US-based Christian rock band BarlowGirl was an instant success since hitting the Christian music scene in 2004, as they became the best-selling new Christian band. The trio then captured the mainstream audience in 2006, becoming the winner of Yahoo!'s ‘Who's Next?’.
Last week on their way to Germany and Holland to play some gigs, the band swung by London and spoke to Christian Today. In this interview, the three sisters— Rebecca, Alyssa, and Lauren Barlow— take time to truly reflect and look back at how God has led them to where they stand today.
What’s your schedule like here in Europe?
Alyssa: We’re playing at Germany, and we’ll have some more interviews. Then we’ll play at EO Youth Day.
I believe Rebecca [St. James] will be at EO, too?
Rebecca: Yea, we’ll do some interviews with her as well.
How has your relationship with Rebecca St. James grown since you’ve been touring together?
Rebecca: After a 40 day tour, you become very close. She’s just an amazing woman of God. And it was such an amazing tour.
Alyssa: Every time we go to Nashville, we hang out together.
Rebecca: We had a show in Nashville last week, and she stood in the audience holding a big ‘BarlowGirl’ sign!
Alyssa: We just like supporting each others’ ministries. We’re great friends, and our families are close to each other.
What gives you the strength to keep touring and playing?
Rebecca: Our heart is to share our relationship with the Lord. That passion is what keeps us going. Also, our mum and dad are on the road with us, and our mum is always there cheering us on and making sure that we have time to rest up so that when we have a list of things to do, we can be full enough to overflow.
If you weren’t in this band, what would you be doing now?
Rebecca: I would probably be in a place like Wyoming. I’ll have a horse ranch and an old jeep, and I’d probably be a mechanic or a cosmetologist.
Alyssa: I think I’d be doing theatre.
Lauren: I would probably have moved out to Southern California to work with animals… like dolphins.
Sea World in San Diego maybe?
Lauren: Yea, I can do that!
Speaking of animals, based on characteristics, what animal do you think you resemble? [Isaiah 11: 6]
Rebecca: Lauren will probably be like a dog, because she’s very loyal.
Alyssa: What’s an animal that’s very driven?
Rebecca: A leader of a pack! Alyssa definitely takes care of her pack.
Lauren: We should study animals before we do this… [laughter]
Rebecca: I think I’d be a horse.
Lauren, Alyssa: Yea, a horse.
What’s your favourite BarlowGirl song?
Alyssa: My favourite is “I Need You to Love Me” from our second album, Another Journal Entry. The theme is very close to my heart, and it’s one that was birthed out of a very difficult time in my life. It’s from my journal.
Lauren: I think that’s all of our favourites right now.
Out of personal experience, what advice would you like to give to young people?
Lauren: One of my biggest struggles was – I never knew who I was because I always tried to be somebody else. Since I’m the baby, I always thought of what my sisters were, and I always wanted to be that because they were cool. Even just the way celebrities are such a big thing, we can’t be who we are because we want to be like the latest celebrity, and we can never find out who God created us to be because we’re always trying to pursue something that is so different from that. I think the biggest challenge I can give to the youth is to find out who God created you to be. Don’t be anything else but what you were intended to be. In that you will find the greatest calling. You’re going to find who you are, and you’re going to find the path that God planned for you.
Alyssa: A lot of adults tell me, ‘Your generation is getting into more trouble than we ever did. What is going on with your generation? What’s happening?’ And as we look at our generation, you see the amount of pregnancies and drugs and cutters and anorexia… there is a lot right now than there ever has been.
I would definitely agree with what Lauren said, to find out who you are. We’re not finding out who we are, and we’re not finding satisfaction, so we’re jumping into everyone’s boxes.
I want to encourage our generation to find satisfaction in God. There’s got to be a relationship. It’s not just a Sunday thing. It’s got to be something like, ‘I’m going to turn off the TV, I’m going to come back from the movie theatre and read the bible, and I’m going to put time into this because I’m not finding satisfaction anywhere’. You will be satisfied when you find God.
Has it been tough maintaining both a Christian and mainstream audience?
Alyssa: We try to not be anything other than what we are. Mainstream or not— mainstream interview or Christian interview… the question is ‘who are we’? If we’re so changeable, like chameleons, saying one thing to this audience and one thing to that audience, we’re never going to make a difference. People are going to say, ‘You don’t know who you are, you don’t know what you are talking about.’
We said the same things on the interview with Yahoo! as we do with any other Christian magazine. Who we are is who we are. That’s what we have to offer.
Rebecca: It’s our testimony.
[Editor's note: The interview is conducted by Christian Today.]