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Michael Tait Talks About His New Role As A Newsboy
by Cara Fisher
Contributer on 2010-07-14 13:29:40
Michael Tait Talks with CMADDICT Contributor Cara Fisher about his new role and new album "Born Again"

First of all, I saw you guys perform at Creation Northeast Festival last week, and it was awesome. But I have to ask, what’s up with the green shoes?

*laughs* Leave my green shoes alone! I’m not taking them off! I started wearing them a month ago. A friend of mine in Nashville had them on his feet, and I said, I gotta have those. So that night I bought green shoes. And now I own them.

So the new record, Born Again, releases July 13th. What do you hope listeners take away from this album?

I hope they can rock to the music, which I think they’re gonna get for sure- I’ll make sure of that. There’s gonna be solid songs, pop songs, but let’s face it,the message is so much better than the music alone. I hope they take away answers to questions like, Why do we exist? What is our purpose? Who is God? Where are we going when we leave this earth? How do you find peace, redemption in your life? How can you be born again?All of those things can be answered, and hopefully carried away and received by people through the record.

What was the songwriting process like for Born Again? Who outside of the band was involved?

When you bring two bands together, Michael Tait from dc Talk and then the Newsboys- one of my friends said we’re kind of like the Rolling Stones and Beatles of our industry. I started laughing about that thinking what would it sound like if you mixed those two together, dc Talk and Newsboys.

As usual I’ve never really operated out of a formula- I just think what could work, what’s gonna work best for this situation. So I decided musically and creatively on this record to chase the art. That means if grandma comes back from the grave somehow, magically, she comes back and she wants to write a line on the song, Go for it grandma. You know if you want to, Cara, that’s fine.

We want solid songs; it’s really what we’re talking about in my vision for the record. At the same time it’s very important for me to not let the song suffer because of lack of creativity. So that being said we worked with two guys called the Write brothers, Juan Otero (who used to be a dc Talk dancer back in the day), and then another guy name Seth Mosley(22 years old, and he has a band called Me In Motion). They wrote and produced with us on this entire record. And I’m not upset one teeny little bit.

Do you have a favorite track on the record- one that means the most to you?

One of my favorites, I don’t know if it means the most to me, is track number three, “Way Beyond Myself” and number seven, “Miracles.” Of course I like “Born Again” also and number 5… I’m kidding; I like them all.

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The last track on Born Again is the infamous “Jesus Freak.” Whose idea was it to cover this song?

It was yours truly. It came out sixteen years ago and a lot kids haven’t heard it in this generation. Toby and I play it live in our respective sets, but like as far as a new recording, we recorded it and we got KJ-52 to rap on it to make it a little different. It’s a new, fresh, 2010, 21st century version;it was to inspire the original- the original that I’m singing. So we did that. Also, rock radio hasn’t heard it for awhile, so it’s kind of cool.

Were you at all apprehensive to redo this song- because it’s seems like one of those “untouchable” songs?

I thought about it. I thought about, you know, we could completely leave it alone because dc Talk did it so well. But instead at the moment in time, I thought,well, I am in a new band now, and I wouldn’t mind bringing some of my spoils from the other band. But without it on the record, the record would still be solid. So I made sure before I did that that we had a killer, killer record, in my estimation. “Born Again” is #1 on radio still after several weeks, so it was very important for the record to stand on its own and then add songs like “Mighty To Save” and “Jesus Freak.”

Kevin Max recently started a buzz about a possible dcTalk reunion tour. What are your thoughts on this?

Kevin boredom. I call it Kevin boredom. *laughs* He puts it out on Facebook and the Internet. *laughs* Nah… He moved back home to Grand Rapids with his wife and three kids, and he’s been recording music out of there. But for me and Toby, I know that we’re booked until next year. So I don’t think it’s gonna be anytime soon. I’m not against it, I just don’t think it would be sending the right message to my band, the Newsboys, now. People would be wondering, for a reunion tour,Is he in Newsboys? dc Talk? You know, Pick a side Tait.

Before joining the Newsboys, you were working on a solo album titled “Loveology.” Any plans to release this in the near future?

“Loveology” will be in the near future, you better believe it. I don’t know if it’s gonna be called “Loveology,” but some of the songs off of it will be on a project that I can’t really talk about right now, because it’s not confirmed. But it’s pretty exciting!

The Newsboys have been involved with mission’s work in Baja. What kind of work exactly are you guys doing there?

Back in the ‘90’s a lot of the people in a little area, Baja, Mexico were misplaced by floods and El Nino- all the floods in the ‘90’s. And the government gave them some land on the side of some mountain hill to build and somehow fight to survive. It’s actually pretty sad because the hill is like a mudslide hill, and it’s just like a skinny area. They have little spoons to lock the doors with-to hold the door fastened to the other part of the wood or plastic, cardboard kind of shelter. They had no electricity, no running water. The living conditions were absolutely, unbelievably horrific.

And so we saw this, the Newsboys saw this (this was years ago, before I came along), and they saw a guy named “Baja Bob,” who runs this whole thing. “Baja Bob” builds these houses on the side of the hill, these makeshift wooden kinds of places for the families to live in and give them electricity and doors that lock. And I thought, Man, what a great thing. So this summer we’re taking a thousand people back with us, Lord willing, at the end of July, and we’re gonna go build like a whole village for the people to live in. So we are stoked!

Any plans for the fall to tour in support of the album?

We’re doing all the summer festivals, and then we’re doing spot dates here and there in the fall. We’re not gonna go too hard at it. We’re doing a Christmas tour in the end of November. Lord willing, come January through the summer we’re gonna hit it hard; we’re headed out to WinterJam and we’ll do a “Born Again” tour after that. It’s gonna be crazy!

Thanks for talking with CMAddict!

Thank you, my friend.

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