10 Questions with ... Echoing Angels
April 11, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Trey Heffinger
- Shannon Cochran
- Jon "JP" Poole
- Neil Tankersly
- Josh LeBlanc
- eOne Entertainment
- Echoing Angels (2011)
- You Alone (INO, 2006)
1) What's the story behind the single "Give You Peace"?
Trey Heffinger: The story behind our new single "Give You Peace" is inspired by the life of Brooke Raines. She was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis at 14 and battled it for 16 years until her death in May 2010.
This disease caused non-cancerous tumors to grow along her brain and spine, growing so large to the point of needing surgery to remove them. She had 25-plus operations and with each procedure a little bit of her was taken away. This began to take away her ability to walk, see, hear and speak, but through all of this she never wavered and understood the purpose God had for her. She would tell me she had nothing to complain about and there are others who are worse off. She took on this disease and became a powerful witness to doctors, nurses, children and anyone she spoke with.
There was a particular procedure that required a Halo to be put on her head. This is a very painful experience and my wife prayed to God to give her peace. Several days later Brooke called my wife and said an amazing thing happened right before the procedure. She heard a voice whisper in her ear: "I will give you peace, I will give you peace, I will give you peace." This summed up what God had been giving Brooke for 16 years: peace. She had peace through all this because Brooke chose to walk with him.
I wanted others to know her story, to give hope to so many who battle diseases or anything that brings struggle or difficulties to their lives. We wanted this to be written as if God was speaking to you; God telling you that he is there catching every tear and hearing every prayer and letting you know that he is the author and giver of peace.
The one thing Brooke was looking forward to when she died was going to heaven and being a bride for the first time as she met Jesus. In the song's bridge, it says, "You're beautiful, beautiful, perfect in my sight, righteousness adorns you my bride, You're beautiful, beautiful." Through deformity of diseases or other things that makes us feel worthless, God still sees us as beautiful and will give us peace as long as we choose to walk with him.
2) Is there any specific message or theme behind the new album?
When we went into the studio to record this record, we really didn't have a theme in mind. We just went in with our 11 best songs, hoping to make an impact. But as I started finishing up the final vocals and began to listen back to each song, a theme revealed itself. The theme of this record is of hope and love. We as a band have gone through a lot in the past several years and it really came through in the record.
3) Upcoming Spring tour plans? Where can we see you play?
We just signed with a new booking agent called Converge Music and we are crazy excited about this partnership. We are doing a lot of our own dates and fans can find out where we will be on our website: Echoingangels.com. And we are working on a possible fall tour.
4) Do you have a favorite song on the new album?
Besides "Give You Peace," the song that I am thankful on this record is "Sad Sad Tears." The way this song turned out, with an amazing string arrangement by Calvin Turner and its overall feel, really puts a smile on my face when I hear it. The message in this song is powerful.
5) Who or what inspires you guys to keep doing what you're doing, creating music and staying on the road as Echoing Angels?
We all love music. That passion mixed with God's calling on our lives keeps us doing what we do. Life itself is full of inspiration and we feel blessed to be able to use music as a tool for ministry. We truly love people and being on the road is very exciting for us and keeps driving us.
6) You guys just did a massive radio promo tour. Do you have any humorous stories from those recent radio visits?
A funny story happened late at night driving from New Orleans to Lukfin, TX. We had started the day at 5 a.m. in Atlanta, had breakfast in Birmingham, lunch in Jackson, MS, dinner in New Orleans and then we were off to TX, over six hours away.
Needless to say we were all past tired and laughter had taken over. I am sitting up front in the passenger side with my feet on the dashboard and decided to take a picture of them with the rain in the background. I got a new photo app for my phone and it takes cool old pictures. I needed something to do so I took a picture. What is funny is that my phone has a huge flash on it.
So picture this: It's dark outside and raining. All of a sudden a huge bright flash of light. Our manager Tiffany sprays pumpkin spice Febreeze (she always thought our van smelled), which hit JP (who was driving) in the face. At the same time as the flash of light, JP quickly responds with "Did I die? And does heaven smell like pumpkins?" I think we all laughed for six hours straight after that one. There are always great times on the road with these guys.
7) Do you have a favorite song to perform live?
That's hard to choose but our favorite would have to be the song "Leaving Here." This song is like sitting on the back porch with your family, drinking sweet tea and singing your heart out. It makes ya stomp your feet and yell real loud. It's just fun.
8) Where is your favorite place to play? Do you have a favorite city/venue?
Our favorite place to play is any place that we are playing at that night. That's too "PC," isn't it? We played in big arenas when we did a few dates on "Winter Jam" several years ago, theatres and small churches, and we truly love them all. We have even talked about how cool it would be to do a whole tour in theatres. We really love intimate settings. Our favorite city we have ever been in would probably be Boston. That is a really cool city with amazing food. We really want to go back.
9) What song do you wish you had written?
That is hard to answer but I grew up listening to James Taylor and his song called "The Secrete Of Life" is one of my all time favorites and I wish I had written that song.
10) Do you have much time to check out other artists' music? What are you listening to right now?
We love keeping up with other artists and the music they are creating. I would have to say that there is one band that I actually look forward to hearing and that is Needtobreathe. Those guys are the real deal and musically they are on point. Would love tour with them!