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ďWake The DeadĒ the Family Force 5 Interview
How real are our idols?
Before I was ďborn from aboveĒ I had numerous idols. The same as yours: artists/musicians, actors, politicians? I was fortunate enough to meet several in my youth due to family associations.
When I met them I could no longer hold a normal conversation, or hold a dignified composure. I would become a little flustered, sweaty palmed and end up just asking for their autograph in a stumbling mortal-meets-god manner.
I will always remember becoming insanely jealous when a friend of mine was given a ticket to see The Cure on the Gold Coast (Australia) where I lived. They didnít even know who they were, yet got invited back stage. Robert Smith ended up giving this Philistine a dub plate of an up-coming release.
Oh the injustice.
One of my favorite bands of all times is Midnight Oil, and when lead singer Peter Garret became a Christian I though I heard all the angels in heaven and on earth rejoice at such a wondrous event.
Bono (yes that Bono) even called Peter his six-foot angel.
So even those close to God love him.
I met Master, I mean Mister Garret just over a year ago. It was fantastic to meet one of my idols after so many years. What I found talking with him is the one thing I have in common with all my idols Ė just how ďnormalĒ they are.
Cut them and they bleed . . . blood!
They sweat and smell just like us mere mortals. What they seem to epitomize is our innate desire to worship.
Now that I have met the real God these folks are just amazing people to me now. People with great stories, and as a rule understand their position and influence they now weald in the world.
I now love meeting them and talking (still with clammy hands sometimes) about the seemingly mundane and important Ė cars, sport, family, etc.
I recently had the pleasure of having the guys of Family Force 5 stay with my family for several days during their Australian tour. We tried to treat them to home cooking, boring conversations and Australian humor. The later being the real treat. Most Americans donít get it, but these Southern boys got it, mostly ; ).
One thing I am painfully aware of now is the influence, great or small, we all have and our responsibility to hear and recognise Godís voice speaking to us. Not only to hear His voice but to obey it. And add to that is the fact that most times the passions we have are not generated by our own will, but have been planted in us by the Spirit of God. I think this applies to both believers and un-believers. The only difference being that a believer should hopefully recognise it as a God given passion and all the results of it are for His glory alone.
Spending time with these Southerners I started asking myself these questions: What is my passion? Where is God in all this? What is the church to me?
Watching these guys I wondered what they thought of these questions?
So I asked them.
Boynton: Back home, church; what is that for you?
Solomon "Soul Glow Activatur" Olds: We rarely get to go to church because most of the time weíre on the road. But our good friend Chap Stique over here he has a good saying itís, ďSometimes church isnít really held in buildings; itís where you fellowship with people, itís the way you minister to each other; itís in your own quiet time.Ē
But when we do get together we go to our church in Atlanta. Chap Stick, he lives out in L.A. so I donít know where he goes to church now.
Derek "Chap Stique" Mount: I go to a church called Ecclesia, but they call it Eclasia (ec-la-seea). But I still call it Ecclesia.
Itís awesome. Itís very proactive in the community. Itís got lota really incredible goals that itís trying to do; getting involved with like human trafficking, stuff like that.
Boynton: There is a guy called Reggie McNeal, who wrote a book called __The Present Future__. In it he talks about how the church is changing from being a club, which you join, by putting in your tithe, and obey all their rules, to the church that is going out in to the community. He gave an example of a church which built itsí building and gave it back to the community, and they borrow it back on Sunday.
What are you finding with the kids out there, your fans, are they looking for the same sort of thing? A community rather than a sort of club?
Chap Stique: You talking bout America?
Soul Glow Activatur: Yeah, I think the idea of a building and church, itís pretty nice. Itís worked for quite a while. The United States we are a very, very Christian nation.
But thereís a lot of people that are very turned off by that, by the organised religion of it all.
What we would like to offer to people is a way to see Jesus other than the church. Thereís people out there that are, you know, who are totally in love with Jesus. Weíre not pastors in the pulpit, but weíre on a stage with guitars, having a good time. Not that we are the most incredible evangelists at all, but I like to think that that we are the only Jesus that kids get to see sometimes.
Boynton: Yeah yeah, Iíve always thought that we have made that distinction between Church and State, and now we have also made it in our lives between our career, or our work, or our hobby and Church you know. So you are trying to pull that between you and the guys so they can see what you are really like.
But that church Ecclesia, what are some of the things they are doing over there?
Chap Stique: I think that church, but also just a lot in general especially out West are really trying to get involved with some social concerns.
I mean for so long the church has been more about theology than it has about actually impacting the community.
Our minister is really cool. He is a film maker, and heís just made this movie called ďCall and ResponseĒ, and itís really just creating awareness about a lot of the horrible human trafficking thatís taking place, and the selling of children in to the escort services; the horrendous stuff thatís taking place. ( http://www.callandresponse.com/)
Thereís this thing called the justice league at our church that generates awareness around town, and weíre trying to go into some of those places where that happens, and try to shut it down and buy these kids out of slavery.
Itís just funny how we feel like weíve abolished slavery and if you really look at the numbers thereís actually more happening right now than ever in the world. Itís really encouraging to see the church becoming, like you said, a community, rather than a place where people go to get filled up.
I think the goal of a lot of the new progressive churches is to really impact community and realise that we can actually do something, and rather than putting money in an offering plate thatís going to pay for electricity and those really fancy stained glass windows, we send a lot of that money to people that donít have water, and try to dig wells and stuff like that.
Itís so encouraging to see that when you actually get behind a cause you can actually make a difference.
Boynton: It is interesting to note that a couple of bands are getting behind that sort of thing, like Jars of Clay and their Blood Water Mission, and Chris Tomlin has just gotten behind the Baby Watoto home in Uganda.
Do you guys ever see yourselves as ever wanting to do something like that as a band? Are you involved in anything like that as a band?
Joshua "Phatty" Olds: Yeah, we actually starting of kinda small right now. We want to get into sponsoring children and stuff. But right now we have a business manager in Nashville that kinda helps us with all our money stuff, and he goes out and he finds families that are in need of their rent being paid, or their kids need clothing or school books or what ever you know, and families that are in need of financial help, and he takes a portion of what we would tithe from our ministry and he gives it to those families.
So weíre slowly getting into that and we would like to make it bigger, just keep growing it, but weíre starting off slow right now.
Boynton: And of course you three brothers: family, Dad was a Jazz musician, Mum an Opera singer: So do you feel youíre pretty much ďpre-destinedĒ to do this?
Soul Glow Activatur: Nope, they forced us. (lots of laughter)
Phatty: Take over the family business son.
Solomon: No, itís something that we wanted to do. I mean itís obviously in our blood, but itís something that we all have a very strong passion to do, and itís something that we always just felt like it was a calling on our lives.
We would probably be doing this if we donít make any money, or if we do make money. Itís just something I love to do, and I think it something that probably happens for every guy in this band.
This is our job. I canít quit now. Iím thirty now you know, Iím over the hill. (Laughter) I canít do anything else with my life.
Boynton: So where does that leave Nathan then? The ďold manĒ of the band.
Nathan "Nadaddy" Currin: Same thing. I just reached that point a couple of years ago thatísí all.
Phatty: No heís the one that helps us to get through it when we hit the wall when we realise that thereís nothing else for us now but this. (Laughter)
Boynton: So Nate what do you do when you are not playing in the band? Do you go to church with the guys here?
Nadaddy: I go to a church called North Point Community Church. A guy called Andy Stanley started. (Andy co- authored a book along with Reggie Joiner, and Lane Jones called ďSeven Practices of Effective LeadersĒ written as a parable about the complicated life of a local pastor. The church has also released several well received worship albums)
I usually am on the road. Church for me is usually listening and watching his podcasts, there awesome so; thank God for Max and his awesome Podcast ability, and the Internet and all that.
Usually I would watch that and take notes on Microsoft Word and learn the best I can. Usually, a Bible is not close and thereís Bible on-line as well on my computer so thereís a lot there that helps me out.
As far as my relax time at home, I usually, for me my getaway time is on my motorcycle, just going it, and just riding it and itís just me and my helmet and God and beautiful creation.
Soul Glow Activatur: He is in a motorcycle gang. Donít let him forget to tell you about that.
Phatty: The gang!
Nadaddy: It went from peaceful therapeutic time with God in thought to like the whole hell raising antics in my motorcycle gang.
Soul Glow Activatur: Thatís his church.
Nadaddy: What Solomon is talking about is what he envisions me doing when I go riding. Pretty far from reality.
Chap Stique: That would be a cool music video.
Nadaddy: I guess Iíll have to try it sometime and Iíll bring Solomon along.
Soul Glow Activatur: Yep. Weíll be a part of your gang dude.
Nadaddy: A two person gang.
Boynton: Individually, have you got your own passions that you are interested in? Iíll start with you Solomon and work my way around. Is there something really close to your heart that you would like to see happen through you or God place something on you or?
Soul Glow Activatur: Yeah, my passion has always been music. Itís always been there but Iíd like to get into, as far as something that I would like to delve deeper into is producing other acts and stuff.
I really love doing work with Family Force 5 and I also love working on other peopleís albums, and be doing different kinds of music also. Itís bluegrass or rap or itís whatever.
A big hero of mine is Rick Reuben. Heís an incredible producer. Heís produced everything from heavy metal to the Dixie Chicks to whatever.
Thatís a kind of a passion of mine to try and work on other peopleís music to because I want to help other people build their dreams too, like weíre building all of our dreams.
Boynton: Because you are your own label, arenít you?
Soul Glow Activatur: Yes sir. We put it all out ourselves and fund it all ourselves. Itís hard. Itís hard work but itís pretty rewarding when you get that $10 cheque in the mail.
Boynton: And made it all worthwhile.
Soul Glow Activatur: Weíre making tens and tens of dollars.
Boynton: Josh what about you?
Phatty: I donít know. I just enjoy being around people, helping people. I do, would like to, on my own to get into sponsoring children. Iím learning about that. And maybe take a couple of mission trips over to different places. You always hear people talk about how other countries are suffering in their area but you never get to see it first-hand and some of the stuff. And itís not a reality or you donít even think about it until youíre actually there, you know, until itís like dead in front of you. So Iíd like to do some stuff like that.
Other than that, like in my off time away from these guys I like fiddle around with cars and fix them up.
Boynton: Any particular car?
Phatty: I kind of like old hot rod stuff. Me and Nate have gone through all phases, newer cars, older cars. Itís just a hobby that I enjoy doing.
Boynton: Jacob what about you mate?
Jacob "Crouton" Olds: Iíd like to have a clothing line one day.
Soul Glow Activatur: Iíd buy it.
Crouton: And maybe have a corporate clothing line, and like a Family Force 5 line. I think that would be really cool to develop in America, have go out.
And Iíd love to go and live in Japan for some time.
And may be, I donít know, find out about sinus infection so I can (Laughter) help the world because I get Ďem all the time. Start a foundation for that cause I donít know whatís going on with my sinus infection but Iíve certainly had my share of em.
Boynton: Nathan what about you?
Nadaddy: Like Josh said, Iím a (interrupted by the P.A. announcing the delay in a Sydney flight broadcast in the best Australian accent I have heard for a while. All that was missing was the ďCrikey mate, sorry itís late!!Ē).
Like Josh said, weíre both pretty much car guys. Iíve always had, even since I was a little kid, Iíve always been a passionate guy about motor sports and racing and stuff like that. At some point, either while I am in the band, or after maybe, I would love to start a race team of my own and use it more of, not just a race team; thereís just a huge racing community that all travel. They never able to get to go to church on the weekends a lot of them. Theyíre a lot like musicians. They stay a lot of the time on the road. They have to work really really hard to try to make ends meet.
They donít get a lot of like social time. Stuff like that. And they donít get to meet a whole lot of new people. They see the same people that they see every weekend. Itís a smaller, kind of closed community that really doesnít get reached a whole lot. And I would love to be a person that could be a light in that whole racing world that really really needs some type of Jesus to be in there and for people to see Him.
Boynton: Itís funny, thatís what we think the music industry is like that!
Nadaddy: Itís true! Nah, just kidding.
Derek, what about you?
Chap Stique: As far as like causes I am passionate about, thereís a lot.
But right now Iím really excited about trying to do something with the human trafficking stuff. I have a blog on a site called theonelove.org/chapstique. Every time people go to any of our pages that blog on there it generates money for a certain cause.
Mine is this thing called ďInternational SanctuaryĒ (http://www.isanctuary.org) which help with the victims of trafficking.
I just think that itís a really really powerful issue right now, because itís so under the radar. Itís something I didnít know much about.
As far as other passions go, I really like space. I think it would be awesome to travel in space . . .
Boynton: Go Star Trekking?
Chap Stique: I think that would be incredible!
Iím really into guitar! I would love to get more time to learn different styles of guitar. Start practicing more and shredding.
Other than that, I really like Badminton and American Football. I love America Football. Passionate about that.
Gridiron, as you guys call it.
Boynton: I suppose the really big question is, would you hang around with Sam if he wasnít your tour manager?
Chap Stique: Sam is awesome.
Nadaddy: All these questions led up to that.
Thatís it. Thanks guys.
Our hope is to leave some sort of legacy, something to remember us by. Our desire is driven by our passion for God, and this passion is evident in our desire to see His glory revealed in us.
These guys all have a passion evidenced in lives by the desire to help others.
They also have a great attitude and are loads of fun to be with. And noting that, a great orator once said that, "Listening to Family Force 5 is like lighting a cluster of firecrackers in your mouth," (Chap Stique)
27th January 2009