Issue #6



In this issue:

• Interview with Janne Wirman of Children of Bodom

• Interview with Robin and Andrew Mandell of Ballydowse

• Interview with Nathan, Boy Sets Fire vocalist

• The Conquering

• "5 Minutes Before"

• Interview with Victoria S. of Damad

• Interview with SCSI

• Interview with Mike Hruboucak of Devine Rapture

• Interview with Peter and Michael of Opeth

Browse other issues:

Previous Issue

Jump to an issue:
1    2    3/4    5     6
Interview with Robin and Andrew Mandell of Ballydowse
BallydowseBy Mike conducted on 7/3/99

Ballydowse is a band that deserves the attention of those who like punk rock. But the thing that makes them stand out from all the rest is the Celtic/folk influences they blend in with their catchy punk tunes. If youíre open minded enough to accept the influences within the music, and not to mention their message, I think one could easily fall in love with this band, as I have. This band specializes in using and combining such instruments as; guitars, the mandolin, bass guitar, the moohran, the violin, the didgeridoo, amongst other instruments. The sound they capture is one that must be heard. Mixing all these elements are what makes this band an exceptional one that definitely stands on its own.

Live pictures were taken at Cornerstone 1999

The Outcast: One of the things that Iím curious about is the fact youíre raising your kids as Christians. Being heavily into your faith/beliefs, what would happen if the time should come when your children will start to question life and maybe even the faith you are bringing them up on? What if they decide to have a different philosophy in life when they are old enough to make their own decisions? Will you guys have a difficult time accepting that, if that should happen?

Robin: Well, I think that I would have trouble accepting it just because of my desires that I have that my kids would be Christians and love the Lord. But I also know that a lot of times that when we force things, it back fires. So I pray for my kids constantly that theyíll at some point in their lives, they will really have that desire to follow the Lord. As a child myself, Christianity was totally forced on me, non stop, and it really made me want absolutely nothing to do with it. I think in that aspect, I think parents forcing certain issues on their kids just doesnít work. I think that we try and have open conversations with our kids. We have one son that is thirteen and a couple of months ago he said that he felt that he couldnít talk about certain things, and I think that was a big eye opener. We told him that we were really sorry that he felt that way and that we were wrong forever making him feel that way. Weíre parents, but at the same time we need to be his friends. Since then, things have really improved. I think that an open communication with your kids is really important, and your kids should be able to ask you questions about any issues in the whole world.

BallydowseThe Outcast: That really is important. As a kid, I pretty much stayed in my own world and learned a lot of things through my friends, but before we get into a big family conversation, let us begin talking about Ballydowse. Where exactly did you get the name?

Robin: We actually got it from a movie called "The War of the Buttons." Itís a foreign film about little boys growing up in Ireland. There are two villages in the movie, and one of them is called Ballydowse and the other one is Carreckstowse (not sure about the spelling). Ballydowse is the village with the poor little boys, who were kind of like the underdogs. All the other kids from the other town are the rich kids who make fun of them. All throughout the movie they have these little wars to see who can collect the most buttons. Part of Ballydowseís heart and ministry is to really reach out to the poor and the needy. So when we saw that movie, we were trying to come up with a name and we thought Ballydowse would fit perfect with who we are and what we represent.

The Outcast: The members who make up Ballydowse are past members from Crash Dog and The Crossing, is this correct?

Robin: Two of the members were from Crash Dog and we did have one member from The Crossing playing on a couple of songs on our album, but all the rest of the members are new.

The Outcast: What influenced you guys musically?

Robin: You might want to ask Andrew that one, but I will say that weíre all into Celtic world beat music stuff.

The Outcast: I imagine that everyone in the band is a Christian? Would you ever have anyone that wasnít a Christian in the band? Why or why not?

Robin: Um, I would think that the answer would be yes because I think we need to be examples to people and I would hope that in my lifetime I would never turn people away. But at the same time, if we were to have someone who wasnít outspoken about their faith, then maybe they wouldnít be the front person of the band, because Ballydowse is up-front about their beliefs. About sharing God, right and wrong, the injustices in this world toward people, so... I think that would have to be taken into consideration.

The Outcast: When I caught you guys in St. Louis, there was a guy in the crowd yelling; "Hail Satan!" Do you guys get that a lot at shows after saying what you believe in?

Robin: No, not really. That night I was actually freaked out because I had never come across that before.

The Outcast: How did it make you feel?

Robin: (A lot of laughter) I felt a little scared at first because I didnít know whether or not a big brawl was going to start or what was going to happen. The truth is, I just stood up on stage and prayed silently in my head that God would be in control and that whatever happens, happens, and that we would be safe. All the rest of the people in the band took it lightly and dealt with it accordingly, and everything was fine.

The Outcast: Youíre just a girl! Iím just kidding.

(Turning red.)

The Outcast: Tell me about Jesus People USA. How long have you been there?

Robin: Iíve been there thirteen and a half years. For my self it has been a real place of refuge. I had come from a pretty messed up background and was pretty much headed for a path of destruction. When I was fifteen, I had found out I was pregnant and the babyís father didnít want anything to do with me. So far, throughout my whole life, it seemed like anyone who I tried to trust, let me down. I didnít really know what to do and my mom had heard of Jesus People USA. She called them to see if they would accept me in and help me out, and they said; "Sure." So I went and was really afraid that the people there would think I was a whore or just totally messed up being fifteen and pregnant. When I got there, everyone received me with open arms and I really felt loved. These people were going to take care of me and they didnít condemn me or look down on me for my situation. It really surprised me. It was something I was looking for my whole life; genuine people that had real love and that had compassion for people in need. I was definitely in that spot.

The Outcast: Who exactly started JPUSA?

BallydowseRobin: That one might be better for Andrew.

The Outcast: Okay. How many people exactly come and go from JPUSA?

Robin: I donít know exact numbers, but I know a lot. I think that some people come to basically get their lives somewhat straightened out. They realize that they got caught up in the whole rat race of life of work and build and all that kind of jive. They just really need some peace in their lives and they come there (JPUSA) for that. Some people go there to desperately get off of drugs and they just need a place of refuge. I think some people feel like they want to be involved in some kind of missionary work but maybe they donít want to go overseas. This is a great place for that because Chicago has so many people that are dying for attention, for love, and truth. Through the different ministries that JPUSA has, weíre able to really have an inner city missionary outreach. We have a shelter for homeless women. We have a brother and sisters program where we tutor neighborhood children after school. We have a crisis pregnancy center that we run. We have a lot of different things here that we can do to reach out to folks. After I had my son at Jesus People, I actually worked at the crisis center for a couple of years. That was a really neat thing because I could associate with girls that were coming in that were completely crying out for help. They were pregnant, confused, and we could relate to each other, and they really trusted me because I had gone through that before. Itís kind of cool when people go through different things in life and they realize that they need to be on a different road. They head down that path and along the way they meet folks that were in the shoes that you were in and you can really reach out to people like that.

The Outcast: What exactly are the goals for JPUSA?

Robin: That I actually donít know. I know for my husband and me, weíve been praying about opening a home for unwed mothers. At this point, Iím a licensed childbirth coach. Since having my son at fifteen, Iíve just always had the desire to help other women in need.

The Outcast: Can anyone live at JPUSA? Are there any requirements?

Robin: I donít think that there are any special requirements, but there are definite things that we look out for where we might have to tell someone no. Obviously if you have just gotten out of prison for rape or child molestation, there might be some heavy consideration. We have more than a hundred children in our house, so we want to look out for our kids. Each person, when they come in....not necessarily interviewed, but just.. We have women coordinators and men coordinators that talk to the different people and we ask them what their goals are in life and what they feel they need to change, things like that.

The Outcast: Do you have to be a Christian?

Robin: I donít think you have to be a Christian, but the truth is, only God knows whoís a Christian and who isnít. I think anybody can say that theyíre a Christian, and not be. Obviously there are things that a Christian wouldnít do that a non-Christian would do, but in reality weíre not going to answer to each other about our lives, weíre going to answer to God. There are people that walk through our door that maybe arenít Christian, but thatís not the whole point of our goals.

The Outcast: You were saying that Christianity was forced down your throat while you were growing up, so Iím assuming that you havenít been a Christian your whole life? What made you take this path?

Robin: I think that...when I was fifteen, I ran away from home. There were just different things that my mom had felt were right as far as discipline and Biblical things that I just didnít feel were right as a teenager. The church she was involved in had some pretty strict ideas and some how as a young girl I just didnít feel like that was real Christianity, and if it was real Christianity, I didnít want anything to do with it. My father hadnít been with me while growing up, so I think I felt let down in that aspect. I was sexually abused as a teenage girl several times and that had.... my self esteem was really low and rotten and it seemed that anywhere I turned for love or comfort, I was just let down. My mom was very abusive physically, which she now has apologized for and we have a good relationship. But at the time, finding out I was pregnant at fifteen and the babies father not wanting anything to do with me, I felt desperate. I lay on my bed crying, and saying; "God if youíre out there, I need somebody to love me and to take care of me because so far I havenít found anybody here on earth to do this and maybe youíre it?" That was when I decided that I wanted to at least try and be a Christian and kind of see if it would work. See if my life would change for the better, and it did. I think that coming to Jesus People USA was a great step for me, because I learned how to be a good mom to my child and my future children. I also learned how to be a Christian in ways I thought were right in my heart and with what I believed and I think that was really important for me. In life we have to do and feel what is right, and I found that there, so...

The Outcast: What makes an individual a Christian? Define Christianity in your own words.

Robin: Um, I think that being a Christian is a person who totally has their eyes open and sees that the Lord is real, even though they canít see him, and they canít necessarily feel him. Thereís just a sense of peace in your heart as you go through life that you know that this person, God, is there every step of the way. Itís not He that walks away from us during hard times; itís usually us who meanders away. Iíve really found throughout these thirteen years of being a Christian that He really is real. Heís answered many, many prayers. Heís given me the husband of my dreams. Heís given me three beautiful children, though they were given to me a little sooner than what I probably would have hoped for (laughter). But I am so grateful. I grew up in a single parent home, I was the only child, and I was really lonely. My prayer when I became a Christian was that I would find a godly man who loved the Lord as much as I did and would want to serve Him. I wanted a few children, and I have that. Heís a true thing. If He can change my life, He can do it with anybody (laughter).

The Outcast: Do you ever feel like a hypocrite?

Robin: I think that sometimes I am one, but I really donít like to say yes (laughter). My pride! Being a Christian doesnít mean that one doesnít make mistakes. Weíre all sinners saved by grace. Thank God for His forgiveness. I have fallen many times, but I know that each time I ask for forgiveness, He forgives me.

The Outcast: What do you think about religion?

BallydowseRobin: I donít really know what to say about that. As I said before, I grew up in a pretty twisted church, unfortunately. You know my church, they felt that coming to church, showing your respect to God, you had to dress "appropriately." Your clothes couldnít have holes, or any of that. I really think that religion is wrong. I think that people sometimes twist the Bible in what the word says and what it means. My pastor at that time, asked a homeless man to leave one Sunday until he came back showered and clothed properly. At fourteen I remember thinking; "That is so wrong." I think that there are some religions out there that have some definite ideas of "whatís the right thing and thatís the wrong thing" and I donít care for that. I think that there is some piece in all of us that tells us what is right from wrong. I think that if youíre someone who really wantís to do right and maybe you donít really know, you can seek advice and try to find out. Clothing is such a big issue with religions. You canít wear this or that. The truth is the Bible says that God ate with prostitutes, lepers, and sinners. His heart was to reach all people regardless....

You need to get lost if youíre laughing at me (laughter while speaking to her husband)!

Andrew: Iíve never heard you get all philosophical, Robin (laughter). Do you want me to get out?

Robin: Yes I do.

The Outcast: Donít go too far, because youíre next.

Andrew: I wonít.

Robin: I do think that there is a piece in our heart and our conscious that tells us; "Thatís not right."

The Outcast: How important do you think it is for a Christian to marry another Christian?

Robin: The Bible says not to be unequally yoked, which I think says that a Christian should marry another Christian. However, I have a very dear friend who is a Christian whom married a man who wasnít a Christian because she really felt God wanted her to. He was not a believer and went to Church without him every week for twenty-eight years. She loved him and did what she felt God wanted her to do. A few years ago, her husband became a Christian. What if she hadnít had married him? If she hadnít had married him because of that one certain scripture, he might have never became a Christian. But she really prayed and sought the Lordís advice and felt she could marry him. Now her husband is a Christian and thatís just an awesome testimony. So I think each person should do what they feel they need to do on certain cases. At the same time, it could cause a lot of division in the home and cause a lot f pain in their lives.

The Outcast: Well, in my next couple of issues Iím going to focus on death and some other related topics. So here are some questions for you that you may have some trouble answering. What do you think would be the worst way to die?

Robin: Iíve always wanted to die slowly in a bedside manor, just because thereís so many people that I love. To me just the thought of dying suddenly without warning or an instant death terrifies me. I would want to tell the people that I love how much I love them and just to be able to say goodbye. Itís not really a big fear; itís just something that Iíve hoped for.

The Outcast: Well, you answered my next question as well. What the best way would be. So, what would you want written on your epitaph?

Robin: Um, I think I would want written that I was a very honest person and very truthful. I canít lie to people. I canít live day-by-day with things bottled up. I have to share them; I have to be honest, even if Iím wrong. I would also want on there that I tried to be the best mom and wife because thatís important to me. I think that I would also want on there that I was a given person. I hate seeing other people in need and other people not sharing. I hope never get that way and if I do I hope someone slaps me upside the head. These are all things that I admire in people, so I hope thatís what people would say about me.

The Outcast: In other words your tombstone is going to be huge!

(Laughter from both)

BallydowseThe Outcast: Whatís one thing that you struggle within your faith, if anything at all?

Robin: I think the things I struggle with the most are my own desires. I can honestly say that ever since I became a Christian and I asked the Lord to take over my life, I have been a very happy person. But there are times when I shrink back to my own self, my own wants, and selfishness, and I become a very miserable person. Living at Jesus People USA, we all share a common purse (money). A one room apartment sort of. The biggest issues I sometimes deal with is; "I wish I had my own house, my own car.." and things like that. But in all reality those things really donít make people happy. Those things usually make people pretty miserable because of the big payments they have to deal with and all. But I also know that itís a desire in my heart, even as silly as it may seem. Maybe one day I will have a house and a car, but itís not something I strive for or stress myself over because Iím really happy where Iím at right now.

The Outcast: Do you think or feel that the business side of the Christian scene and the secular one are pretty much the same in the sense of being greedy or corrupt?

Robin: I really donít know tons about the Christian music scene, as far as the business angle. I wish that there were more Christian artists out there in the main stream that didnít seem, I donít want to judge anybody, but that didnít seem to be so big... hot shots, or whatever. It seems like we meet a lot of people that say; "Man, I canít believe that you run your own merchandise booth." Or; "I canít believe that youíll sit and talk for hours to anybody." I think thatís so important in life, for people to feel that they can really open up their heart and share whatís going on. I think itís really important for people to listen to each other. Different festivals weíve been at, and the different concerts weíve played at, weíve played with different bands who wiz in and wiz out. I just wish it was a bit more laid back. Weíre all in this life together and I wish people wouldnít have the attitude of; "Iím the big rock star and youíre just the people listening to my music", type feel. I donít want to say that everyone is like that, because I donít really know, but thatís just what a lot of people have said to us.

The Outcast: Well, that about ends it for now. I might have some follow-up questions later on that Iíll e-mail you after I type this out. Do you have any closing words?

Robin: (laughter) Um,no.

The Outcast: Now we have Andrew on the spotlight. So how did Ballydowse form from Crash Dog?

Andrew: Ballydowse really just bolted into Ballydowse after Crash Dog. We changed some members, we changed style, so we thought, why not change the name? The mind set and the direction of the band, as far as our hearts, stayed the same, so...

The Outcast: Who came up with the concept mixing the Celtic influences with the punk style?

Andrew: It was a natural thing really. Tim liked that stuff. Spike, back in the days of Crash Dog, got Tony to play bag pipes on our first album. As soon as we heard the mix, we always said weíd like to do it some day, so weíre finally doing it.

The Outcast: What exactly does the cover represent (the horse)?

Andrew: The truth is, heís just a fantastic artist. His name is Richard Harden and heís out of Connecticut. His work is huge panel work and his artwork is absolutely breath taking. Somehow the horse just struck us. It had some poetry along with it, but Iím not really sure what it meant to him. Heís doing the next album for us also.

BallydowseThe Outcast: When I saw you guys in St. Louis, there was a guy that kept yelling "Hail Satan!" What was going through your mind when he kept yelling that?

Andrew: Itís really hard for me to take that kind of stuff seriously. To me, heavy metal guys yelling stuff about Satan is the same as a carnival or Ronald McDonald. To me the Devil is about war, children being hungry; itís not remotely about people with horns on their head or whatever. Itís hard for me to take that serious. I just thought it was funny.

The Outcast: Have you guys ever had any violent conflicts at shows with extreme people believing in Satan or whatever?

Andrew: Occasionally. Once we tell people what weíre about... you know, weíre not on any war path with anybody, so. We have a couple shows where the neo-Nazi guys show up, but for the most part nothing has ever really gotten out of control.

The Outcast: Do you guys usually talk about your beliefs on stage during a show?

Andrew: I always talk about the things that are on my mind. My faith, or whatever, you know? Whatever comes out comes out.

The Outcast: Tell me about JPUSA. Who founded it, what the goals are, etc....

Andrew: Itís a community thing that has been going on for about twenty-five years, Iím guessing. It basically came out of the hippie movement. A bunch of hippies dropped out and wanted to follow Jesus and wanted to live together. They didnít want to follow "the American dream" or whatever. They started living in a church basement, I think, and eventually it grew to a five-hundred community in uptown Chicago where weíre involved in... (repeated everything Robin mentioned above. - Mike) Mostly weíre in that neighborhood to try and balance it. We stand against the people who would like to see the poor moved elsewhere. They want the property. We stand with the poor because we feel that they have the right to stay in their neighborhood that theyíve been in most of their lives. Thereís a demand for low income housing, and weíre in there to make a stand with all these folks.

The Outcast: Why arenít you allowed to work outside of JPUSA? Or are you?

Andrew: Itís not so much that youíre not allowed to. We have our businesses that keep us alive and our work that keeps us going. We can barely fill the shoes that we have to fill, so if everybody just started running around doing whatever they wanted, thatís fine for them, but it wonít work as a community. As a community you have to work together and work for a common goal. A part of that is working together in our businesses and thatís how itís working for us.

The Outcast: Tell me about "Voices in the Wilderness."

Andrew: What that is, itís a group that has dedicated themselves in doing everything they can to lift the sanctions against Iraq. For ten years now, there have been economic sanctions in Iraq that have basically leveled the inner structure of the country, what was left from the bombs. The U.N. estimates that in 1998, it was already up to 500,000 children, dead, from the sanctions. This is not from the bombing, it isnít from the government, this is just from the fact that weíre not letting them have what they need as far as food and the medicines they need. The hospitals are basically there just watching people die in a lot of areas because they donít have the things they need. Itís a decision that certain powerful governments have made, and ours is the main voice in it to try and level these people for political reasons. We think itís immoral. Weíre going to do whatever we can do to be involved in seeing those sanctions lifted.

The Outcast: I remember you telling me about it, but I couldnít recall what exactly it was. Sorry Iím not informed. On to other subjects now, when did you decide to accept the Christian faith?

Andrew: Iíve been following Jesus since I was sixteen. Iím Jewish, so I was never inside a church before until I was sixteen. I read the gospel of Mathew... Iím pretty critical, I didnít know if it was true or not, but if there was ever a story that Iíd like to be true, Iíd like this to be true. This guy, thereís something really attracting about who Jesus was, the things he said and the things he did. That stood out from a lot of other things for me. Over a period of months I felt like I had really found something that really was true, that it really was true. The experiences I had, theyíre hard to nail down...

The Outcast: I definitely agree with that.

Andrew: Since then, Iíve had seventeen years...., you know, Iíve had a lot of doubts and a lot of struggles, things donít work out, but in the end Iím ready to see it all the way through and I think itís the only thing Iíve ever found worth following.

The Outcast: Do you think that Christianity is the only faith in life to have a peaceful afterlife? What if an individual has lived a noble life but didnít have the Christian faith. Do you think a loving God would condemn his soul?

Andrew: My beliefs are not along those lines actually. At this point, Iím not claiming to speak for anyone but myself. Personally, I donít know what to think about Hell. I trust that God is a loving God. I think there is truth in all religions. I would be surprised to find that with a God that covers a whole universe, that He canít find His way into every part of it. Now, thatís not to say itís all the same, I believe that Jesus really is the son of God and that there is something unique and all powerful about him. I think there is something we can learn from all religions. Iím sure that there is only one road to heaven, but only God knows what that is and that road is up to Him whether youíre on it or not. I believe that Christianity... Christians point in life is to point people to Jesus, not to make a whole bunch of statements about everyone else. I think itís counterproductive. I think a lot of times we start talking about things that we really donít understand. Other peopleís experiences and beliefs that are very complicated and very rich and I think that it causes more harm than good a lot of times. In the same breath, I donít think itís just my way, I do believe that there was a man that lived and breathed 2000 years ago that was somehow God in man. That individual being is calling people to Himself. Now, whatever road it takes for people to get there and how that all works, thatís really not my judgment. Heís a just and loving person. We saw His life on earth. Heís a mirror of that and He accepted and loved people. He walked with them and sometimes called their shots. I believe in sin. I believe there are sins we need to stop doing. I have no problem in believing that some things are just wrong. So, as far as making a judgment call on how heaven and hell work, I think thatís for fools.

BallydowseThe Outcast: In your own words, what makes a person a Christian?

Andrew: Man, youíre just trying to make me out the heretic I am. (Joking around) Um.... What makes a person a Christian? If you mean what makes a person a follower of Christ, it just means to be willing to look into who Jesus was, what he did, what he had to say, and what he calls us to do today. Whoís willing to sell everything they have and to just follow that call. You canít box God. He gives mercy to those who He chooses to give mercy to. I donít know how He works, but I trust Him.

The Outcast: Do you ever feel like a hypocrite?

Andrew: Sure. I talk a lot about the poor, but I donít miss any meals. I donít know real suffering. I try to do the best I can and not have the things I donít need. I think I have more than what I need at times. Iím not into violence, but when I see people hurting other people or putting kids down, it makes me want to tear into them, you know? Those are things I have to deal with. Iím not a passivist, but I think I can cross the line to wage war.

The Outcast: In my next issue, Iím going to be focusing on death. What do you think would be the worst way to die?

Andrew: I think that the worst way to die would be to die hurting someone else who shouldnít have been hurt. Die doing something you shouldnít be doing.

The Outcast: In other words dying before you could say sorry to the person you hurt?

Andrew: In a way, but dying doing some really terrible things for a terrible cause. If you were in some oppressive army and you were killing the peasants and you got shot while you were doing that. Not only did you die and not only did you die in mans futile wars, but you died on the side of some oppressors. I think thatís the most pitiful thing.

The Outcast: What do you think that would be the best way?

Andrew: For someone that you love.

The Outcast: What do you want written on your epitaph.

Andrew: Um..... probably just my name would be all right. I donít know. I think if my kids wrote that their dad was an all right guy would be fine with me.

The Outcast: Do you guys listen to secular music or do you think that itís "wrong?"

Andrew: I donít like censorship and I donít like name calling and calling an artist secular or making them out like their dangerous. I could also see... I donít think ten-year-old kids should listen to Korn or something. I donít want to censor Korn or anyone, but I wish that these kids who are sensitive to violence and hatred and stuff wouldnít listen to that kind of junk. I mean Iím not trying to just pick on Korn, Iím not familiar with them, but Iím just talking about those kind of bands that promote pain and suffering and imposing it on others. Maybe Korn doesnít really fit into that stuff, but that kind of junk Iím sorry, I want it to be available and all, I just wish nobody would buy it.

The Outcast: Do you think that the business side of the Christian scene and the secular one are pretty much the same?

Andrew: I donít know what to make of the music scene. If youíre talking about top million evils in the world, I donít know if the Christian music industry, even as bent as it could be, could fit in any of those. I think thereís a lot of clichť music, clichť writing, and I personally think itís embarrassing. If people can chain themselves and write that stuff because itís a marketing product, well whatever. Iím not one to protest it; I just think itís embarrassing. As far as the differences, I think thereís a lot of junk in the secular industry to. If people are out there marketing people and not caring about them and just trying to get their money.... well their just leeches, I donít have no use for them in that sense. In the same breath I know that there are people in straight little Christian bookstores who are just trying to make it work the best they can. I donít want to cut that branch and say itís no good. I donít think that Ballydowse would exist without Christian music, you know? I donít want to act like we donít care about it at all, you know? Weíre a part of it. I have mixed feelings, so.

The Outcast: Would you ever want Ballydowse signed to a major label or a secular one even?

Andrew: Getting on another label takes so much self promotion, calling people up and saying; "Hey, what do you think about us, what do you think about us?" I really loathe that kind of stuff. I figure that if anyone ever hears us and thinks that they might like us in their world then theyíll give us a try. I wish that our stuff was out there on the racks and people could hear it, you know? If people donít like it, thatís fine. I donít mind being rejected because you donít like our band, I just donít like getting stuck in the "Oh, their a Christian band" or whatever. All of humanity has some things in common. We all have things we could talk about. Learning how to interact cross faith and cross culture... if we donít all learn how to talk to each other and listen to each other, weíre just going to keep making the same mistakes over and over. (Arenít we already? - Mike)

The Outcast: This is kind of funny. The next day after the show in St. Louis I went to this record store in a town near I live and as soon as I walked in, some kid had your CD on the counter telling the guy that they needed to carry your CD.

Andrew: There is something about when we play live that people really like our music. That goes back to where sometimes I wish we could get our music more out there.

The Outcast: Well, I think that might be all for now, do you have any closing words?

Andrew: The stuff you said about Christianity and what it means and hell and all that stuff. Those are really complicated issues that are hard to sit down at the table and just nail down....

(Unfortunately I accidentally erased over his closing words. Sorry Andrew!)