This interview took place on: February, 2006
I've been singing since before I can remember. My entire family sang in church. My parents bought me a
guitar when I was eight. I started trying to write songs and play and sing those songs when I was
twelve. Once I started, it was all I wanted to do.
Three years passed between the time of my first record and Reach. The change in musical
direction is a result of me getting older, learning and growing stronger from the journey of life, and
hopefully becoming a better singer, songwriter, and musician.
The process of switching labels was an extremely stressful one for me. However, now that it is over and
I am with Provident / Essential, I could not be more happy. I believe this record would not be as
special as it is without the freedom that my label gave me. The label switch has revived my desire to
stay in the music business.
I was out on tour with Third Day. It was around five o'clock in the
morning down in Texas when my phone rang with the news that changed
the world for me in many ways. I played the show that night with the
heaviness on my heart that a great friend of the family, who had been
like a sister to me, had died, while my older sister Rena was in
critical condition in the hospital. The next day I left the tour to
fly home to NC and stand face to face with the fact that this was not
just some bad dream. This is life. I spent the night in the
hospital room with my sister as she came in and out of consciousness
from the peace of her rest to the horrific reality of pain from her
broken body, the guilt of being the driver that night, and the death
of the person who had been the closest to her for the past thirteen
I am a person of reason. I pride myself on being able to analyze any
situation and come up with an answer, a solution. But that night I
had no answers. God made no sense to me. My heart still breaks to
think of the loss of Carla, and to see my beautiful twenty-eight year
old sister carry the guilt and pain as she limps through life on a
leg that the doctors want to amputate.
What is helping me through this is my faith. I can't explain it in
any twelve step program, it's just faith. I choose to believe that
God has not forsaken my sister, and that He has a Kingdom building
purpose for her life - one that I am seeing unfold more and more
everyday through the work that Rena does. Not only in the way she
gives and shows compassion to others in her everyday life, but also
through her music ministry. She is an amazing singer and
communicator who has a busy schedule traveling and sharing the hope
of Christ. I also believe that Carla is with Christ. I believe that
He has and will continue to comfort the family that she left behind.
And, this is really important for people to understand this, remember
that God's goal is not to build a kingdom here that makes sense to
us, He is building something greater than what we can understand. I
believe that God used the life and death of Carla to challenge an
infinite amount of people to live for more than this world. I know
it affected me in that way. I can't speak for everyone else, but as
for me, I am a different person because of all that happened. What I
learned through the life and death of Carla is now a part of the
fingerprint that I leave on everything I touch. It is a huge
inspiration behind the songs on this record, and through that and
many other things God will use her life to challenge many others to
live for the Kingdom of Heaven, not the fragile kingdoms of this world.
I would say to others going through some hard trial that rattles
their very faith is, my heart breaks for you. It's not easy to live
life sometimes. The last thing I would do is try to make you feel
bad for doubting, or questioning. I watched my sister get so
frustrated as people would tell her to just be strong. Sometimes you
just don't want to "be strong" any more. I don't have any special
insight, I've searched for answers to why life has to hurt so much at
times, and I've found none. But, maybe it is so we can't "be strong"
any more. Maybe things like this have to happen so that we can see
how weak we are, how vulnerable and fragile life is, so that we have
to come back to the basics of our faith where we choose to believe
that He is the only one STRONG.
Sorry for the long answers. I nearly wrote a whole record on the
emotions wrapped around this topic. I could have just told you to
listen to Reach, but I thought I would give it a try.
You can find out more about Rena and her story at www.myspace.com/renahill
My advice is, don't allow yourself to feel alone. I'm gonna give you
a little insight, every body in the world struggles with feelings of
defeat or hopelessness. Most people just do a really good job of
hiding their feelings, so those of us who are not so good at hiding
wind up looking like there is something wrong with us. God is not
offended by your honesty. Most of your "Christian" friends might be
offended by it, but God is not. Go to Him with it, and I believe
with all of my heart that he will take what seems to be a terrible
thing, and use it for the good. It might take a lot longer than you
want it to, but the wait will be worth it. I don't have any specific
answers for you. All of our situations are the same, but different.
What I know is that I experience feelings of defeat or hopelessness
often, and God always uses it to bring me closer to Him. Trust me, I
am absolutely nothing special, if He can do that for me, He can be
there for you too.
I want to create music that is true to me - music that I can proudly hold up and say,
"this is who I honestly am or hope to be." I believe that if I do that, then listeners will relate and
be able to apply that to their own lives. I want to build a relationship with my listener.
I want them to feel like they know me, like they would like to invite me to dinner with their family and
I would fit in.
Singing "The Great Adventure" with Steven Curtis Chapman on the release date of my debut record.
My parents. They are both musicians and singers. They introduced me to music and encouraged me to do my best.
I will be going out this spring with Shawn McDonald and Alli Rogers. The summer and fall dates will be
decided soon and up at www.warrenbarfield.com
Drums were my first instrument, but I can't play anymore. I played trombone in school band. I started
playing guitar when I was eight. I've dabbled with several stringed instruments and piano, but guitar
is the only instrument that I am comfortable with.
I want to do a tour of Europe. I don't necessarily have to perform there, I just want to see it.
I am married to a fantastic gal. Her name is Megan. We have a little girl named Lady Sophia.
We call her Sophie. She is a three pound Yorky puppy.
Ben Taylor. (honestly, Reach)
A James Taylor biography. I'm also reading "Blue Like Jazz" by Donald Miller, for the third time.
1. My wife 2. A guitar 3. A boat, so I can still go out to eat and not miss any shows.
Lately He's been stripping away some of my false securities to show me that I can't live for this
world. I was not created for this world, so I shouldn't spend so much time trying to make myself
comfortable here. He is challenging me to live for something more. I'm still learning what that
means, but I think it is more about reaching out to others than it is reaching for the vain things
I think I need.
A huge thank you to Jesusfreakhideout.com for sharing your audience with me. I hope all of your staff
and your readers love the new record. I put my whole soul into it.
Reach for more than the temporary things of this world.
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