St. Louis, MO - Erin: Can you tell us about the reformation of the group this past year?
Nathan: Basically about a year ago is when we started to play live. Gabe started playing guitar and Nate started playing keys in the band. After awhile our band started to feel like a joke band. We were the band to poke fun of and that was starting to get old. We kind of knew it was old. We started to lose some of the joy because early on we were proud of what were doing and it was cool, but we got to the point where we were kind of not as happy as we should have been.
We felt that our band was kind of losing it's relevance to the kids, it was like man we have to do something different. It came to a point where we almost called it quits because it was hard to know what to do and things were unstable. It ended up that Jason left to do a solo thing and Jeremy ended up getting married and wanted to settle down, so the three of us about a year ago started to prepare for what if Plus One ever ended.
We started a side project of basically us just working in our house on our demos and showing the demos to Inpop records and Peter Furler who is one head of the head guys there from the Newsboys and he took the demos and listened to them. He wanted to not only sign us but he wanted to produce our record. It started to all fall into place, maybe not the way we would have expected or planned but it worked out really great. So now we are carrying on as Plus One. We still even play some of the old songs and we make them sound more current to what we are doing now. It has worked out really well.
Erin: How is your new album Exodus different from your past albums?
Gabe: Musically it's a little bit more live sounding. As far as lyrics and stuff they are little bit more mature.
Nate: It's just more live. There are some pop melodies but it sounds like an actual band. It's not like hard rock. It's just melodic. There are some really beautiful moments and there is a song called "Poor Man" where we go to the extreme of rock, but it's just more live.
Erin: Did you have the opportunity to work with any new producers?
Gabe: Just Peter Furler which was cool because he was at the label at Inpop and we hadn't planned on working with him but he heard our demos and he really got excited to sign us and to produce us. It was cool to work with someone who was really excited. It was really cool to just have one producer too.
Erin: Did you take part in writing material for the new album?
Nathan: Yeah we did, compared to our first record, The Promise." We wrote one song called "Be" and we co-wrote it with like ten other people so we felt involved. Time went on and we started writing. We were more involved in writing on the second record "Obvious." Then we came to a point in our lives when we were like 'what's happening?' Jason was leaving and we didn't even know if we would stay together as a band and Jeremy was getting married, we didn't know what we were going to do. Somewhere in there we started writing songs about our lives and writing some stuff together. But basically we wrote the whole record.
Nate: We wrote all the songs except "Here I am to Worship" which is a worship song.
Erin: How have each of you changed musically and spiritually over the past year?
Nate: I feel like spiritually just as a band and the main thing we have experienced on an individual level is that we have had the time to really build our faith and there have been some reasons to really doubt God and everyone has a tendency to doubt and I think some people have experienced times of doubt. Really doubting your faith is what helps your faith build. It wouldn't be faith without the doubt element. It was kind of what was happening in the book of Exodus is kind of what we felt was happening in our personal lives. Where God was delivering his people and immediately after they got out of a struggle or battle and something else came up and they were like "Where are you God? We thought we could trust you." But it's not like God is weaker just because you have another problem. It's just that you realize you can't do it on your own. But God stays the same, that is one of the things we are finding. He is someone we can trust and someone who is faithful and we make our plans and that's not a bad thing but if you go through it step-by step, day-by day seeking God your plans can change because God can make it change.
Gabe: Musically I think we have grown and expanded what we listen to and opened our minds to more of that and opened up to more music. Myself, I have kind of fell in love with doing music again. When we are at home working on our demos it doesn't feel like this is going to be on our next album. There was more passion and freedom to doing demos and messing around with it. I think we have grown more by just trying out stuff we have really grown as songwriters also by taking influences from life and putting them in songs so that they really mean stuff. We had a time where we didn't know if we were going to be writing for Christian music and it was like let's make songwriting fun and we could write about anything we really wanted to. It was just more fun writing songs like that and we've learned it's okay to take from life experiences and to put them in your songs. There is no wrong way of songwriting.
Erin: Do you have any desire to take your music outside of the Christian music industry?
Nathan: Definitely, we want our music to go to the masses. When we were with Atlantic they wanted us to do another album that was like mainstream and a boyband record and I think that's why we parted ways. But right now we feel like this is the place where God has opened doors and this is something we have a passion for. To be honest sometimes it is a little frustrating, you don't want to be in a Christian bubble because there is a certain Christian mentality that comes along with Christian radio stations or such where they only want a certain type of song played. At the same time we have some songs that could crossover and we are all for that. Some people ask if we are trying to go secular but it's like, what does that mean? Even if we were in a mainstream band so to speak we would still be writing the same type of music, I mean maybe some songs would be different but we are very spiritual people and we write about our spiritual relationship with Christ. At the same time we write songs about life. We have a song called "Life" that talks about life too.
Erin: If you could tour with any artist or band who would it be?
Nate: That's funny because we are trying to do a tour in the spring and we can't figure that out.
Gabe: I think it's kind of tough with us because we are changing in our music and there is a past image and a past perception that we are kind of trying to grow out of, but at the same time we are still trying to keep our old fans but and we kind of want to go in a new direction so it's hard to find an artist that would fit with us. We need to find that artist that we can marry and have kids with, haha I don't know.
Nathan: That's funny because you were talking about touring with Stacie Orrico the other day, what were you trying to say?
Gabe: I'm trying to say that I would want to marry Stacie Orrico.
Nate: He's just joking!
Gabe: No, I'm serious!
Nathan: We don't know, U2, Third Day, Michael W. Smith. We really don't know.
Erin: What is your favorite thing about being on the road?
Nathan: Well right now we don't like being on the road - I'm just joking. Right now we have been on the road for about a month and we are getting to the point where we really want to go home. It goes up and down.
Nate: Not me. Right now, I like it.
Nathan: There are times when I really enjoy it like every night when it's time to do our show. It's kind of bitter sweet because during the day there is a lot of down time and it's a different type of life style. This feels like my home right now but I kind of miss going back to Nashville, but once we get to Nashville I miss being on the road.
Erin: Do you guys have any crazy fan stories?
Gabe: Not recently but one time a fan asked us to sign her prosthetic leg. I thought that was kind of strange.
Nate: She asked us to sign her leg and we were like okay, because we had done that before but then she took her leg off and passed it to us.
Gabe: Our fans aren't crazy, our fans are just weird.
Nathan: Our fans aren't weird! It's just if we have any crazy fans stories they are weird.
Nate: We don't think our fans are weird!
Gabe: Sorry! I don't think our fans are weird!
Erin: What aspirations do you have for the group?
Nathan: I'd like to see our band grow musically, and take it to that next level as far as song writing. We didn't rush this record but we did it within three months or so. I think the next record we'd like to take our time and even spend more time on it and just be really creative.
Nate: Just keep touring. I'd like to see us do a tour that at least defines our band like kind of on the up rise and always going up and growing as a band. Right now the only reason that makes it seem like work is because of what people in their minds think of our band before we actually go out and play. It'd be nice on this next tour to create a new perception of our band. It's almost like a brand new band starting over. So it's exciting. I'd love to be able to establish that and start a new record.
Nathan: Lately it's just been a really spiritual experience onstage and I'd like to see that continue and escalate.
Gabe: I'd like for it to escalate as well!
Nathan: Yeah, that's why we put the escalators on our record!