We recently caught up with BarlowGirl at IgniteChicago…
It must be fun to play in your hometown…
Lauren: Last time we were in Chicago to play was last year. We played ONU (Olivet Nazarene University). It’s been a long time.
We have a very large family, and we feel very supported by our family when we’re home. It’s very comforting to know that there’s a lot of family and friends and people that have supported you since day one — people that have walked you through this life. I love it, absolutely love it.
Tell us about the album.
Lauren: This album is so passionate. This one is about a lot of different things over the past two years that we’ve heard on the road, stories from people, the brokenness that we’ve seen, and the passion that we’ve heard in this generation. We have our anthems and then we have our songs that go deep that deal with feeling and forgiveness in changing the world. It’s a very passionate album — that kind of wraps it up. I’m very excited about it. This is exactly what’s been on our hearts.
What’s been on your heart?
Becca: What we’ve done over the last two years is gather stories of people while we’ve been on the road; we’ve heard what people want, what they’re hungering for, their struggles. Those burdens have really stayed with us as people share their life stories with us. As we began writing this album, those stories kept coming back to us, and the brokenness of our generation. Now the dark is getting darker but also God’s presence is getting brighter in people’s lives.
We also wanted to address some things we’ve struggled with in our own lives. We know people are struggling with forgiveness and how hard it is to forgive. But we need to realize that our heavenly Father cannot forgive us unless we’re forgiving others. So often we want to hold on to unforgiveness and bitterness in hopes that people will feel our hurt, so we’ve written a song about forgiveness. We see that unforgiveness is huge and rampant in our world. I don’t know why. That’s the Enemy’s trick. He tricks us and tells us, Don’t forgive them. Make them feel your pain. But that’s not true. God wants us to be set free and God will deal with those people.
Do you all collaborate?
Lauren: We can’t write alone. It’s always got to be us three together because we each bring something different to the mix. We each have our strengths and our weaknesses, but we always balance each other out when we get together. So, yeah, we always write together.
What are you listening to these days?
Alyssa: It’s funny. We were raised on oldies music so we love Beatles and Mamas and Papas and James Taylor, Leslie Gore… As we got older, it turned into other artists, but still at the same time we love jazz and Broadway music and classical music. We just vary. We’re very eclectic. Lot’s of worship music too. It’s all very different all the time.
Becca: Delirious? Mission Bells has been constantly playing.
Lauren: I’ve been listening a lot of Broadway shows just recently. So any Broadway musicals I’m there. I’m listening to that on my iPod right now.
Alyssa: I’m a mixture now between Broadway show tunes — I love Broadway songs — and other different songs. I just buy my favorite songs on iTunes. One of them is Rain Down from Delirious?. I had that on repeat today. There is a new song we do in concert. It’s called Mighty to Save. HillSongs wrote it. It’s an incredibly powerful song. So I’ve had that one on repeat as well.
How do you separate business from family? Boundaries?
Becca: I think we can say we learned it the hard way. Over the last four years we did hit the road pretty hard. We were traveling a lot. We would be home hardly ever — our family even less — and finally over this last year we’ve come to the place of realizing that a balance is necessary, completely, and we’re trying to take time to come home more often and spend more time with family and do things that are non-business related. But we definitely did have to learn to seek a balance in our lives in that area.
You don’t date…how might God orchestrate a husband for you?
Alyssa: We really felt God challenge us in our life just to say, Yes, the world says that you have to date around. You have to date a lot of different people to find out who you like or find out who you’re compatible with. And we really felt God challenging us to say, Girls, would you be willing to give me your single years? Would you be willing to set aside dating a bunch of different people right now to just give your heart to a bunch of different people? Would you be willing to find out what true love is?
So we we’ve discovered this journey of saying, Yes, God, we’ll give you our hearts now in this season. We won’t date around. We’re going to give you our hearts. We’re dedicating these years to you and we’ll find out who we are and what a Proverbs 31 woman is.
In the long run, I want to be a good mother. I want to be a good wife. I don’t just want to be a good girlfriend. We’re looking long term. Instead of what’s going to satisfy me now, I’m looking ahead at tomorrow and honoring my husband all the days of my life — starting today, starting before I even know him. I want to honor him with my heart. I want to honor him by guarding myself as if we were married now.
We’ve seen so many people walk this out, our brother being one of them. Our brother and his wife had never dated other people, ended up becoming good friends in college. They have three beautiful children. We notice the one thing that really carries a lot of marriages through is a foundation of friendship and a foundation of a deep love. No matter what they face, they’re best friends first. That’s something that we really desire. We just haven’t found the right one yet. Right ones. Plural. There’s three of them. [laughs]
What are the qualities and characteristics of that Mr. Right…
Alyssa: I’ve never really had a picture in my head. The only thing I’ve known is that I would love for him to be a leader. I want to know that he’s pursuing God with all his heart. I think that’s something that means the world to us girls. A guy that’s throwing stuff aside and saying, I’m gonna go after God with all of my heart. I’m gonna love God first. Somebody that is in extreme pursuit of God. I think that’s the number one for all three of us; that would mean the most to us more than anything.
Lauren: I’ve never had the idea of (for example) the guy’s got to be this tall. I don’t have those ideals in my head because I don’t want to put limitations on it. I want him to be a leader and I want him to be a godly leader. He has to be more spiritually advanced than I am. We’re strong girls. We have our ideas and we have our opinions. So I think to have a man that would be a leader, not a dictator, who would listen to our opinions. Someone we can trust — and obviously he has to be handsome. And he has to like my dog. [laughs]
Becca: One of the things that has definitely been on my heart of late as I’ve been reading Proverbs 31; actually 1 through 9. It’s all about what a godly man is. So I’ve been praying for a Proverbs 31 man.
Alyssa: Our culture is pushing the idea that you have to have somebody. You always have to have somebody on your arm. You need to be finding somebody or finding your fulfillment in somebody. If we’ve learned anything, we’ve learned that truly the only relationship that will bring us full satisfaction and full life is our relationship with God and our relationship with Jesus and finding out who we are in him.
There’s nothing greater that I would encourage people in is to let your relationship with Jesus be the foundation of every relationship you could ever pursue. Pursue your family. Pursue relationships within the family that God’s given you. Despite the hurt, despite whatever is going on, I would encourage you to pursue God and family first. I think that does a lot in our hearts. It sets a really good foundation for what God is going to do in marriage, for what God is going to do as you raise your own children. But let’s be faithful with the relationship God has given us now. That’s we’re really passionate about.
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