Sarah Brendel- In Another Land

Singer/songwriter Sarah Brendel was born and bred in Germany, where she’s achieved something very few European artists have: gaining prominence in the mainstream market while approaching her art from a distinctly Christian perspective. Her debut for Inpop Records titled Under the Fire released this past summer to rave reviews. Sarah brings a genuinely unique and Christ-centered perspective, and her record is a wonderful blend of introspective art and outbursts of worship.

Paul: How are you finding living and performing in America?

Sarah: Living in America is really cool, especially here in Nashville, where nearly everybody makes music. All the creativity that’s going on here makes me creative too. Americans are at most times more positive in their thinking than many Germans. That makes it easy for me to perform here because I get such nice feedback, and people make me feel so welcome.

Paul: Like me, you’re a big Larry Norman fan. Is he the reason you started writing songs?

Sarah: Yes, he is one reason. Shortly after I met Jesus, I started listening to Larry Norman’s music; and it spoke to me in a deep way. I got the longing to sing about God and to tell everybody that Jesus is the only way. That’s how it started.

Paul: Tell us about the single “Fire” from your new CD. What was the inspiration behind it?

Sarah: When I began writing “Fire,” I started with the line “More of you and less of me” — those are the key words of the song. My biggest goal is to be changed into the image of love, into the image of God.

Paul: How did you get onto Viva [Germany’s MTV]?

sarah: In Germany, friends of mine started a project called Zeichen der Zeit and asked me if I would like to join it. We produced two songs together and got to the Top 10 of the German mainstream charts. Viva was interested and played our music video day by day.

The Myriad- Creative Friction

The Myriad signed to Floodgate Records in 2004 on the band’s three-year anniversary, after an inspired set at Cornerstone Festival. Comprised of guitarist/keyboardist Steven Tracy, vocalist/guitarist Jeremy Edwardson, guitarist Jonathan Young, drummer Scott Davis and bassist John Schofield, The Myriad is an atmospheric, all-democratic, melody-fused modern rock & roll act. After The Myriad released a number of independent projects, its label debut, You Can’t Trust a Ladder, hit stores earlier this year, cleverly and artistically revealing the band’s Christian beliefs in a way that can satisfy the believer and the interest of the seeker.

Paul: I’m intrigued by your album’s title. Why can’t you trust a ladder?

Steven: The title of the album is a metaphor for a recurring theme about avoiding shortcuts and really embracing the process. With current culture being offered so many forms of anesthetics — be it medication or television — the idea is that the way out is “around” not “through.” [But going through it] is where true growth and life exists.

Paul: You were touring nationally before you had a record deal and an agent. Did you handle all that yourselves?

Steven: Yeah, for the better part of three years we did all of our own booking, publicity, recording and management. We’re happy to have handed it off to those more capable than ourselves. It has left us with the proper time for the music which, ultimately, is what we care most about. We’ve already started writing for the next record.

Paul: Your record is wonderfully eclectic and the songs are really strong. How did you work at developing your own sound?  

Steven: Well, there are five of us, and I’d say that a large part of our sound has come from the natural friction that comes with putting five strong personalities in the same room. Someone typically comes up with a starting point, whether it’s a lyrical idea, chord progression or melody. From there we usually end up writing and re-writing the song over and over until some “chill bumps” happen. Sometimes it’s quick, and other times it’s more laborious. Either way, it’s a remarkable thing when it hits; we all know it, and then we just fine-tune it from there. Our sound has evolved from living out that process over and over.

Copyright © 2005 CCM Magazine, Used by Permission

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