10 Questions with ... Hello Revolution
May 18, 2015
1. Brief history/synopsis.
Chris: I was born in Raleigh, NC and grew up as a PK (preacher's kid) of a Baptist pastor. So that pretty much sets the tone right there haha. I was certainly a ball of energy as a child and my parents did a great job of directing that energy into every sport under the sun. My dream was to be a MLB pitcher, but after some painful arm injuries as a freshman in college, I decided to tackle something new and attended Full Sail University in Orlando, FL to learn about music production/engineering. After graduating, I had the tools that could bring musical creativity to life, and that's when Hello Revolution was born. I still live here in Orlando, FL with my amazing wife, Maura, and our two incredible kids, Scarlett (7 yr) and Mason (3 yr).
Bomani: I was born and raised in Washington DC. I went to school l there from grade school until college. I was always into the arts and music. After college, I went in the Marine Corps. Since the stint in the service seemed short lived, I then worked at Uhaul where I met my beautiful wife Andrea. After 12 years we have 3 wonderful daughters. Currently we reside in Kissimmee, Fl. I'm still serving in the worship band at my home church, Sanctuary at Conway in Orlando, FL.
2. What does a normal day at home look like for you?
Chris: My kids are the alarm clock in my house. Wake up, cook breakfast with the help of my little chefs, and then head out for some fun. We like to stay very active, whether it's Scarlett's soccer games, biking at the park, being beach bums for a day, or heading to Disney or SeaWorld, we always give our kids lots to do and enjoy. After getting the kids to bed, the wife and I have a little time to catch up together and even catch up on some favorite shows/movies. In the midst of all that, I find little pieces of creative time for music. The days surely seem to go by too fast when you are enjoying them!
Bomani: After enduring the craziness of the day, I come home to help manage the home with my wife. We have 3 very active children, full of energy. After we put the kids to sleep, Andrea and I try to spend quality time. Whenever I can get some quiet time, Chris and I try to get some music business done and networking so we can stay productive. Go to bed, only to do it all again.
3. What's the song that you just can't get out of your head right now?
Chris: Tenth Avenue North "No Man Is An Island". The message in this song is so relevant and it brings a feeling/desire of connectivity which we need in this world. It's a connection to each other, but more importantly, it's a connection to our heavenly Father. Great message, great song!
Bomani: I LOVE RICARDO SANCHEZ's song called "Very Same Power". It's so encouraging, if we remember that same power resides in us, fires me up! I'm reminds that I can do ALL things in Christ!!
4. How much do you travel, what are the challenges? How do you juggle life on the road with wanting to be home?
When we were on the Young American Showcase Tour a few years back, we were gone for a solid three months performing at schools in the Carolinas and the biggest challenge was obviously being away from our families. Not being able to embrace them or experience something special that happened was tough, so we constantly reminded ourselves of what we were doing and WHY we were doing it. So it was important to stay strong, especially spiritually because through all the craziness going on, it would have been very easy to skip devotions and group prayer/reflection or get caught up in other distractions. Accountability is where it's at! And as we look to set out on the road to reach people again, we pray that God keeps us focused and help us stay balanced with our priorities. Serving God takes some sacrifice and working outside of your comfort zone, but it's definitely worth it when you experience the fruit of God working through you.
5. What Artist or Pastor has had the greatest impact on you?
Chris: My dad, who was a Baptist pastor in North Carolina for several churches during my childhood. My father had the greatest impact on me because he was a huge part of introducing me to THE FATHER. I think I soaked it all in because of his delivery, his character, and his heart for people. He presented the Gospel at the right level for people to grasp and adopt into their lives, but he never watered anything down. He was just real and he made such an impact for so many people. I saw how he carried himself and lived out the word that he preached, I saw the impact and it embedded a desire in me to have that impact on people. I couldn't be more thankful for that.
Bomani: My friend Ricardo Sanchez has had such an influence to me. He probably has no idea either. I loved to watch this guy in the beginning of his career find such joy in worshipping God with his gifts. His spirit is so pure and he is very humble. I had the chance to share the stage with him on occasion playing the drums, and it is always like we just saw each other. The joy in his heart is evident! I know some of his testimony about his life, and some about his family. He is such a great dad, and husband. Watching him reminds me to keep things in prospective; GOD and Family are number one. He is a great guy and friend.
6. What's the last book you read?
Chris: Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. Robert Townsend. This book talks about how to set effective boundaries in different areas of our lives that ultimately lead to better relationships, better outlooks, and a healthier spirit. It helped me realize, like most people, that I didn't even have boundaries, or it I did, I was poor at enforcing them which resulted in a lot of personal friction in my early 20's. After the revelation, I began to implement certain things slowly into practice and noticed a tremendous change in myself, my relationships, the pursuit of my calling, my work, etc. It's a really great book that I highly recommend.
Bomani: From cover to cover? it would be "What to Expect When You are Expecting". I think my wife forced me to read that one. That's sad.
7. Funniest or most embarrassing moment on the road?
Chris: Oh no...haha. This is something recent actually while we were playing a show at The Sanctuary in Orlando. The stage setup was a bit awkward as the drums were set up on the far right side of the stage. Now visualize a huge sub speaker right in front of the drum cage. At a certain point in the show I realized that Bomani (our drummer) needed some love and attention, and so I thought it'd be a good idea to run over there and jump on top of this sub speaker. However, on this night I decided to wear some jeans that were a little bit too tight...I admit that I had gained a few pounds since the last time I wore them. So when I attempted to jump up onto the speaker, the tightness of my pants restricted my ability to bend my legs! So I can't fully get up on the speaker, I'm teetering on the edge, arms waving in panic, realizing "I'm about to fall back and get hurt". So I decided to jump! Several problems with that though. There was a percussion set behind me on the left and there were stairs behind me on the right. No other choice but to jump straight back. When I did I noticed, in mid-air, that there was an unused microphone stand......great. SOMEHOW I missed it, landed, and stumbled to the piano. The crowd laughed, the band was laughing, I'm laughing into the microphone trying to sing...you couldn't help it. I think it was the first time Bomani ever missed a beat. This situation only took about 2 seconds but it felt like an ETERNITY for me. Good times.
8. Tell us about your latest single, COLLIDE....and the project you're working on.
We are currently working on an EP that we are extremely excited about. Since we're still in the process of finishing the project, we are not set on an album title as of yet. However, the first single "Collide" just released a few weeks ago and the feedback has been tremendous. This song means a great deal to us as it is a statement of how we are transformed when we encounter/collide with Christ. Christ is the most amazing grace we will ever receive and when our hearts meet His, we are renewed and restored in so many ways! It's such a powerful song and the message is clear, and we know that's the reason it is having such a great impact.
9. What organization/service group are you affiliated with?
We have done a few things in the past with BASE Camp Orlando, which is an organization that visits kids at the Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital. Had a great experience with this organization and the kids they support. At the moment though, we are not affiliated/partnered with an organization yet, but we are looking to join with a local organization and an international or worldwide group. Our heart is to serve, so we will join something that serves the hearts of people and their needs. There's nothing greater than giving your time and energy to help others.
10. Person you'd most like to have a discussion with, living or dead.....Deities are excused from this question
Chris: My grandfather, Pip Wanzer, who passed away when I was 6 years old. He and my grandmother lived in the mountains of Boone, NC where he made a living as a potter. He had a small shop on the side of the road that overlooked a small river which we swam in during the summer. In his house there was a lower level, I wouldn't call it a basement because it had so much natural light available. This is where he had a potter's wheel and would work on things in the late hours of the night. I remember him teaching me, while sitting on his knee, how to gently mold the clay as the wheel spun. Everything had to work together with the right speed, the right pressure, and the right design. Pip's presence was calm and soothing, yet big and impactful. My father spoke of him often, about his wisdom and character. I'd like to have a discussion with him to fully appreciate just that.
Bomani: I'd like to have a conversation with my grandmother, who passed. She is the one that encouraged me to keep pursuing my dreams and goals in life. She told me to be responsible, and own up to my mistakes. She encouraged me until the day she went to heaven, to keep moving forward, stay focused and she reminded me that God has already ordered my steps. I have a lot to tell her.. yep, its Grandma.
1. Favorite Bible Verse....life verse?
Chris: Romans 5:8 The ultimate declaration of God's love for us. While we still were sinners, He gave us a savior, His only son. His mercy and grace is unending, and this verse is a part of my personal testimony where this is all visible and clear.
Bomani: Romans 8...so empowering.
2. How & When did you become a believer?
Chris: Growing up in church, being a preacher's kid, I've believed for as long as I can remember. But there was certainly a maturation process in my life. From "Yeah, I believe God is real" to "I believe He has a purpose for me" to "I KNOW how much He loves me" and so on. So my belief was there since the beginning, but my belief grew and matured through God's workings in my life which developed into an eternal relationship with Him.
Bomani: I grew up in church...I always believed.
3. What's the biggest "God moment" you've ever experienced? Personally or professionally, when has God shown up in a powerful way?
Chris: Wow, there have certainly been a few but I can surely say that the most recent experience has been the most powerful in my life so far. I'm still processing the moment so bare with me. On April 30th, 2015, I was attending my company's national conference held here in Orlando. Around 6pm I headed up to my room to get changed for the evening event which was being held at Universal Studios. I never made it to the event, and in fact, I barely made it to my room on the 25th floor. While in the elevator my heart started beating very fast and very heavily. I've had heart palpitations for years, but this was extremely different and more severe. I started feeling dizzy and like I had a fever with chills. When I reached my room I splashed water on my face but it didn't help at all. I walked to my bed to lie down but my heart was beating so fast and I was so dizzy that I fell to my knees by the nightstand. I felt like I was having a heart attack. I was able to press the emergency button on the phone and pulled myself onto the bed. I was lying face down unable to move. I remember telling the gentleman on the phone that I was having a heart attack, and I felt that I was dying.
My heart felt like it was in my throat and it was difficult to breathe. I remember thinking "Is this how my life ends? I'm alone." I started seeing flashes of my wife and kids, my mom, dad, and brother. I told the man on the phone to hurry...and right after that I felt that I took my last breath and my life was leaving me. I closed my eyes and found that I was not alone. I wasn't breathing but I didn't need to, God was my breath. I could feel Him with me more than I ever had in my entire life. It was like a dream where I could see colors that don't exist on earth...and I could see the brightest light further in the distance. I knew it was heaven, I felt the most peace and happiness. In my "sight" there was the Holy Spirit circling around me and I could feel the warmth of its fire. And then I FELT (not heard) the voice of Christ. He simply said "Tell people about me; bring them to me".
The paramedics open the blinds and I opened my eyes again. I'm not even sure how long I was in the presence of God, but I just wanted to go back to it. I was breathing now but still couldn't move. On the way to the hospital I kept replaying everything in my mind. I remember telling the paramedics that I met Jesus. I had a tingling feeling in my whole body, an urge almost, to just tell everyone about Jesus.
Over the next few days I went through every emotion, but I was mostly thankful and humble to have had that experience. If I was a small flame before, I am now an engulfing forest fire with an extreme urge and desire to share Jesus with people. HE IS REAL, HE IS RIGHT HERE FOR US, we just need to truly open ourselves up and let him in...and when you do, He is something you will never let go of. It's amazing...
Bomani: When Commisioned came to my church for a concert. And I watched Michael Williams on drums and Fred Hammond on bass and vocals, just simply warming up and doing their sound check. Fred had this moment where God touched him and the sound check became something personal for him, between he and God. Like his own worship service. Michael just flowed on the drums with him...I have never been the same again. It was INCREDIBLE. I was right there, just submerged in the presence of God. From that moment on, I KNEW that I wanted to play the drums, and worship like that. I think I was about 12 years old. Every time I get behind the drums, I KNOW where my gift comes from, unashamed. I love to give it back!