JASON CRABB [Interview]: Talks New Album, "Love Is Stronger", and Collaborating W/ Rascal Flatts' Jay DeMarcus
Jason Crabb won a Grammy for his 2009 self-titled debut. Now he's releasing his third album "Love Is Stronger" March 12th. He graciously sat down with BREATHEcast to chat about the recording process.
What's new with Jason Crabb? Are you nervous, excited, anxious about "Love Is Stronger" coming out March 12?
I'm all of those things, to be honest with you. I'm a little bit nervous, anxious, and excited. This is a record I feel like I've thought of a little something for everybody. I wouldn't care to give this record to my grandma and Kirk Franklin, or whoever.
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The producers did a fantastic job. We had three different ones working on this record. We had Jay DeMarcus [Rascal Flatts]. He produced 6 tunes of this and just threw down. It's probably some of the best work, I couldn't believe he'd even do it, and then I couldn't believe how really gifted and talented he was. Then, Ed Cash, his talent goes without saying. He's produced everything from Chris Tomlin to Switchfoot. What a great guy, I'm telling you. And then Wayne Haun produced two tunes. He just did a couple things with Celine Dion on "Orchestration". So man, I'm just pumped! I'm as excited as I can get. I can't wait to start singing this stuff.
How does it differ musically, spiritually from earlier releases?
I think, as a person you're trying to stay the same but give a new sound. It still has some of the rootsy things that we do. But also, I wanted to reach out to the kids---my kids! I have a 7 and 9 year old, and I want them to want to listen to the songs. It's a tough task; it'll drive an artist crazy. You don't know what colors to use, you don't know what paints people will be attracted to. Thank God that wasn't on my shoulders; that was more of the producers. But they did a good job.
How did you get into ministry via music?
I grew up a pastor's kid. That was just part of the DNA of what I do, and where I was at. Of course we loved music, and God married the two together. You hear the word ministry and you think of a preacher, or something like that. But it's so much larger; just being an encourager; music speaking to a situation in a person's life; a teacher. I believe teaching in schools today is a ministry. I couldn't imagine me doing anything else. I just love it.
Do you have any personal testimony you'd like to share?
We went to the Price Is Right, the next day [after the Grammys]. You have to get there 6 hours early, and you have to wait in line. I leave that line to stand in line for the concession stand when a bus pulls up. This kid gets out of the bus and he comes over and he says, "Hey I know you!" LA is a long way from Beaver Dam, KY so I thought, "Man, you don't know me."
He said he saw me singing "Through the Fire" when he was in prison. I wrote down my email address and I told him to email me and let me know what God was doing in his life. You could just tell he was excited to hear someone say something positive about him.
I thought I was just there for the Grammys, for the Price Is Right, for the fun, but it was God leading me to a place to stand in line for a Coke and a hot dog and for that young man to walk by. It was a chance for God to say, "I have a plan for your life." It was just one of those moments things are bigger than we are.
What are some of your biggest influences? Any secular?
I listen to so many different styles of music. Growing up I listened to everything. If we're going to reach out to younger people we have to let them know we're staying current. And I have a 7 and 9 year old that are in cheer competitions. In their cheer mix tapes they have everything from A to Z.
The Hinsons were a huge influence in my life from a young age; also Michael English. I still listen to those but I also love the Bonnie Raitts of the day, Michael Buble. Toby [Keith] just put out a brand new project, and I think he's killing it. Kari Jobe has a great heart and great voice and actually sang on my new record. That was a moment I was very excited about.
Are you planning a tour right now to promote "Love Is Stronger"
We're hitting it pretty hard on this record and teaming up with Compassion. I just feel so strong with some of these lyrics; about where they are and where it's at today. Of course, some of the dates are set in stone but man, it just keeps growing and expanding. The first date is March 6th in Gainesville, GA at Free Chapel Church. It's going to be a broadcast and a huge kickoff to the record. We're very excited about that!
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