jump to navigation

Interview Leftovers: Chris Tomlin November 19, 2008

Posted by markgeil in Music.
Tags: ,

The sixsteps article went up yesterday on Christian Music Today. Read it here. Warning: it’s long! Economy of words has never been my strongest suit.

Also, for Sarah’s sake, I will point out that I brazenly borrowed her upcoming Christmas present for the article. If you happen to read the article, you’ll notice mention of the year 1,000 BC. I didn’t know that date off the top of my head, so I used the new Chronological Bible that Sarah will be getting. She knows she’s getting it (she picked it out!) and she’s desperate to start reading it, but we’re making her wait until Christmas. (It’s such a blessing that our kids all have a hunger for God’s word.)

Back on topic: here are some parts of my interview with Chris Tomlin that didn’t make the article.

I asked if the artists of sixsteps start to “rub off” on each other musically since they tour together for Passion conferences.

Chris: “I’m not thinking so much. I think one of the great dynamics that we have at sixsteps is that we’re coming from such different places with our music. I think that’s a thing we try to keep, the uniqueness, the personality, the way we approach things and ideas about what we want to do. I think that’s one of the testaments to Louie and Shelley, having a real wide love. ‘We want to embrace you guys as who you are, and let’s not create this little mold of what music from sixsteps should sound like.’ They really have an awesome way of saying, ‘Hey, be yourself.’ That’s pretty unusual. Not saying, ‘This sound works really well, let’s all do this.’ There have never been any of those conversations. One of the strengths is the uniqueness that you’ll find between the four of us.”

Chris had a lot of interesting things to say on the changing music industry. “It’s obvious, the hard times in the music business. What a traditional label was is going by the wayside. As far as EMI changing, it’s just different. It’s a different world when you’re answering to shareholders and you’re publicly traded. It’s different from when you’re just doing your little sixsteps thing. For us, it’s a little bit easier because we’re small. There’s less pressure there. Not that the other is bad, there are just different obligations, different responsibilities. I think EMI has amazing leadership, which is why it’s been able to weather this storm. I see them staying.”

Later: “I would have definitely sold a lot more records in the 90’s. That’s just reality. There will never be a huge, big big selling record anymore, because that’s just the way music is bought, or not bought. Big artists could sell ten million records. That’s gone. Huge records coming out over the next couple of years will sell three to five million. I’m talking like Metallica or something like that. I know from a business side, there’s a part of me that goes, ‘I would have sold a lot more,’ but I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it or worrying about it.”


And finally, still later, when we were talking about something completely different, Chris came back to the subject. It’s clearly something he cares a lot about: “It is serious stuff, ripping the music. I’ve seen it put a strain on people not being able to do their jobs, because there’s no business there to do the job with. I do hope there is a conscience that comes around. I doubt it, knowing human nature, but I’m really tired of seeing a lot of people I know being laid off. These are people who are just trying to do a good job putting music out, but they just can’t do it because there’s no business there. It’s frustrating to see that. There’s a lot of energy that went into that little product on the shelf.”

So, from Chris Tomlin and me: pay for your music!



1. Sarah Geil - November 20, 2008

Uhhh, at least the poor poor Bible is getting some use! Thanks for the aknoledgment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: