(Photo: Harvest Ministries)
ANAHEIM, Calif. – The highly acclaimed Christian band Third Day recently performed at the SoCal Harvest with Greg Laurie at Angel Stadium and The Christian Post had a chance to talk with the band shortly before they walked out onto the stage in front of 43,000 people attending last Sunday, the final night of the three-day outreach event.
Third Day's hard-driving, Southern rock sound had most at Angel Stadium jumping. Prior to their appearance, the band, which was co-founded by lead singer Mac Powell and guitarist Mark Lee, and includes bassist Tai Anderson and drummer David Carr, said they were excited to be a part of "something bigger" than themselves.
The CP interview with Third Day members is below.
The Christian Post: At Harvest Crusades we hear so many incredible stories and testimonies about people accepting Christ. You have a song ("I Need a Miracle") based on someone coming to Jesus from hearing your music. What is it like to know that something you created had that great of an impact on someone?
David Carr (drummer): Humbling is sort of the "go-to word" because it just is. I think when we look at our lives and what we do on a day-to-day basis, just living life as normal guys, raising families, trying to just be just good citizens in our communities, and trying to be good followers of Christ. We look at that as the sort of normal quality of that and then realize that something we put together in a studio and recorded, or songs heard live, that it had that kind of impact. It definitely transcends anything that we are as just regular human beings that just make an effort. It speaks to the power of the Holy Spirit, the power of Jesus. When the word of God goes forward and the name of Christ is spoken, and preached, and taught, and sung about, it has power. It just does. So, we only take the credit for that, but we are incredibly honored that we get to be a part of this. We also try to hold it lightly and not hold on to it and claim it as something that we did. We don't think of it as "we did that," we just think, wow, God allowed us to be a part of it.
CP: Can you summarize how the song "I Need a Miracle" came about?
Mac Powell (lead singer): We met a couple after our concert a year ago. They had talked to us about their son, who was in his early twenties and had been struggling with addiction, dealing with depression, and had decided he was going to end his life. So, he gets in his car and drives off by himself and is going to take his own life. He's a big music fan so he turns on the radio to have some music playing as he is passing away from this earth. He hears the song, "Cry Out to Jesus" and he literally does that. He listens to the words and he just asks God to save him and changes his life.
As David was saying, sometimes for us it's really hard to receive that or hear those things because even though you want those things to happen you also as a musician are just trying to make a great song and you hope that it effects people, but you have no idea that it's going to affect people that much. After 20 years of hearing those stories over and over it's hard to take in, but we know it's true because we as fans of music ourselves know the impact of God's word through song, how it's had an impact on our lives and our families' lives. It's one of those things that helps us to keep going and doing this.
CP: Is there a difference for you between playing a small venue and a venue like this? (43,000 people attended the Harvest Crusade at Angel Stadium in Anaheim the night Third Day was one of the group's featured)
Mark Lee (lead guitar): I would like to think no, that we put out the same quality product regardless of the audience, but I would totally be lying. It's so fun to be in front of a big crowd and the energy there, a lot of people excited about the concert and the music that is going on. It's almost a festival atmosphere going on to play something like this. We just feed off of this and we just have a great time. We're in a place in our career where every show is not the same. We'll have a big show in front of a lot of people and then maybe the next night we will be playing at a church where there's may a couple thousand. When we have the opportunity to play at a big event like this we just try to soak it up as much as we can because it's a great experience.
CP: So, I take it you get a little more pumped up?
Lee: Absolutely, yes. That's the one-word answer, yes.
Tai Anderson (bass guitar): I think we always give our 100 percent effort regardless of the size of the audience, but I think you definitely want to enjoy it when you have the big crowds. It's a gift and a privilege to be a part of especially this (Harvest Crusade), we are a part of something much bigger than ourselves. We don't play Angel Stadium as our normal venue when we go on tour as Third Day. So, we are part of something really big here and it's great to be a part of that.
CP: What do you look forward to most about tonight's Harvest event?
Anderson: For me it's just knowing, like we were sharing with that story, our small part of the event, that we are part of something bigger. Tonight we get to be a small, little footnote in somebody's testimony, of somebody's story of coming to Christ. That's an incredible privilege. Just yesterday, we were at a football game and one of the athletes on the sidelines came up to us and said, "Hey, your song 'God of Wonders' … I got saved through that song." Now, you could break the theology down and say, now how do you get saved through a song, was it that moment? But we know what he means. God used that song to draw Him to Christ. I think that's a privilege. With all this things we are talking about, with it being humbling, being part of something big, it's also incredibly motivating to keep doing this. A lot of times during interviews it starts with our awards and stats, and they are great stats, but when you start talking about four Grammys or five Grammys, or 25 number ones, the numbers don't really matter anymore, but it's the stories that make us come back for more and make us want to keep doing this.
CP: What are you sensing around the country as far as how God is moving when you are touring? Are you sensing any need for a revival or is one already happening?
Powell: I think there's always need for revival. Revival is just having this extra blessing on us to open up our eyes and hearts a little bit more, but I think, at least for some people, you have to want that. I know that we want it in our own lives. I know that our fans who come see us want that. That's a reason that a lot of people listen to Christian music is because they want revival in their life or they want this awakening. It's like the scripture in the Old Testament that says, "Taste and see that the Lord is good," and for those of us who have tasted that and seen it you want to taste it again. You want some more of it. That's why it's a privilege to be a part of it.
Carr: The predominant message it seems like over the years that has come from Third Day music is a message of hope, and sort of "hold on a little longer" and "you are going to get through this" or "there will be revival." There will be a time when you will be lifted up when you are in a dark place or in a tough place. We see that every night, just the tears and the people rejoicing in the songs that talk about that, and reaching up to God and just crying out. We have a song "Cry Out to Jesus" that very poignantly speaks to that. In our latest album and song "I Need a Miracle" there's a song of hope. It doesn't mean that everyone is going to get the miracle they think they want, that they've prayed for, but God does do miraculous things and He is in the business of giving us hope and healing.
On the Web, https://thirdday.com.