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Introducing Dutton
by Amber Dodd
Contributer on 2011-03-18 15:51:40
Logan Walter, the band's lead singer, talks with CMAddict contributor Amber Dodd about the band's upcoming album & his sweet rap skills.

1) How did you guys come together to form "Dutton"?

We formed in 2004 to be the back up band at David Crowder's home church, University Baptist Church, which is on Dutton Avenue in Waco, Texas.

2) How long have you guys been performing together?

I met Shane (electric guitar & pedal steel) in 2000, when I was a freshman in high school. We played together for several years before I realized that he was cheating on me with another worship band, The Nathan Jennings Band, which was named after the drummer. So we joined forces to become "The Nathan Jennings Band Featuring Logan Walter." That's thirteen syllables. We got the call from David Crowder to be the back up band at UBC in 2003, while I was still in high school. I stayed in Waco, went to college at Baylor, and it took us a full year to realize that "Dutton" had eleven fewer syllables than our previous name. Brian (keys & electric guitar) joined the band in the summer of 2004, while Josh (bass guitar) came on board in 2008. In a sense, our current journey started 11 years ago. But we have officially been "Dutton" since 2004.

3) When people hear Dutton for the first time, what do you want them to take away from your music?

God's presence. We want our music to gather people together in Jesus' name, so that God will be with them when the songs are directed to God in a corporate setting, as we are promised in Matthew 18:20, "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

4) What is the songwriting process for your songs? Are they solely written by one person, or the band?

I've done the melody and lyric writing up to this point, but my process has changed over the years. The songs on our first album, The Surface, were written from melodic ideas. I would write the melody, the chord progression, the song structure, and even flesh out some instrument ideas before adding lyrics. For the second album, All Things Fade, half the songs started with music and half started with lyrics. These days, all of my songs start with a lyrical or theological idea. I read scriptures, I read prayers, I read hymns, I listen to God for inspiration, and my songs develop from there. I've found it to be a much more rewarding process, as the songs are becoming more scripturally dense as I place more emphasis on the lyrics.

(Left to Right) Nathan Jennings, Shane Wilson, Brian Patterson,
Josh Hicks and Logan Walter

5) Do you have a favorite song to perform live?

From "All Things Fade," my favorite song to perform is the last track, "When Heaven Came Down." It's a song about the incarnation, and before we play it, I usually quote Hebrews 4:15, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin." Then we sing about the good news at the top of our lungs. At one point in the song, the congregation joins us in belting out a wordless anthemic bridge. I call it the "Oh's". It is always a great moment.

6) What are some of your musical influences?

My Dad was a worship leader, so I'd have to list his band, Gabriel,
amongst the influences, along with David Crowder, who was my worship
leader in high school and college, and Chris Tomlin, who led at my
church's youth camp every year. But I spend so much time playing worship
music, that I usually go outside of the worship realm for musical
inspiration. I grew up loving Sting and Steely Dan, though I'm not sure
their influence has greatly affected what we do. All of the guys in
Dutton can agree on The Beatles, Radiohead, and Coldplay as some of the
great, melodic, skilled bands of the past half decade. And we were all
thrilled when Arcade Fire won the grammy for album of the year.

7) You're currently on the PlanetWisdom Tour with Mark Matlock and The Skit Guys. How would you describe the dynamic of this line-up?

It's a family. I've known the Skit Guys since I was young. They actually
did a few gigs with my Dad when they were getting their start. And we all
had an instant connection with Mark, who has become one of our closest
friends over the past three years of touring and hanging out in the Dallas
area. We all see youth ministry from a similar angle. In three years of
touring, I have never felt like we were on different pages in any area of
the Planet Wisdom ministry. I like how Mark communicates to youth, I
like how the Skit Guys engage youth, and they all support how we connect
with youth in a corporate worship setting.

Occasionally, we will stay on
stage and provide back up music for Mark's crowd-interactive moments, or
the skit guys will call me up on stage to make up a song on the spot
during one of their skits. We even wrote a Skit Guys theme song, which
we play as they are walking out on stage. One of the Skit Guys, Eddie,
goes to our home church, The Heights Baptist Church, where we lead over 40
Sundays each year, and the Skit Guys went as far as to put me in one of
their DVDs at one point. I can't imagine having better chemistry with a
team, both on and off stage.

Hear "All Things Fade" on Amazon

8) You also minister in many youth camps. What would you say is your "special" camp necessity? Something you can't live without...

In a word: "Interaction." On stage, it's necessary to write and learn
songs that engage students on an interactive level. There must be "repeat
after me, dance with me, sing with me" moments at a youth camp if you want
them to follow you into the depths of God's presence. Off stage, the
same is true. There must be interaction on a ministerial level. This is
why we
always make an effort to be at our table, talking with people, laughing
with people, and even praying with people. And if the setting is right,
we're not afraid to join a camp volleyball team, if you know what I mean.

9) Would you say there is a particular scripture that Dutton mirrors their ministry after?

Psalm 40:3 "He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord." This is why we
write; this is why we lead: so that many will put their trust in God.
Also, Colossians 3:16, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you
teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms,
hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God." It's no
accident that Paul juxtaposed "teaching with wisdom" and "singing songs"
side by side.

As a worship pastor, I feel called to teach about the words we sing as a
congregation, so that we may be assured to worship "in Spirit and in Truth"
(John 4:24). I also like how Paul mentions three different types of
worship songs: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Today, I would
compare this to our three categories of songs: hymns, familiar songs, and
original songs. We try to use a good balance of all three types.

10) Logan, would you like to expound on your sweet rap skills? (I must admit I'm partial to the "Dallas-Fort Worth" DFW Rap. I'm originally from the Sherman-Denison area.)

I see no need to expound, haha. If the readers would like to see my
pathetic white boy rapping skills in action, they are free to type
"Dutton Band Rap" into their YouTube browser. But if I had to pick one,
I would agree with you: the Dallas rap is my favorite. Perhaps that's
because I'm from this area as well. Or perhaps it's the cameo appearances
by Arnold Schwarzennegger, Kelly Clarkson, Jessica Simpson, Erykah Badu, and an old picture of my Dad's band, Gabriel.

11) Your last album, "All Things Fade", was released in 2009. Is there another project in the works?

Yes! We just finished recording a new album called "Welcome Home," which
will be available on iTunes in April. It is the most scriptural, singable,
theologically dense album we have ever recorded. Our producer Will Hunt,
who has produced all three albums, has noted that "Welcome Home" is his
clear favorite, so we are all very excited about getting this music out
there for you guys.

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