Interview: Aaron Gillespie

PhotobucketCMZ’s Cara Fisher talks with Aaron Gillespie about his solo worship debut, Anthem Song, trip to Haiti, & touring.

CMZ: So are you on tour right now?

Aaron: Yeah, I am. This is leg two; it started five or six days ago.

CMZ: Are you touring by yourself?

Aaron: No, I have a worship band, this is like a worship tour. It’s called just “A Night of Worship.” So I have like a seven-piece with me, which is pretty neat.

CMZ: So you’re performing songs from your upcoming worship album, Anthem Song?

Aaron: We are, yeah, and a bunch of other stuff too. It’s pretty fun.

CMZ: Why did you decide to record a worship album?

Aaron: It’s a long story, but I got my start as a musician playing worship and I always wanted to lead worship. And then I just got caught up doing other things, which is cool. But I knew that eventually I would get back to this. And I went to Africa in February, and God kind of radically got my attention. And then, yeah it’s been pretty cool… we spent all summer making the record and here we are. It comes out [March 8].

CMZ: What is the significance behind the title, Anthem Song?

Aaron: I believe that God has this song that’s been playing since time began. It’s a song of His grace and mercy and love and just who He is. And it’s been playing time and again, and it will play forever. And I think that our job in this life is as humans is to worship Him. That’s what we were created to do- to grab a little piece of that anthem and sing along. So, it’s kind of about that and about our existence here and what we’re doing and what we should be doing.

CMZ: So you’ve said that Anthem Song is aimed at “people who think church is a country club.” Can you explain what you mean by that?

Aaron: I think that’s a little misquote. I think that a lot of people are afraid to go into a church. They don’t have the clothes to go or they don’t have the vernacular and vocabulary to go, and they can’t go because they don’t have the money the other guy has to give to go. I think that I really want to connect with those hearts. I think that we have amazing churches in America and there’s amazing people in America, but I think in a lot of ways we’ve missed it, you know? I think we’ve missed the needy and the downtrodden. I think there are obviously places that have it; I have a lot- we all have and haven’t a lot, but I think I want to be able to use where I came from in the rock & roll world and present Jesus in a real way. I wasted my time for a long time not doing so.

CMZ: So you’ve done metalcore with Underoath, you’re doing alternative rock with The Almost, and now worship solo. Are there any other genres you’d like to take on?

Aaron: [laughs] I don’t think so… we’ll see, you never know.

CMZ: You recently made a trip to Haiti? What was your experience like?

Aaron: You know I haven’t talked about it a lot… It’s kind of hard to wrap Haiti up in a sentence. Haiti is the best worst place in the world. It’s gorgeous; it’s a cruise ship type place with blue water, unbelievable. But it’s extremely, extremely mismanaged. And it was extremely mismanaged and a mess before the earthquake happened. And things are even worse. You have a couple million people without homes. And it’s amazing to see what God’s doing there. We went there with an organization called Samaritan’s Purse, and they’re building 80,000 homes. And God’s doing huge things, and people are being saved and healed and delivered. But there’s also a lot to be done on the tangible level. I mean, there’s no running water, there’s no sewage, there’s no garbage disposal. It’s kind of like Mad Max in Port-au-Prince. And it’s been that way for years. It’s been that way before the earthquake. The earthquake kind of just magnified this. So it’s hard at first but, it’s good. God’s doing huge things and we’re excited.

CMZ: A few months back you tweeted offering to speak in churches. Did you end up speaking at any churches?

Aaron: We were doing this grassroots thing- speaking and leading worship in church, just trying to do something different. Something that wasn’t like, you know, the formal agency kind of arm extension. Yeah, we booked like fifty dates off of that tweet, and we’re in the middle of that right now.

CMZ: What’s the plan after your current tour?

Aaron: Right now, I have a bunch of The Almost stuff in the spring- South America, Europe, and Russia. I’m not looking at my calendar right now so… all the festivals in the summer. I know up until the summer but after that I’m not sure.


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