10 Questions with ... MIKESCHAIR
March 31, 2014
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Mike Grayson - lead singer, guitar
- Nate Onstott - drums
- Seth Penn - bass
- Kyle Schonewill - lead guitar
- Jesse Hale - keys and violin
- Otherside EP 2006
- Can't Take Away EP 2009
- Mikeschair 2009
- Let the Waters Rise EP 2010
- A Beautiful Life 2011
- It's Christmas EP 2012
- All or Nothing 2014
1. Brief history/synopsis
I was born in Indianapolis, IN but grew up in Orlando, FL. Since I was in 9th grade I knew that I wanted to go to Nashville, TN and go to Belmont University. It was the only school that I actually applied to. Belmont is where MIKESCHAIR started and Nashville has been home ever since.
2. What does a normal day at home look like for you?
My day usually starts with being woken up by my wife grinding coffee beans, haha. We currently live in a loft that has no doors so you can hear everything. I actually love to be a part of the business side of what we do, so once I wake up I normally get to answering emails concerning MC business. Once that is done I either get ready and then start writing a song that day or I choose to spend that time connecting with friends and family since I am out of town a lot. My wife and I are foodies so we love going out to local restaurants here in Nashville. After that we normally end our night watching one of the many shows we try to keep up with but never can. We definitely get use out of our DVR.
3. What's the song that you just can't get out of your head right now?
I love worship music and right now there is a song called "Holy Spirit" that I can't get enough of! There is a version of this song on Kari Jobe's new record and it's awesome. I love surrounding myself with worship, and I think you can hear that in a lot of the songs I write.
4. How much do you travel? What are the challenges?
I was gone almost 200 days last year, which is pretty crazy. I just got married last February so being away is a lot harder now than it was years ago. My wife and I have discovered that even though we aren't physically together we can still live life together by communicating. Things like FaceTime have been amazing because if there is something going on that we want to show each other, we can, which is awesome!
5. What's the biggest "God moment" that you've ever experienced, personal or professional?
One of the biggest God moments I have experienced was a couple years ago after playing a show in Missouri. I was meeting people after the show and there was a man who waited until everyone left to talk to me. He approached me and immediately started crying. He went on to tell me that he had just gotten back from being in Afghanistan and was struggling with feeling like life wasn't worth living. He said he just wanted to thank me because the week before he was actually in the process of taking his own life when one of our songs, "Let the Waters Rise," came on the radio in his car. There is a line in that song that his grandma used to say to him, "He's been faithful before and He'll be faithful again." He said that his kids have a father today because God used that song in that exact moment. You can only imagine how I felt when I heard that. I write these songs and have no idea how God is going to use them, so when I hear something like that I am incredibly humbled and so honored!
6. What's the last book you read?
I honestly can't tell you the last time that I actually finished a book, haha! But one book that I am currently in is a booked called Let Hope In by Pete Wilson. Pete is the pastor at my church here in Nashville and this book so far has been amazing.
7. How did you became a believer. What caused you to want to serve God in full time ministry?
I asked Jesus into my heart when I was really little but I say that I actually became a believer in 5th grade when I took it on for myself. As soon as I got a guitar, I knew I wanted to make music that glorified the Lord. I have always written songs about my faith and the Lord. I didn't know that my ministry would look like it does, but I am so thankful and honored to serve the way that I do.
8. Take us thru a couple songs on your latest project ALL OR NOTHING. What's the "story behind the song?
I'll start with the title track, "All or Nothing." This is the first song I wrote for this record and it set a tone for the rest of the album. You will notice that the word ALL is in multiple titles on this record. We really wanted to focus on this word because we felt like it's time as believers that we stop wasting time and go all in for Jesus. Our prayer is that this song and this record is an encouragement to know what we believe and why we believe it. This record starts with this song and then ends with a song called "All To Jesus (I Surrender All)," which is a fresh take on an old hymn. Our hope is that by the end of the album the listener will be ready to say those words, "I Surrender All"!
Another song on this record that is really personal for me is a song called "People Like Me." It took me three records to write this song. The song is all about our need to know that God's grace can actually cover "people like me" no matter what we have done or where we have been. My family has dealt with addiction since I was a young kid and this song speaks to that part of our story. I get to share this story every night now and let people know that there is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain!
9. What organization/service group are you affiliated with? Why are you passionate about being involved with them.
We have worked with a lot of different organizations that we think are doing incredible work. From the very beginning we knew we wanted MIKESCHAIR to be about more than just music. We wanted to use whatever platform we have to bring awareness to need. Two organizations we have partnered with a lot are FOOD FOR THE HUNGRY and BUCKNER INTERNATIONAL.
Food For The Hungry is a sponsorship organization that does work all over the world transforming communities.
Buckner has a really cool program called Shoes For Orphan Souls where they collect new pairs of shoes that they then take over to orphanages all around the world and put on the feet of kids in those countries.
10. Person you'd most like to have a discussion with, living or dead?
I know this is so weird, but I have always wanted to be able to sit down with someone like Hitler. I am so curious to talk to someone who has done so much damage and see what they were like. I can't even imagine how it would be possible to do what someone like Hitler has done, so I think that is why it is interesting to me.