GRAMMY nominated, Dove Award-winning Building 429 have just released their new single 'Fear No More'. LTTM spoke with the RIAA Gold-selling, chart-topping band's frontman, Jason Roy, to find out what the band are up to at the moment, the story that led to this acclaimed new single, and how the band plans to launch other artists.
How is life in Building 429?
Life in Building 429 is busy, but good. We’re very thankful for the way the Lord has blessed us. We now own our own record label, and we are producing our own music in a way that we’ve never done before, which is super exciting. We’re still touring, not quite as much as we did before, but still near 100 shows a year. Life is really busy in Building 429, and very, very full.
Tell us about your new single, “Fear No More”?
I wrote that song about what it felt like to be under siege in 2018. It was a tough, tough year. We had health scares, we had bus wrecks; you couldn’t write a script for a year that was more brutal than 2018. And then at the end of 2018, in December, we were told that we were no longer needed at our record label. That was really hard. It was like the insult to injury after going through what we’d been through the whole year with our manager, my mother-in-law and more friends suffering with cancer. I just felt like I needed to sit down and kind of acknowledge that this place I was in the middle of is not what I would ever choose, and yet at the same time, God somehow uses it.
I had a pastor who said, “The setback is the setup in our lives.” We forget it all the time, but the reality is that our testimony would have no power if it weren’t for the setbacks and the moments where it was just a setup for God to do something incredible. To even be reminded that large portions of the new testament, which we still read today, were written while a man was in prison - that probably wasn’t his favorite moment of his life, and yet at the same time, God used it in this profound way.
I think the one thing I wanted to make sure that I did last year, and especially moving into 2019, was to heed the words of scripture and remember that fear has no place in my decision making no matter what the circumstances may be, because fear causes us to make decisions based on the capacity of the human mind to work out what we should do. Our human mind plays tricks on us all the time, and really, we should be making our decisions based on the capacity of an infinite God to move mountains on our behalf for his glory to be revealed.
So, I sat down and wrote that song that said, “I wish I could see the finish line, where it ends, where it lands, guess I lost my vision when the pain set in, but can I believe when I don’t see, can I really let it be out of my hands? Cause this isn’t what I’d choose, but it’s where I’m finding you. When I’m broken and undone, your mercy’s just begun. God, you overcome my doubts, your hands are reaching out, you hold me through every storm, so I will fear no more.” I’ll say it like this: 2018 was a year of fear, 2019 is the year of fear no more.
Do you think artists should be more honest in their music?
Absolutely, but I think it’s very difficult in a world of synthesized music to be super honest, because the music itself, the way that it sounds, doesn’t lend itself to intimate, lyrical and melodical thought. I will say I do think there are some who are actually doing an incredible job with being honest in their music. I think when you listen to Adele, there’s an honesty. The newest Lady Gaga record seems very honest to me. Lauren Daigle’s record is very honest, and there’s something to it that feels authentic and real. I think every once in a while, people peek their head out from behind the tracks and the computers x’s and o’s, the 1’s and 0’s of programming music, and you hear someone with a very deep and honest thought.
When I think of super honest songs that are amazing, I think of Laura Story, I think of Jason Gray in our industry, and I wish there was more music like that. It’s very difficult, though, to maintain a career when you write those kinds of songs, because music has just kind of gone away from that - but I do wish that more music was like that.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
I’m thankful to be able to work with some really amazing songwriters. As for other amazing writers - to be able to sit in the same room with a guy like Don Henley or Bruce Hornsby; people from that era, those are the people that I’d be most interested in sharing the songwriting process.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
Well, I would say that my style of music is inspiring pop-rock music. I think that I chase the epic; I’m definitely always trying to create an arena sound. In every song that I produce, I want it to feel larger than life and to echo the reality of a God that is larger than this life that we live. You can ask almost anybody that I write songs with - they kind of know that were going to end up at the end with something that’s pretty epic with a lot of ganged vocals and that kind of triumphant-type sound. My influences are very, very broad and wide. I definitely enjoy all music, but I grew up on 70s, 80s, 90s rock, and yet am simultaneously influenced by southern gospel. My influences are very broad.
How would you define success in your career?
I think my career has been extremely successful because of the huge impact I’ve seen on people’s lives around the world. Obviously, I’d like to continue to grow and to find new ways to inspire and point people to Jesus.
What is your favourite album of all time?
I’ve got it on my iPad actually; the record that I keep going back and listening to over-and-over again would probably be “The End of the Innocence” by Don Henley. That record just speaks to me. I love it. I think in particular, the song “The End of The Innocence” is one of the most incredible songs ever written.
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your phone. What track is it?
Well I just answered it; the song called “The End of the Innocence” written by Don Henley and Bruce Hornsby, or alternately “Forgiveness,” which was also written by Don Henley.
What does the next year hold for Building 429?
I’ve started a new record label called “3rd Wave Music,” and in the next year, we’re going to be releasing a ton of new music from Building 429 as well as search for the right acts to sign as we move forward. We’ll also be busy touring. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone out on the road!