Friday, June 10, 2011

Interview: Anthem Lights

It's finally here! I was privileged to interview the one and only Anthem Lights (an amazing band), and I hope you enjoy the interview! I also did something a little different this interview with the "bonus" questions. These are just fun, random questions I ask so you can learn more about your favorite bands. Let me know if you like them, and drop me an email at if there's any questions you'd like to ask the next artist I interview. Without further ado, let's see what Caleb Grimm has to say! My questions are in black, and Caleb's are in blue

Anthem Lights originally started out as Yellow Cavalier. How did you guys meet and what inspired the formation of Anthem Lights/Yellow Cavalier?
-The “Yellow Cavalier Project” actually started as Chad’s solo project. Alan and Chad were friends growing up and both attended Liberty University (where Kyle and I eventually attended as well), and Chad ended up moving to Nashville to pursue a Christian solo career. Around this time, Alan moved out to Los Angeles with his wife to pursue a secular music career. After Chad spent some time in Nashville, he eventually joined Alan out in L.A. where they began writing and working with a producer on Chad’s solo 5-song EP. As the record was coming to a close, they started praying about the project becoming a group with multiple vocalists. They began exploring the idea, but were concerned that there might not be artists out there who would be well-suited for a group like this. They called their contacts at Liberty University where Kyle and and myself. We were attending school and traveling with a music group. Luckily, the contacts/friends at Liberty recommended us to Chad, and so a few days later Chad and his producer flew out to Virginia to meet with us. Things really clicked between the 3 of us and a few weeks later we formed “Yellow Cavalier.” Alan had been writing and working creatively on the project, but about a month later he stepped in and joined the band. That is how we became Yellow Cavalier (and eventually changed our named to Anthem Lights!). 

How would you describe the sound of Anthem Lights?
-Pop melodies and layered vocals with elements of rock instrumentation. 

“Circles” has quickly become a favorite among fans. What is it like seeing your music impacting lives?
-It’s amazing to hear stories from fans sharing how the music has affected them in ways that none of us could have ever imagined. It’s so humbling because we know that only God can choose to use our music in such a way. 

“Can’t Shut Up” is another fan favorite, as well as a chart-climbing single. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind the song?
-It’s a song about literally not being able to be quiet about all that God has done for us. It’s based on the story in the Bible about the blind man that Jesus healed. Jesus asked him not to share because it wasn’t time yet, but then the passage said he went out in to all the land and shared because he couldn’t keep it in. That’s how we should be about our faith.
Fans all around love your meaningful lyrics. What would you say is the main theme of Anthem Light’s debut album?
-There’s a song on the album called “Stranger” and we really feel like it sums up the overall theme of the album. A lot of what we see in our culture doesn’t make sense to us as believers, and that’s how it’s supposed to be. 1 Peter tells us that we’re strangers here on this earth. The things that are important to us as Christians aren’t important to the world, and the things that are important to the world grow less and less important to us, the closer we grow to Christ. 

Already you have had the opportunity to tour with some of the top Christian music artists such as Mercy Me, Thousand Foot Krutch, Building 429, and Jars of Clay, just to name a few.  What is it like?
-It’s surreal to be surrounded by people that you admired as a teenager. It’s also so encouraging to know that they are as genuine and as passionate about God as they sounded on the radio growing up.

I’m sure it’s CRAZY doing music full-time. Can you give us a glimpse of a day in the life while touring?
-It’s so much fun being apart of a tour. I love the community atmosphere. It’s much more scheduled and structured than I anticipated. I’d say the biggest challenge is finding time to be alone to spend in devotions, but it’s so awesome to meet so many new people. 

That being said, what advice could you give aspiring musicians that want to stay grounded in Christ, yet participate full time in the music industry?
-I’d just encourage aspiring artists to really work to discover your convictions and know where you stand. In the Christian music business, the core of what we do is presenting the messages God has given us. Artists are looked to in some sense as “spiritual leaders,” so it’s important to know what you believe. 
Can you please share with us a passage of Scripture or a brief thought God has laid on your heart recently?
-The music business for the most part is new to us, so I’ve really been learning to trust God to provide and direct each step. I love the peace of mind that comes from Proverbs 3:5-6 which says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”
What is your main goal to accomplish in the music industry?
-Simply put, to glorify the heavenly father with the gifts He’s given us. 

What’s your favorite food to eat while on the road?
-Pizza!! It’s so bad for you, but nothing tastes better if you’re really hungry after a show.
Who would you like to tour with?
-I never know how to answer this question…haha. Steven Curtis Chapman is a legend in this business, so it’d be an honor to get to know him. 
That one band/artist you’re embarrassed to like? (It’s ok if you like Veggie Tales :P)
-I really like any cheesy pop music from the 90s.

Hershey’s or Cadbury?
If you weren’t in Anthem Lights, what job would you have?
-I’d probably be pursuing music in another capacity (on the business side).
Most unusual/funny on-stage experience?
-At end of the “Rock & Worship Roadshow” we (along with most of the artists on the tour) crashed Lecrae's set and danced with him onstage...that was so much fun.

The best prank you’ve ever pulled on a fellow band mate?
-We’re not huge pranksters (yet). We’ve had some good ones pulled on us though! Bart Millard of MercyMe was trying to describe us from stage as a "new" band, but it came out "Anthem Lights...they're like the New Kids On The Block!" Everybody laughed, including us. haha.

Dogs or cats?
-I’m not much of animal person…haha. I’d choose dogs over cats though. Chad is a HUGE dog lover. 
If you could go back in time, who would you choose to meet?
-I’ve always been fascinated with American history, so to meet someone involved with the earlier years of the U.S. like George Washington or Benjamin Franklin would be crazy cool.

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  1. AWESOME INTERVIEW!!!!!! I don't "like" to pick favorites but if I picked my favorite from Anthem Lights it wouls be Caleb! (mostly b.c he has replied to me on twitter but still) That was I great interview! I loved all the questions and answers! The bonus round was a cool idea too! If I haven't made it clear yet, I loved the interview! Great job!

  2. That was AMAZING! LOVED the interview and of course the video when Anthem Lights was dancing on stage! Ha, I LOVE Anthem Lights!
    CoUrTnEy, I TOTALLY agree with you! Caleb is the best out of the group! (Even though all the other guys are just as amazing!) Awesome job with the interview!

  3. Wow... how did I miss this? This is awesome! I LOVE Anthem Lights! Great questions, and awesome answers! :D