by Matt Conner
For most artists, the conversation with their fans is a one-sided attempt to communicate an experience or feeling with the release of some music—save for the occasional conversation at the merch table or out by the bus or van. For Centricity Worship band For All Seasons, it wasn’t enough to simply put out a new song or album. They wanted to really engage their fan base on a much deeper level.
More Than Music is the resulting podcast, a way to not only explain the songwriting process for their latest singles but to also dive into the experiences and thought processes that gave rise to these songs in the first place. The goal is to experience the power of a story shared, and their latest episode takes a look at the story and setting behind “Every Good Thing.”
CCM Magazine recently asked some of the band’s members to tell us more about their new initiative and how their first year as a signed band has been.
CCM: The band is launching a new podcast endeavor as you introduce new songs, is that right? Can you tell us the full idea there and what fans can expect?
Emily Hamilton: Sharing our stories and inviting our listeners into deeper conversation has always been a goal of ours. So when we settled on the concept for the year, exploring seasons of life through songs, we wanted to offer our listeners an additional arena where they could dive deeper into the concept.
Every song we release will have two corresponding podcast episodes. The first will go behind-the-scenes to show how the song was created. This will include everything from the story that inspired it, to the writing process, and the recording process. The second podcast will be all about the season that the song was written from. These episodes will include a guest that has experienced that season in a very real way and has wisdom to share concerning how to continually worship God during that time of life.
We hope that the listeners feel a part of the conversation and walk away from the episodes having a greater understanding and appreciation for the song, plus, more importantly, feel encouraged and challenged in their understanding of God’s faithfulness.
CCM: Is that something you’ve wanted to do with songs for a while? Or do you wish you could have the same from artists you love?
Jeff Luckey: Yes! It’s something we’ve always enjoyed doing as a group. It has happened organically over the years when fans ask about the meaning of lyrics or share how a lyric has impacted them. For 2019, we made a decision to lead with vulnerability and invite people to engage in the discussions and thoughts we’re having about life and God. And I think this is just one facet of that.
Personally, I love learning that stuff: how a song is written, why it was written, trying to figure out what the artist is saying or what they were going through. I’ve always been interested in it by watching videos, reading interviews, etc. I love how you can write something so personal to you but see how it can impact many people so deeply, even though their stories of what they’re going through are all very different.
Honesty, vulnerability, and using music to express the inexpressible has always been so fascinating to us. If artists I love were hosting a podcast to explain their inspiration and the decisions they made along the way, I would eat it up, especially about songs that have already impacted me.
CCM: What are your hopes with the podcast and extra work you’re putting into all of this?
Emily: Our greatest desire is that people would pause, reflect, and be inspired to consider who God is and what He’s calling them to. We live in such an incredibly fast-paced culture, and when it comes to music consumption, we lose interest quickly and often miss the impact the artist is hoping we walk away with. Now, we’re not saying, “Hey, listen. We’re so wise and you’ll learn so much from us.” Instead, we want listeners to know that if we all pause and ask God what He is trying to teach us from the stories of others, as well as our own experiences, we will move forward more courageous and full of faith and love.
CCM: Does the very act of making music help you process these themes yourselves? What about the live performance?
Jeff: Music has always been the place where I process. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the enneagram test, but I’m a five and we are always in our head. I hold my thoughts in for a while and mull through them for way too long.
Music has always been the one exception to the rule, where I feel free to simply emote through the instrument. There’s something raw about it, and I think it’s beautiful when we can, as a team, fuse our expressions into one concept. It’s a way to process and a way to cope with so many feelings we can’t explain and the frustrations we have in life. It’s also a place to find real freedom and joy. The kind that makes you cry—in a good way.
From the beginning of For All Seasons, we’ve always attached our own expression of music, even when covering other people’s songs. It’s another layer of worship in this whole process of making music for a living, to offer all of that to God as well. From the journal, to the studio, to the stage, and out at the merch table when we meet people—all of it is for Him.
CCM: How have your first few steps into the industry been?
Emily: We’ve spent some time reflecting on our experiences this past year. It felt like we took one giant leap into the inner workings of the Christian music industry and as a result gained deeper understanding of who we are and what we want our band to be about.
As much as this last year was full of fun and new experiences, it was also full of a lot of striving, comparison, and disappointment. But, all of those potentially negative things resulted in us asking the most important question: “Why are we doing this?” In the midst of the touring, radio play, social media and business conversations, it’s easy to lose sight of that. In a lot of ways, it felt like we did. But around August of 2018, we began returning to the very reason we started this band.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s always been about inviting people into a deeper conversation about God and life, through the avenue of music. So, we dreamt up this new plan and feel more in our skin than ever before. Whether or not this plan succeeds in amazing ways or flops, we’re so proud of it and know that it represents who God has created us to be.