Record Label: None
Michael Nichols: In short, too many! Yellowcard is a big one, but also Skillet, Red, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and even post-rock like This Will Destroy You and Explosions in the Sky. We love the drive, but we love the ambience, too.
Michael: Definitely not. At least three of the songs weren’t a part the album right before recording time began. “Regrets and Repair” barely made it in the door, but it felt right. The album is so much a collection of stories from a larger story arc, and that one just completed the arc. The instrumentals were also a huge part of the completion. It didn’t need more words, but it just didn’t feel complete until we added those.
Michael: Well, part of that has to do with why we added them in the first place. Part of it was because the title track, “Love and Fear,” has so much to it instrumentally, making it a longer song. It was partly to balance that — in a way, we considered “Love and Fear” its own outro. So when we made “Cities in the Night,” the title was a throw forward to the first line of “Love and Fear,” and there is even some overlap in the violin lines. It was a lot of fun. “Semiconsciousness” was Jared’s brainchild. It was a mood-shifting track, drifting off from the heaviness of “Dreams” into “Closure.”
Michael: I’m one of those extroverts that’s really shy sometimes and is especially quiet when he’s hurt. When I wrote “Crash,” I had just lost one of my best friends — [by that] I mean the friendship ended. I went into depression for almost two years, and I repressed a lot until I started writing songs about it. Putting the scream into it felt appropriate not just for the lyrics' sake, but because the song was a moment of trying to break my heart’s silence.
Michael: We were massively blessed to have known several amazing musicians personally, any of which we would gladly add to our permanent lineup. Josh Jessen is very involved in the jazz/hip-hop scene in Cincinnati, Luc was heading to Belmont for his master’s degree, and Alicyn is in college as a creative writing major. Then there’s Josh Propst on cello, Martha Christian who is a worship pastor, Bethany Pedigo, and all of our amazing gang vocalists with families and jobs. God has blessed us, and we’re just happy they gave us a moment of their time and their awesome friendship.
Michael: Most recently, I was involved with a worship band called One Renown, who are still making some awesome jams. I’ve done a few projects before, too, but nothing really ever came of them. I think the difference between then and now is that I believe in myself and that God has me doing this for a purpose. I’m working on a little bit of my own thing, playing for a church family I adore, and Jared is doing the same.
Michael: As of right now, we don’t have tour dates, but we are putting together plans to make that happen soon, and we’re looking at having some really awesome friends join us for that, potentially full-time. Here’s hoping!
Michael: One word? Hmm… "Brave." Be brave. The stories told are all of moments when I’ve not been sure of myself or people in my life. The great thing about bravery is that it doesn’t mean you aren’t afraid. It just means you love something stronger than you fear anything else. 1 John 4:18 says that perfect love casts out fear. The more we believe we are loved by God, the more love we can give to others, and the more bravery can conquer our fears and anxieties.
Michael: The only thing left to say is just that we’re not out to be rock stars. I mean, if that’s what happens, great! And we’re going to work hard to make this the best time we can and reach as many people as we can. At the end of the day, though, it’s God’s plan, not ours. This is about telling you that you’re loved. If that happens, then we’ve done what we set out to do.
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