I feel like you guys popped up out of nowhere with some pretty solid promotion behind your band… can you give me a little bit of history? Where did you guys come from?
Brandon Henderson: I Am Terrified has been together for about 6 years. Paddy and Joel are the original members and Matt, Logan and I joined later. I’ve actually been a fan for many years before I joined. We’ve been playing in and around our hometown of Birmingham, Alabama for many years. Now thanks to an awesome manager and Gotee Records we’ve been traveling across the country for over a year now.
So ya’ll are on Gotee Records… how have they been? To be completely honest, I was really surprised to find that they’d signed you at all ñ not because of talent issues or anything like that ñ but because of the genre/heaviness that I Am Terrified expresses. You are one of the first bands of your genre that I can recollect Gotee signing. How has it been working with them, and are you happy with what they’ve done for you guys?
Gotee has been an incredible blessing to us in so many different ways. Just being associated with that name is a big accomplishment to me.
The people at Gotee are always encouraging and always open to listen to different ideas you may have. They’re more like a family than a label. You hear a lot about bands changing their genre or changing their name because the label thought it would be a good idea. It’s not like that with Gotee. They are always there to listen to us and they always back us up on what we feel like we need to do as a band. At first it was unusual to me that we were signing with Gotee because of our style, but when we had a meeting before recording our EP, I knew that our style wouldn’t be too much of a concern. They actually want us to keep our “edge” and we plan on doing just that.
You played a show in Albuquerque, NM at the beginning of the school year for a festival we have here at an amusement park each year ñ Freedom Fest. How did it go for you guys? That was also one of the few shows/festivals that Blindside played in the US this year ñ did you guys play on the same night as them? Perhaps that’s completely irrelevant, but I know that if I were in an up and coming band like yourselves… Blindside is one of my musical heroes… and if I got to play with them, I’d wonder just how the heck I got to that place. Are you happy with where the band’s going? Are you happy with the feedback you’ve gotten thus far?
Freedom Fest was an amazing thing for our band. That was our first show in New Mexico that we have ever played and it was amazing to see how many people actually knew the songs. Being able to play with Blindside was like a dream come true to us. They are one of my all time favorite bands. I was honestly kind of star-struck when I saw them pull up to the fest. I was talking to their guitarist, Simon, before soundcheck and calmed down a little because he was such a down to earth guy. I just hope to be able to share the stage with them in the future. The whole time we were in New Mexico was amazing. We made great friends with one of the people working the fest and actually stayed an extra day with him exploring hot springs and canyons. It was awesome to have such positive feedback about the band as well. We definitely cannot wait to go back.
Lyrically, you’re incredibly and outspoken about the love, power, and saving grace of Jesus Christ… I know that this is the oldest question in the book, but how do you feel about the relation between music and ministry? Put into kid’s terms, because it helps me to think about it this way, do you consider I Am Terrified an art project, or a missions project, or both, or are they incomparable because of the timeless reply, “You don’t make Christian art…?”
I definitely feel like it is an art project and a missions project at the same time. God gave me the passion for music before I ever even knew the first thing about it. That’s why I play music that is gonna glorify him now. He gave me the ability to do it so that I might make a difference in someone else’s life. I would never wanna play for any other reason in this world. There are some people that still think that hardcore comes from the devil. I know that if it wasn’t for music and the passion to play hard music that God himself gave me, I don’t know where I would be in my life right now. When I accepted Jesus as my saviour, it was a personal thing. I knew that God was dealing with me and speaking to me. I will never forget being able to feel his presence like he was standing right in front of me. Immediately when I accepted him I also knew that there was a calling on my life to play music that glorifies him and that will lead others to him. The very next day I quit the band that I was in (which was a secular metal band) and started looking for members for my new Christian band. That’s crazy to think about because the week before I was saved, I was on anything that could give me a high wanting to be dead. I know that God saved my life with this music and I praise him for it.
What inspired the name I Am Terrified?
It comes from Job 23:15. Speaking of having the fear of the Lord. Not to be scared of him but terrified of who he is and respectful of who he is.
The world is getting worse everyday and it honestly terrifies me that no one even seems to care about God anymore. There are so many people who live their lives without knowing God and they don’t even care to know God. Those people are the ones we are trying to reach and show that there is a difference in your life when you have the spirit of God in you. I feel like Jesus is coming back very soon and I am terrified for the lost souls. It means something personal to everyone, that’s kinda what it means to me.
Where do you find God? The reason I ask is because the verse about how God has made everything beautiful, and every man knows that there is God, somewhere in his heart, and that you can see him in his creation, so that no man may have an excuse for not know him ñ that verse has been on my heart lately. I’ve been thinking about where I see God in this world, and where I draw inspiration from. Honestly, I can worship as much or more at a hardcore show than I can in a worship service, or feel the Lord’s presence in the early morning as much as when I read his word. That’s not meant to sound all weird and super-spiritual or anything, but I totally believe that God does make himself known in a variety of different capacities. My question again, then… where have you seen him in your life, as of late, and how does that inspire your creativity either in general, or towards the band?
I see him in a lot of things everyday in life. I see him in the people we meet on the road who just wanna offer us a place to stay or buy us dinner or lunch, in the kids who honestly need someone to talk to when they feel convicted at one of our shows. In my family at home who miss me while I’m gone, in the nature that he created and we experience everyday. That inspires us as a band more than I have ever really thought about before.
We met through the RYFO Network… which I would love to continue to be an avid supporter of. Those guys are doing incredible things. Can you tell us a little bit about how RYFO has helped you guys, or you, personally? How did you get involved with them?
RYFO has been incredible to us and we are so thankful that we have gotten involved with that. We met a lady named Sarah on our first day of tour at our show in Tennessee. She works with the non-profit organization Faceless International, which is another thing we are getting involved with. She took us in that night and gave us some numbers to the RYFO people. If we didn’t have a place to stay one night, we would call them up and they really helped us out. They fed us, gave us places to sleep and shower. It’s an awesome organization that other touring bands should check out. I can’t say enough good things about them.
You have your EP out right now… what are the plans for the future? Are you guys recording anytime soon, or do you have plans to tour on the short-player for a while? Where can people come see you?!
Right now we are planning on staying on the road pretty consistently until the end of the year. We have a ton of new songs that we have written since we’ve hit the road. We plan to continue writing and touring at the same time, then when we’re home we’ll record demos for pre-production. We hope to get all the demos done in time to hit the studio early next year but we’ve also got some pretty awesome plans as far as touring goes as well. Just waiting to see how the scheduling for everything works out. I’m pretty excited about all of it though.
If you were to give any advice to a band in your position, say, two years ago… what would you tell them about how to work towards a goal, collectively? If there’s anything I’ve learned through my own short time touring with other musicians, it’s that it’s a freakin marriage between four or five or however many guys there are in the group, complete with good times and bad times (but I think, much harsher, possibly more violent arguments – haha). How are you guys maintaining friendships with one another, and relationships with the Lord?
You are so right about that. I think we do a pretty good job of being considerate and respectful to each other. There are just sometimes when you want to get away from everyone else and just have some time to yourself. I think that’s important to have. I know that when I’m alone, while I’m touring, I’m usually having a good conversation with my fiancé or reading some scriptures that I can relate to at the time. It’s easier to have fun and keep your head on straight when everything back home is good and your staying fresh in the word. Advice for any other band, I would just say to play as many shows as possible and network with other bands and promoters and things like that. Get a good recording done!
If you could sit down and have lunch with anyone in this world, past, present or future – dead or alive – and talk to them about life, who would it be, and why?
I would really like to sit and talk with Stephen from Anberlin. I think that guy is so cool and down to earth. You can tell that his heart is real and he has a lot of passion about so many different things in life. I mentioned Faceless International earlier, he started that organization with a few other people because he cares so much about other people. That’s where his heart is, it’s for people that need help and can’t control what happens to them. I think it’s so awesome and I strive to have that much compassion for others. He is a big inspiration and a role model that me and the whole band really look up to.
What would you say is the most difficult thing that has come out of being in a signed band, that you go through, in maintaining a close relationship with Jesus? What would you say is the most rewarding thing?
The tiring routine of tour. The same thing everyday really wears on you. When you’re awake you’re either driving in the van, writing, playing a show or trying to work out your finances so you can pay your bills. If you’re not doing any of that then you’re probably trying to catch up on sleep from three nights ago when you had to make a long drive overnight. The most rewarding thing I would say is that we get to travel around the country and see all of God’s creations. It’s amazing and mind blowing to see some of the things that our God has created. We get to hang out with different kids every night and tell them that there is a God who cares about them so much that he let his own kid die for them. I think the most rewarding thing for me is when we get a message from a kid saying their life has changed because they gave his life to the Lord at our show. It might not even be because of our music or message, sometimes it’s just from showing them that we really love them and want to talk to them. Sorry, I could go on all day about that…
Is there anything that you would like to leave readers with that does or doesn’t have to do with anything we’ve been talking about? Anything I didn’t cover, or something that may or may not be relevant at all?
Just be sure to keep checking up with us because we are gonna have a lot of new things coming very shortly. Come see us at a show and request us on the radio or at your local venue.
Thanks so much for taking the time to do this interview with me, man. It means a lot, and feel free to use this on your web page as well, if you’d like, as soon as it goes live on HM’s site.
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