TFK: What's Old Is New Again In advance of a Creation Northwest show full of explosions and flare, McNevan sat down with NRT Senior Editor Marcus Hathcock to talk about going indie, Kickstarter and The Purpose Driven Life.
Trevor McNevan: "As Christians, our faith is our lifestyle and trying to do what we do to the best of our ability and, of course, with quality."
Sometimes the best way to move forward is to go back to the basics, taking all of the raw energy and emotion of the past and channeling it into the present. This is exactly what Thousand Foot Krutch is doing on the aptly titled The End Is Where We Begin, which released April 17 and finds Canada's favorite modern rockers voluntarily walking away from record label life altogether (even after a slew of profitable offers came along) to reignite the passionate DIY work ethos that first emerged over a decade ago.
While waiting for inspiration to arrive and fuel the writing process, TFK's front man/songwriter Trevor McNevan popped in the band's 1997 seminal debut, That's What People Do, which echoed respected rappers like Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys, cross-pollinated with the rhythmic grooves of Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Those inspirations return throughout The End Is Where We Begin, alongside the group's continuously marinating blend of towering choruses, razor-sharp rhythms, epic arrangements and stadium shaking rumbles.
In advance of a Creation Northwest show full of explosions and flare, McNevan sat down with NRT Senior Editor Marcus Hathcock to talk about going indie, Kickstarter and The Purpose Driven Life.
So Trevor, what's getting you excited these days?
Everything. The new record has been a rush. It's been a lot of fun getting that out. Just a whole new venture with going back to being independent again. It's been awesome. Always a journey, but God's been so good. Always learning something new.
I've followed you guys since Set It Off. How does it feel coming back to not only being indie again, but stylistically you're kind of hearkening back to some of the old roots.
It feels great. Honestly it feels very uninhibited and just natural. It feels very honest. It's what felt right for this record and what felt right in the process of writing it and everything. There are definitely some risks taken on this record, and then there's the whole faith step of going out on our own without a label.
It's been one of those awesome moments of your life that's exciting and freaky and you have to trust God. There's no other way. It's the best place to be and it always stretches you. It's been a good process.
What's He shown you in this whole process?
We're learning new stuff even about how to work within our team, and God's been helping in a roundabout way. He's just keeping things focused and on the right track. That's been a blessing. Just for in life in general, I've been reading The Purpose Driven Life again. Have you read that book?
And I remember it from a long time ago. A friend of mine had it out again. I was like, "Man, I should check that out again," and it's just been killing me in a great way. Just some amazing reminders on a personal level. Really, for me I feel like it's been on my heart pretty heavy just that worship is supposed to be our lifestyle. It's how we love our Savior and it affects our attitudes towards everything that we do.
Yeah, that's been speaking to me big time and God's been doing lots of great stuff. Just so many times you don't know what He's doing. You're just like, "Alright. That's what we feel we're supposed to do, so we're going to do it. I guess we'll find out later."
With the Kickstarter campaign you did for the album, did that totally change the way you went about recording?
It changed the dynamic of how it can be done I think for us. I think how we made the record and went about the process is the same, but we had no idea about that thing. We had just recently heard about it a month before that and gave it a shot and didn't know what that would be like. That was a huge blessing. Even now when we think about it we're like, "Thank you Jesus and to everybody who supported it!" That was really encouraging and a pretty awesome experience.
Do you prefer to do it that way now that you've gone that way?
Yeah. I think it's great. But I think you've got to be really careful. This is just my point of view, but I think you have to be careful on how much you ask for money. You don't want to overstep your boundaries on that. Just the thought of asking for money in any form just bugs almost anybody. We felt uncomfortable with that so we tried to make sure we created pledge packages that you couldn't just get in most places. We tried to keep that going--limited edition guitars and Skype calls and limited edition vinyl. Just stuff to try to keep it interesting so they weren't like, "Why would I do this when I can just go get it there?" We wanted to really respect that.
That'd be great to hear you on vinyl.
Thanks. I've wanted to do vinyl since Set it Off. We finally on this record got to do it. Pretty stoked about it.
That's cool. So now you're starting a new chapter--probably your third chapter really if you look at Thousand Foot Krutch's history. Has your mission changed? And if it has, how has it changed?
I can honestly say I don't think it has at all. I think even from a young age it's always been more about just doing what we do honestly. As Christians, our faith is our lifestyle and trying to do what we do to the best of our ability and, of course, with quality. It's always kind of irked me when anything faith based was done halfway. Unfortunately there's a lot of that in our generation.
As far as just the heart of the band and what we'd love to leave someone with, we hope they love the songs and the music, but I think it's always been about hope for us. It's been more about that universal message of there is hope and God loves us and has a plan for this generation just like He did the last one. We can be the change. We can make a difference if we give Him the wheel and stop getting in the way sometimes. That's the heart of it for sure.
Posted July 31, 2012 | NRT Senior Editor Marcus Hathcock has been a newspaper reporter, an editor and now Community Life Director for East Hill Church in Gresham, Ore. He's also been involved in opera, acappella, a CCM group and now is a songwriter and one of the worship leaders at East Hill. Follow his journey at www.mheternal.com.