2008 Highlights: Leeland interview

In September we brought you our first interview witha big American Christian band, Leeland (whose new album Opposite Way is pretty class by the way if you a looking for worship with a bit of a rocky edge to it). Jack morring took time to answer a few questions for us, and as part of our highlights of 2008 series here’s another chance to read it:

* First off, for the benefit of those who don’t know, who makes up the band?
Leeland Mooring – Lead Vocals/Guitar
Matt Campbell – Lead Guitar
Mike Smith – Drums
Jake Holtz – Bass
Jack Mooring – Keyboards/Vocals

* Which  band member has the most annoying habit?
We all have equally annoying habits. Mike is late quite a bit. Jack acts like the band Mom. Jake sings annoying random songs all the time and won’t stop. Leeland leaves his debit card a lot. Matt talks a lot and it’s usually kind of loud. That’s the dirt on all of us.

* When  and how did you guys first meet?
We met at Church about five years ago. The band started in our youth group. Oh… and we met Mike in IHOP.(The pancake place.)

* Have  you been inspired by any other bands?
Many. Coldplay, Delirious, U2, Travis… Pretty much any band with great melodies.

* Did  you always set out to be a Christian band as opposed to a band of
Christians?
We think that both of those descriptions go hand in hand. We started this band to as our expression of worship to God.  And we really look at this as a ministry more than just a band.

* Your  latest album is called Opposite  Way  in what ways do you as a band strive to go  the opposite way to modern culture?
Modern culture tends to teach us to just focus on ourselves. The biggest way to go the “opposite way” is just to love others and care for them more than yourself.

* As a band most of you are rather young  – have you had problems with older folk  not taking you seriously because of your youth, and what advice do you have for the people reading this who are in their teens and feel they are too young to make a difference?
The biggest problem is Rental Car companies charging us that underage fee. It starts to add up! haha… On a serious note though, we’ve been really blessed to not experience opposition. People have been really open to our ministry even though we’re young. Our parents have always told us we can do whatever God says we can do. And we believed it. That would be my biggest advice to young adults. If you dream the biggest dream ever… God’s probably got a bigger one for you. God doesn’t care about age!

* Do you find most of your fans are in their teens/twenties, or do you have older fans? And do you have many non-Christian fans?
We actually have a really broad age in our fans. We have 40 year olds as well as pre-teens that have connected with our music. That’s always been really encouraging for us to see.

* My personal favourite song of yours is Tears of the Saints. In your
experience, has the church done enough weeping on behalf of the ‘lost and unsaved’? How can we ‘lead them home’?
There’s two main parts to evangelism. 1) Having God’s heart for the lost. That’s where the weeping comes in. We need to feel that compassion that God feels. 2)This is the most important part. Actually doing something with that compassion! It’s easy to see a need, but it’s a lot harder to really be the light this world needs. We believe the church can do both!

* How do you keep yourselves humble while in a high profile band?
Our wives and families are really good about keeping us in our place. They’re not impressed with “fame” or anything like that. They just support us and love us… but they’ll also tell us the truth when we need to hear it.

* Have you had any one performance or song that really stands out to you as being your most inspirational?
This is a tough question. For me, it was the first Harvest Crusade we played. There was 50,000 people there at Anaheim Stadium. We played Tears of the Saints while people were responding to the Gospel message. The whole outfield was full of people getting saved. It was pretty special to be apart of that.

* What is the most important message do you want young Christians to pick up from your songs?
That God loves us. And our response to that love should be to give our lives fully to Him.

* Finally, what does it mean to you to live All4God?

Caring more about his desires than ours. Putting him in the middle of everything in our lives. Our job, family, school, hobbies, eating, driving… doing it all for Him and IN Him.

Learn more the author of this post:

Pete McM

The original founder of All4God, Pete is 26, lives in Northern Ireland, is a junior doctor, Ulster fan and is passionate about Jesus