David Frey Sidewalk Prophets interview: Winter Jam, new album and ‘learning’
Now the band is on the road with the 2013 Winter Jam tour, which will bring together some of Christian Music’s greatest artists for 40 plus shows in the first quarter of next year.
TobyMac, Matthew West, Jason Castro, Jamie Grace, NewSong, Red, Capital Kings, Royal Tailor, OBB and speaker Nick Hall all join Sidewalk Prophets to bring audiences one of the biggest shows of the year.
The Global Dispatch’s Brandon Jones spoke to Frey about Winter Jam 2013, making the new album and some of his fellow Christian artists.
BRANDON B. JONES: Let me begin by thanking you for your time and letting you know how excited I am that I get to speak to you.
DAVID FREY: Yeah, my pleasure.
BBJ: I believe this is your third stint on the Winter Jam tour, isn’t it. (SWP toured with Winter Jam in 2010,2011)
DAVID FREY: Yeah, the third go around. We’re like grizzly old veterans (Laughs)
BBJ: How was the first weekend of the tour? How is it show different than previous years?
FREY: It was great. Like getting into the groove again. The shows have been completely sold out, people are getting out early. I mean it breaks our hearts, we are in the middle and can’t get outside to meet people and play.
It’s a good problem to have but it’s sad to have people who don’t get a chance to get int.
BBJ: What should audiences who saw you in 2010 or 2011 expect now that it’s 2013.
FREY: We got some cool lights (Laughs)
No, really, we got some really cool production behind us. (There’s) stuff from the new record “Live Like That,” new songs people haven’t heard live. Like “Love, Love, Love” – We have fun with that. There’s a Lego video which goes with it.
We are having fun…when it’s all said and done we are sharing them our heart through powerful worship.
BBJ: You mentioned it, but on previous Winter Jam tours you guys went outside to play for those folks who didn’t make it in.
FREY: Yeah, we’d come out with an acoustic guitar and just worship, impromptu. Sometimes it’s more powerful to worship under the stars.
It was awesome.
You get to meet people, what’s in their lives…we were so blessed. People could have left angry or disappointed, but we try to get them to leave blessed.
BBJ: So, how did this all start?
FREY: It was our drummer, Justin’s idea (i.e. Justin Nace) when after one show, there’s sort of a let down, when we all kinda go our separate places. We were in Columbia, South Carolina and he said ‘Let’s play for the people still waiting.’
That’s Justin’s heart. He’s such a good guy.
He spurred us on to do this everytime…let them know we appreciate them.
BBJ: The first album “These Simple Truths” was a more chaotic process putting together. Now you and Ben (McDonald, rhythm guitar) had some time to put the new album together.
FREY: (The first album) was written over all of our lives. Then for a year we were really writing and then we were on the road everyday so there’s not much time.
Now we get to create an album with the whole band. (We) spend two full weeks to mix “Truths”…now we spent a full month in the studio. It’s more of our personality, working as a band. It was a lot of fun.
BBJ: There was a contest to sing backup on this album, tell me how that was birthed and how it turned it out.
FREY: (LAUGHS) It’s was not really a contest. It was part of ending the ten years in a ten passenger van and buying a bus.
We said to fans come to Nashville, sing on the album. There was 5-6 families, folks from the record label and us…gathered in a room and sang background vocals.
I got to be director of the choir. Lot of fun.
Gave people a glimpse into what we do recording. They recorded “Night Drove Dixie Down” in that room. There were pictures of James Taylor on the wall. It was cool.
BBJ: You toured with Mercy Me and Francesca Battistelli on the Rock and Worship Roadshow, what was one of the things you learned from a band like Mercy Me, who has been there and done that.
FREY: Dude, each tour you learn new things.
How TobyMac interacts on and off stage. The hardest workers, the Newsboys…Michael Tait, Duncan Phillips – they work the hardest and relax the hardest.
(LAUGHS) The hardest relaxation…they sent a photo of themselves in the Bahamas, just taking it easy.
They work hard. Sign until the last person left, just saying we’re here for you, hang out and talk. ‘We appreciate you guys,’ learned that from them.
BBJ: Awesome, just awesome.
FREY: David Crowder, I’d like to lead worship like he does…and look as cool with a giant scraggly beard (LAUGHS)
BBJ: It sounds really cool.
FREY: You go to church together, get to know each other. You live and learn from each and every artist for sure.
BBJ: Wow, that was awesome. I want to thank you again for your time and I look forward to seeing you at Winter Jam.
FREY: Yeah man, it was awesome. Thanks.
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Photos: Brandon Jones, Winter Jam 2013 Tampa