It’s Kyle. I’m supposed to be sleeping because I need to be up at 5am tomorrow morning but only grandparents go to sleep before 12 o’clock right? I was tossing a turning in my bed when I decided I needed to listen to music. In the mood for anything I checked out my top 25 most played playlist. Guess who’s #1? ”Now That You’re Home” - Manchester Orchestra. Who would have thought right?
Those guys are a huge part of my creative process. I can remember seeing them as a Junior in high school with Brand New in 5 Points. That show changed me. I’ve always liked music and I had been playing guitar for years before but to see MO play these songs no one knew but they still stirred up so much emotion from eveyone that when Andy played their last song he just sang “I Can Feel Your Pain” by himself and no one said a word. Inversely as soon as BN stepped on stage the “I LOVE YOU JESSE!!!”s were so loud you couldn’t hear anything that he said in between songs. But every kid in that humid shotgun of a venue was screaming every word to “I Believe You But My Tommy Gun Don’t.”
I got home late that night, I don’t remember exactly what time but I knew that I wanted to be a part of that somehow. I wanted to be able to play a single chord and have every one in the room be taken to another place, not because I’m selfish or want to be put on a pedestal but because it made them happy. Now as a songwriter and singer in the band I just want people to come up to after a show and tell me they know where I’m coming from, that they’ve been feeling the same way or that they needed to hear what I just got done singing about. It’s cool that people will tell us “you guys are great I love your music” and its flattering when other bands tell us that because they know music. But the reason we drive 4 hours to a place to play 30 minutes of music is because of the words we sing. We sing about our struggles with our faith and daily walk with Jesus Christ and its our witness to everyone we play for. So when people compliment the music or the harmonies we are really grateful and glad that you like us, but I always want to ask how they feel about the content of our songs.
I told a friend of mine recently that I enjoy Andrew singing and leading musically in our ministry The Ticket Ministry because its like when I play music for The Ticket I can get wrapped up in playing guitar or singing to myself and not worry about right and wrong notes. I am free to just get sucked into worship. And when TTH plays its my way to worship a different way. I take all my frustration and doubt and self centeredness and I yell it to God in a sense. I encapsulate my fears and stumbles into these songs and I just give it up to God because his yoke is easy and I don’t need to hold on to those struggles.
We played a show last night in Brunswick, Ga with some cool bands: A Hope For Tomorrow, Me And The Trinity, Rejoice The Awakening, Ascending Heights, Seizing The Final Victory. During the show a fight broke out. Me personally I’ve never seen a fight. Somehow by the grace of God all throughout high school and junior high I was never around those things. This fight scared the crap out of me. There was choking and dragging guys out of the building and at one point this huge bear of a man wrapped up the pastor in charge of the student center that we were playing in and threw him out of the way like he was a 20 pound sand bag. The fight settled and everyone who was involved was told to go home but it was still crazy to see all that happen less than 10 feet in front of me. It made me think “why would anyone want to be around this all the time?” But that’s what I am called to do. I need to be playing in these places where its not all Christians and good times and everyone loves each other. I’m told to go and make disciples and I can’t think of a better way to use the talents God has given me and follow his instructions than playing music and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ as a band.
I’ve wanted to go on tour since we recorded our EP last fall. It used to be about just being able to say we have been on a tour. Then as we got better live it became about getting more fans and maybe getting signed. After seeing that fight and getting a wake up call about evangelism, going on tour now will definitely be a mission based thing for me.