Sons of God Interview
[Check Out on Myspace]
Conducted by Brandon Jones for Indie Vision Music
So tell me a little bit about the formation of Sons of God. How did the band come about, where did you get the name and what significance does it have? Where are you guys located? Originally it was a solo project of mine that I intended to be a band, but early on it was so difficult to get members with a similar mindset artistically and spiritually. I had just flown out to play bass for As I Lay Dying and it didn’t pan out, so naturally I was bummed and thus started writing more. I was living in Atlanta at the time, and was working with a hip-hop rockabilly rocker dude named Alex Trackstar and he came up with the name. I believe it was prophetic really because we’ve really grown in to the name and the implications that come with a name so bold.
Prior to Sons of God, what band or bands were you a part of? How did those experiences shape you as a musician and leader of Sons of God? Oh man, this is a question I almost despise answering because of its extent. I’d played with/filled in/toured with Mourning September, Brighten, The Tide, Terminal, Chasing Victory, Spoken, So Long Forgotten, The Wedding, As I Lay Dying among others. Each experience shaped me so much, I can’t even begin to express how each of these experiences really stretched and grew me. It was either humbling because I couldn’t cut it, encouraging because I was writing with phenomenal musicians, or short lived because of an unbelievable amount of circumstances; I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything different. As far as the leadership aspect, it exposed me to a lot of “what not to do” ideals and decisions in all honesty, that’s probably what I take away most from it all.
What reasons did you have for starting Sons of God? What inspired you to create the band and write the music that is found on the Genesis Prologue? It just seemed natural to keep writing and trying to grow myself as an artist, I haven’t ever really felt there was anything else I could be doing that I had a niche for quite like I did with music. I always wanted to help people, reach people, speak to their heart, show them someone cares, show them that because of my imperfections we can relate, and have brothers that would last for a lifetime – those are all adequate reasons that come to mind. The thought process has changed from simply being a band that wanted to be huge, to now, “Lord have your way,” and that is a vast difference. The inspiration for TGP was humanity, a flowing of the Holy Spirit to be as honest as I could and to let him do the rest. Sometimes I feel dry, and sometimes like a giant, Doubt and Manipulators really confront that personal conviction of the heart of any man or woman. Caution is just a call to be bold and abolish the mindset of what Dietrich Bonhoeffer refers to as “Cheap Grace.”
You hooked up with the small east coast ministry of Come & Live, how has that experience been so far? Anything you’d like to share? Are you a fan of any of their other artists? It’s been amazing, it’s way more of a family than a label. It’s not a team of A&R and PR Departments biding to figure out our target market and how to sell our records to those markets. It’s just a bunch of dudes that care for us like brothers, that want the best for us, that want to help us in any and every way they can. We spend hours in prayer with them, we spend hours a week talking to them about things aside from business, they are just – family. Though we’ve not seen a gigantic response or a massive support effort, I believe more than just about anything that it’s only a matter of time; I think Come&Live! is going to blow the doors off of the music industry.
I’m a HUGE fan of So Long Forgotten, I am also very close with those gentlemen, it is a delight to know such wonderful guys. Also Ascend The Hill is wonderful, those are just a couple of my fav’s.
You’ve recently filled out your ranks with new members. Do you care to list those members and their duties? Absolutely, I’m so humbled and blessed to get to say I’m in a band with these guys, it’s seriously an honor. Alex Rust plays Guitar/BGV’s, Jacob Bundren is on Bass/BGV’s, Kyle Laster on Guitar/BGV’s and Jordan McGee is on the Drums and BGV’s. Extremely talented young men, and even better friends! 3 live in NC, 1 in Alabama and myself in OK. It’s wild how it worked out and how we make it work, but it does!
Do you have any touring plans scheduled for 2010? How serious do you intend to make Sons of God in the new year? Since 2010 is so close, and we as a full lineup are so new, our plans tend to remain discrete until closer to the fall. There’s talk of a short run in the summer, but we are focusing on getting ourselves ready for the fall and writing a full-length that is worth the wait everyone has had to put up with. It’s our full intention to play 160+ shows a year, release a handful of records and then some! I can finally say with confidence, expect us to be in your area, and expect a full length this coming year.
What has been your impression of the Christian marketplace and how do you see yourselves fitting into it? My impression of the Christian marketplace is probably best left unsaid, for many reasons. I see ourselves fitting outside the confines of a designated market because of two reasons, one being you can hardly be bold and say what NEEDS to be said in the Christian Market and not get scolded for it i.e. Derek Webb and two no matter what kind of message we try to get across to “secular” audiences it’s most likely going to be controversial and/or dubbed as religion. I’m perfectly fine with the unknown of where we might fit in the midst of all that.
What role does “Faith” play in the formation of songs and the creation of music between you guys? Do you feel your faith plays a deeper role in shaping your creativity than say just some pop punk band singing about their hearts getting ripped out by some girl (typical cliche)? I’d say without faith, there wouldn’t be any songs. We do this only because we feel this is exactly what we are supposed to do and we absolutely love it, and I thoroughly believe that none of us are capable of what has been done or will be done without the Holy Spirit having his way. I was talking to my good friend Dennis Jernigan the other day and he described himself as a “song-receiver” and it dawned on me that I’m precisely that; I think that speaks for each of us as well.
Musically, what inspires you the most when it comes to the creativity aspect of your music, such as what bands are you really into or do you look up to the most? I said in a previous interview that an “epic” value to music always draws me in and so I’ve always wanted our sound to embody just that. I’ve always felt bands like U2, Queen, Genesis, Silverchair, Radiohead, The Police and others have done that adequately and ferociously well. More recent groups like Thrice, Coldplay, Dredg, Muse, Blindside, Margot & The Nuclear So & So’s, Sleeping At Last among others have also always peaked my listening fancies. Beyond music as a source of inspiration, circumstances almost always move me; injustice, poverty, greed, selfishness, pain, those will forever mark me and move me to the core. Hurt stirs within me some of the best material that I get, but not to be shadowed by good things like love, giving, selflessness, joy, and a slew of other things. Humanity will always be the ink in my pen.
If you could pick a dream tour to go out with, who would it be? What bands do you see yourself touring with in the near future? I would kill to tour with Thrice, man would I love that. Leeland, Phil Wickham, Hillsong United, Blindside, Dredg, Manchester Orchestra, Dignan, Deas Vail, The Rocket Boys, All The Day Holiday, Farewell Flight, Sleeping At Last, Mew, Keane, man I this could go on and on.
Name your top 5 albums of the year, what really moved you? Favorite bands of the moment? This is, without a doubt, the HARDEST question for me to ever answer. So, with that being said these are simply some of my favorites because I’m bound to forget some. The new Deas Vail is brilliant, Staggerford put out a gorgeous record this year as well. My friends in Progress In Color have a wonderful record waiting to be released. So Long Forgotten, just an unbelievably good record. Relient K’s new effort is extremely well written and beautifully produced. The Avett Brothers never put out a bad record. Yet again, I run the risk of just going on and on so I’ll leave it at that.
What is your favorite unsigned band of the moment? Any suggestions for our readers? Probably Staggerford, they are an awesome band out of Nebraska that I am in love with, definitely check them out. Also Farewell Flight, been at it for a long time and people need to hear them, because they are such a good band!
What was the recording process like for The Genesis Prologue? Where was it recorded? It was stressful really, due to travel arrangements and studio arrangements it was altogether exhausting and rushed. I was in between tours with Spoken and had 5 days to do the 3 songs and went in with 2 ready and prepared and the other kind of waiting to see where it would go. So, with what we had I’m very pleased but I’ll disclaim that it’s not precisely what I had in mind. It was recorded in North Carolina with my good friend Drew Faulk and Jared Fox mixed and mastered. The mixing process was a debacle of file transfers gone wrong numerous times so it took about 4 months too long, no kidding. But, it all came together and I’m overall pleased.
When shall we expect a full length to be completed? A dark record, in tone, feel and subject matter. I sense a lot of mystery and unknown to be explored that even I’m not completely prepared for. I keep getting little ideas here and there, and they all shock me at their depth in texture and feel and all I can think to accompany is darkness; not an evil darkness, rather a mysterious dark. We will capture power in this, of that I’m very confident, and I hope it is interpreted to the listener as just that.
Will the full length be released on Come & Live also? I can’t imagine anything we will do from this point forward not being through or with C&L!
Well that about wraps up this interview. Thanks for answering my questions. If there are any prayer requests you might have, please let us know. Also feel free to leave us with any additional info you might have. Take care and God Bless!
We all really make an effort to be transparent to all, so I really ask that we can continue that attitude throughout all of this. I can’t thank you all enough for your continued support, I always love getting to interact with indievision and am so thankful for the kind words expressed in past months. To close, due to circumstances out of our hands the EP will most likely be pushed back once again and to that I say, don’t hold your breath but the day will indeed come. Keep being patient with us, you all are amazing!