us.
How have the finances on touring and album sales been treating you guys? Do you consider yourselves relatively successful?
Hmmm, well I will put it this way. If you start a band and go on tour with your goal set to make money, you are a complete idiot. haha, don’t mean to sound harsh but it’s 100% true. You have to play music because you love music or because you love what your music is doing for people, any other reason and you will find yourself lacking. After 3 years in this band and a total of about 12 years accumulatively playing music, I am JUST NOW at the point where I can pay my bills and make about the same amount as I was making working at IHOP during the writing of WIAG. haha. true story.
Have you ever had any big disagreements on tour that made things difficult for a little while? How were things resolved and how long did it take?
I am really blessed to be in a band with a bunch of mature guys. We all strive to have as little drama between each other as possible. Whenever there is a disagreement we just try to settle it like grown men and talk about it, sometimes it takes a few days to cool down though. haha.
What is your favorite town to play in?
Fort Worth, Texas!!
Were there any last words you wanted to share with your fans? Any pray requests you guys have as a band?
To all of our Archers, I just want to say thank you. You all mean the world to us and we cant wait for you guys to hear the new CD!
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions Micah!
Thanks for the interest and the opportunity!
-Micah Kinard / Oh, Sleeper