BarlowGirl

barlow-girl

Female fronted Christian rockers Superchic[k]  debuted a song in 2001 called “Barlow Girls,” a tribute to real-life sisters Alyssa, Becca and Lauren Barlow, after meeting them at a festival in Wisconsin. These lyrics introduced the siblings (not as a band) to the world — with quite the compliment to the Barlows’ stand on purity — and three years later BarlowGirl went on to release its self-titled Fervent Records debut, becoming Christian music’s best-selling new artist of 2004.

They’ve now sold more than 230,000 copies of BarlowGirl, seen songs “Mirror” and “Never Alone” skyrocket up the Christian airplay charts, and received accolades aplenty. With the recent release of BarlowGirl’s sophomore effort, Another Journal Entry, we knew it was time to catch up with the increasingly popular trio. And taking into account the special friendship between Superchic[k] and 20?year old Lauren, 23?year old alyssa and 25?year old becca, we asked SuperChic[k] vocalist/guitarist Melissa Brock to sit down with the sisters and find out how they’ve grown up.

Melissa: Since Superchic[k] recorded the song “Barlow Girls,” can you believe everything that’s happened? Can you reminisce about how it all got started?

Lauren: Five years ago, right? I think back in November of 1999 we were playing our first concert at LifeFest in Wisconsin and met your band and just really hit it off. A couple months later, you guys wrote a killer song about us. And I just remember going over to Max’s house with your whole band, and you showed us the song. I remember sitting there and thinking, Did they just say “Barlow” in that song? We were so honored, and of course, we didn’t know how to react in front of everybody. But later, when we got into the car, we screamed and cried a little because it was just such an honor; and we had lost a lot of our friends because of it.

Melissa: Not because of the song, I hope!

Alyssa: No! [laughing] No, through the years of taking that journey of purity, our friends didn’t know how to respond; so some of them were a little more stand-offish in our friendship after that. So, once this song came out, it just seemed as if God was going, “Girls, I have a plan for your lives, and keep doing it!” And it was a big encouragement. For a long time, we would pop in the song and listen to it as we’d go places and say, “OK, God, You have a plan for our lives, and we’re going to use this to encourage us.”

Melissa: How did you deal with the follow-up to your hugely successful first record?

Becca:   It was huge? Melissa: Hey, it was huge!

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Alyssa:  I think the difference on this one was the recording process. We really wanted to try to tackle everything ourselves — from drums to guitars — everything. And so we told our producer [Otto Price] to really push us. It was a little bit harder because we were definitely stretched beyond what I thought we were capable of, but it was cool to see the persistence in training us; I think that it made us better musicians because of it, and I love that.

Becca: Also, the first record you have your entire life to write; and this one we had nine months. We were trying to figure out, “OK, how are we going to do this? How are we going to make this work? How are we going to schedule writing so many hours a week and still try to grow in our personal lives and try to apply that in the songs?”

Melissa:  What are the most personal or most exciting songs on your new record?

Alyssa: “Love Me” is one that hits home really, really hard for me because my whole life I’ve been the one who’s really struggled with trying to prove to God why He should love me, instead of just accepting it. It has been a lifelong struggle for me; and a couple of months ago, I was in a prayer time and just started to say, “OK, God, I messed up here. I promise I won’t do it again. I’m going to put myself together this time, I promise.” And I just felt God kind of go, “Why don’t you just sit down and let Me just love you the way I’ve always wanted to, without you trying to prove to Me why I should love you?” I just sat in my room and bawled for the longest time, and then I went down to the girls and said, “You know, it’s a simple truth but something I don’t know if everybody understands — just the simple truth of love.” And the girls said, “Yeah, we can totally relate,” and we wrote this song together about all our experiences. So when I’m singing that one, because I haven’t mastered it, obviously, it’s still a struggle for me. Every time I sing it, I still get reminded of that day and what He said to me. It’s still helping me grow, even now.

Melissa: There are several amazing bands like Thousand Foot Krutch, Switchfoot and Relient K — and Superchic[k]! — who are making a big impact in the mainstream right now. Is that a direction you’d like to go?

Lauren: I don’t think it’s a goal for us. I think if it happens, it happens; but it’s not something we’re going to strive after. They did already release our stuff mainstream, and it’s doing well. So, it’s happening, but it’s not like that was our main focus. If God lets it happen — and if that’s God’s will for us and the band — then let’s do it! A couple of months ago, Warner Brothers merged with our label; so that’s how we got into the mainstream. Warner Brothers said, “We want to take them along and start distributing out there.” So, yeah, it has been such a shock for us because we didn’t ever think about even going in that direction.

 

Copyright © 2005 CCM Magazine, Used by Permission

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