10 Questions with ... Patrick Ryan Clark
April 25, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
Where Would I Be? (2011)
1. Tell us a little bit about your musical journey and how you connected with Word Records.
Well, it has definitely been a crazy ride. I moved to Dallas about eight years ago with a band that I was in called Surviving August. We had a great run but it came to an end in about 2005. At that point I recorded a solo record and ended up showcasing in Nashville for Word along with some other labels. At that time every single label passed. It was really hard at the time but looking back I can see why God would not have me sign at that point. So in 2009 I recorded a four-song worship EP that made its way onto the desk of Josh Bailey. When I showcased in 2005, Josh was the one that I was meeting with from Word. So he heard my new worship recording and he called me up. It's been really incredible to get reconnected with Josh and work on this record with him.
2. What is the story behind the latest single "What Was I Fighting For"?
I wanted to write a song about my story and cram all of it into three minutes. Definitely a challenge but I think we pulled it off. You know, my resistance to Jesus for so long was that I would never be good enough. I could never grasp the true meaning of grace. I thought that Christianity was all about following rules, never having fun and disappointing God all of the time. When I look back at my life before Christ and my life with him, I ask myself, "What was I fighting for?"
3. Is there a particular message or theme to the songs on "Where Would I Be"?
I think the title says it all. My life was going down a path that would have led to destruction. I think of the verse 1 Peter 2:9, which talks about how we are God's chosen people and that he has pulled us out of the darkness and into his wonderful light. I thank God everyday for the way that he came into my darkness and rescued me. This album is all about redemption, hope, trust, grace and the mighty power of God.
4. You recently took a radio promo trip. Do you have any humorous, inspiring or interesting stories from visits with radio stations?
Well, two things pop out to me. The first is that I am 100 percent tourist on these trips. I wanted to see it all! I was taking cheesy pictures, chatting it up with the locals, pretty much embarrassing everyone around me. The other thing is, all the stations really love and care about their listeners. These are not just businesses that are out their trying to make money. These radio stations love God and are doing an amazing job of loving people. It made me excited that I get to partner with them in ministry.
5. Do you have a favorite song on the new album?
The funny thing is that my answer changes from week to week. Right now I am loving "You." "You" is a simple song that talks about how all that we need is Christ. Take away our money, cars, houses and jobs and there is still that one thing that will never leave us, our heavenly father. I think as humans we cling and trust in the things of this world. The problem with that is 100 percent of the time these things will end up leaving you feeling empty. You might get a good couple of days of fulfillment but in the end you will always be looking for that next "thing." And just so you know, this is a confession for me. I constantly try to find peace, hope and comfort in the things of this world. The song "You" reminds me daily that all I need is Christ and that he will bring the peace, hope and comfort that his word promises.
6. How long have you been the worship pastor at Watermark Community Church? What is your goal, so to speak, as you lead the church in worship?
I have been leading worship at Watermark for a little over two years. My goal each and every week is to help people align their hearts and minds to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I want the people to understand who we are singing to and to be reminded of what Christ did for us on the cross.
7. Who inspires you personally, spiritually and/or professionally (songwriting/performing)?
I am fortunate in the fact that I am surrounded everyday at Watermark by some amazing godly men. God has blessed this place with so many leaders and so I am always taking notes! On a professional level there are a handful of artists that I look up to. I would say Chris Martin, Joel Houston, Jason Ingram, Ed Cash, The Script, John Mayer, etc.
8. What song do you wish you had written?
I would probably say "Fix You" by Coldplay. I love the emotion, melody, harmony and passion. It's an amazing song!
9. Fill in the blank: I can't start the day without ________.
I can't start the day without coffee and the Bible. Wait, Bible and the coffee. Ahh! Which one comes first?
10. Do you have much time to check out other artists' music? What are you listening to right now?
I can't get away from the new record from The Script. I love the songwriting and production. I'm a sucker for a good pop rock song and they nailed it on this new record.