10 Questions with ... No Other Name
September 5, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Curb Records
- Sam Allen
- Laura Allen
- Chad Smith
- The Other Side (October 2011)
1. Can you introduce the members of the group, using musical background and/or personality traits (the quirkier, the better)?
My name is Chad Smith, and I am originally from Louisiana. I have been in Nashville for about 12 years. I have been singing for as long as I can remember and before that! My mom likes to embarrass me by telling the story of how I used to imitate Elvis when I was little. I don't have a lot of formal training, but I was privileged to have a talented music director at my home church that took me under his wing. One quirky thing about me: I can't just eat a Reese's peanut butter cup. I have to eat around the edges first then peel off the top and bottom. The peanut butter is last to go.
Sam Allen is from just outside Tampa, Florida and now lives in Nashville. He graduated from Belmont University with a degree in music and was constantly involved in music growing up. I'd say the quirkiest thing about Sam is his insane passion for college football.
Laura Allen is Sam's older sister and also grew up in Florida. She was involved in music programs in church and school and was also heavily influenced musically by her family. I don't know if this qualifies as quirky or not, but Laura is pretty proud of her ability to say all the books of the Bible in one breath. I guess that makes her long-winded but anyway...
2. Can you tell us where No Other Name comes from?
It's not easy to come up with a group name that has significance and hasn't already been taken. We really struggled with finding the right name; everything we came up with just didn't seem to fit. One day we locked ourselves in a room, opened up the Bible and poured over scripture. No Other Name was born when one of us read Acts 4:12 which says there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. There was no reason to look further. We had found what we were looking for: a group name which automatically points to Jesus before we sing the first note.
3. What is the story behind the song "Let It Start With Me"?
"Let It Start With Me" came about when the International Mission Board (IMB) asked us to write a theme song for their Lottie Moon Christmas offering this year. We started thinking about missions in general and writing down different ideas. We kept coming back to the fact that God wants to glorify himself by using us in reaching out to the world. This song is basically a prayer for God to change the world but to let the change begin with us.
4. Your album "The Other Side" debuts in October. Is there a specific message or theme on the album?
I think the album is very missions-oriented with songs like "Let It Start With Me" and "Lead You To The Cross." It also gives Christians so much to look forward to in songs like "He's Alive" and "The Other Side." I love that every song on this album has a clear message and that they all fit together to paint a clear picture of Jesus.
5. You recently filmed a music video in Bangkok. Had you previously been to the area? How did that trip come about?
We hadn't been to Bangkok before the "Let It Start With Me" video shoot. The video is a companion piece to the song IMB commissioned us to write, so we traveled there with IMB to shoot the piece.
6. Do you have a favorite song on the album?
I think "The Other Side" is my favorite. This song is powerful and has the potential to touch many people because of its message.
7. Who inspires you personally, spiritually and/or musically?
Bill Stafford is an evangelist who has literally spread the word around the world. He is one of the most godly men I know, and I definitely look up to him as a spiritual giant. For anyone who has ever seen the movie "Fireproof," he plays the role of Kirk Cameron's grouchy next-door neighbor. Bill Stafford stands by God's word with no apologies, and he will always be someone I respect very much.
8. What song do you wish you had written?
"Blessings" by Laura Story. Songs like this one have always impacted me because they are written from personal experience.
9. Fill in the blank: I can't start the day without:
10. Do you have much time to check out other artists' music? What are you listening to right now?
Forever Jones: it should be a sin for one family to have that much talent. Casting Crowns is a favorite of mine. I have been listening to their version of "Glorious Day." They did such a great job of taking a classic hymn and making it new again.