My Interview with Exodus

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Exodus is one of four campus praise bands at Liberty University.   The band members are committed Christ followers who lead worship at churches throughout America every weekend.  They also play at various convocations at Liberty University.  These guys have used their passion and talent for music to bring glory and honor to God through worship music.  The band produces original material as well as sings modern praise music.
Since this band genuinely wants to lead praise for God and not themselves, I thought it would be beneficial to learn more about their involvement in Exodus.  I had the opportunity to talk with band members Travis, Justin, and Andrew.  Here is what they had to say:

History of Exodus

Exodus is 1 of 4 campus praise bands at Liberty University. Tell me the purpose of the campus praise bands.

(Travis) The Ministry Team Exist to encourage others in worship, while promoting Liberty University.

Why/When was Exodus started?

(Travis) Like all ministry teams, Exodus was birthed out of a vision to see students use ministry as a means to promote Liberty. It was started in 1997-98. Originally it was a vocal group that sang to tracks!

I have learned that you must try out to get into the campus praise band. What were try outs like for each of you?

(Travis)  My try-out stretched my musical limits and fulfilled its purpose and letting the leadership know what my musical abilities were.
(Andrew) I tried out three times… each time I felt as though I didn’t do as I could’ve but I guess that’s the nature of things…

(Justin) Auditions were a rigorous process. I was quite nervous at my audition

What are the requirements to get into the band?

(Travis)  Humble heart of service and worship, a commitment to Christ and His call, a passion for Liberty and willingness to promote the school, a certain degree of musical competency.
(Justin)  The department is looking for a quality musician who loves the Lord and loves to worship. They are also looking for someone who will gel with the other members

How many people tried out for Exodus?

(Travis)  BETWEEN ON-CAMPUS AND CFAW AUDITIONS, APROX. 1000-1500 PEOPLE TRY OUT EVERY YEAR FOR MINISTRY TEAMS. THEY ARE PLACED ON TEAMS AS POSITIONS OPEN UP. THE LEADERSHIP PLACES STUDENTS ON THE TEAM THEY SENSE WILL BE THE BEST FIT FOR THEM AND FOR THE TEAM ON A WHOLE.

Musical Experience

When did each of you start playing your particular instrument?
(Travis) I’ve been playing the keys since I was a kid. I’ve been playing ‘seriously’ for maybe 12 years.
(Justin) I was about 13 years old.
(Andrew) I started about 5 years ago… i played piano when i was younger but didn’t keep up with it
I chose guitar cause my friends played bass and drums… just worked out that way.  I guess
just guitar… unless guitar hero is a different instrument

Why did you choose to play that instrument?

(Travis)  Loved the sound as a child, always enjoyed learning the mysteries of music theory that are so easily realized in the nature of how the keyboards is configured as an instrument.
(Justin) The bass guitar always came across to me as a very powerful instrument. I was just always drawn to it.

What other instruments do you guys play?

(Travis)  I started off playing the drums for 5 years.  I also play the guitar some, but usually just to write with, not in the public.
Justin) I play a little piano, drums, and saxophone.

Touring

Exodus tours every weekend at a different church. What is it like playing at a different church every weekend?

(Travis) It’s a blessing and exciting to see God at work across our nation.  Every Weekend is different. We Learn a lot on how to serve the needs of different congregations.
(Justin) It is a great experience. I really enjoy visiting and being a part of multiple parts of Christ’ body. It’s interesting to see how they are all unique but yet all have similarities. It seems like everywhere you go, all people have certain things in common.

What church or churches have you enjoyed playing at the most?

(Travis) The most enjoyable churches are those who have been taught how to worship. It’s easy to lead a group of believers who come with anticipation, ready to engage and respond to the living God corporately as a continuation and culmination of the worship they have been living out Mon-Sat
(Andrew) My favorite churches are the small ones because the people are just on fire for Christ and it’s refreshing to feel that heat

Besides going to churches, you also play at various concerts and conferences. Tell me about some of your favorite concerts and conferences you have played at.

(Travis) College conferences are always enjoyable because it’s great to play for our peers. The E-Women Conferences with Charles Billingsley are so much fun just because of who Charles is and the seasoned gifts he brings to the stage. We’ve Learned a lot from being under His leadership. He is a great servant of God and a fantastic support to our ministry.  It’s great to be able to lead and play with our worship pastor.

I have heard that you guys might be touring this summer. When will this summer tour start? What places will you tour?

(Travis)The rumors are true. We’ve all signed contracts to go to Hume Lake Christian Camp, which is actually the largest Christian camp in North America. We will be there as the house band June 1-August 10. We’re looking forward to the ministry God has awaiting us there. We’re excited to serve their vision out there at Hume.

The Album

You recently put out a 5-track EP. What songs are on this c-d?

(Travis)  The EP has three songs: “Awesome is The Lord Most High”, “Break Free”, “The Highest and the Greatest.

Where can you go to buy this EP?

I-Tunes, Our Dept (www.Liberty.edu/Ministryteamss), or through the LU book store.

When did this EP come out?

(Travis)November 2007

When will the full album come out?

(Travis) April 2008

Your favorite music

What are some your favorite bands and why?

(Travis)  These Days I am really enjoying Sarah Barielles. Mostly because I am a pop fan. I dig the new Jimmy Eat World, The new Angels and Airwaves and the new Phil Wickham Release. Band wise, I have always loved the Beatles, U2, Fleetwood Mac, Maroon Five, and Cold Play.   All for different reason, but mostly because all of these bands are masters at writing pop hooks melodically and lyrically.
(Justin) U2, Peter Gabriel, Delirious?- incredible music and sounds have come from these artists. They each have a certain “larger-than-life” quality to them. Their music is very majestic.

What are some of your musical influences?

(Travis)  Bo Dylan, Paul Simon, Twila Paris, Michael Card, Darlene Zschech and her team at Hillsong church, Annie Lennox, Paul McCartney, John Mayer, Peter Gabriel, Delirious?, Tim Hughes, Switch Foot, THE Police, Foo Fighters, Stevie Wonder, Sara Groves, Muse, Feist, Embrace, Desperation band, Paul Baloche, Beck, Campus Praise Band @ LU.
(Justin) U2, Beatles, Delirious?

What style of music do you guys like most/least?

(Travis) I’m resolved to listen for the good in all music. I can’t think of any particular style I dislike. I try to listen to anything and everything.

To learn more about Exodus visit the following websites:  http://www.liberty.edu/ministryteams/ and http://www.myspace.com/exodusband

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