Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Artist Exclusive: 1-on-1 with Covenant31 and BlogTraveler Deb

About Covenant31
Get Covenant31's Latest Single on iTunes today!

If you want to hear some fresh music for the new year that revisits and combines the early sounds of Bebo Norman, Third Day and Casting Crowns made popular in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s…check out the up and coming band Covenant 31. 
I recently got a chance to interview them on what’s new, and what’s been brewin’ for awhile, for their band. So, readers. Have a seat, and let’s get you acquainted…
So… Band name. Your website says you get Covenant 31 from the passage in Jeremiah 31:31-34. Below is the NIV version of the verse pasted from Bible Gateway.  Jeremiah 31:31-34 (NIV)
31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
    and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
    though I was a husband to[d] them,[e]
declares the Lord.
Buy Covenant31's Music on iTunes!
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
    after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
    and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
    or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.”

Q - Provide us a little insight into this passage and also, why the band decided to hang their hat on it.
A - Well we LOVE the whole idea of covenant - how God came to man to make a covenant with him and when man could not fulfill his side God stepped down into our world and Jesus fulfilled the covenant and made the way for all who would believe on Him! WOW! what a LOVE!
Your band has released 2 independent albums to date. Your self-titled debut studio EP, Covenant 31 in 2008, and your latest album, Power in the Name, recorded with Grammy nominated producer Ed Cash (Bebo Norman, Aaron Shust, Steven Curtis Chapman, Chris Tomlin, Chris August, Kari Jobe, Matthew West, Dave Barnes, Toby Mac, Matt Maher, Moriah Peters, Bethany Dillon and more). 
Q – What was it like recording with Cash?
Get the Power In The Name single on iTunes!
A –  Ed (and Scott) Cash are Awesome!!! that sums it up! But to clarify... We loved how Ed and Scott (Ed's brother) would bathe everything in prayer!  Before they even agreed to work with us they prayed about it, then before even recording a lick they prayed with us seeking God's will and blessing etc... And beyond that Ed has an amazing talent for producing and bringing things out of our voices and instruments that we would never have thought of, making the music  even better!  It was a great experience - Can't wait to do it again soon!
Q – I would have been floored to work with Ed Cash. How did the band and Cash meet?
A- Well, Heather [singer, keyboardist] actually submitted some songs to him in email, and did not hear back right away. Then an email arrived saying that they would like to consider recording for us.  We did not meet live until we went to Nashville to their studio.  We did however have some Skype sessions with Scott beforehand.
One of your earlier singles, Your Love Is, (see a short behind-the-song story, here) possesses a sincere longing to be closer to the heart of God. It is a very genuine song. As a listener, I like this in a song.
Q- Was this one of the pivotal singles that got your band’s feet off the ground, or were there other stand-out songs that caught agents’ and producers’ ears?
A- Our first song that really caught attention was "Man on the Cross".  It was picked up by over 750 stations worldwide.  Australia's big radio network that resembles our KLOVE here in the U.S. picked it up and apparently loved it! 
The release of "Your Love Is" came after that and was also a success in radio.   More importantly, it has had success in connecting people to God in a very real and vulnerable way.  "Your Love Is" really accentuates the true state we are in as humankind - messed up! But God's Love does not come down to us with a giant list of to-do's before we can know Him and be known by Him! Jesus  broke the way wide open for us to come back to God - and it is that Love that is enough.... to capture our hearts... to leave us in awe of what the ALMIGHTY God has come to do for us broken human beings!  And He delights to save us and then use us..... that is just astounding!
Let’s step back and talk about the song and video for Power in The Name.
Fans, check out the video link here or above.
When I first saw this video I actually cried a little because of the story lines depicted. The video shows a young girl contemplating abortion, an older Christian man dealing with issues of self-righteousness, and an alcoholic father at the brink of almost losing his wife and family.
Q- Are some of these story lines any particular close friends or families’ testimonies which inspired the song? How was the production of the video chosen to complement the song’s message of the spiritual freedom from our chains of sin that Jesus’ blood provides?
A - We have met people everywhere we go with stories like these.  It is heartbreaking to see how so many people are broken in so many ways.  I know we are all broken in our own ways. We get to see and hear a little of the extent to which this world is so torn apart and we see and hear people so in need of a Love that won't let them down and won't let them go!  It makes you wonder what God must feel as He sees it ALL at the same time, His compassion must be overflowing!  

But the ALWAYS answer is Jesus!  His blood has secured the way! - and there is NO other Name given amongst men by which we MUST be saved!    We had to proclaim that message and to do so we chose those 3 story lines, because they are common issues.  We really wanted the video to be Jesus-centric, and I love the way it turned out! I think everyone can see that Jesus is the KEY to healing from these things and everything else for that matter!
Buy Covenant31's Music on iTunes!

Q - I Am Changed is your latest single.  What are some life experiences  for the band that inspired this song?  
(P.s. listeners…here’s a LIVE video of the song!...if you were to mix the heartfelt lyrics and acoustics of Bebo Norman with the vocals and harmonies of Third Day, something like this song would be born.  )
A - Of course the application of this song is universal - it can touch every believer who is in that place of struggle, to know that we are changed forever because of Jesus.  But the actual inspiration came from one particular story. 

We had a young lady friend who got pregnant - she wasn't married.  And this baby was really a catalyst to bring her to Jesus.  One night 2 days before the baby girl was due our friend went in to the hospital to find out her little baby girl had died in utero - the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck.  We were all stunned!  Saying "God, you used this baby to bring this friend to yourself, and now you are taking her little baby girl!?, We don't understand!.........  but..... we trust You." So Heather, having a similar life story to this friend, went and ministered to her at the hospital, and I grabbed my guitar and went into the garage and this song came right out.  

The great news is that God loves us dearly and we can trust Him in everything that happens to us here on Earth(the good and the bad), and we can rejoice that we have an eternal home FOREVER with Jesus when this whisp- vapor of a life is over.  Eternally secure no matter what happens here.

Praise God our friend did have another healthy baby boy!  And as you can imagine is the delight of her mother's (and grandparent's) hearts!
And now – for the BlogTraveler Five. The Five Questions I ask everyone I interview... 
Q – In 5 words or less, who/what is your target audience? 

A- The World, Believers and Unbelievers
Q- What is the mission of your music/songs? 

A- To project and announce the good news (gospel) that Jesus saves! And to encourage those who already know Jesus about who we are in Him!
Q- What result would you want to see happen by the listeners of your songs? (5 yrs, 10 yrs, tomorrow?) 

A- We would love to see people understand the gospel and get saved! first off.  And be able to see people use these songs of ours to bless their souls every time they listen. 
L to R; Ashley-Bass/Sound Engineer, Patrick-Lead Singer/Acoustic Guitar, Dave-Electric Guitar, Heather-Singer/Keys, Josh-Drummer
Q- What is the band’s life Bible scripture right now?
A- That is a hard one.... so many good verses.... I would have to say one of our fav's is:

Zephaniah  3:17

"The Lord your God in your midst,            

The Mighty One, will save;

He will rejoice over you with gladness,

He will quiet you with His love,

He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Kind of hard to imagine sometimes : 
God singing over us - but that is what the scripture says!
Q- Who is Jesus to you?
A- Jesus is compassionate, loving, AMAZINGLY patient Savior, Almighty Creator,  who gave everything and paid everything so we could come back to God.

(Almosts sounds like a song....... hmmm....... might have to write something from that......)
Q – So…where can fans sample your music for Free? Didn’t I see an exclusive track available for a limited time on your website? Elaborate a little on this…
A – Right on our website at: http://covenant31.com/ - there is a player to sample several of our songs. Of course you can find us on Itunes as well: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/covenant-31/id302884350?ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Q – I see you have a few September, 2013 Arizona dates. How can the fans and interested churches/venues get involved to book you for their events?
A- the best way is to contact us at email: info@covenant31.com

Or on the website: http://covenant31.com/contact
Fans can hear your music and share it on:
Your fans can find the band on:
Q - Are there any other social media locations that they should check out?
A - You covered them looks like! :)
Q – Finally, are there any new projects in the works for Covenant 31, or any special sneak previews as to what’s next for the band?
A - Yes. The next project is a hymns album - we are working on that one right now and looks like we will be making another trip to see Ed and Scott Cash soon! Praise God! We are Looking forward to it!
Q – Does the band have any closing thoughts for your audience, new listeners and the readers?
Purchase Covenant31's Music on iTunes!

A- Sure do!  - know that you are loved by God! with a Love beyond compare in Jesus! 

and come be our friend on facebook! and Twitter.  We can keep up with each other there. And come check our website http://covenant31.com/  for a bunch of other cool stuff!

In the meantime! God Bless you all in Jesus Name!
Thanks to Covenant 31 for the interview.
Album Art and photos provided by Patrick Eddolls on behalf of Covenant31
And this has been your Artist Exclusive 1-on-1 with BlogTraveler Deb and Covenant31! 

Tune in next time on this same Blog Page for something else! Very awesome I’m sure! 

Chatta’ Latta!

BlogTraveler Deb
 Deborah Ruth Dickson. Hence, the "dr" in @drdickson1 is on Twitter! "BlogTraveler Deb" has done interviews with independent Christian artists, authors and screen writers for her blog. She also spends her free time perfecting her unpublished Christian-genre lifestyle books, novels & screenplays. www.deborahruthdicksonwrites.blogspot.com   

Artists include:Screenwriter/Director Susan Shearer, Playwright/Author Angela Bertone, Author Ann Gabhart, Musician Bryan Duncan, Musician Mali Korsten, Musician Dan Macaulay, Film Maker Christopher ShawnShaw, Musician John Tibbs, Band Fourfold, Musician Jerry T-Wack and more in the works! 

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