Zach Bolen of Citizens Interview with BREATHEcast
1. Could you tell us how did you become a worship leader at Mars Hill?
About 2 years ago my family and I were in the Midwest working at a church and through the leading of the Holy Spirit it became apparent that God was calling us to Seattle. In the process of praying through what our next steps would be, Jonathan Dunn called me and asked if I would be interested in interviewing for a worship director position at Mars Hill. Interview after interview I bombed, both over the phone and in person. It wasn't until my last night in Seattle, about to wrap up my last interview and feeling really discouraged, that the Holy Spirit, moved through my wife and some great friends, and reminded me of my calling. "Proclaim the gospel through song." From there I communicated in that last interview the mission that God was calling me to and more specifically how I was confident that God was calling my family to Seattle. Later on that night, they offered us the job and two weeks later we moved to Seattle. I'm really thankful that I did so poorly on the interviews, because it's a daily reminder that I did nothing to put myself in this position, it's solely the work of the Spirit.
Like Us on Facebook
2. Tell us more about your band Citizens. Why the name Citizens? How long have you been together?
The band started back in late 2011. When I moved to Seattle I was tasked with the job of starting a band. Immediately God provided some incredibly talented musicians, all of which wound up making up the band. The name Citizens come from Ephesians 2:19. As a band we wanted a name that unified us as worship leaders with the congregation. In reality, they are just as much leading us in the worship of the one true God as we are leading them. The name Citizens is an exclusive title that we get from being made alive in Christ. He has made us family.
3. What is it like to work with Mark Driscoll?
Pastor Mark is a tremendous leader. He preaches boldly and truthfully from the pulpit and leads the same way one on one. It's been incredibly helpful having a leader, along with all the Pastors at Mars Hill, shepherd us with such authenticity. His desire to proclaim the truth has been incredibly influential in the way we lead our congregation in the singing of praise to God. Pastor Mark has always been a great encouragement to our band in reminding us of the importance of staying true to God's calling to, "Proclaim the Gospel through song."
4. When you lead worship besides your own songs, what other worship songs do you sing?
We sing a lot of hymns like, In Christ Alone, There is a Fountain, Nothing but the Blood, to name a few. In addition to hymns we also play other Mars Hill originals. We are very blessed to have a ton of amazingly gifted people who feel called to write for the local church.
5. Let's talk about your new record I really like "I Am Living in a Land of Death.' I think it has an intriguing title and melody, could you tell us more about this song?
The way this song came together is really unique. The chorus of the song was something that I had been working on for a while but was really struggling to come up with some solid verses. I showed the song to Brian Eichelberger, our producer, and he said he had a verse and pre-chorus that he had written a while back but had a really hard time finding a chorus. He played his verse and Pre Chorus on the piano and led that into the chorus and the two fit perfectly. Clearly something beyond us that the Holy Spirit had been doing, and His timing, brought the two together. What we really liked about bringing our two parts together was the chorus I had really provided this hopeful resolution to the death around us that Brian talked about in the verses, and that's finding refuge in God and what His word promises. When we got to the bridge we knew how we wanted to pull it together. We basically wanted to create this post-apocalyptic scene (if you will) that created this imagery of everything being totally destroyed yet in the midst of it all, was Jesus shining as this brilliant Light. The song is really the journey of everyone's faith and conversion. We worshipped other God's, pursued our own path, and all that led to was death. But God being rich in mercy, Saved us, and gave us an eternal hope that we can rejoice in.
6. I really like the way you revived the hymns particularly 'Praise to the Lord' and 'I Surrender All,' why the hymns?
Most hymns are rich in theology, sometimes a little wordy but most always, very easy to sing. The easy to sing part is something that much of the modern worship music world has taken and ran with, but has abandoned the responsibility to communicate the Word and truth clearly. If we are going to continue to proclaim the gospel through song, than it is imperative that we make it a priority in writing to keep right theology the primary focus and the melody secondary. At the end of the day, there are so many great hymns out there that can be used to bless the church. We saw these hymns as an opportunity to do just that, without trying to reinvent the wheel. These songs are timeless because what they proclaim is a timeless truth. They will be songs many generations to come will sing I'm sure.
7. What are your plans in terms of promoting this new record? Will there be a tour?
The focus has always been and will continue to be, to serve the local church. With the exception of my role as the worship director, everyone else in the band has jobs or is in college and is unpaid. So for them, this is the way they serve the church. We certainly look forward to upcoming opportunities, and are seriously considering every opportunity that allows us to share our music with people all over the world.
- The Perry's Tracy Stuffle Latest Medical Update and Recovery Process
- Chris Tomlin 'Burning Lights' Tour to Have Second Leg This Fall 2013, See Full Dates Here (VIDEO)
- 1 Girl Nation (1GN) Joins Reunion Records And Announces Debut, Self-Titled Release Due August 20
- Plumb Travels to Brooklyn to Experience the Work of Metro World Child
- Tracy Stuffle Medical Update, The Perry's Singer, Having Rough Week in Hospital, Prayers Needed
- EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Audio Adrenaline on Red Carpet at K-Love Awards (VIDEO)
- Grammy and Dove Award Nominated Recording Artist Mr. Del, Celebrates Highly Anticipated Project FAITH WALKA
- Matthew West to Perform at First-Ever Sunday Morning at CMA Fest
- GAYE ARBUCKLE Releases HOLY
- Red Roots to appear on The American Bible Challenge on GSN
- Second Edition Of Dr. Michael Milton's SILENT NO MORE Releases Amid High-Profile Accolades
- Mars Hill Music's Citizens Releases Self-Titled LP
- All Sons & Daughters Release First Live CD/DVD April 23
- Josh Wilson Releases His Most Personal Record To Date, 'Carry Me,' On Apr. 9
- KEITH ELGIN RELEASES AWARD-WINNING SINGLE TO RADIO
- Darlene Zschech, To Declare The Truth of God - Revealing Jesus, by Melissa Riddle Chalos
- A Father’s Day Exclusive Interview: Singer/songwriter Todd MacDonald’ Dad Talks about His Son, Death and Being a Dad
- EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Mike Weaver of Big Daddy Weave Speaks on K-Love Fan Nominations, Their Hit Song "Redeemed" & New Music on the Way
- Interview: Bryan Duncan Talks About His New Album "Conversations."
Get the latest news from BC in your inbox
- THIS WEEK