Your Gateway to Music and More from a Christian Perspective
Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Interviewed by Jessica Heikoop
With their songs of worship, their unbelievable talent to perform as well (if not better) live as on their CD, their dedication to music and work, their morals and patent sense of humor and charm that they carry through in all they do, Starfield is one of the most welcomed bands to come into the Christian music scene.
From Winnipeg, Manitoba, the band, Tim Neufeld (lead vocals/acoustic guitar/percussion), Jon Neufeld (lead guitar/backup vocals), Dave Miller (bass guitar/lead guitar/acoustic guitar) and Adrian Bradford (drums) are quickly gaining the success and recognition that they fully deserve. Starfield has been sought after to play at Christian gatherings, conferences and festivals and are currently on a cross Canada tour. They have made appearances on Canadian television shows such as 100 Huntley Street and the Warehouse, they have played worship events such as Hear the Music (a city-wide Winnipeg event regularly attended by over 1,500 people), YC2000 (the biggest youth convention of its kind in Manitoba), and Jesus Manifest (the biggest of its kind in Canada, in which they shared headlining spot on the opening night and headlined the youth rally).
Their self-titled debut album has reached thousands of people. One song, or even one line and you'll be hooked. Filled with songs of worship, praise and devotion, their music will touch anyone who listens.
The band basically started by playing worship in church, which they say was "a natural thing." Slowly they came together as Jon joined his brother Tim and previous drummer (Dave Courtney) and they began to write their own songs. After the recording, Courtney departed, Bradford joined, and they became the band they are now, even though they started out a bit differently than most other bands.
"We did kind of a weird thing. We made the CD and then formed the band. A lot of bands play a lot of shows and stuff and then do a CD. So we did it the other way around," says Tim.
Miller produced their album, which Jon describes as, "Sort of a basic recording." He also did mixing, and was joined by Bradford for some engineering. Tim says Miller was, "Bending over backwards for us," and admits it was very difficult to produce their own work. Though their band came together quite differently, their songs basically come together like any other band.
"In some cases we'll just have one chord progression and bring it to the band and it'll take a life of its own. But in some cases we'll write a whole song and then just tour with it and keep working on it," says Jon.
And as it is expected, with any album comes a tour. Starfield is currently on the Re: Generation tour with Juno nominee Sheryl Stacey. They have been doing shows across Canada, from Manitoba to their present stops in Ontario. Though Tim admits he'd rather it be more condensed than so stretched out (with a couple full weeks of shows, then a week off), the band says it's been a lot of fun. It is their first "serious" tour. They have done some drop-in shows around the area last year, but say it was more like a vacation. With this tour, Jon says it has been more of a serious thing and, "It's been a learning experience," he continues, "We're finally getting our show together." Tim described getting together with Stacey on this tour as, "A God thing." They met at Jesus Manifest last year and, "From there maintained a relationship." They played on the Warehouse (which Stacey hosts) and started talking about a tour with her. He says, "Lots of doors opened and it just came together."
One of the main highlights of the tour so far (besides hiking, as Miller described) is just meeting people. Jon says, "The small towns have been a blast. I mean, you figure bands want to play for more people, but just playing for 50 people is awesome. They get really into it and it's like a party. And at the end of it they're praying for us and stuff." And Bradford says, "Other than having a set list, I think when you can get into that mode where you are looking past everything like playing the right notes and stuff, and you enter worship mode," is the best part of playing live. After this, the band is planning on going out to tour by them selves in September. They say they will do some Western parts, and then may do some Maritime shows in October. Other than that, they say they will work on getting more gigs and hinted at possibly starting a new album.
Though the band has been together for quite some time, Jon laughingly admits that it doesn't necessarily mean things get easier. But he says "as far as performance and getting comfortable on stage, that's going really good. But there are things about song writing and just doing show after show, it's harder and you just miss home more." Tim continues, "But I think the more we play, the more we learn."
The band has managed to stick to their own roots and sound (which is that of worship) and when asked their opinion on Christian bands, and what defines a Christian band, Jon had a few things to say. He simply states, "(A Christian band is) a band with Christian members," and continues, "There are a lot of bands like Sixpence or Lifehouse or something that go more into the secular scene. So there are bands like that, and then there are bands that do what we're doing, which is leading worship and singing worship songs. I think God values each different kind of band in a different way. I think a lot of times bands lose focus and it becomes more marketing. But I think there are a lot of bands coming out with a real heart for this generation."
And surprisingly enough, they explain how they feel Christian bands do not have it harder than secular bands. "We get a lot of corporate money. Secular bands will play a lot of bar scenes and that's just the worst thing but we get to come in to churches that have budgets and that way it's easier. We can afford to do a lot of cool things for the show with lighting and stuff. You'd think it'd be harder, but in a lot of ways it's easier. You get super support and loyalty, and this tour is unbelievable, especially with the amount of connection that you have," says Tim.
Jon continues, "As far as Christian music goes, our band is more for the Christian church and our goal is to write for that."
With the way the band works together, and manages to reach and entertain so many people through their music, we can all only hope for them to continue in the direction they are going. And as Tim simply states, which says it all, "God opens doors and we walk through them."
For more information on Starfield
visit their web site at www.starfieldonline.com.