It honestly doesn’t have to influence [the creative process]. You don’t have to think about the audience all the time when you are creating something, you just think about what you want to create. It’s good to know there are people out there who support it and come from different places.
CCM: So when you are creating music, you are not always thinking on this micro level—the audience and how they will receive it, but more of, “What I have to offer.” And what we have to offer through our craft is our story, right?
MT: For sure. There has always been this comfortable place that we have found ourselves in when we are creating our music, our art. It’s an easy thing to do. We just don’t worry about what people have to say about us.
MH: Sometimes we don’t feel like we quite fit in anywhere. That’s the other side of the coin, is not feeling like we quite fit in with all elements of the church or elements of people who aren’t connected with the church even. That’s been something we have dealt with. We try to even embrace that fact. We are here being ourselves, and sometimes it doesn’t always make sense to everyone, but we are trying to be honest and do what we do.
CCM: Feeling that divide, not always feeling like you resonate with this audience or that audience, does that tension provide some kind of creative outlet as well?
MT: Yeah. It gives us an identity. It’s a non-identity identity. We’re just the sandlot kids. We’re out there on the fringes doing our thing. To us, it’s been an Ohio thing. There are parts of our culture, and how we grew up, that defines how we do it.
CCM: It seems to me, music is the greatest medium by which we communicate with God, ourselves, one another.
MH: Music is intrinsically important. It is more important than we often give it credit for. There’s a spirituality to it. There’s a depth to music that is hard to describe. Even in just playing a thing on piano or guitar, there is something important there.
I was having this conversation with a friend awhile back. She’ll post very meaningful and deep things on her social media. I was telling her she should write songs about that. Doesn’t this feel a little bit unfulfilling? You should finish a song about that. This is what music is for. Part of what makes it important is how it helps us to express and connect and all be here together.
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