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New songs, old jars

"New songs, old jars" Continued...

Are you saying it’s harder to build community, to build a true connection with your fans, within the Christian music world than it is within the secular music world? Mostly it’s just harder to identify those communities and to speak to them directly. The channels that you have to use to let people know about concerts or to let people know that records are out are different. They’re harder, I would say, in the Christian community, especially if you don’t have the ear of the overall church network, which was not where we existed most of the time as Jars. We know there are a lot of people in the church who love Jars music, but we don’t really know how to communicate with them. So we’re trying to figure that out and say, “Alright, we’re still out here doing this and we’d love for you to still come to the shows.” 

Where do you go to church? I go to an Anglican church in Nashville called St. John’s. It’s a really small community of people, which I love, because it’s nice to just know everybody in the pews there along with you.

Tell me about the Jars of Clay ministry, Blood: Water Mission. We looked at the world to describe it and found it necessary to get our hands dirty. The organization has been around now for 10 years. We’re helping people have access to clean water and proper sanitation and proper health care all over Africa. It’s probably as much a part of Jars of Clay now as the music and touring and making records. It’s a story that we hope more people will connect with and get involved.

You had a heart attack a few years ago. How’s your health today? My health is good now. It’ll always be a constant battle for me. I have heart disease in my family and it is aggressive, so that just means that I have to pay attention to what I eat, exercise—do all the things I should do anyway. But now I know these things matter. 

Did your heart attack change your thinking, not just about your health but about your music, about your family, about the way forward for you in life? Yeah. Anytime anybody faces their mortality, you have that gift of presence. You tend to want to be in the moment and take it all in. And I think it fades over time but that’s probably the gift of it all is … being with my family, focusing on my friends, and the work that I was doing. You tend to see what’s important and what isn’t and there’s a perspective there that really is a gift that comes from almost losing everything.

Listen to Warren Cole Smith's interview with Dan Haseltine on The World and Everything in It:

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., is vice president of WORLD News Group and the host of the radio program Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.

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