Tell me about your new album.
The album is called
See You; it will be released February 8th. It explores the way I have seen God at work in the last year and a half dealing with the balance between faith and sight. The fact we can mentally see evidence of God everywhere — we see by faith — but we won't truly have 'sight' until the day we see Jesus face to face. The title of the album comes from a song called
See You which deals with the struggle of wanting to see God in difficult times.
How does this album differ from previous projects?
I worked with a single producer, Matt Bronlewee, for the entire project. My last two albums I worked with multiple producers, so I think this album has a consistency the other albums don't have. Matt and I worked together on the writing process, so when we got in the studio we could more easily plan song transitions, song sequence, and instrumentation.
My hope is with each album I learn a little bit more about the songwriting process and I learn how to be more conversational and honest in my writing. Hopefully, all those things come through on this new album.
How long did the process take?
Well, I probably spent three or four months writing, knowing this recording was coming up. I tried to be intentional about writing songs for this project. There are 12 songs on the album and I probably had 20 to 25 songs to choose from. The recording process itself really didn't take all that long. Matt challenged me to play everything — except bass and drums — on the album.
You played the rest of the instruments?
I did. The main instruments I play are guitar, piano and drums — the guitar being my primary instrument — but Matt challenged me to play everything else. There were instruments I never played before that I wanted to put on the album.
For instance, on my first single
I Refuse I wanted a hammer dulcimer so Matt said, Well, let's rent one and you can learn to play it.
So you had to
rent a hammer dulcimer? You didn't have an extra one laying around?
No (laughs). They're quite expensive. I thought I might want to save up and buy one, one day, but after playing it I found it pretty difficult. I don't know if I want to spend my whole life trying to master it.
Josh, I find your music to be very attractive. It has gentleness, innocence and a curiosity that makes it very relatable for me.
Well, that's certainly a big part of my life. Faith for me is more like a conversation than a sentence with an exclamation point at the end. It's like living and breathing; there's always more to learn.
Tell me about marriage.
We got married August of '09. We met August of '08, and we married a year and a day after we met. She lived in Oklahoma and I live in Nashville, so we were long distance up until the day we married. We saw each other about once a month. After we were engaged, she would come into town and we did sessions of pre-marriage counseling. That was very important to us.
Our relationship moved pretty quickly, but it was one of those things where we both had such a great peace and we're confident God brought us together. It was certainly God's providence and His divine plan bringing us together when He did.
Marriage preparation is high on our list. I'm glad you guys made that a priority.
When you're dating and engaged, you have a picture of marriage that is not entirely inaccurate. There are things you do not think about because you're so head over heels; it is hard to think logically and practically.
When we sat down with our pastor for these premarital sessions, he was able to walk us through these issues we were not thinking of he helped us have hard conversations we needed to have. I'm absolutely thankful for this practical advice and spiritual preparation.
What about accountability? Do you have community in your life?
Absolutely. Becca has a group of girls she meets with every week who are musician's wives. They have a great deal in common. They're all about the same age, newly married couples, and none of us have kids yet. They do Bible studies and book studies together, so that's a great way for her to get encouragement and accountability separate from me.
I do have three or four guys I stay in constant contact with. They're good friends, so we can talk about anything. We actually had friends over last night who have three kids and have been married 20+ years. It's been really neat to have those kinds of couples in our lives that we can look up to and learn from.