Luke Caldwell: "God created us to need Him and God created us with that void inside of us that we just canít fill elsewhere. We just canít figure things out all the time."
Hailing from Boise, ID, Esterlyn brings a fresh artistic sound to modern worship. Playing over 200 concert dates this past year alone, this talented four-piece band has been building their fan base for several years, primarily within the Calvary Chapel system where lead singer Luke Caldwell was a youth pastor for four years.
The band started by releasing their debut independent album, Lamps in early 2008, featuring the single ďWe All Need.Ē Esterlyn recorded an acoustic worship EP entitled Mending the Meaning in early 2009, which hit the Top 10 Albums on iTunes Christian charts.
Over the past two years, they have toured with bands like Kutless, Fireflight & Disciple. At their core, Esterlyn is passionate about worshiping the Lord and bringing others into His presence.
The band recently signed with VSR Music Group EMI and released their debut on the label in July 2010 titled Call Out. NRT's Bill Lurwick recently had the opportunity to speak with frontman Luke Caldwell about the new project and the band's story so far.
Luke, thanks for joining us today. So, would it be safe to classify Call Out as a worship project?
Yeah, I would say so. More than anything, as a band, our hearts and desire is to worship God through our music and ultimately through our lives. These songs are truly meant to worship and praise Him and thatís where I feel comfortable when writing songs. It's just what is coming out of me right now.
Talk about the title cut off Call Out.
Itís about calling out to God wherever weíre at and whatever is going on in our lives. Iíve found myself in so many different positions already in life where things are going amazing and Iíve also been in places where things are just falling apart and I just donít understand.
Ultimately, God created us to need Him and God created us with that void inside of us that we just canít fill elsewhere. We just canít figure things out all the time. We are humans. But we are His creation and ultimately we need to humble ourselves before Him and just say, ďGod, I need you. I need you to speak to me. I need you to lead me, guide me and provide for me.Ē
In Jeremiah 33:3 it says, ďCall to me and I will show you great and mighty things which you do not know.Ē
It all starts with just calling out to him. Thatís where everything starts and itís a continuous process. Itís not something we just do once and then everything is great and you just go through your life, but itís realizing each and every day, no matter where weíre at or whatís going on, just to have that heart to call out to God. He will reveal Himself when we worship Him, praise Him and seek Him. Itís just an awesome promise.
Thereís a song on Call Out called Esther. Is this taken from the book in the Bible and does your band's name have any connection to the book?
No. My little nieces' first name is Esther and her middle name is Lynn. So, when we started the band, I wanted to make it look more like a bandís name and not like a girlís name. So, thatís why we spelled Esterlyn. This song is about her.
Thereís a great video on your MySpace page about your niece Esther Lynn. She was adopted from China, right?
Yeah, she was. She was abandoned by her birth parents when she was just 8 days old. They left her on a porch, someone found her and they took her to an orphanage. After Godís providence, sheís part of my family and we just love her so much.
She recently turned four and sheís just the sweetest little girl. She has so much love, joy and hope in her life now. Through the whole experience, God opened up my eyes and challenged me that wherever Iím at in life to just truly try to make a difference in the people around me because there are so many people who are hurting and who just need Godís love in a practical way.
Maybe Iíll never adopt from another world. I could make a difference by loving the people around me each and every day--whether itís at a concert or whether Iím grocery shopping--that my life would make a difference through Godís love because Godís love really will change people.
So, that was the inspiration behind the whole band name and what we want to stand for as a band. We want this to be more of a ministry rather than just some guys who get together an d make music.
Luke, if you donít mind me asking, how old are you now?
You are 31. Youíve been playing since you were 19 and you have an interesting story about how you got into music. You didnít grow up wanting to be an artist or a musician, right?
Right. And I definitely got a late start in comparison to most people. Right now, the guy drumming for us is 18. Heís already in our band and at that age, I hadnít even picked up an instrument yet.
I grew playing sports, like snowboarding and football. When I went to Bible college in Europe for a year, I just wanted to take that time to see God and see what His plan was for my life. I really wasnít sure where to go or what to do and I wanted to make sure that I was getting that directly from Him before I went off to regular college or hopped into a career path.
While I was there, a girl who I was going to school with who I hadn't even met yet, walked up to me and said, ďHey. God told me to give you this guitar.Ē That seems a little bit weird, but I really believed her. I had never played. I had never sung except at church in the congregation, but I started trying to fiddle around with it. I couldnít really play. I couldnít sing, but she was really adamant that she heard from the Lord. So, I remember going into my dorm room and asking my roommates to pray for me because I just wanted a heart of worship. I just wanted to worship the Lord on my own. I never wanted to be in a band or anything like that. They laid hands on me and prayed for me and asked God to give me a heart of worship and itís been an amazing journey since then because, obviously, I had a long way to go.
I could still barely sing or play for years after that, but it was something that God started really stirring in my heart. I wanted to have the passion to want to worship Him, and that lead to wanting to lead others into His presence.
God has really opened up a lot of doors and opportunities for Esterlyn to be able to do what all started at Bible college and I attribute it all to Him because thatís when music wasnít in my plans by any means.
Really cool story Luke. We appreciate you spending time with us here at NewReleaseTuesday.com. Best of success to you guys.
Thanks so much!
Posted September 06, 2010 | Bill Lurwick, the voice of NewReleaseTuesday.com's weekly New Christian Music Podcast, has been in radio since 1989 and is currently heard on KJIL in Dodge City, KS.