Thursday, August 12, 2010

Jay's Interview with Amos Caley from Attaboy

I recently had the privilege of interviewing Amos Caley, frontman for the independent band Attaboy. Even though Amos is stepping down from the band this month, he took the time to do an interview with me before his departure. My questions for Amos are in white followed by his answers in orange. Read on and enjoy!

Attaboy is a really cool band name. Where did the name come from, and how did you decide upon it?

Attaboy came from a rather large list of potential names. We were just a few guys from college who played for a few Christian retreats and camps, and eventually booked enough shows to actually quit our full-time jobs to follow the Lord into full-time music ministry. Our name needed to reflect our mission, and the nature of it sounding so positive and fun, while also communicating "good job," really represented the uplifting message we wanted to have.

How would you describe Attaboy's sound, and how is it different from your previous albums?

Because we're a proudly independent band, we don't have a label breathing down our neck telling us what kind of music or lyrics to include. There's a tremendous freedom involved in planning out an album based simply on what we like and what we want to communicate to our fans. For this album, the combination of working with Jake Rye (Newsboys) and Ian Eskelin (StellarKart, Krystal Myers, Everyday Sunday) helped us hone in our best use of guitar and piano, and I sought to build lyrics based on what would translate well to our demographic.

Why "Being Remade" for the album title?

The title actually comes from the bridge lyric of the song, "More Like You," and really represents our desire to look more and more everyday like the person of Jesus Christ. The whole Bible is filled with admonitions to become more like God in the way we act and think, and particularly Romans 12 provided a basis for this song concept and album title.

I noticed the very thought-provoking lyrics in "Being Remade." Generally, where does the inspiration for your lyrics come from?

We've always considered the band a launching point for ministry to youth and adults. More and more, through conversations at concerts and events, we're realizing that students and adults alike are essentially dealing with the same issues: trust, obedience, failure, hardships, and hope. Most of our lyrical content deals with these types of issues.

I discovered Attaboy through Avalon's rendition of your hit "California." Has Avalon's version given publicity to the band, and if so, how?

It's cool because Avalon is a much more "adult contemporary" band, and our music has historically appealed more to a younger market. We've enjoyed the fact that California has a more mass appeal and we're flattered that Avalon would decide to cover it. I guess it will remain to be seen whether or not it will lead to more publicity or not, but either way, we're grateful for its warm reception nationwide.

What is the inspiration behind "Like A Rainy Day"? Is it a true story?

The song is completely fictional, but it more or less has represented the last few years in my life. There have been times when I get so emotionally selfish, focusing on the storm clouds forming and allowing it to influence my mood negatively. Through our travels we've met people whose lives have literally crashed down around them. Many of them are the most joyful, content people I've ever met. This attitude embodies Paul's urging to us to "be content in all circumstances," and I had to tell a story about it. It's one of my favorites on the album.

What is your favorite track on "Being Remade" and why?

Although I'm proud of how they all turned out, personally my favorite 3 songs are "For a Rainy Day," "We Sing," and "Everything Matters." I already talked about For a Rainy Day, but We Sing is the most developed song musically, and we worked really hard on it creatively. It has an emphasis on community with its use of 1st-person-plural pronouns (we and us and our) to help people understand that WE are in this thing together. Everything Matters came from my frustration about hearing people talk about only spiritual things having any significance. Jesus taught us that while spiritual things matter significantly, so do the small things we do on earth.

What are some of your musical inspirations?

Within the Christian industry, we've always looked up to bands like Relient K, Switchfoot, and Remedy Drive. Additionally, I've always listened to artists like Ben Folds, Death Cab for Cutie, and Mae. We've been told that this album reminds people of the Fray, StellarKart, and the Rocket Summer... which I take as a compliment, of course.

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. Any closing remarks?

Thanks for the interview, Jay. It's really flattering, and we hope to see you or any of your readers at an Attaboy show sometime soon!

1 comment:

  1. Gotta give credit to independent artists!!! God bless them!


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