Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage


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Overheard at the Creation Cafe :
The Buzz From 12 Top Artists

Article by Tracy Darlington
Creation band photos by C.J. Darlington

All band photos except John Cooper taken at the Creation East 2008 festival. Copyright TitleTrakk.com. All rights reserved.

When over 70 artists and bands get together in one place you know there's going to be a lot of news buzzing around. Creation East 2008 was no exception. Read on to hear about the latest and greatest from some of your favorite Christian artists.


I’ve got a new record coming out, and the title track (Laughs) is “Love Like This”. September 9th, right now, is the street date. It’s different in some ways and quite similar in others. This record is a bit more consistent, a bit more thematic. We’re talking about Love, God’s love, and different aspects of God’s love. We’re addressing issues that I could share with someone else, addressing the relationship that I have with God. There’s some worship stuff on there. It’s definitely a more pop oriented record. This time around I had the opportunity to write with a number of different people so there are more collaborative efforts on this record. It’s good stuff. We’re just lifting up the name of Jesus and talking a whole lot about His love.

John Cooper SkilletJOHN COOPER (Skillet):
We just shot our first live DVD of our Comatose tour to come out this year. It was really fun. A lot of our fans are always asking, “When are you going to come out with something live?” since some of them prefer our live performances, maybe because of our energy on stage. We are also going into the studio hopefully in September or October to record the next record. We’re doing demos right now. It’s really hard (Laughs.)

I’ve been really praying this year for God to give me renewed vision. I’ve been doing this for how many years now. I never want to get comfortable, for one, in my walk with the Lord. I want to continue to dig deeper in my relationship with Him. But also with the platform God has given me I don’t want to ever just do my thing and go home. Because my family time is so important. I don’t just go out to play concerts just to play concerts. There’s a purpose. So I was like, “Lord, what’s the new on my heart you want me to share?” I did a new record, and it’s called “Speaking Louder than Before”. I was reading in Mark where it says go out into all the nations and preach the gospel to every creature, and I was like, “Lord, what does this mean? Am I supposed to be more of an evangelist?” It was kinda one of those things where I didn’t really know what that meant at first. But God laid on my heart that I see this generation and all its hurts. Part of the title song says: Many hearts are crying, but our voices seem to be dying. Sometimes we get into this whole thing of building our own kingdoms. Whether it be the church – and I’m not a guy who bags on the church at all, I have an amazing church that I love – but sometimes as a church in general we try to build that whole thing instead of the kingdom of God. There are amazing things going on, but there are really sad things going on, too. I see that in this generation.

God laid on my heart that what I can do is be a voice, encourage this generation to in a sense speak louder than before. We’re doing a campaign that’s called “Speak Up, Speak Now, Speak Loud”. Basically it encourages people to speak up in their faith . . . there are people that go and they speak the truth, they preach at people . . . and I love to preach, I love sharing and speaking the truth, but sometimes there’s no love involved when people do that. Some people will turn off right away because there’s no love. Then there are people who will show love, but they won’t preach the truth because they don’t want to step on any toes. And my whole heart is that, if you don’t show the love of Christ, then you’re not going to get through to anybody. But the whole thing is we need to do both. Speak the truth and speak it in love. I share the gospel every night, but what else can I do? I can encourage those to really look at their life and how they are being the image of Christ.

We’re called the light of the world in Matthew 5, but are we really being the light? I’ve also been encouraging people to stay in the Word of God. That’s one of those things you see people straying away from really digging into it. That’s something that has changed my life and helped me grow – spending time in God’s Word. Equipping the saints is what we have to do. It’s not you. We’ll think, “Oh, I don’t have these great abilities, this great speech.” It doesn’t matter. Look at David, the shepherd boy. Samuel thought it was all brothers that were going to be the anointed one because they were bigger and better looking maybe. David was just a regular guy. And God was like, “That’s my anointed.” He just wants a willing heart. That’s a challenge that’s been in my heart, so I want to challenge others with it.

NewsboysPETER FURLER (Newsboys): We’re working pretty hard on our new record. You know when something happens and you get fresh inspiration, fresh revelation, whatever you want to coin it, that’s good. It’s a rock record. I mean, it’s the Newsboys. It’s got rock and the good news of Jesus in it. Hopefully it’s not cheesy. A lot of people think you head down to the Bahamas with a nice guitar and you sit under a palm tree and you just write songs. Nah. You want to swim in the water if you’re in the Bahamas! (Laughs.) What we do is we usually lock ourselves in and cover up the windows, and the music has to take you somewhere. Does that make sense? It’s part of that process of writing songs you want to sing, writing songs you want to hear. For me, we love the beach and we love to see beautiful scenery, but when you’re writing a record ... the windows in my house are covered up! (Laughs.) You can’t see outside. People wouldn’t be that impressed if they were a fly on the wall. All for a three minute song ...

BarlowgirlALYSSA BARLOW (Barlowgirl): We just finished up a Christmas album that will be out in September. It’s very “un” Barlowgirl. I hope people are ready for this. We didn’t play one instrument on the album. We worked for about a month arranging the songs. It’s all orchestral. They flew over to Prague and recorded a 68 piece orchestra. It’s beautiful. We decided to do a Christmas album to show people what we listen to, not necessarily what we play.


FlyleafPAT SEALS & SAMIR BHATTACHARYA (Flyleaf): Hopefully, if all things go according to plan, we’ll have a new record out by late fall. Maybe. We started writing songs, and we will start doing demos and recording in July and August. It’s something we’re all excited about. We’re been going several years on our first record. It was put out in October of 2005, but the songs were written much earlier than that, from when we started as a band. We don’t know if this second one’s going to be different stylistically from our last record or not. We haven’t started working hard on it. It’s kinda too soon to put a name on it. We hope it’ll be different enough and similar enough.

SwitchfootJON FOREMAN (Switchfoot): Last fall we cut like ten tracks for our new album with Charlie Peacock, and we just cut a few on our own. We’re trying to find the right avenue. We’re all excited about going to a new space as far as the music is concerned, to have maybe a little bit more of the horizon evident in every song instead of being so up front as far the perspective is concerned. We just built a new studio back home in San Diego, and that’s kinda in response to the internet and trying to figure out what to do for the next ten years, how to continue to make music we believe in and do it for years to come. We just did one of my favorite things that we do as a band – a Switchfoot Broam. The new studio is exciting. The Third Day Habitat for Humanity tour with Robert Randolph and Jars of Clay. For us right now, going back to the independent artist thing is the most exciting thing we’ve been a part of for a long time. The first three records we were with Re: Think, the next three were with Columbia, and now it feels like a clean slate again. We can be anything we want.

Thousand Foot KrutchSTEVE AUGUSTINE (Thousand Foot Krutch): My wife’s pregnant with our second child, and we’re excited.

NICK BAUMHARDT (Thousand Foot Krutch): I’m getting married in two months! Me and Tricia Brock from Superchick are engaged, and we’re getting married in August. What’s funny is, I’ll got out on the road with her sometimes when TFK doesn’t have shows, and I’ll be in the bus and we call me the “Band Wife”. (Laughs.)


Sanctus RealCHRIS ROHMAN (Sanctus Real):
My wife and I are expecting our first child. It’s going to be due in November, and we don’t know yet if it’s a boy or girl yet, but we find out in under two weeks.




LeelandJACK MOORING (Leeland): We were just on the Casting Crowns The Altar and the Door tour, which was absolutely amazing and unreal. So now we’re in a new season. We’re doing festivals this summer, but one thing we’re really excited about is that we’re doing some international stuff this year. We just went to the UK, which was incredible. We played at Frenzy Festival in Scotland. We’re going to Africa in August, our first time to the continent. We’re really, really excited about that. We’re playing a youth conference with like 30,000 kids in a soccer stadium. We’re also going to Australia this year, to the Hillsong conference. Those are some new things that are happening to us that are really fun. We’re also going to start writing for our third record later on, and going into the studio is probably a little further down the road.

Family Force 5FAMILY FORCE 5: We have a brand new album called Dance or Die coming out August 19th. It’s our second album, and it’s going to be amazing. It’s got a lot of music you can dance to. There’s a song on there called “Radiator” and it’s incredible. It has a really great beat, and it has this incredible spiritual message. I’m so excited just talking about it. Can’t you hear the excitement? The album’s apocalyptic, about the end of the world. It really is. Explosions and lasers and aliens and robots. Seriously. Dancing robots. We’ve actually been thinking for several years about some kind of movie, too. It may blend some type of animation style with live action or manga. The new album actually has somewhat of a conceptual backstory to it. Even the order of the songs is chronologically in the order of the plot of the story. We’ve come up with a synopsis for it, but it’s mainly a story set in the future. Kind of a good versus evil type of thing. Very apocalyptic. Not even on this earth. An alien versus our race type of thing. It has a huge spiritual theme throughout, and one particular character represents Christ in quite a few different ways and ends up being the final defeater of the foe at the end of the story. It’s a really cool concept we’re super excited about. We don’t want to divulge too much about it just yet. We’re nerds about stuff like this. We get more excited about the movie than anything.

Tracy DarlingtonTracy Darlington is a freelance writer, and her work has appeared in Brio, Breakaway, YS, CCM Magazine, Insight, Susie Magazine, and other publications. She has interviewed countless Christian musicians including Rebecca St. James, Delirious, Newsboys, Leigh Nash, Barlowgirl, Krystal Meyers, Joy Williams, Pillar, Michelle Tumes, and many others. In her spare time she can be found riding horses or listening to music and sipping a Venti 3-shot sugar-free vanilla latte. Visit her online at her blog where she talks about Music, God, dogs and coffee. You can also look her up at Twitter and Facebook.

C.J. DarlingtonC.J. Darlington is the award-winning authof of Thicker than Blood, Bound by Guilt, and Ties that Bind. She is a regular contributor to Family Fiction Digital Magazine and NovelCrossing.com. A homeschool graduate, she makes her home in Pennsylvania with her family and their menagerie of dogs, a cat, and a paint horse named Sky. Visit her online at her author website. You can also look her up at Twitter and Facebook.