10 Questions with ... Nine Lashes
March 28, 2016
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Jeremy Dunn - lead vocals
- Jonathan David Jefferson - guitar
- Andrew Joseph Jefferson - guitar
- Noah Terrell - drums
- 2009 Escape
- 2012 World We View
- 2014 From Water To War
- 2016 Ascend
1. Birthplace, childhood, schools, jobs?
We all grew up in Alabama. I moved around a lot as a child. For most of my adolescence, I felt like the world was a completed puzzle and I was an extra piece. I just wanted to find where I belonged. I made some friends in 8th grade that introduced me to the idea of creating music instead of just listening to it, and I've never looked back. Not long after that, I gave my life to the Lord and decided that I would dedicate my music to Him. I joined Nine Lashes right out of high school, and here we are now. There have been miracles and tragedies, mountains and valleys along the way; but I've seen God in every part of it, whether in the moment or looking back.
2. What does a normal day at home look like for you?
Well, currently it consists of walking up at 7:00, microwaving something for breakfast, and heading out for rehearsal. Ideally, I'd like to have some Bible reading and prayer in the morning. Sometimes I'm really disciplined about it, sometimes I'm lax. But I strive to maintain it. It's crucial.
3. What's the song that you just can't get out of your head right now?
"Good Father" by Chris Tomlin. It was in the playlist rotation for prayer meetings at Church of the Highlands (where we attend church) and it's just plain catchy. It gets lodged in there.
4. How much do you travel, what are the challenges? How do you juggle life on the road with wanting to be home?
We've had periods of heavy travel as well as light. Very early on, we placed family very high on the priority list, so I'm fortunate to bring my wife on the road with me and soon my daughter. In that regard, I mostly miss my little sister. Mom waited 19 years, so I'm watching her grow up and sometimes I feel like I'm missing it. Those emotions are always there. Besides that, the biggest challenge is fighting routine. You always want to be about people. If you fall into "routine mode", you start to forget that there are real people showing up to your shows with real problems needing to be told that there's hope.
5. What Artist or Pastor has had the greatest impact on you?
Pastor Chris Hodges. I had a very wrong view of God. I viewed Him as an angry God who was always on the lookout for my failure. Once I started going to Church of the Highlands, that image began to change and I began to develop a more accurate view of God.
6. What's the last book you read?
Leadership 101 by John Maxwell. Excellent book. It's inspiring. Leadership really is the art of empowering others to accomplish great things.
7. Funniest or most embarrassing moment on the road?
I was rocking out on stage, singing my heart out. Everyone's into it, having a great time. I notice a fan holding his phone up to me and I kind of nod like "what's up, bro!!", just feeling the music. When he keeps his phone up, I move closer as it looks like he's trying to show me something. The phone read, "Fly unzipped."
8. Take us through a couple songs on your latest project.
The title of the CD is Ascend. This really captures our intention behind the record. We wanted to do something different than before. The songs on this record are much more hope-focused than problem-focused, illustrating ascension from a previous state. Such a rise can happen in life, but it only comes from shifting our thinking from now to forever. There really isn't much in life that stands the test of time. In the end, two things matter: your relationship with God and your relationships with people. Songs like "Galaxy" and "Eyes on You" focus on that eternity.
9. What organization/service group are you affiliated with?
We partner with Alms International. They're pretty new on the scene, but they have their hands in all kinds of things, like digging wells in Africa. One thing they do that we really love is they help support the salaries of pastors in Israel. When bombings happen, or anything that forces citizens to take cover, churches aren't allowed to meet, which means that offerings aren't allowed to be taken up, which means Pastors' families have to go without. Alms International helps supplement their salaries to keep them preaching the gospel in Israel.
10. Person you'd most like to have a discussion with, living or dead...Deities are excused from this question
I would have to say Paul. I could pick his brain for hours.
1. Favorite Bible Verse....life verse?
Psalm 117 - It's the longest chapter in the entire Bible. I figured that whatever the chapter was about was important enough to God that He took up a lot of pages talking about it. Turns out, it's all about the importance of His word.
2. How & When did you become a believer?
My mother forced me to go to church. I had been doing a lot of wondering about life, purpose, and God. One day, I just felt that pull from the Holy Spirit, and I knew that I wanted to be saved.
3. What's the biggest "God moment" you've ever experienced? Personally or professionally, when has God shown up in a powerful way?
Shortly after joining Nine Lashes, I felt God pulling me to volunteer full time at a local ministry called The Basement. It didn't make sense because I already knew that God wanted me to play music. But I listened. I struggled with it the entire time, wondering if I had made a mistake or if I had heard God. The guys were hurt that I left. While I was there, I figured I'd have to do music in and way and was introduced by my friend to a guy named Nathan. He was a drummer. We started a little worship act that never did anything, but at one of the rehearsals, he told me his story. He used to be in a band signed to an indie label. They played all over the country and saw some success. Something eventually happened to the label, I'm assuming they went under, and he and his bandmates couldn't continue.
Fast-forward a few years. I'm back with Nine Lashes. My wife has been asking about my birth dad. I had grown up having never met him. My mother told us that she had found him on Facebook and added him, so we added him to. He wouldn't have known who we were, and, since he was a country artist, he would assume we were fans. One day Julie, my wife, is perusing his mutual friends when she sees Nathan. As it turns out, the singer of Nathan's former band was my brother. It took years for my quitting Nine Lashes to make any sense, but God had a plan.