Monday, December 12, 2005

Salvation Army

Just a little review on this last week's show at the Salvation Army on Front St. in Columbus, OH...

Wow, what a cool experience! What an encouragement it is to encourage others. Last wednesday, Rob, Joey, Chris and I were able to play a concert for 85+ guys at the Salvation Army drug/alcohol rehab center on Front St. in downtown Columbus. Our hour long set list consisted of songs from both "Dishes" and "Backstage Pass" as well as a few familiar rock covers from the 70's/80's. We closed with "Amazing Grace" with 80 voices filling the room. We could just sense the Spirit of God working in this place. Afterwards, we received tons of hand shakes and "thank you's." One of the guys in the band remarked that he had never been thanked that much in his life. After the show, we grabbed some ice cream in the kitchen and had the opportunity of talking with a couple of the guys enrolled at the rehab center. We heard some amazing stories of struggle and victory, and were encouraged as we were reminded of the power of God in the life of a submitted heart.

It's amazing the contrast you see between different concert crowds. The men at the Salvation Army had really experienced some true loss and struggle in their lives. They knew how to be thankful, because many of them had been to the bottom and had learned to appreciate God's faithfulness and forgiveness. You don't always see this sort of sincerity and gratitude at Christian schools and churches. We've played some gigs where Christian kids have been asleep in the front row. We can't appreciate the words of the Healer until we understand how sick we are.

A few other pictures from the Salvation Army

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Started working on some new songs this weekend. Also preping for a show tomorrow at the Salvation Army here in Columbus. Joey, Rob, Chris and I will be playing an acoustic set for 85+ guys. I pray that it is an encouragement to all of us. I've also been busy trying to set up gigs for next year, including some potential shows at a number of Indiana colleges.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Every so often in life, there seems to be a time when everything pauses or slows down for a moment, and you finally get a chance to step back and re-evaluate your priorities and ambitions. That's where I've been the last couple weeks. It seems like I have a lot more freedom these days in regards to my free time. Things at the tv station have gone from a whirlwind to a swim in molasses. I'm now back to 20 hrs there, spending many of my days backing up data and cleaning up after the craziness of 50+ hours with Taylor's Attic (the kids show). I imagine there will be some other big project in the future, but sometimes, I wonder how long I will continue to be employed here given the barebones work load, and the abrupt layoff I was blindsided by almost 2 years ago. I suppose I have to be ready for anything. In addition to working at the station 20 hrs a week, I am running sound for various events at a local church (sunday services, concerts, weddings, funerals) God is providing extra work that way. I've also done some custom music for several companies including Layson's Restorations and Crown Financial.

We've been having band practices at least once a week, which seems to really be tightening our sound. Rob (guitar), Joey (bass), and Chris (guitar) are doing incredibly well. I think its just a matter of continually rehearsing so the music becomes second nature. We are still working through some issues with memorization. Next Wednesday, we are doing an acoustic set (one electric guitar, one acoustic guitar, percussion, and keyboard) for the Salvation Army on Front St. here in Columbus. I've been there in the past with my previous church's youth band, and the guys were always responsive. I pray they are as enthusiastic as they've been before. I see this as a great opportunity to encourage these men, and I hope the band guys will leave feeling like they've really helped somebody. I suppose it can be a humbling thing too, as of course, we would love to be playing for big festivals or large college crowds, but there is more to writing songs and playing out than drawing huge attendance (although I hope God grants us some bigger opportunities in the future). So, for those of you who are praying for us, please pray that God will use us next Wednesday.

Traveling to King College in Bristol, TN was very humbling. I spent so much time working out travel & technical details, I failed to really rehearse enough personally and with the band. I don't think we did all that great at King, and I guess the lesson here is simple...practice and don't throw random people together at the last minute and expect them to play songs solidly and from memory given only a week of practice. I did what I could given the time restraints, but I also learned some valuable lessons. I've realized that I've got to think long term with the band. The hardest thing to find (in my opinion) is band members who are committed, flexible, and agreeable. I would much rather take someone who is a decent player and knows how to keep his/her word, return phone calls, etc. over someone who is an amazing player, but doesn't get along with other people, is hard to get a hold of, and drops out on you at the 11th hour. I believe its easier to teach someone to become a stronger musician than to reform a person's attitude or lacks of discipline (heart issues). It's amazing to me how many excellent musicians there are out there who have very little or no respect for commitments. That's why I love to boast about Joey, Rob, and Chris. They are guys I can depend on, and that to me, is an incredible answer to prayer after over a year of last minute back-outs and great players with basic respect issues.

I've started to write some new songs. Nothing is finished yet, but I feel I'm on the right track as far as ideas/content. I've really wrestled with the question of making a new album as "Backstage Pass" has been given rave reviews, but has sold modestly. I'll be paying off debt from that project probably until Spring 2006. I have been a bit discouraged, but I really sense that I am supposed to get up and keep going. There are people that need to be encouraged, and God has given me a platform even if it appears tiny at the moment. I've certainly fallen on my face a number of times, but have been learning invaluable lessons all along. The goal here is not to become a world famous solo artist; the goal is to use what I have for God's glory, in whatever capacity. People have all sorts of conceptions about success. All I know is, this isn't my home and my Lord tells me to seek His Kingdom first, and leave these worldy concerns of popularity behind. He is in control of all this stuff and can open any door at any moment. I'm just called to keep traveling in such a way that I honor Him.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A Snapshot Of The Band

New Beginnings

Today, I just want to thank God for new beginnings. Life has slowed down a little bit after a crazy weekend, and previous week. I'm back at the tv station now working 20 hrs, and doing a few freelance jobs on the side. I'll soon begin working on some custom music (sort of a 50's feel) for Layson's Restorations in Washington. I'm also beginning to look for some new show opportunities. Over the last 8 months, we have not been able to practice that often as a band. I think that was really seen at our performance at King College. My goal is to start practicing about once a week, if possible...while bringing in some new players, so that I have a larger "pool of musicians" to pull from. I still have my key players, but need to have some options when I've committed to a show, and not all of my "regular" band can make it. Far too many times, I've booked shows and have ended up with half a band the week before we're supposed to play. I'm also going to start researching information on concert promotion and concert promoters.

Although the King College show was a little bit of a disappointment (as far as numbers go), I think there's a lot to be thankful for. We did take some big steps with this show...hauling our own sound gear across the country, working with in-ear monitors (my first time), playing with supplimentary tracks (strings, loops, etc. from both albums...all triggered from my laptop). I think things can only go up from here. We have to get our songs down so much so we don't have to even think about the notes when we're playing. The more practiced we are, the more we can focus on interacting with the people we're playing for. I made some pretty glaring mistakes when it came to transitions while at King College. I personally need to practice more, that's all there is to it...actually speaking my transitions out loud, instead of expecting to come up with something fluid when I get to the stage. I can always change what I'm going to say when I get on stage, but I need to at least have something nailed down. Now with less hours at the tv station, I should be able to focus more on improving my own performance. I also want to get together with Rich Barrett (who played piano on my album) and work through some of the piano parts. Rich cannot always make it to our shows to play, so I'm often covering the piano parts myself. Ideally, it'd be great to have him there so I can put my full attention on singing, but unfortunately, it doesn't always work out that way. He is a much better keyboard player than I am, and I'd really like to work with him so I can learn how to better emulate the parts he played on the album (and to learn to be a better player overall). I did come up with all the basic chord movements and melodies, but he then further embellished the piano parts that I had given him. He had to learn (and enhance) my piano playing and now I am trying to learn his playing. The best way to get better is to surround yourself with people who put you to shame. =)

The thought of writing some new songs has been in the back of my mind for quite some time, and I think I am now in the place where I feel ready to start writing again. Over the last year, I have been jotting ideas down, but haven't spent any extended period of time widdling ideas and concepts into actual song lyrics. God has put a lot of things on my heart, and I need a constructive way to vent both my frustrations and convictions.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Chapel at King College in Bristol, TN

Always an Experience

It seems that I never take a dull road trip. Our trip to King College in Bristol, TN was fun and disappointing at the same you will read in the blog entry below, written by guitarist Rob Bradley. This was our first real "road trip" where we hauled all our own equipment and traveled outside of the Ohio area. In the end, I was happy because we accomplished what we set out to do...but not without some mistakes and wrong turns. Life is like that. You try things, you fall down, and you get up and try again...hopefully having more experience and wisdom the second time around.

We started playing shows last November after I released my second project "Backstage Pass." It's been quite an experience. I can't hardly remember all the times we've walked away from shows disappointed and discouraged...mainly because of the lack of turnout. Repeatedly, we've been promised a certain number of concert attenders, and in most cases, our crowds have been a 1/3 or even a 1/4 of the number we expected. The most people we have played for is about 80 people. The average concert attendance is about 30-50 people, and I generally sell about 3-10 CDs per show. I'm trying to figure out if God has something against I doing something wrong? it because I have not been tithing I not living a pure enough life...why for years have concerts come as such a dissapointment? I say years because this is has been a pattern all the way back to the release of my first project "Dishes" in 2001 when I traveled to California in hopes of playing for several 1000 youth, and was instead dropped from the roster and given the opportunity of playing in front of 100 50-60 year olds. I think I spent over $500 to get out to California and probably sold about 10 CDs.

I know I have to just get up and keep pressing on. I know people like the music...I've heard it time and time again. People of all ages and from all walks of life have expressed their love for "Backstage Pass." The devil wants to make me think I suck as a writer, as a performer, and as a Christian. That's his job...that's what he does to all of us. I can sit here and whine and feel sorry for myself or I can get up and move forward. I can look for a booking agent. I can improve on the areas I need to improve on. In the midst of working out all the technical details of this trip, I hardly had time to work out my transitions between songs, and our band was only able to have 3 practices...all with a drummer who had never heard the tunes before. My first instinct is to blame myself for not doing better, for not being more prepared, for not being more proactive in advertising...but the reality is, I did everything I could. I put forth %100 with the time and resources I was entrusted with, and that's all I could have done.

I think God keeps trying to show me that it's not about the destination; it is instead about the journey. There is a dry cleaner place in Columbus which I often drive by...a place which displays words of wisdom on its sign. Most recently, the sign has read "Failure is not fatal and success is not permanent." Good perspective. I think recently I've just felt like my life is supposed to slow down and be mundane now that I am 30. I've lived with this misconception that "if I haven't accomplished it yet, it's too late." This goes for my pursuit of music and my pursuit for a lifelong companion. I just feel old...and again, this is the way the devil wants me to feel. I'm sure he wants to make me feel like "my life is over." I've wrestled with such thoughts as "No record label wants to hire a 30 year old artist...I'm too old for artist development" and "You've had trouble getting any women's attention thus far, and now you've missed your chance...all the good ones have been married, and you're too old to be dating the younger ones." He also likes to tell me that "I'm a terrible Christian because I struggle with impurity, and there's no way God can use me or my ministry because I am not perfect." Doesn't the Bible say that "the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy"? Why would these types of thoughts be inspired by a loving God who wants my best and wants me to remember that "He will never give me anything I can't handle" and "He will never leave me or forsake me?" How can I stand in this time of "failure" and "consider it pure joy when I face trials of many kinds?"

Pictures of the Chapel at King College

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Winding Down & Looking Forward

Well, I'm finishing up the last episode of Taylor's Attic (the puppet show) this week...what a relief...after 8 months of working with silly songs and crazy characters...I'm ready for something different. I've praying and asking God to show me what the next step is. He always gives us just enough knowledge to do His will in a given day. Sometimes, I wish the whole plan was laid out in front of me, so I could plan out every detail of my travels.

I should be recieving a new Apple Powerbook laptop this week. I'm really pumped about that. I've accumulated quite the music software/samples over the last couple years; some of the more recent upgrades I haven't even installed as both of desktop Macs (a G3 and an older G4) have been rendered useless with this ever changing world of technology. I'm hoping to start working on some new songs in the near future. Technology has progressed so much that you could basically compose an entire CD on your laptop. The mixing and editing stages might need to be reserved for a more hefty desktop machine, but there's quite a bit you can do on small portable notebook. The possibility of writing/composing songs in a coffee shop or at the park has fascinated me for years, and I'm finally just now breaking down and moving that direction.

Co-producer Dave Bechtel is creating submixed tracks for me today. Basically, he is mixing down groups of instruments from "Backstage Pass" (drums, keys, strings, etc.) so I can play back whatever recorded instruments I need in a concert setting. It's been difficult to have the full band with me everytime I play out. The option of substituting the recorded drums from the project (when my drummer can't make it to a show) is a great help. The cool thing is I should be able to run all these tracks from my powerbook. =)

Still trying to work out the details for the Nov 7th show at King College in Bristol, TN. As the puppet show winds down, I think I will have a bit more time to plan for this show, as well as upcoming shows. The band hasn't practiced in a while!! We need to start rehearsing reguarly again.

Check out the Nov/Dec issue of Relevant Magazine. "Backstage Pass" is being featured in a Grassroots Music Ad. Check out the ad at:

Friday, September 30, 2005

One Puppet At A Time...

Lots is going on. Still working on Taylor's Attic, the kids tv show. I have 3 more shows to go, and then the first season is complete. We're now at the point of shipping one show out a week. For those of you who don't know, I work at a production company/tv station in Columbus, OH. This is what I do to pay my bills. Recently, I've also been producing some original music for Crown Financial Ministries in GA. In addition, I lead worship/play keyboards periodically at my home church.

God is good, and is always teaching me to trust Him more. The band thing continues to be on hold as I am so busy with the "day job." We're still planning to play at King College in Bristol, TN on Nov 7th. After I get through working on this kids show, I want to get back into playing out, and may start trying to write some new songs this fall (on my new laptop which I hope to get soon). I've been away from the blogging thing for quite some time, but hope to resurrect the hobby in the fear future.

I'm moving into a new condo this weekend, and am heading out on a young adult retreat next weekend. It's definitely been a great thing to be plugged back in with "community." I was pretty isolated during the production of "Backstage Pass."

Monday, August 29, 2005

A Pause For Refueling

Still cranking away on the kid's show "Taylor's Attic" which will soon be airing nationally on iLife televsion, and eventually locally here in Columbus, OH on PAX51. We are currently shipping one show (there are a total of 11) a week to iLife. The last show ships October 29th. I've been working a lot - sometimes, 50 or more hours a week - but it is good to have a job - not to mention I am learning a lot. Regardless of whether the show goes anywhere, we will all (producer, editors, cameramen, etc.) will walk away having learned a ton. I think, as far as a long term job goes, I'd really enjoy writing music and doing sound design for tv/film. God has been very good in providing this work for me. Last year at this time, I was basically unemployed, except for some freelance jobs here and there.

I'm still paying off some debts accumulated from the production of "Backstage Pass." Unfortunately, I've had to back off from touring for the purpose of working a "real job." After playing a number of concerts where I have literally gone away having spent money, I've decided to take the route of working a "real job" where I can knock my debt out quickly. I feel like this is the most responsible and God honoring thing to do at this time.

As far as the band goes, the next show isn't scheduled until November 7th in Bristol, TN at King College. My uncle and aunt both work at King. I am quite excited to play this show. For those of you out there praying for us, please pray that God will bring together the right band for this event. I feel like I've been banging my head against a wall when it comes to building a band.

God has been teaching me alot. I've been attending a Tuesday night men's Bible study, as well as a young adult group called "Front Porch" every Thursday and Sunday nights. As a creative person, it's very easy to be somewhat anti-social at times. It's important to spend time alone so you can create, but too much time alone leaves you pretty imbalanced. I've met a lot of cool people through these groups. It's consoling to know that other people are that same place where I am in life, and are having the same struggles.

I've started to write some new songs...just basically getting some basic thoughts and chords together.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

What's New?

Hey, it's been a long time since I've been blogging!! Things have been quite busy with work at the tv station. Last week, I went on a work trip to Phoenix, AZ. Currently, I'm working on episodes 4, 5, and 6 (there are 11 total shows) of the new kid's show. Check out a rough website for the show.

Some journal entries coming soon...

Monday, July 25, 2005

Taking A Break

Had a great time at Teens at Bethel (in Point Pleasant, WV) the other week! We got to hang out some with The Afters who just recently finished a tour with Mercy Me. Cool guys.

Things are quite busy these days...between church, 50+hours at work ( my tv audio job and sound tech job at a local church), and social involvements, I'm finding it difficult to play, let alone schedule shows. Our next show is Nov 7th in Bristol, TN at King College. I'm not sure that we will be able to play any gigs before then. Things should hopefully calm down a bit by October, and I'll be able to start focusing a bit more on doing live shows.

There's a new review of "Backstage Pass" at it out at

God is good, and I'm being challenged in many ways. I will try to write more in the near future.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Teens At Bethel Show Tomorrow

Well, we're gearing up for tomorrow's show at Teens at Bethel in Point Pleasant, WV. Had practices last Saturday, Sunday, and also yesterday (Wednesday). The band is sounding AWESOME!! We're praying that God will use our concert to really encourage and challenge the teens at the camp. Nine other bands will be playing over the 3 day camp event. We hope to get some pictures and even some video. God really worked things out for this show...I almost cancelled because I having so much trouble getting the band organized. More news to come...

Read more about the camp at:

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Finding Balance

A journal entry written during my time at "Driven" June 16th

It's amazing how anxious and overwhelmed I've been, even doing things I enjoy. I've spent the majority of this week either practicing or playing for the worship band. I really wanted to come here to meet and encourage people. It's not very often that you meet this many young folks from all the state and country.

I'm just weary of trying to keep up. If you live your life clinging to other's expectations, you'll find you'll get behind real quick. I even feel a pressure here and at home to seek more and more social interaction, as if one day, I'm going to finally have enough friends. I just honestly feel like I'm trying to dip out of too many buckets - I'm involved at "Front Porch" (a young ministry at my church) on both Thursday and Sunday nights, I go to a Bible study on Tuesday nights, I run sound for Saturday weddings and Sunday morning services at a local Presbyterian church. I have the responsibility of Taylor's Attic (a tv show I'm producing music and sound for) on my shoulders, and I'm trying to keep a struggling rock band afloat. On top of that, I'm trying to stay connected with my parents (I'm over there every week...always an awesome time) and seeking to stay in touch with both my close hometown friends and my college buddies from Liberty. I know so many people, I'm involved in so many things...and you'd think this would make a guy happy. The reality is, I'm overwhelmed, stressed, and excited all at one time. Good things are happening, but I feel like I'm losing touch with God. I've been down the path of trying to make all these things my means to happiness, better self worth, etc. and I've realized just how empty those things are in themselves (worldly success, man's approval, etc.) I want to live a life of dependency upon Christ, a life aimed at eternity...yet I know that includes people, and choices, and letdowns...this is the reality of being a spirit man in a physical world.

I just wish I knew what I'm supposed to do next. I don't think I can get plugged into one other thing without first disengaging from another. Sometimes, God calls us to stay where we're at. Often, we're simply driven by the excitement of something new - if it's using another stupid Christian catch phrase (post modernism, relavance) or whether it's a deam of building a new church. Some people hate change (I know some) while others feed off of it, as long as it betters themselves (I personally have the problem of focusing on the next goal, acheivement, etc). I suppose this is not always the case; some individuals want change so that it might benefit others - this being the only Christlike motive for accerelating change.

Today, one of the pastors here asked me what my gift was - feeling a bit unprepared, I responded with a hestitant "encouragement." Ironically, I'm sitting here alone writing in a journal when I could be initiating conversations with hurting people. In regards to "encouraging people"...I suppose, if anyone, I am drawn to kids as well as any number of "outcast" types, especially the artsy music folk. In a way, I feel I am one of them; I can talk on their level, and hopefully, I can encourage them in ways in which I have been encouraged as both a musician and a Christian. I also have an interest in reaching teens through music...I just despise the idea of being trapped in a dying stagnent youth group...I've been there and it's depressing. I think the reality is, kids have changed (compared to when I was a kid) feels like there's so much apathy these days. I hate apathy from anyone because you feel like your words, your actions, and your heart are just falling on the floor. How can you reach someone who just doesn't care? There are however greater virtues of response such as grace, persistence, and faith.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Wounds of A Friend / The Love of a Father

God is good. Yesterday, I was just really praying that the Lord would speak to me in some way. He sure did. I recently approached a friend regarding some concerns which I had in regards to his motives. Funny how we're reminded of our planks when we start pointing out the spinters in others' lives. I suppose you need to ready to take it when you dish it out. My friend was just as ready to address a number of issues in my life, and though I was hurt for a moment, I'm glad the truth was spoken. Proverbs 27:6 says "faithful are the wounds of a friend." I walked from the situation both relieved and saddened. For one, I'm disappointed that I would be such an inconsiderate friend. I'm also saddened as I think I may have damaged the much so, I'm not sure that it will ever be repaired. I've definitely sought forgiveness, but I still don't know that this will make a difference in regards to the friendship. On the other hand, I'm glad I've been made aware of some issues I need to take care of in my own life. I wish I could pursue the relationship, but I'm not sure that this other person is interested in continuing where we left off.

Heb 12:7-11 reads "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

Sometimes, it's easy for me to doubt God's love. I think the fact that He continues to pursue me and discipline me (even through the words of a friend) is a reminder that He truly cares, and stilll longs to mold me into the image of His Son. It's amazing how in a single day, you can see both God's blessing and discipline. In one hour, He gives you what you don't deserve and in the next moment, He gives you a "time out." I'm glad to have a Father who has the grace to both give me gifts of joy and pains which force me to grow up.

Monday, June 20, 2005

News From "Driven"

Just returned this weekend from a 3 1/2 day Grace Brethren young adult retreat. Very cool experience. I played keyboard in the worship band every morning and evening, and the guys (from my band) came up Thursday night and we had a concert. Been super busy with church, work, and family...all great things. =) It's been a long time since I've worked on the webpage. Hopefully, I'll work a bit on that in the next week or two. The band and I are preparing our time at Teens At Bethel in WV in July. We'll probably have a number of practices over the next couple weeks.

God is good, and I am learning a ton. More coming soon...

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Losing Your Muffler In Canton

Had a good time at Heritage Christian School in Canton, OH yesterday. Rob, AJ, and I all piled into the station wagon along with 4 guitars, a keyboard, and a couple amps. About 45 minutes from Canton, my muffler fell off (it was dragging on the road). There's a story for every trip. =) Unfortunately, we didn't snap any photos. I need to get a digital camera one of these days.

We played an hour set for about 130 middle school and high students. AJ shared about his unbringing in my music, and also shared his testimony. We learned that Marilyn Manson attended elememtary school at Heritage Christian School. Hung out with four students afterwards for a few minutes. Pretty cool kids.

After pulling my muffler off and disposing of it in a trashcan, we jumped back on the road toward Columbus. On the way, we stopped at an Applebee's, and talked music, Christ, and life. I'm honored to work with Rob and AJ (as well as the other guys in the band). We had some pretty cool discussions yesterday.

Our next confirmed show is at the Driven Young Adult Conference in Gambier, OH, June 16th. I'm going to start working on trying to book some shows at various colleges. I'm just seeing more and more that I need to focus on this age group. It seems to be who my music really reaches.

God is good, and is teaching me a ton. I'm pretty tired today. I was up late last night practicing piano. I'm really trying to stay in the habit of practicing everyday. Also, trying to get out and run several times a week. It's amazing how your metabolism begins to change when you're reaching for 30. =)

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Looking Forward To The Concert

Tonight, we play at Delaware Grace Brethren Church in Delaware, OH. (visit for more details) The whole band will be there...Brian, AJ, Joey, Rob, and Rich. I think the church is expecting about 75 people, so it'll be a little smaller of a show...but we're excited.

We had a practice yesterday afternoon and it went great. I just picked up a new 180 watt keyboard amp which is sweet. We plugged Joey's bass into that thing, and let me tell!! It's great to hear the low end. Tonight, I'm also planning (for the first time) to use my new Alesis Ion analog ing syth for some effecty stuff. Rich will be using my Kurzweil PC2X for piano and organ sounds.

I am trying to add a new twist every couple practices. As an example, about a month ago, we finally got rid of all the charts. Everybody's playing from memory now, which really helps with stage presence. There are a still several songs I'd like to add to our set list including "A Thousand Gods," "Ladder," and possibly a few more tunes from "Dishes." There is even an unreleased tune which I'm considering adding to the list.

Arranging set lists is always interesting. It's important to keep the energy going, and one of the toughest things I've run into is knowing where to stick the slower songs. Sometimes, it takes playing a set list live to know if it's working or not. We've even switched things on the fly before, depending on the crowd response.

Well, its time for a quick lunch. After that, I'll pack the station wagon with gear and head up to Delaware.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Music, In A Broader Sense

It's funny how we sometimes fight so hard for the things we think we want. For the longest time, I've thought that my dream job would involve being a traveling Christian musician...and though I still am very interested in traveling and performing, I've realized just how much broader my interest in music is.

I'm currently working about 40 hrs a week producing audio/music for a soon-to-be nationally syndicated children's television show and I'm having a blast! I think it has only been in the last couple years that I've really developed an interest in music production for television and movies. There is something that I enjoy about working in musical styles which I am not neccessarily familiar with. I suppose it's a challenge, and the reality is, every bit of music that I involve myself in eventually contributes to my own sound as a Christian rock musician. I also like enhancing the mood of picture through the vehicle of sound.

It's quite ironic that nearly five years ago, I was offered a job to compose music for a children's television show, and though I began working for that company, I hardly wrote a lick of music...until now. After being employed by that company for 3 1/2 yrs, I was laid off in 2004, and was just recently rehired to do all things but...produce and arrange music for a children's show! Weird how God works sometimes.

In working this job, I've started to see how much of my interest lies in the producing/studio work of music, regardless of style. It also seems that I could survive much longer as a producer than as an "artist." There's a lot more 50 yr producers who have jobs compared to 50 yr old rock stars.

In conclusion, I am still very interested in getting out and doing music from "Backstage Pass" and at some point, Lord willing, I'd like to work towards putting out another album. It's just that now I'm trying even more to have my irons in many fires. You never know what will take root.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Pairing Off

You know you are old when kids you used to work with in Neighborhood Bible Club are pairing off. I attend a young adult group both on Thursday and Sunday night, and it is a strange dynamic at times. There's some people that are there just to grow in their walk with God, and then there are those guys and girls who have one thing on their minds - getting hooked up. I once attended a young adult group where a number of the girls where frustrated because the guys in the group were always trying to get numbers and go on dates. So, I suppose I'm a little gun shy now, fearing that I will offend a girl if I try to ask her out. Friends of mine keep bringing random women to the group, and before much more than a week goes by, these girls seem to start pairing off with guys in the group. It's like how do you even have an opportunity when every potential interest is swept away before you have a chance to open your mouth? On some level, it's frustrating even trying. I've met some girls who appeared to have some interest, and more often than not, they are just being friendly. How's a guy to read these things? I certainly can't. I wish the whole relationship thing could be simpler. Maybe this is extremely selfish, but it was annoying tonight as I continued to get stuck in conversations with guys (not that I wasn't interested, but this seems to happen every week), and hardly had a chance to meet any young ladies.

I wonder sometimes who actually reads this blog. For a while, I kept from addressing certain issues in the blog (ie. the dating issue above) because I didn't want people to see that I really struggled. I've been afraid that some woman was going to read my ramblings and think I was a freak, and make decisions about me before ever getting to know me. I guess there is just so much pressure to be perfect. It seems like women these days want the perfect guy, the man who is always strong...the reality is, I'm an average guy who loves Jesus, and makes a lot of mistakes in the journey. I'm not perfect; I'm not some super hunk nor super saint. I'm just a genuine guy who wants to learn to love a genuine girl. Why is this so difficult? The more you desire to have a relationship, the more it seems wrong, as such things should occur naturally without forced effort. So again, I try to forget that I ever wanted such things, as I once more seek God for a patient heart.

Blog Overhaul

The blog is getting an overhaul!! As you have probably noticed, I've changed the colors and layout. I've also started moving all the old blog entries to a new journal page on website:

After two years of blogging, the blog was getting a bit cluttered and I decided it'd be a good idea to categorize my blog entries. All the newsletters and entries from the "Making of Backstage Pass" will soon have their own page on the journal page at In addition, all the "Behind the Songs" entries have been moved to a new page on the above journal page. I will continue to add new song descriptions as time permits. The last song I dissected was track #7 "Fooled."

Soon, this blog will become a broader journal of my own life experience, although it will still include many entries regarding concerts and musical ventures. Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Fears of Frailty

Like any human, I suppose I am somewhat hesitant about revealing the fallen and weaker side of myself. As a perfectionist, I demand so much from my art, from myself, and at times, from others. The gift of being able to dig deep into your own psyche comes with it the tendencies of over analysis and self criticism. As a child, I remember being sent to a counselor because I was exclaiming that I hated myself. I used to throw temper tantrums when I couldn't find that one missing Lego piece which I at the time needed so desperately. Sure, I have "matured" since then, but at times, I still find the same misconceptions parading an easily discouraged mind.

Blogs take on a lot of forms, and to this point, mine has been carefully streamlined, excluding for the most part the valleys of doubt and fear which can so easily flood the artistic brain. In a world of airbrushes, the temptation to "look presentable" is great. As a Christian musician, I sometimes feel the pressure to look invincible.

Over the last couple months, I've been involved in a guy's Bible study which meets every Tuesday night. It's awesome how we are becoming more and more open with each other. Sometimes, I get tired of being labeled as "the musician" as I want people to see the person underneath the music. I want people to like me for more than just my skills or "my influence." As musicians, it's easy to hide behind our "abilities." I've found that a lot of musicians are pretty insecure people. You can cover a lot of blemishes if you are able to point others' attention to what "you are good at." Recently, I've been reminded of the importance of finding my value in Christ. The smallest things can throw us. I've been a little discouraged recently. The whole show thing has been frustrating. It's tough to get into venues where there are a fair of amount of people. I'm tired of doing the local shows as it often feels like the "prophet has no honor is his own town." Local radio stations won't support us, and not very many people have been coming out to our local shows. As the poem below mentions, I am really trying to find God's will in all this. I think there is just part of me which wants to settle down, get married, and have a family. Only God knows how this will happen. I would like to meet the right woman, but for some reason, I feel like I just keep running into walls. As frustrating as it is at times, maybe God wants me to remain single, at least for the time.

"The Pen" - A Poem on Writing

Why do I keep writing? What is so enchanting about an emotion set to pen? There is something in the written word which transcends dialog, even deep discussions. Thoughts swirl about my head and in some strange process, the galactic chaos of my mind is neatly packaged in bitesize verses and refrains. I wonder about the reality of another album. It seems there are inspired zygotes awaiting a moment of concentration. After all the slammed doors, debt, and aching questions, I wonder why I would ever consider the possibility of a junior project. I surely haven't experienced enough "success" to justify the sacrifices neccessary for a third record. Did God lead me to create Backstage Pass; did He sustain me through unending edits, vocal layers, and nights of near quitting...or was it a stubborn spirit which pushed me past listening, and beyond good sense? Have the last nine concerts been dvinely orchestrated or have I simply slipped into an unordered stream of rocky promise? Am I clinging to a childhood pipe dream, wasting both time and resource...or am I called to create? Is walking away from it all a sign of overdue surrender, or might such an action come as slap in the Maker's face?

Marc Andre - April 20th, 2005

"Cycles" - A Poem On Human Frailty

Lord, where do I begin today? Life has been a wash of changing situations – stabilities constantly digressing. How dependent I find myself – riding the waves of progression, sinking as tides calm. How I dream of resting – long hours of sleep will not do, inactivity only breeds sinful curiosities. Is equilibrium within a spinning world even a possibility? If only I could break free of the cycles – I am controlled by blessings; when blessing fail or even but for a moment cease to pour, I am steered by substitutions which leave me distant from the only Constant I know.

Today I am again climbing out of the rebellious valley which so easily besets me. Oh, to be sinless – to constantly hunger for the One who wove me together. Lord, how can you still love me…after years of disobedience? You not only know what I’ve done; you know the sins I will commit two weeks from now.

Why do I claw my way into the dark places which I so quickly flee from in disgust? “Why are you here again?,” I ask myself, “Don’t you remember how lost you were left last time?.” After the sin comes several days of wandering, having plunged into darkness, I seek to find again that seemingly distant light, which appears only as a speck above a musty cavern. As a foolish child returns its hand to the wounding stovetop, so I ingest again my own vomit.

Father, I love You. Break me again. May You have Your will in my life. Renew a tired soul, awaken a cynical spirit. The life which once swam in abundance is finding burdens in breathing. I feel old, past tense, discarded, as a trend faded, like a bird who now only speaks in whispers about the flight which once set it free.

How can a human being enjoy life when all of life’s offers diminish? I shun the things I once loved for they are cursed with fading. I am saddened with prospects of an unfulfilled life. I am disturbed knowing that life is stronger than me; I am unable to harness or control it. I will forever on some level be a victim, yet I dream of conquering the mortal chains which take me captive…to lay aside the human frailties and embrace the spirit qualities which I have been gracefully and mysteriously imparted. If I were only human, I would not wish for such things; the spirit man and the flesh man are in constant battle. Today, I wish for the spirit man to win.

-Marc Andre (April 2005)

Saturday, April 23, 2005

After The Show

Had a great time playing at Life Community Church in Hilliard last night! Thanks to everyone who came out and supported us. It looks like Darby Refuge and the Marc Andre band may be doing some more shows together in the future...stay tuned. Hopefully, we'll have a DVD clip posted of last night's show in the near future.

In other news, all the songs on "Backstage Pass" are now finally registered with ASCAP...after four months of waiting! A friend of mine is working to promote songs from the album to radio stations abroad.

New shows added: check out the calendar at: to see newly posted upcoming shows, including a trip to Point Pleasant, WV in July and a journey to Bristol, TN in November!

In "day job" news...this next week, we will tape the last episode of season one of the kid's show I've been working on over the last 3 months. This means I should soon be back into the 40hr per week work groove. After next week, we will have recorded nearly 35 kids songs for this soon-to-be nationally syndicated program (I can't really reveal the name quit yet). I'm mostly producing the songs (not writing them), but it's been a fun experience. It's been a long time since I've been able to use a tuba sample in a song. =) I've been using Apple's Logic Pro, Garage Band, and DigiDesign's Pro Tools in the music creation process.

Today, I am chilling out and taking a breather after a pretty intense week. Praise God for His faithfulness.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

A poster for the upcoming show on April 22nd. Posted by Hello

Playing Catch up

Finally...a Saturday to chill out...somewhat. Spring is's a beautiful day in Columbus, OH, just another reminder of God's faithfulness.

Yesterday was the last 12 hour day of work for a week and half. I've been involved in the shooting of a national children's televsion show, and the crew is off until April 20th. I'll be working on other tv related things next week, but my hours will be a bit more conservative.

Tonight, the band is getting together to practice in preparation for the April 22nd concert at Life Community Church. We also had a practice this previous Monday night. It's awesome as we are now focusing more on overall feel and accents instead of which notes are to be played. The band is still playing with chord charts, but they are near the point of playing the songs entirely from memory.

As far as other album news goes, 7 of the 11 songs on "Backstage Pass" have been accepted by ASCAP. Not sure what the hold up is on the 4 "pending" songs. I started this registration process with ASCAP back in January.

Today, I need to seriously catch up on laundry and cleaning, and I need to get to the grocery as I haven't been there in weeks. In addition, the church I've been running sound for (on Sunday mornings) had a new sound system installed this I need to stop by and familiarize myself with the new gear.

I'm also currently recovering from a cold, which I've had for a week and a half. I'm praying it clears up soon as the next show is quickly approaching. This cough is quite hindering when it comes to singing.

I have to be has been quite tiring recently. I just realize more and more how often I look to earthly circumstances to fullfill me. For example, I frequently catch myself finding my value in "excellence." That is, when I do something well (even if no one notices), I feel good about who I am. However, there are often times when there isn't anything to "accomplish" and it's easy for me to look at myself as unproductive...and even a bit worthless. Sometimes, God calls us to simply rest, and a lot of times, I find it hard to really slow down and stop planning and pursuing. I know life is so much bigger than what we do, and the spirit man inside me wants to learn what it means to live apart from the shackles of daily accomplishment. It stil amazes me to think that (as a Christian) God choose me before the foundation of the earth to be His servant...His choice wasn't based upon how good I was at this or that...He chose a wretched sinner to be in His family...a choice fueled by grace and unconditional love.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

No Time To Write

Hey, just a quick hello to everyone keeping up with the blog. Things have been super busy. I've been working about 60 hours a week at a local production house/tv station producing audio and arranging music for a national kids show. On top of that, I run sound at a local church (freelance work) for Sunday morning services, concerts, weddings, funerals, etc. Hopefully, I will at least be back to a 40 hour work week starting in May. If you have contacted me, I apologize if I have not yet been able to return your email. I went from having occasional work to work out the ears!! The money is needed as I am still paying back (and will be for a while) the money I invested in the CD. Definitely a business loss...I may eventually sell enough CDs to break even, but at this point, it's faster to recover the money by working a regular job. It's also easier to see concerts and cd distribution as ministry when you're not wondering how you're going to buy the next meal. A couple months ago, there were times when it was that bad. I praise God for the opportunity to work again, although I realize that things can be taken away just as quickly as they are given. I'm trying to be content in both feast and famine.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Trip To Vinton

What a great show yesterday! Around 2:30 yesterday, the band and I left for Vinton Baptist Church in Vinton, OH. After a long stretch of boring Ohio highway, we arrived at the church around 5pm and started setting up our gear and getting sound checks. At 7:00, the youth band of Vinton Baptist Church led us in worship. The pastor followed with a short meessage which challenged the teens to stay strong in their faith. After that, we and the crowd of 60 people or so grabbed some pizza in the fellowship hall. Our dinner was accented by a comedy routine performed by the pastor and several of the teens at the church. Very funny. The comedy continued as Rob and I discovered a little boy (5 or 6 yrs. old) fast asleep in the corner of the bathroom, underneath the paper towel dispenser. He was fine, just sleeping. =) Weird. Then...during the show (which started around 8:30), I clocked a little in the eye with the wireless microphone. She was dancing around on the stage during one of the songs and as she slipped out of sight behind me, I put the mic down only to bump her right above the eye with the mic. Wow, I felt bad! She turned out to be quite a trooper, and only moments later, she was up dancing around again.

We left Vinton around 10:15 pm and headed back to Columbus where we stopped at a Steak N Shake around 12:30 am. I finally got home around 2:00 am and was up at 7:30 this morning, as I had to run sound for a morning service at a local church. Needless to say, I'm pretty tired.

Thanks to the band: Brian Houts, Rob Bradley, AJ Mainyard, and Rich Barrett for a great show and thanks to the folks at Vinton Baptist Church for the opportunity to be a part of their ministry. God is good. So are naps. =)

Our next show is scheduled for April 22nd at Life Community Church in Hilliard, OH. Visit for the latest details.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

ASCAP at last (almost, that is)

I received my ASCAP publisher's membership card today...finally. The whole process of registering with ASCAP began about four months ago. The next step is to register my albums as "works"...this may take another couple weeks. Having ASCAP membership should help with radio airplay.

A photo from Vineyard Cafe. March 6th, 2004. This was a SMALL show which we basically considered as a glorified practice. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Is The Blog Dead?

Nope, the blog is not dead. Just haven't had much time to write as I did several weeks ago. Played at Vineyard Cafe the other night...things went well. I may post a picture or two in the near future. We have a band practice this coming monday in preparation for the Vinton Baptist Church concert on March 19th. Am I still pursuing music as heavily? Probably not at the moment, but I still knocking on doors and seeking opportunites...just with a little less intensity for the time being. I am working nearly 60 hours every week recording and producing audio for a kid's television show. I'm having some opportunity to arrange some of the music for the show, which is an interesting turn from the progressive rock I've been doing recently. =)

One of my biggest goals right now is to get things back together financially. These crazy hours are (Lord willing) only for a season. I hope we can be doing even more shows come summer or fall. Stay tuned.

Monday, February 28, 2005


Well, I've been meaning to update the blog, but haven't had time recently. I'm still working quite a bit. Tonight, we had a band practice in preparation for upcoming concerts. This coming Sunday, we'll be playing at Vineyard Cafe in Westerville, OH. Check out for the latest news. In addition to the concerts listed, there are a number of other shows pending. More info soon arriving...

Sunday, February 20, 2005


Things have been very busy workwise the last week or so. I will hopefully add some more "significant" blog entries this week, including "Behind the Songs: A Thousands (track#8)." Spent some of this afternoon setting up some keyboard patches on my Roland XP-30, as I am playing synths and singing BGVs at Grace Brethren Polaris's Emerge service this evening.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

One stone at a time. (Not sure what the random phone represents.)Posted by Hello

One Stone at a Time

Today, I met with several members of the band Darby Refuge and also the student ministries pastors of Life Community Church, all in preparation for our concert on April 22nd. Check out for more info on upcoming concerts. Visit for learn more about Darby Refuge.

I've been working a lot recently. God has really been providing work for me, which has been a blessing. I've had time to lay a lot of ground work in regards to promotion, shows, etc. over the last couple months...the extra time has helped, but now it's good to be working "regularly" again. I've heard that even some of the "big" artists out there are only able to do their music "seasonally." I've always wondered what artists do when they're not touring or recording new music. Maybe some of them are waiting tables or driving UPS trucks.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Early Bird Gets The Coffee

Well, this morning I was up at 5:45 am. I'm actually discovering that I'm more of a morning person than a night person, although waking up at a quarter to six is bit crazy. I stopped by Kinko's around 6:00 am to pick up 1000 business cards which I'll use to promote "Backstage Pass." I find these cards are a good way to point people to the website, and they're relatively cheap to make...especially when you have a bunch of them duplicated.

Anyway, why was I up at 5:45? This morning I did a mini-concert at Liberty High School in Powell, OH. What a neat group of kids. It was an FCA meeting (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), and my friend Kary Oberbrunner spoke. I set up a keyboard, mic, and amp and sang "Hurricane" and "By Now." Pretty cool morning. It's great to see kids standing up for truth in their public schools. After the meeting, Kary and I went and grabbed breakfast and exchanged war stories.

Just booked another gig...we're now set to play at Heritage Christian School in Canton, OH on May 25th. Check out the news section at to learn more. Several other shows (not listed on the calendar) are pending. Stay tuned for more concert dates.

I've started to jot down new song ideas. I've actually been trying to compile a list of subjects which would fit together for a new project. If I do record another album, it probably won't be for a year or two. I'm basically in promotion and recovery mode right now, although it never hurts to start getting your thoughts down on paper.

Monday, February 14, 2005

An awesome evening of worship. Posted by Hello

An Awesome Evening

Thanks to New Life OSU for having us out tonight!! What a cool group of people. Things went great. We played about an hour of worship songs, and hope to do a "regular" concert with New Life OSU in the near future. Here was our set list for tonight:

Hallelujah (Your Love is Amazing) / Sending / Not To Us / Enough / Blessed Be Your Name / A Thousand Gods / Take My Life / You Are My King (Amazing Love) / Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble

Thanks to the band: Brian Houts (drums), Joey Bradley (bass), Rob Bradley (electric guitar), and Andy Shirtzinger (acoustic guitar). The guys sounded great. What a privilege it is to work with them.

Tomorrow, I'm chilling out, refueling, and working on income taxes. =) To God be the glory for an awesome evening. Thanks to everyone who has been lifting us up in prayer.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Concert Cramming?

Wow, what a busy week. So it's Friday night at 11:30 and I just got home from work about an hour ago. It feels good to work and get paid for it. =) Not that I haven't been working a lot over the last several's just been work for the album (promotion, etc.) and I've been spending money and not earning it. Anyway, enough about money. The cool thing is I get to be a part of the production for a pretty cool new television show. I'm definitely learning a lot, and I think I'm working even harder now that I've been without a "full time" job for so really helps you to appreciate the benefits of employment.

Anyway, this is gonna be a short one. It's about time to turn in for the night. Tomorrow, I'll be spending the majority of the day preparing for this Sunday night at New Life OSU. I've got some new worship songs to learn, some transitions to work through, and a band practice at 6:30pm. I'll probably be able to chill out a bit the first couple days of next week. Definitely looking forward to that.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Marc Andre at New Life-OSU

Here's the latest newsletter update sent 2.08.05

Marc Andre and his band will be leading worship at New Life OSU this coming Sunday, February 13th at 6:30 pm. New Life OSU meets in the Conference Center in the Student Union at the Ohio State University. For directions, visit: Admission is free and the event is open to the public.

Please pray that God will use this evening for His glory.

For more upcoming shows and news, visit:

Sunday, February 06, 2005

There is a lot of static when it comes to the truth about "success." Can you still distiguish God's voice amidst the noise? Posted by Hello

Why Don't I Hear You On The Radio?

This continues to be a learning process. Months ago, I applied for my ASCAP writer's membership...I finally received my card at the beginning of the year, and then began the process of submitting "Backstage Pass." I may have mentioned this before, but after attempting to register my entire album as a writer, I discovered that it would have been better to register as a publisher and then submit all my music to ASCAP under my publishing company. This whole ordeal has ended up taking nearly 3 months. ASCAP received my publisher's application about two weeks ago. I originally was told this publishing comany sign-up process would take two weeks. Upon speaking to someone at ASCAP the other day, I was told it would take anywhere from 8-10 weeks! Most of the problem has been my own ignorance. I should have started taking care of this stuff before the album was completed. I guess I was too busy and consumed with getting the album done, I didn't stop to consider these important issues. I had no idea this would be so complicated and lengthy. The bottom line is, I can't submit my songs to many radio stations until my project is acknowledged by ASCAP. It may be another two months before I can actually go through the regular avenues of sending my songs to radio stations. Some stations may accept my music without the ASCAP license, but not many. I have sent my music to a couple local stations, but have not yet had any success.

There is also the financial complication of things. Money is so tight now that I barely have enough cash to mail promo packs and CDs out. Although I am continuing to do concerts, I am (as mentioned earlier in the blog) focusing a lot of my attention (at least for the next 3 months) on working my "regular jobs." As Ecclesiastes says, "There is a time for everything." I think the right thing for me to do at this stage is to take care of my debt, rebalance my social life, and be content with the place God has currently set me. There is a part of me which feels like I have moments, I am embarrassed. And then, I have to step back again and reconsider what "success" means...God is working in my heart...hopefully making me more like Himself, and that's what counts...regardless of whether or not I have "failed" in the world's eyes.

Today, how are you judging the "success" of yourself and others? Are you either looking up to or down upon others based upon their "place in life?" The shift in perspective is so subtle.

Regarding the radio/ASCAP situation...I would appreciate your prayers in these matters.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

There's only so much juice in a lemon. Sometimes, it's time to stop squeezin' and start growin' again. Posted by Hello

When Life Gives You Lemons, Use Them Wisely

Well, it's been a while since I've dropped an entry in the old blog. I just started a new freelance now I'm putting in a good 60 hours a week between the three audio/video companies I work for. It is definitely a good thing as I've really needed the extra cash. The whole CD endeavor was a huge financial undertaking, and I'm just finding that the concerts aren't coming in quickly enough to keep the foodbillsgas boat afloat. I actually haven't yet done a show which has made any profit. Often, the CD sales I make only go towards paying the costs of the concert, and often I go away with less than I came in with. I want to do this music thing as a ministry, but for the time being, I need to focus on taking care of the financial needs which lie before me.

I basically have a least one "big" show each month from here until June, as well as some "smaller" shows which will only involve me and a keyboard, and not the whole band. Lord willing, I will spend the months of February, March, and April working fulltime in hopes of getting myself back into a more stable finacial place...and I will be doing as many concerts as God brings my way.

I've definitely learned some lessons through the creation of this album, on many levels. For one, money is not to be played with. I took a number of risks financially and otherwise, to make this project happen...and now I am reaping what I have sown. With chances come the reality of "failures" and the responsibility of "picking up after yourself"...that is, living with the consequences of the risks you have taken. I wonder sometimes if I will ever make another CD. I hope to. I am already writing new material...but I also realize that the next project (if God allows) will need to happen differently. I don't think I wasted any money in making this fact, I think I squeezed every bit of juice from every lemon I had. However, I did move forward finacially with the expectation of CD sales being more "successful" than they have been...some would call me an entrepreneur and some would call me a fool. I was hoping that I was making an investment...and eternally, I hope I have...however, from a finacial standpoint, we will yet have to see. Only God knows. Regardless, I'm glad that He teaches us both through our victories and mistakes. To the young person (and even old person) out there, I would give you this piece of with balance and remember that there are consequences to all our actions.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Wake up sleeper. Posted by Hello

Spiritual Snooze Alarms

It's amazing how easily we can get sidetracked by the trials of life. Whether it's a major crisis in our lives, or the annoying headache, the 5:30 traffic, and the unchangable fact that we're late to a meeting...again. Eternity is so real, God's love is so concrete, and yet...the moment is so consuming. James 4:14 reads, "Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." Shouldn't our minds be focused on the long term? The 401K is great, investing in the stock market isn't a bad idea...but when all those foundations crumble, what will be left? God and people. That's it. Where's your attention today? Are you more frustrated about your slow internet connection than you are about the fact that your next door neighbor is lost without a Savior?

Remember the disciples at the Mount of Olives right before Jesus' crucifixion? Christ asked them to pray, but moments later, they were fast asleep. We may think we're wide awake...but if our main concern is for the temporary things of this life, aren't we potentially out a spiritual sense? 1 Thessalonians 5:6 reminds us to stay alert: "So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. " We live in a spiritual world, and we have an enemy who longs to divert out attention from what really matters...even if it's as small as a headache.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Photographs of "Backstage Pass" (p1)

Today I thought it be interesting to give a little background behind the photos in the CD booklet of "Backstage Pass." The cover photo was taken in front of an old sewage pipe off of high street in Clintonville, OH. Leading up to the pipe (which is the black tunnel behind my face) are two cement enbankments. This is what I and other skateboarders once lovingly referred to as the "blood bowl." I haven't skateboarded in years, but I was a serious "boarder" in middle school and high school. Fittingly, my nickname used to be "Skater." I still have intentions of getting back into the sport one of these days, although I don't know that I could pull off the stunts I once executed so gracefully as a teenager. Anyway, Jeremy Slagle (photographer) and I thought it would be an appropriate location to take photos for an album entitled "Backstage Pass," as skateboarding used to be such a big part of my life. The title "Backstage Pass" has a double meaning...for one, the album is a more intimate look into my emotions and thoughts and two, it's a cry to be home with God, a "Backstage Pass" to the "meeting after the show" (heaven). I will give more details later when I cover the background of the song "Backstage Pass."

As you open the booklet (under the song "Pull Through"), you see a picture of me as a boy decked out in furry boots and a red starred cowboy hat. Yep, I was stylin'...that's fo sho'. This photograph was taken in France, as I lived there from age 1 1/2 to about 4. My parents were missionaries for many years...we returned to the states in 1980. I, unlike my brother and sister, was born in the states during furlow. In this picture, you will notice a number of small a boy, I was fascinated with vehicles.

If you turn the page, you come to the tune "Hurricane." This photo was taken in my basement and is an image of a zip disk which I used for transferring some files between the Mac in the basement and the PC on the second floor of my apartment. I use a Macintosh for recording and composing purposes, and I use a PC for web design.

Beside the lyrics to "Making of a Rock Star" is a photograph of my brother Joel and I, in our apartment in France. Notice the mom used to cut our hair. We were hipsters, real trend setters. My brother is holding a yellow race track. As kids, my brother and I used to perfectly line cars bumper to bumper along the molding of the long wooden hallway. So began my perfectionism. =) The caption to the lower right reads "Joel plays cars with me or helps me build things. The long hall is our race way." This is my mom's handwriting, a quote pulled from an old family photo album. Behind the words to "Making of a Rock Star" are some technical diagrams, taken from one of my synthesizer manuals.

Stay tuned for more background on the photos of "Backstage Pass." Also, a background on the song "Fooled" (track #7) is coming soon.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

This might be your grandfather on the way to school. Posted by Hello

I Used To Walk Barefoot, Uphill, And Backwards To School Every Day

Can somebody say freakin' cold? Welcome to Ohio. The snow glistens beautiful as I gaze out the window, but since my too-sled-stricken-to-care days have faded, I'm now more content to watch the brave little snow frontiersmen from my blanketed java-warmed sofa. Ok, enough with the imagery. You know it's cold when you bugers freeze, that's what I always say. =)

So what's new in music world, you ask? This has been an interesting week...maybe discouraging at times, but I can clearly see that God is trying to teach me some lessons. I worked a late job last Monday night (I started at 3am), and I've spent nearly a week trying to get my sleep patterns back in line. I have some doctor friends, and I don't know how they can handle those 24 hour shifts. I used to pull some all nighters in college, but something changed abruptly when I hit 25. You teenagers who laugh from your nocturnal pedestals...just you're turn is soon arriving.

Why was the week discouraging? Well, I think because my perspective was off again. I can be a control freak, and sometimes when "things aren't happening," I get a little concerned. A friend and I have been trying to make contact with a number of churches (for concert reasons), and few people have responded. I've been wondering, "God, if this is what you've called me to do, why can't I even get in the doors of some of these places? I mean, I'm ready to go...what's the hold up?" Again, I've had to step back and recommit my path to the Lord. His timing is perfect, and more than likely, He is working behind the scenes more dramatically than I could ever imagine.

We're all bombared daily with advertisement...on the tv and even in our unsurprisingly, most of us are pretty guarded and quick to turn down the unsolicited salesman. It's just a tough balance trying to "get the word out" without "promoting yourself" in subtle arrogance. I would love to be doing shows at various venues, but how will people know if I don't share my heart and my ministry ambitions? In talking with several friends, I've decided to try to meet these youth pastors, pastors, and ministry leaders individually...take them out for coffee and talk one on one. This will give them the opportunity to share their ministry vision, and it will also give me the chance to share my heart. Basically, the "cold calls/emails" haven't been terribly "successful" my friend put it..."an unknown guy named Matt is telling these people about an unknown guy named Marc." So, for those of who are praying for this ministry, please ask that God would give me patience and wisdom as I call and hopefully meet with folks of various churches and ministries. God has His plan and timing, and one of the worse things I can do is to attempt to microwave His slow cooker handiwork.

One other minor setback...I recently began the process of registering "Backstage Pass" with ASCAP (, but as it turns out, I went about it in the wrong way. I thought I was supposed to register as a writer...however, it would have been better had I instead set up a company as a publisher. As a writer, I would have to register every one of my songs individually...a major pain in the a publisher, I can put all my music under one umbrella...even instrumentals and future compositions. It's not a terribly big problem that I mistakebly signed up as a just brings about another time setback of potentially getting my songs on the radio. Not every radio station will require that I am an ASCAP (or BMI) member, but most will. I've been told it will take several weeks for everything to go through for my publisher's membership.

In the meantime, I am starting to create a special "only-for-radio stations" webpage which will contain audio downloads and additional information which they may find useful. I've been considering the idea of mailing out CD singles (with one or two songs), but the related expenses have caused me to strongly consider the alternate webpage idea. Besides, most radio stations end up transferring any music you give them on CD to their massive hard drives. Why not save them the work by posting high quality mp3s or even wav files to your website?

There are basically 4-5 songs I am considering for radio: Pull Through, Hurricane, After Everything, Making of a Rock Star, and A Thousand Gods. I will select specific songs for specific radio stations based on the stations' particular musical format. Sorry...this will be a private webpage, so those of who want to get the music for free, sorry. =( You can however download the songs from "Backstage Pass" for a minimal fee at

Enjoy the snow!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The blur of life. Posted by Hello

Savoring the Journey

We can spend our entire lives wondering what tomorrow holds, in the meantime, missing out on all the joyous nuances of today. I think I've had the wrong attitude recently. I've really been buying into this idea that contentment will find me when I reach a certain "settled" place in life. Personally, I'd love to be married someday and I'd also really like to be doing music fulltime, in one form or another. For so long, I've lived with this belief that I would discover peace when I found the right woman, or maybe when I finally landed the "perfect" job. These are all great blessings that we can enjoy, but nothing on this earth will really fulfill us in the deepest sense. Only a relationship with Christ can give us "stability." I'm reminded of a particular illustration. Have you ever riden down a highway while starred at the "green flags" on top of the cement medium? (Hopefully, you aren't doing this while driving) If you look directly out your side window, you will simply see a green blur, but if you gaze through the flags at a slight angle, you will see trees, houses, and other sites along the road. Sometimes, we live life "starring directly at the green flags" the other words, the "markers" in our lives. Markers are simply times of transition...what we often interpret as "arrival." Graduating from a college or getting engaged could be markers. Often, all we focus on are the markers, and we may very well be missing all the lessons, and even blessings God is trying to show us along the way.

I personally am pursuing music as a fulltime career/ministry, but I think this illustration goes for anybody. I may or may not end up in music fulltime. Regardless, God is more concerned about my heart and how I respond to His voice along this highway of life. Have you been starring at the green flags?

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

The cattle on a thousand hills. Posted by Hello

Registration Day

Well, I finally received my membership card from ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers). Today, I began the registration process for "Backstage Pass" (on ASCAP's webpage I'm not sure how long the entire process takes, but I was told to check back in two days to see the status of the registration. I was quite surprised at the benefits which are offered to ASCAP insurance, life insurance, studio/tour/travel insurance, software and music store discounts...and much more. Many radio stations require that an artist's music is registered with either ASCAP or BMI. These companies pay royalties to the writers/publishers involved...and in my case, I'm both. Regardless, it is a very small amount of money...a little bit each time one of your songs is played. However, it opens a whole new door of possibilities of getting my songs on radio.

Have been working to set up some more shows. I'm really realizing the importance of prayer. As I mentioned before, the Lord was totally involved in last Thursday's chapel and concert. A lot of prayer went in that...not just from me, but many of my friends and family were praying as well. It's easier to complain and worry about things than to take them before the One who owns the "cattle on a thousand hills" (Ps 50:10). Today, I'm going to the park to walk and pray and then I'm heading to a coffee shop to hopefully finish up "The Great Divorce" by C.S. Lewis. Great book. I recommend it.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Beware of the industry. Posted by Hello

Beware of the Industry

It’s funny how often I’ve been cautioned about “The Industry.” “It’s so hard to break into the industry”…”These days, it’s about who you know”…”The Christian music industry is corrupt”…”Do you know what you’re getting into?”…”Record companies won’t even look at you if you don’t already have a following”…so let me ask all the lawyers, politicians, construction guys/gals, business men, and may I even say it, “ministry folk” out there…were you ever warned about the field you were going to? Were you continually discouraged to drop what you loved because other people had given your “calling” a bad name?

Let me start by saying this…I do know and have noticed that the entertainment industry is pretty twisted…I noticed that a long time ago. It’s often all about competition…even among Christian musicians…C.S. Lewis says it quite rightly that “pride is not about being good; it’s about being better.” (Mere Christianity) Believe me, the whole “Rock Star” attitude totally annoys me, and I pray I will never be so full of myself that I think I’m any better or any higher than anyone else. We’re all parts of the body of Christ, and every part is equally important. “Making of a Rock Star” is not about me…it’s about a concept/idea that I don’t want to be a part of. Anything we have is from God, so why play arrogant? Read this verse: “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?” I Corinthians 4:7. I am a fool if I start putting people on pedestals, or sub-labeling them for what “type of gift” they’ve been given. Aren’t we all guilty of doing this? The silly thing about the music industry is how people are often either considered “gods” or “morons.” I’ve never heard of a kid being mocked for going to school to be an accountant…however, a kid going into music fulltime…especially as an entertainer…you’d better believe it. Let me explain.

Gods: (little g) Anyone who is afforded the opportunity of mass advertising (MTV, CCM magazine, etc.) is easily labeled as “successful”…yet the guy/gal who is just starting off in music is more often than not told to turn around and “go back to his/her day job.” I’m all about encouraging young Christian musicians because unfortunately, music is one of the highest accessed sources of theology these days. It seems like a lot of kids are quicker to believe what comes out of their mp3 player than what their parents or even youth pastor has to say. Sad, I know. Go to any high school and hang out for week. Tell me if you don’t catch that impression.

Morons: Now this is an extremely touchy subject. I think we all have to be wise with our resources, and I’m not going to tell any kid that he should drop college and go try to get on tour with Aerosmith. I personally went to college for communications, so that I can always have something to fall back on, if I just “can’t make a living” doing music. I think the “cast your bread on many waters” is a great illustration (Ecclesiastes 11:1)…talk to any investment counselor, and he will tell you the same thing…”don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” I often come back to this verse: “A man's mind plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9. There is nothing wrong with lots of planning and dreaming, if you constantly remember that God is the one directing your steps. That can also be an encouragement when people around you tell you you’re a “moron” for trying. There are many days when I feel that weight. Sometimes, I feel like people are looking down on me for not having a better car, or a better paying job…and this is the reality I stick to: God is my strength and my source of confidence. When people label me as a “starving musician,” I again look to Christ, my source of meaning and value.

For the aspiring musician, I don’t know that there is much of an in between. When you’re “low” (poor but trying), you may get ridiculed…and if you’re ever “high” (famous on MTV), you’ll have to battle away the thought that you’re above everyone else, as people will more than likely pour undue praise upon you.

In conclusion, I would agree, the music industry is an incredibly tough one. I live it every day. You’re talking to a guy who laid down a $30,000+ job for what some would call a “pipe dream.” Am I financially poor? Absolutely. Am I famous? Not that I know of. Am I loved and secure? Yes. Beyond a doubt.

We all seek after security…whether that means a steady job, a beautiful wife, a healthy 401K…but here’s the reality: any of those things can be pulled out from us at any given moment. The tragedies of our world are a testament. There is a bigger, more dangerous industry than the music industry…above all else, my friend, let’s remain cautious of the industry we’re all a victim of…materialism.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Concert photo: Cornerstone Christian Fellowship. January 6th, 2005. Posted by Hello

An Incredible Day

Thursday's morning chapel at Worthington Christian High School and evening concert at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship (Worthington, OH) were awesome!! I totally believe God brought the right people together for this event...I could see His fingerprints all over the details. Pictures from the morning chapel are coming soon. To see photos from the evening concert, visit:

A special thanks to all the players and those involved:
Brian Houts (drums) /Joey Bradley and Shawn Wright (bass - morning & evening)) / Rich Barrett (piano/keys) / AJ Maynard & Garett Boham (guitars) / Adam Schlanker & Brent Dye (sound) / Bryan Parrish (lights) / Nate Paulus (powerpoint) / Jonathan Kistler (stage hand) / Phil Stoll & Tim Adams (CD table) / Cornerstone Christian Fellowship (food & decorations) / Jeremy Slagle (photography).

Check out recent reviews of "Backstage Pass" in The Columbus Dispatch and The Other Paper (Columbus, OH). Click here to read the articles:

I'm taking a little break for the weekend, but plan to work on future concerts starting next week. Am also planning to launch a "radio campaign" in the near future to get songs from "Backstage Pass" on the airwaves. Most of my time recently has been consumed in preparing for the two concerts we had yesterday. God is good.

The fire trucks arrive as 100+ people stand outside in the cold at Cornerstone Christian Fellowship in Worthington, OH. The combination of a fog machine and candles set off the fire alarm after the first two songs of the concert.

This is great!! Smokin'!!

Cue the Fire Alarm!!

The chapel and concert went great yesterday! The highlight was probably in the evening concert when the fog machine set off the fire alarm, 3 fire trucks came, and everyone had to evacuate the building. =) Photos coming soon...