Interview: Building 429

May 27 2013

Dove Award winning band Building 429 are back with their sixth album 'We Won't Be Shaken'. As one of Christian music's leading bands, the new album captures their signature expressive vocals, skilled musicianship and insightful songwriting. LTTM caught up with the band to find out more.

Tell us a little bit about your new album 'We Won't Be Shaken' and what the inspiration behind it was?

A huge source of inspiration from the record came from a plaque on our manager’s desk. The plaque said “What would you attempt if knew you could never fail”. I saw that and realized we had never really fully embraced the opportunity to completely create a record with a fearless mentality. This record was our best attempt to make an artistically and spiritually fearless record, whilst maintaining the focus on delivering what our fans have come to love us for. I think when people hear songs like “Bonfire” and “Revolution” they’ll hear that fearlessness in the band. They’ll also note that on a spiritual level this record is far more about who we are IN Christ as apposed to who we were BEFORE Christ. We are more than conquerors and as such we hope that we’ll challenge people to life in light of that truth.

Which is your favorite track on the album and why?

When this question comes up I usually go straight to “Bonfire” which is by far the most creative and musically eclectic song on the record. I doubt many people will see that one coming. But on a deeper level Blameless is probably the most close to my heart. This song was written with my father in mind. He’s an awesome man who carries a mountain of burdens from his past with him everywhere he goes. One day I started thinking what does my dad need to hear? Maybe that your past is not meant to be your burden, it’s just your testimony. Maybe it’s simpler. Maybe it’s just that You are Blameless. He loves that song too.

We Won't Be ShakenWhat's your song writing process?

I like to say that in this phase of my career I write T-shirts and Billboards. So to break it down, I want all of our songs to be able to be summed up in a short phrase that every can relate to. If you don’t have a reason for writing a song… then don’t write one. A lot of times we write songs because it’s our job, it’s our endless search, but I find it far more rewarding when I have the point already figured out and then the outline gets easier to fill in. If the point of the song in a single phrase isn’t interesting, then the song is gonna end up boring too.

So just to name a few:

1) If I was born to be a flame, I want to light a bonfire
2) Through fire or pouring rain We won’t be shaken
3) doesn’t matter where I’m going if I’m going with you: I press on

If you could work with any song writer, who would it be and why?

I guess I’d love to sit in a room with Chris Tomlin. I respect him as a worship leader and as an artist. It’s taken year for me to begin to see the genius behind his songs, and more than that, I now feel the presence of God in most of his works. It’s more than him, but that guy seems to be a lightning rod.

What has been your career highlight so far?

I’ve had a lot of highlights, but so far I’d say winning the BMI song of the year award was the biggest pat on the back. At the time I had no idea what it meant… today I know that it might not ever happen again… so I use that as a reminder to cherish every moment that we as a band get the opportunity to be in. I have a feeling the Billboard awards, and the KLOVE awards, win or lose, will be very memorable for us. We’re definitely going to make memories at both of those events. The biggest highlight of our career from a live show perspective would be playing AMAZING GRACE in Rwanda, AFRICA listening to 50,000 people sing it in their own language. Pretty amazing GOD moment for sure. Check the history the nation and you’ll understand why.

Who are your musical influences?

When I was younger it would’ve only been rock and roll bands. Now as I get older I’m influenced by Country, Rap, Rock, R&B, and even more chill Pop music. It’s crazy how that happens, but the older you get the better equipped you are to appreciate great craftsmanship, no matter what the genre.

How would you define success in your career as a band?

I think we’ve already been successful. There are a lot of things that we would like to “achieve” still, but success... check that off. We’ve been able to be a influential band for the last 10 years in our industry and it seems that we may be coming into the best years now. I guess success would be leading well in every situation, and loving each other until God calls us to shut this thing down. Failure would be anything other than confidence and boldness in who Christ is and what He’s called us to do.

What advice would you give to any aspiring bands out there?

There are a million of you guys... we were just like you once, but we had something that a lot musicians tend to lack. No not talent, and no not great songs, no not even smarts... we worked hard. There is no replacement for hard work PERIOD. We booked ourselves, we paid for records ourselves, we knocked down doors and didn’t wait for someone to GIVE IT TO US. If you want to do this you will have to out work your peers and you will have to sacrifice A LOT. Interesting though, that most people who feel truly “called” into something don’t care how long it takes, or how hard they’ll have to work, or what anybody else thinks. If you’ve got that tenacity then YOU CAN!!

You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your mp3 player. What track is it?

Ha... I just had to think about this for a while and then this is what I came up with:
We Won't Be Shaken... to remind myself to keep fighting and NEVER GIVE UP

What does the next year hold for Building 429?

We will be leading wherever we go, with boldness and confidence in the one who strength is made perfect in our weakness!!
This Fall:
The United We Stand Tour featuring The Afters, Hawk Nelson, and Finding Favour
Canadian Tour

Hold on world!! Here we COME!!

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