Thursday, August 23, 2012

Interview with Matt Baird of Spoken

Who are you, what do you do, and how important is music to your life? 
My name is Matt Baird. I sing for the band Spoken. Music is extremely important to my life. I feel that God gave me a small amount of musical ability, and I've dedicated my life to serving Him with music.

How has Spoken changed as a band from the mid 90s until now, and was the growth inspired by YOU as a band, or the ever changing music scene?
We listen to all kinds of music, we've had several band members over the years, and our tastes in music have changed. We feel like we are in a place musically that shows all sorts of influences. We play music we'd like to listen to.

Many fans don't know about Spoken's rap/rock roots. Do you guys still perform any of those songs from the first two albums?
(Haha) We haven't played those songs in several years, but we loved playing them at that time. It was current, and we enjoyed that time of our career.

Matt Baird
Did you consider yourself a rapper, or just a versatile vocalist who rapped? Do you still have some rap bars left in the tank?
Oh no, I never claimed to be a rapper, and didn't desire to be. I just happened to really like bands like Rage Against The Machine, P.O.D., Downset, and 311. It just came across in our music. And there's absolutely no rap left in the tank...

Many online places say once signing to Tooth & Nail you guys hit your stride with 'A Moment of Imperfect Clarity.' In my opinion I think your biggest progression as artists was 'Echoes of the Spirit Still Dwell.' How do you feel about this album and am I on the right track, especially since you re-released it?
I'd agree with both opinions. "Echoes" was a pivotal point in our career. It was an album of prayers put to music. Tooth & Nail was a great chapter for Spoken. We entered the studio basically a new band. Jef (guitar) and I were the only original members at that point. The new guys (Aaron, Brandon, and Ryan) were  a HUGE part of the writing process. It was all around a great process. As far as re-releasing "Echoes"... it wasn't available on itunes, so we decided to have a label called Alien Patrol release it digitally. I've known the guys over there for 15 years or so. It was a good way to promote the label, and to get the record on itunes.

Spoken's last two releases were pretty different from each other, was this intentional or the way the music flowed?
All of our records have been written based on our place in life, whatever we were feeling at the time, whatever we may have been dealing with. We've always wanted to be stretched musically. Nothing was intentional on those records as far as "let's make this record different."

After prolonged breaks from making music like you guys are currently on, was it tough to get back in the studio, and what can we expect from the new album?
We've always been a band that tours nonstop, and we live in three different states. Writing music is sometimes difficult with that equation. There's been a little time between records, but we've never slowed down as far as being a band. You can expect better songwriting on the new record. We approached this record differently than we have the other records. We did the new record with Jasen Rauch, (Brian HEAD Welch, Disciple, The Wedding, RED, The Letter Black). Jasen basically became a band member (not an actual member) throughout the two years of writing and recording this record. It was a perfect fit for the band that we are now.

On some of your earlier music, I almost consider your music to hardcore worship. Where do you draw your inspiration for your lyrics and how much is God's hand in your lyrics?
In Spoken, inspiration comes from anything and everything. There are songs on the new record about God, confusion, bitterness, love, performing live, Evil, etc. God is a part of our lives, so He will come through no matter what. There are times when all of us wish Jesus would walk in the room, put his hand on our shoulder, and say "It's going to be ok." There's a song on the record about exactly that.  There's a song on the record that is written about the tornado that hit Joplin MO last year.

What would you tell someone who won't give Christian themed music a chance because of the "label" and do you find it difficult to be original and yet Christ centered at the same time? 
If music is good, it's good. If a band is terrible live, writes terrible songs, sings about terrible things, and act terrible....I'd say don't listen to that band.

What is in the immediate future for Spoken, and is their anything the fans should brace themselves for?
The new record is done, we have tours lined up, and there are several things that will be announced soon. We'll see you on the road.

Anything else you'd like to add?
Thanks for caring about Spoken - Matt Baird.

Current Lineup  
Matt Baird - vocals 
Oliver Crumpton - Drums
Ryan Pei - bass 

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