Since its inception in 1996, All Star United, driven by its
frontman Ian Eskelin, has been rocking the globe with their fun
and honest music that is easy to receive. In 1998, they released their second album
International Anthems for the Human Race, and in 2000, left home label
Essential Records with a parting hits album (after just two records) entitled Smash Hits.
Since then, fans have been waiting for new material from the guys and in 2002, Ian answers
the call with ASU's Revolution. We caught up with Ian who was gracious enough
to answer the following questions.
This interview took place on: 6/1/02.
Jesus freak Hideout: All Star United is finally getting the chance to release a new full-length album this year after a three and a half year hiatus. Where has ASU been?
Ian Eskelin: I think the question should read where haven't we been?
The world is a big place with many countries to play. And while we did take a much-needed short hiatus
from massive touring, we never really stopped playing gigs or writing songs. So, we are thrilled with
the release of our new project Revolution and excited that we have a whole bunch
of new songs to play.
JFH: The ASU lineup seems to change quite often, why is that?
When I started ASU six years ago, it had one major philosophy - tour tour tour - endlessly. It wasn't
uncommon for us to average close to 200 shows a year. After a while of relentless touring, some previous
members decided to do other things than ride around on buses, and check into hotels. I have been blessed to be
able to travel with my best friends all over the world, and that is something that continues to this day with
Matt, Jeremy, and Mike.
JFH: With the release of your new record Revolution, you have signed to Delirious?' label Furious? Records. How did this opportunity come about?
I have known the Delirious? guys for some time, and have respected how they run their whole operation.
Just over a year ago, after a show in England, my old friend and Furious? records guru Jonathon Brown and I
started talking about the future of ASU. It all made sense and the rest is history.
JFH: Did you have any set goals or a specific plan for what you wanted with Revolution before recording?
Yes, over a couple of years I had written about 30 songs, but knew I only wanted 10 on the record.
I wanted to trim the fat and make a concise listen-able CD with no tracks to skip. We also went in the studio
with the idea not to overproduce. Most of the songs were recorded in one or two takes and I think you can hear
the honesty in them.
JFH: What inspired the song "Sweet Jesus?"
Ian: In my fast-paced life, it's easy sometimes to just cruise on auto-pilot and leave God
out of the picture. But, Jesus wants our relationship all the time, not just when we need something, or times
are bad. Sometimes it takes an effort to spend time with God when things are going good. "Sweet Jesus" was
written on my roof-top in Nashville, and it's an actual moment of getting reaquainted with my best friend, Jesus.
JFH: What is the story behind the song "Made in Heaven?"
Ian: I believe that God puts certain people in our lives to help us make it through.
For some people, that person is a spouse or maybe just a good friend. When an earthly relationship is centered
on Christ, it creates an amazing heavenly bond. It is nice to know that kind of relationship will follow us
JFH: What is your favorite song from Revolution? Also, what is your favorite all-time ASU song?
I really like "Sweet Jesus," because it is a very personal song that was written from the heart. However,
I have a soft spot for the rockers like, "Kings and Queens," and "Weirdo." Idon't have a fave ASU song, but I
really enjoy playing "Beautiful Thing" live.
JFH: Although our current culture has been inundated by this subject, it's naturally something that has changed our nation forever. Where were you when you heard about the terrible events of September 11, 2001 and how did it effect you personally?
I have a lot of friends and family in the NY/NJ area, and that day was surreal. I was at home in Nashville watching the
news and could not believe my eyes. The song "Global Breakdown" talks about my feelings on that day.
JFH: How has marriage changed your life?
Ian: It is great to have a partner to share life with. My wife Peggy is from NJ, so the
biggest change for me has been her attempt to turn me into a knowledgeable Yankees fanatic. But, she doesn't
realize that I don't like hockey.
JFH: Have you seen Star Wars Episode II or Spider-Man yet? (if so, which was better?)
Ian: I saw them both. Star Wars was great, and I dis-liked Spider-Man. But,
then I'm a sucker for true stories.
JFH: How has your experience on the current Fire Tour with Delirious? been?
Ian: I'm actually answering these questions in the back of a van headed towards tonight's
show in Glasgow. It's feels incredible just to get back the basics of ASU. I love doing sweaty shows with tons
of fans having a great time. We've been playing 35 minutes a night, which has been a lot of fun because we don't
have to pace ourselves. We can go all out every gig.
JFH: What has been your worst snow-boarding accident?
Ian: Broken nose or maybe that separated shoulder.
JFH: What is your favorite movie?
Ian: This week I like Spy Game, Made, and American Movie.
JFH: What is your favorite Asian dish?
Ian: Jackie Chan
JFH: What has been one of your all-time favorite on-the-road moments?
Ian: There are too many to count. Call me crazy, but I really like those international
flights over 10 hours cause I can catch up on all the movies I've missed. LA to Auckland is a good one.
JFH: What is your favorite thing to do in their spare time?
Ian: What's that?. I write songs constantly.
JFH: Do you have any jobs other than ASU?
Ian: I write songs for other people.
JFH: Do you have any favorite Christian artists?
Ian: I quite liked Fold Zandura.
JFH: I really appreciate your taking the time out of your busy schedule to
answer some questions for us. Are there any last comments you'd like to make?
Ian: God is good, allstarunited.com, goodbye