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Disciple's Kevin Young Talks About Horseshoes & Handgrenades
by Cara Fisher
Contributer on 2010-10-04 18:03:03
CMADDICT Contributor Cara Fisher talks with Kevin Young of Disciple about their latest release and new tour

Disciple released Horseshoes & Handgrenades in mid-September, but it was available digitally back in July for those who purchased the pre-order. Was this a label decision or a band decision?

Kevin Young: It was a label decision, and a really good one. I couldn’t believe that, you know, they’d offer that. They had tried it with a couple of their other artists before and when they brought it to me and talked about it I was like, “Uh, yeah! That’s fantastic!” You know, that you’d let us offer seven of the songs that didn’t make the record that no one was going to hear any other way. They even let us offer them through this pre-order thing. We were just thrilled with that!

Because as an artist, you know, there’s all these rules that go along with being in a band. We just want to write music and let people hear it. We wrote 19 songs, well really 30, 19 that we finished, so we were really excited when the label was like, “Yeah, let’s put it on there, let everyone hear it.” And we were like, “Yeah, let’s do it!”

Horseshoes & Handgrenades was really the first album that you and the new members of the band have collaborated on. How did the group dynamic differ in the studio from previous albums?

Kevin: Oh they’re nicer than those mean old guys. [laughs] No, I’m joking. Well, obviously we knew that it was going to be different. The one thing that these guys really have that’s awesome is that they really lean on each other. A lot. No one person wrote an entire song on this entire new CD; it was all collaborative. It was either two guys, three guys, four guys, and in a couple cases five guys. So that’s pretty awesome. It was really very cool to be a part of it.

The last track, “Worth The Pain,” on the album caught me off guard because it’s pretty different, sonically, than anything I’ve heard from Disciple. And lyrically, it’s a really powerful song. Can you share how this song came about?

Kevin: Yeah, well like I said before it was a very collaborative effort- me, Micah Sannan, and Israel Beechy worked on that song together. Actually Rob Hawkins even helped out -I’m pretty sure- with some of the melodies on it. And you know it’s that message that it’s worth the pain to go through it and do what’s right- for the person who is out there right now and is a virgin and is maybe being ridiculed for it or being pressured by a boyfriend or girlfriend to give in. It’s worth the pain to do what’s right.

The Bible says don’t grow weary in doing what is right, because in due time you will reap a harvest of blessing. If we give in and take the easy road, it’s always going to lead us to a place where were not satisfied and a place of even more pain. So what we think is this short-term pain in doing what is right actually leads to long-term joy, and it’s worth it to go through it. It’s worth it to do the right thing and follow Jesus.

What do you hope listeners take away from Horseshoes &Handgrendaes?

Kevin: I hope they’re encouraged. I hope people that don’t know Christ and aren’t Christians, I hope that they’re really encouraged and blessed. And that they are impacted by the message of this album and that this album will point them in a direction and that direction would be toward Christ.

And for those people that are Christians, that it would encourage them to continue to press on and to follow Christ no matter what. And to trust and believe in the freedom that He gives- that’s a big theme on the album, now that we’re Christians we have freedom. Sometimes as Christians we wrongfully believe that sin is still really powerful and really got a hold on us and it’s real big and strong and we can’t overcome it. But that’s not true for the Christian, because not only can we do all things through Christ, but we have a high priest, the Bible says, who knows our weaknesses, has been tempted in every way that we’ve been tempted, and can give us grace to help us in our time of need.

And that’s a big deal, you know, we’ve got a God that can help us through any situation. And so, before Him, yeah, everything you could face is just about impossible. But with Him, we can overcome everything.

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In one of your press releases you said that at almost every show you hear stories about people cutting, suicide, etc. Is it emotionally draining hearing such heavy stories night after night?

Kevin: Oh, I don’t know if draining is the right word… I’m mean, it’s emotional; don’t get me wrong. Two weeks ago, we got an email from a girl that was planning out her suicide to the last detail and heard our new CD and gave her life to Christ. I was reading it to the guys and I couldn’t even finish it; I was crying and I was like, “Man, come on, seriously?” I was crying like a little girl, can’t even finish the email. And, I mean, yeah, it’s very emotional… and surreal almost- you kind of fanaticize about hopefully doing something that would impact somebody’s life, as a young person or as a young Christian, your like, “Man I really hope I get to do something that really helps somebody.”

And then when it happens, it’s very surreal because as a Christian you realize it was really God doing all the work. I wasn’t even there. You know what I mean? I wasn’t even any where near this girl when all this stuff happened. It was her,the Holy Spirit, and God doing everything. So it’s very surreal. And we’re just honored, honestly, and grateful to have been a part of any of those stories.

I’ve heard you’re leading a book study on the Disciple message boards. What prompted you to start this?

Kevin:Well, I kind of view us as evangelists. And we’re in and out, you know, we show up on a Friday night and we play, and we preach the Gospel of Christ. And a lot of people receive Christ at our shows. And sometimes there’s an amazing church that’s backing our concert and wants to follow up with people, who make decisions for Christ. And sometimes their not. And so I was just thinking, what can we do with our fans that would help encourage them in their walk with God? Especially for those that may become a Christian at a Disciple concert… and I was like, “You know what, I’m gonna read a book with them.” So that’s how it started.

I had an author that I really liked and his name is John Bevere. And I thought, “You know what, let’s read a book by John Bevere with everybody and see what everybody thinks about it.”And it went really well. So I was like, “Okay, let’s read some books of the Bible together.” And we started doing that and it’s just taken off. It’s basically, I guess you could just about call it a church group, you know, we have a little church group online- we read the Bible together and we talk about.

It’s pretty amazing because occasionally a pastor or a Bible scholar will get on there with just some serious truth bomb and drop it on everybody. And it’s just like, “Wow, that was amazing.” And just bring to light something about the scriptures that we would read. It just blows me away. So it’s been a huge blessing to me, personally. We did it to bless other people, but everybody goes through this I guess in some shape or fashion- I did it to bless other people, but I’m really getting blessed more than anybody probably. So it’s pretty awesome.

Disciple is about to embark on a tour with Thousand Foot Krutch. Are you going to be bringing out any new songs for the tour?

Kevin: Absolutely. Sure thing, let’s see… we got, I think, four songs that we’re playing. We’re given thirty-five minutes. We’ve been playing five new songs, and so, it’ll be four or five. Definitely four, no less than four brand new songs. I can even tell you which ones we’ll probably play. We’re definitely playing “Dear X (You Don’t Own Me)” and we’re playing another song called “Watch It Burn.” We’re playing “Worth The Pain,” which we talked about, which is very nice; I’m glad for that.

Let’s see, what else… there’s a song called “The Ballad of St. Augustine,” very heavy song; we’re playing that one. And then sometimes we play “Battle Lines.” And I would imagine before too long we’re gonna have to throw “Invisible” in the set. Right now, we’re playing an old Disciple song, I guess it’s not too old- it’s two years old, called “After The World.” It was a really big song for us. We don’t want to play too many slow songs because… we don’t want too many of them, it just feels weird. So, right now we’re playing “After The World,” as soon as we start playing “Invisible,” “After The World” will probably go away. So that should be soon.

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What’s in store for Disciple after the TFK tour?

Kevin: I’ll tell you what’s not in store for us is me writing any songs. We spent over a year writing this new CD and we worked so hard on it. And, man, I’m ready to play some video games, take my daughter to the park- do the swing set or whatever. I just played some golf today. I mean, really I’m hurting that bad for some free time. So, not gonna be writing any songs; I can assure you that.

We’re gonna go to Europe for a week and we’re playing Amsterdam, Germany, and Switzerland. And then right after that we’re gonna go on tour with Red in the month of November. And then probably right after that, do a headlining tour in January and February. So it’s gonna be busy. Very busy.

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