Caspar McCloud, a virtuoso guitarist, singer, and songwriter, recently released his new album 'Game Changers'. Louder Than The Music asked him a few questions about himself, his music, and his thoughts on the world! Read on to get his view on it all.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved in making music?
Growing up the sound of music was something I recall being greatly attracted to from my earliest memories. Everything in my world was a potential visual painting or song, and artwork was accompanied by music like Pictures at an Exhibition. Music also comes to me more easily than engaging in foreign conversations with those who embrace worldly perspectives today. I recall speaking at a prophecy conference a few years ago with some of my erudite scholarly friends and someone came up to me afterward and said your probably the only speaker I ever heard who can get away with singing a wee bit throughout your presentation. As a pastor, my congregation would probably say the same thing, as I tend to think of songs as I trying to share some ideas with them.
Music and Art seem a lovely way to directly connect with our Lord and creator in a much deeper worshipful way on numerous complex emotional levels. It is, after all, a universal language we may all speak and enjoy. If we think this through, music pre-exists humanity. The heavenly host was singing at the dawn of creation itself. The Lord asked Job where was he when he created the world and the stars sang out? Job 38:7," When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
We so often need to renew our biblical perspective on what is taking place and unfolding on the world stage today as we go about our daily life's, as we are to pray without ceasing, worshiping the Lord Jesus/Yeshua and understand how it can transform our minds and attitude, how it can bring those healing chemicals to be released throughout our bodies, our holy temples. From years of studying our Holy Guide Book to the Supernatural, as well as my studies into epigenetics, and my background as a recording artist I know how one well-crafted song can change a person's perceptions of reality the way one good idea can change the world. Often I think I can say something more profound through music than I am able to articulate with merely speaking.
I found this interesting article some years back, about this medical doctor, and brain specialist, Dr. Richard Pellegrino, who is also a consultant to the entertainment industry from whence I came. He wrote some articles for Billboard Magazine which is this magazine the music industry reads to see who is doing what and how many records have they sold etc, which helps determine what radio plays. (or who paid them off to play it). Pretty much pay to play these days in secular music and probably in all music circles. Dr. Pellegrino, wrote about the power of music and conveyed the idea of the incomparable power of music upon the human brain, stating that music has the uncanny power to: "… trigger a flood of human emotions and images that have the ability to instantaneously produce very powerful changes in emotional states."
Dr. Pellegrino went on to declare: " Take it from a brain researcher. In 25 years of working with the brain, I still cannot affect a person's state of mind the way that one simple song can." Keeping in mind if this is true, consider how the Lord can do a mighty work in one true worship song where you just really give it up and connect with the Holy Spirit. When you truly get into an atmosphere of worshipping the Lord Jesus you have entered into a place where miracles can happen.
1 Samuel 16:23, "And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him."
When I walked out of the world of secular music and my recording contract with Atlantic Records in the mid-80s, I had no idea what would happen with my music from there. I was playing with numerous now-legendary artists and some amazingly talented musicians. It was like entering into a totally different world at the time for me. Churches weren't exactly open to embracing any rocking sounds at the time.
Nevertheless, when I released my first Christian album, Upon This Rock, it charted, so that was very encouraging to know that my music was still relevant to others in the church world as well as discovering how unbelievers were also attracted to my music as it sounded like what they were used to except lyrically it was all about the Lord Jesus.
Over the years, there have been several versions of my band. My drummer Carlos Merced and I have played and recorded together since the late 90s, and our keyboardist Donovan Lipham replaced our bassist this past year. I truly love playing with them both as the three of us agree, most importantly, we are part of a ministry above being in a band.
Tell us about your new album 'Game Changers' and what the inspiration behind it was?
This present generation of youth has mostly grown up in a secular school system spending on average 6000 hours each year being indoctrinated with Darwinism, Socialism and ungodly thinking practises. If they attended church a few hours on Sundays chances are they were not taught about the End Times prophecies, fasting and effective praying.
Nevertheless, you wonder why they lack discernment and critical thinking skills against the daily lies being told."
Today we are now in the middle of a game-changer.
The entire world has gone along with a planned orchestrated event and I personally don't think things will go back to the way they were before this plague, I mean a virus was unleashed.
The church needs to understand this comic chess match going on and we need to understand how the rules of engagement in this invisible war.
I recently shared with my church how I believe we are drawing close to fulfilling the ancient end-time prophecies. May I share the last paragraph of an article from Microsoft, the ID2020 Alliance, which I quote again for clarity. "As more and more transactions become digital in nature and are built around a single global identification standard, supported by Microsoft, the question of who will govern this evolving global community and economy becomes relevant. Especially since nonparticipants in this system would be unable to buy or sell goods or services."
I mean this like it is right out of Revelation 13:16, " And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name."
Which is your favorite track on the album and why?
That is a difficult choice but if I need to pick one it be the opening track Kingdom of Darkness, which is about how no matter what the devil tries the Lord my God shall always outmaneuver. We read in Luke 10:19," Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." That would include things like viruses and man-made virus.
What message would you like people to take from your music?
The world will never end for those who walk in Christ's agape love, so I encourage you all to live a life that is glorifying to Christ. This is the core message encoded into Game Changers.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
I started out playing classical music, and somewhere in my formative years, I fell in love listening to rock and roll. In my teens, one of my friends introduced me to John Mclaughlin and Miles Davis, and I started exploring the world of jazz. Jan Hammer heard one of my demo tapes and invited me to record with him in the late '70s when I was visiting New York. I also recall playing the club scene in the U.K. trying to get signed to a record deal and recording my first single Messin Round at Strawberry Studios in Manchester where 10cc did most of their work. Paul Burgess who played drums for 10cc backed me up on some of my first demo tracks and Peter Gabriel tried to get me signed to his label and help me get sorted out in my youth. I loved bands like Led Zepplin, King Crimson, Yes, the Hollies and Beatles, etc there are so many brilliant musicians to name here but these are some of the ones who helped inspire and helped shape my perceptions of sounds. Sir Richard Branson offered me a record deal with his label Virgin but I ended up signing with Atlantic Records and the CEO Ahmet Ertegun was my producer, which was a unique experience because he only worked with top acts like Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones and Yes. One day Ahmet called me into his office to tell me that Steve Howell didn't want to rejoin Yes for another album and that he said I was the top candidate on his list to replace him. I said yes, and my manager said no.
One of my artist friends introduced me to my mentor Phil Keaggy who eventually lead me into salvation in Christ. At which point I realised the only real reason to make music was to honour the Lord with the gifts and talents he gives us. Today I can hear many of those influences surfacing throughout the songs I write and record.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
Actually the last few years I have been very blessed to co-write and record as well as perform in concerts with my friend and brother in Christ the legendary Tommy James and the Shondells. For most of my career I have been pretty self-contained to write the music and lyrics, but working with Tommy has been a wonderful blessing, as he will help take me into places I might otherwise not explore musically. Tommy is one amazingly talented musician and I grew up listening to his songs. So it is really pleasurable to get to play with him and his band and go through his six generations of worldwide hit songs. One of the highlights for me is when he steps out near the end of the concert and tells the audience to keep looking up Jesus is coming.
We co-wrote a song together on my Pictures of Jesus all-acoustic album called He's Coming. Through Tommy, I got to work with his engineer and co-producer Glenn Taylor and that has been a wonderful adventure. Glenn engineered and co-produce Game Changer and we are looking at doing some more recording in the near future.
How would you define success in your career as an artist?
Looking back retrospectively there were some really difficult times, but through it all the Lord has been faithful to guide me through each step and each new chapter.
What is your favorite album of all time?
That is like asking me as a visual artist what is your favorite colour and that would depend on what mood you are in. Considering all information passes into the relay station of the brain, which is the thalamus. The thalamus relays the information to the cortex where the memories are kept. This is the first place where attitudes begin. The kind of attitude you are falling into will determine what emotional responses are relayed back to the thalamus. it travels to your hypothalamus, which activates the release of chemicals to build your emotional state. Your endocrine system triggers your glands and dictates to each one what to secrete for different types of hormones that go directly into the bloodstream to regulate the body, which is called the amygdala and is like the library of your long-term memory.
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?
Probably Handle's Messiah or my last song on Game Changers, Heavenly Host.
What does the next year hold for you?
God only knows.