10 Questions with ... Building 429
November 2, 2015
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Jason Roy - lead vocals, keyboards and guitar (interviewee)
- Michael Anderson - drums
- Jesse Garcia - background vocals, keyboards, and guitar
- Aaron Branch - bass guitar, background vocals
- 2000 Building 429
- 2002 Flight
- 2004 Space In Between Us
- 2006 Rise
- 2007 Iris to Iris
- 2008 Building 429
- 2011 Listen to the Sound
- 2013 We Won't Be Shaken
- 2015 Unashamed
1. Birthplace, childhood, schools, jobs and current hometown?
I was born in Mount Pleasant, Texas and my parents were divorced when I was five and so my mom remarried and we ended up moving kind of around the country; Texas to California, we lived there for a while out in the valley, then we moved to Houston, Texas and eventually we moved to North Carolina where we kind of settled. That is where I went to high school until I moved back with my father in Mount Pleasant, Texas and I graduated from high school there. I went to two colleges -- Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas and ended up going to NC State as well in Raleigh, North Carolina. I carried whatever odd jobs I could to kind of figure out how to make music happen, whether that be running a smoothie shop, or running a yacht yard with my captain's license, or even selling insurance.
Today I live in Clarksville, Tennessee with my wife of fourteen years, Courtney, and my two children, my twelve-year-old son Avery and my nine-year-old daughter Haven.
2. What does a normal day look like at home?
My wife gets up really early and goes to Cross Fit in the mornings, I try to get up and have coffee waiting on her (and breakfast!) when she gets home. The kids wake up shortly after we have a little bit of time together and we move right into school. We homeschool our children so school is happening all around the clock. They do this thing called Classical Conversations where they go to school once a week to hang out with their friends. It is pretty intense schooling, so that takes up pretty much all day.
I am also the worship pastor on staff at Grace Community Church (graceclarksville.com). I also work a lot in my studio for Building 429 doing interviews and such, so I kind of pop in and out of school while I am also doing other things with my business, and our ministry of Building 429 require me to do throughout the day. Days go fast and the kids have lots going on at night whether that be gymnastics for my daughter or drum lessons for my son. So, honestly, I would say by the time we hit around 8pm everything is finally done and I'll put the kids to bed and watch a little ESPN and the day is done.
We travel probably about one-hundred and fifty shows a year and there are many challenges with traveling like that, I mean you miss a lot of things that everyone else misses, but you gain a lot of cool things too. We have relationships all around the world, with great people who love Jesus and who are a support system to us. The challenges for sure though are missing basketball games and missing gymnastics meets and you know, everybody's birthday is never actually on their birthday, it is always built around our schedule. Our anniversary is never on our anniversary; it is always built around the Building 429 schedule. Honestly we want to be home more and we are thankful at this phase of our lives we are able to be home more, and we continue to look forward to those seasons when those show numbers continue to go down but the focus and the impact goes up per concert.
3. What artists or Pastors have had the greatest impact and why?
You know I would probably, quite honestly say, Tony Nolan is somebody who I really, really look up to. He is a kind, kind man, great speaker, but he has brought great words of wisdom into my life. And David Nasser, who has written several books and was unbelievably kind to me and my family during a time where we had a lot of need, so I am definitely thankful for that and that season.
4. What's the last book you read?
The last book that read I was called "The Devil and Pew Number 7" and it is just this kind of chronicles of a lady whose parents were pastors and who had this guy in their congregation who was unbelievably hard to deal with. In fact, it went so far that he even helped have her father killed and he was a pastor of a church and all he was trying to do was serve the church. Eventually many, many years later there was this reconciliation between the guy who killed her father and her. Just an unbelievable story of just grace and mercy to the extent to which I don't know that I could ever give, but definitely challenged me and I was thankful to be able to read that book recently.
5. Funniest and most embarrassing moment on the road?
I would say that was Charlotte, North Carolina. There were twelve thousand people there, and I had this silver suit that I used to wear a lot. In the middle of the show the pants ripped. It was absolutely hilarious and the band had no idea what was going on. They just knew all of a sudden I stopped hitting all of my marks where I was supposed to be. I called out and asked the guys to do a drum solo and they were like, "this is not part of the set!" I went off stage, changed pants, and then went back out and told the audience.... "Charlotte, congratulations you guys are rocking so hard you actually ripped my pants!" Pretty funny.
6. A couple songs on the latest project that are having huge impact?
The idea of Unashamed is something that we share every night. The single "Unashamed" for us and the mentality behind it is to dig down to the reality of our stories, and the realities of our stories is that we are all, every one of us, broken. No one has a perfect story. And thank God, because God can't use perfect people because they would take the glory. "Unashamed" is about the idea that we've all been broken but we have to get to the point to where we share our story because no one can ever learn from it and everybody believes that they are alone in their struggles until they finally hear someone stand up to the table and say, "I struggle with this." And then they find that they are not alone and that is when hope and freedom comes in. So, becoming unashamed of your past, to be able to stand with full confidence and say it is because of the grace and mercy of God I can say tonight that I am unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation for anyone who believes.
"Ocean Deep" is a song that is the new single and this tune is written off of my life story, trying to measure up to be as good as my dad. My dad is a pro power lifter, and I spent my entire life trying to measure up to that and I wanted to be the biggest, baddest guy in Mount Pleasant, Texas. I would have given anything to walk in his shoes and be they guy everyone feared and respected all at the same time. But if I would've gotten what I wanted, I would have missed out on taking the Gospel to the world. Sometimes you have to give up everything you want to get what God has for you and it is much greater than you can ever possibly imagine. For me, it required to give up the hopes and dreams of being the strongest man but I gained the entire world when I was willing to let it go.
Which leads me to the question, What is it that we chase in our own lives that is too small for the God that we serve? And then I think that if you take that a step further and you go, you know what, for all the mistakes that we have made and for all of the failures that we have, for the paths that have lead us over the edge over and over again, we can't out run the grace of God and we can't out run His mercy, I mean, His mercy is an ocean deep, and that is the idea behind the song, "Ocean Deep."
7. What organization/service group are you affiliated with?
We are currently affiliated with Feed the Children and I love them and what they do. They have a domestic program as well as an international program. So, we are so thankful for their partnership and their ability to kind of reach out, to do things abroad but then also do things here at home.
8. Person you'd most like to have a discussion with, living or dead.....Deities are excused from this question
It is an interesting thing, I guess, the person I most want to have a conversation with I would say probably Morgan Freeman or Bono; just to kind of hear their take on the world. These guys have unbelievable amounts of experience, they have been around the world and they both seem to be a quite confident as an authority figure and I would just love to hear the reality of that. And how much of an authority do they really believe that they are? And how much would they openly admit that they still don't know? I just think that would be a pretty profound conversation to meet with either one of those guys.
9. Favorite Bible verse?
My favorite Bible verse would be Zephaniah 3:17, "The Lord is with you, He will quiet you with His love and He will rejoice over you with singing." I love the idea that God rejoices over us with singing. It's kind of like a parent when you watch your kid do something great in a basketball game or in my case when my son played drums for the first time, I was so proud, I was so happy. That reminds me that God isn't this big, mean God with a stick waiting to hit my hand when I do something wrong, but rejoices over me, that is pretty cool.
10. What's the biggest "God moment" you've ever experienced? Personally or professionally, when has God shown up in a powerful way?
The biggest God moment I have ever experienced would have been in Rwanda-we did this Ruanda hope festival and there were fifty thousand Rwandans there and the whole idea was that they would bring together the Hutu and the Tutu tribes which committed mass genocide against one another in the nineties. We sang "Amazing Grace" over them and it was unbelievable profound to watch; people with limbs missing, holding their arms up, singing "Amazing Grace" over each other. It absolutely took our breath away and I will never forget it, the most profound moment of my life for sure.