The scary thing… Two years ago we thought our band was ending. I wrote our current single “Control” after we decided to basically end the band. We were having to do 140 shows a year in order to make payroll and to pay all of our employees and whatever. Our families came to us and just said, “We’re dying.”

So, we decided to do no more than 90 shows, or keep it as close to 90 as we possibly can. At the moment, it wasn’t going to pay for everything. We literally said, “If we can’t live off of this many shows at the end of the year, we’ll quit.” We made that decision and I wrote that song. I was like, “We hadn’t had any radio success in a couple of years… I don’t want to do this band because ‘I can.’ I want to do this band because I’m supposed to. Does that make sense?

CCM: Absolutely.
MD: People go, “Oh no, but your songs mean so much to me.” Yeah, but I already wrote those. You know what I mean? Maybe that’s all I was meant to do. Maybe I would be more alive meeting more needs and doing something else? When that time comes, I want to be open to it.

CCM: To us, Tenth Avenue North’s perception doesn’t paint a picture of “survival.” Plus, we see the success you’re having doing other things—we mentioned the book, you’re also super-hilarious, you dance, do puppetry… [laughs].
MD: Thanks, man. Here’s the deal. The more of you that you put out there, the more there is to disagree with, really. A lot of artists will keep the most of themselves out of the camera and out of the spotlight because it’s easier to sell an image than to sell a real person. A real person is complicated. It doesn’t make any sense that I would sing a song like “I Have This Hope,” and then I would start shaking my hips all over the place on the next song. It’s too much.


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