In our last cover story of 2017, CCM Magazine had the privilege to sit down with Tenth Avenue North front man Mike Donehey to discuss the band’s new Christmas release, Decade The Halls, Vol. 1 (buy). As expected and as documented, we got a healthy dose of Donehey’s straight-face and witty humor, and plenty of Christmas cheer. However, we ended up getting a lot more, as at points, our conversation took a few turns past the holidays and on to more pressing subjects.
Donehey—who is releasing his first book in 2018—when asked, couldn’t go into much detail about future music/plans for the band. Instead, delving a little more into Tenth Avenue North’s almost-breakup of a few years ago, to some somber challenges and realities behind being in the public eye—even praising artists like Lecrae and Switchfoot for their efforts on just being themselves, despite how the Church (or its followers) might respond (and personally being encouraged to do the same).
Unafraid by asking poignant questions, “Do I front this band just because ‘I can,'” to confronting all of us, “Are we willing to decrease so that Christ may increase?” Issuing challenges to colleagues in the music business and to each and every one of us, Mike Donehey reminds us: “It’s really okay to just be ourselves,” and that deep down in our souls, we’ll be all the more hopeful and alive.
CCM Magazine: Moving ahead of Christmas, you’ve got a book coming out next year. We kind of talked a little bit about that earlier. Looking into next year, what can we expect from you guys?
Mike Donehey of Tenth Avenue North: Sonic euphoria, unparalleled joy, fervor… [Laughs]
CCM: So, more of the same [laughing]?
MD: Yeah [grinning], just continuing on the track that we’re on… No, we’re doing a tour with MercyMe in the spring. Then, I don’t know. I think we might do a ten year anniversary of Over And Underneath (buy), our first national release (May 2008). It’s our only Gold record. We are doing something with that with We Are Messengers.
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