Fri, Apr 2nd 2021 12:40 pm
Q&A with Christian solo artist, Memphis Might Hearth frontman
By Joshua Maloni
You’d anticipate the quintessential, Good Friday-dropping, Easter anthem of 2021 to come back from this tatted-up dude, proper?
Nicely, if Jesus didn’t care about how an individual dressed, did their hair or inked their physique, then why ought to anybody else? If what issues most is what’s on the within, then why shouldn’t “Present You The Cross” be written and carried out by the lead singer of metalcore/alt-rock band Memphis Might Hearth?
Nonetheless have your doubts?
Questioning how somebody may exist in such seemingly completely different worlds – and why a rock star could be so upfront about one thing not all the time thought of, effectively, cool?
“5, six, seven years in the past, no matter it was after I was prepping to place out my first solo album, you recognize, all people was – the reply would have been, ‘Do not try this. Do not brazenly exit and put out Christian music. Do not brazenly speak about your religion for individuals who do not need to hear about it,’ ” Mullins mentioned in a cellphone interview earlier this week. “Christ did anyhow (laughs). You already know what I imply?
“God had made such a big impact in my life – and was the supply and the explanation for all times – that I wasn’t going to maintain that to myself. I relate this to having the remedy for most cancers and staring a most cancers affected person within the face and being like, ‘Nicely, what if it offends them?’
“It is like, I simply – I did not care. I wished to share this a part of my life, and I wished to share who I actually am at coronary heart. And if that is offensive, then that is OK, you recognize, as a result of that is who I’m.
“So, the issues, the stability, the ‘What ought to I do and what should not I do’ – I imply, that is lengthy gone, and I feel individuals simply type of know that that is who I’m, and that is right here to remain. I am going to all the time type of share each.
“It is humorous too, as a result of, you recognize, although the band’s not labeled as a Christian band, I feel all of our listeners, for essentially the most half, know that I am a believer. That, from a lyrical standpoint, a number of our songs are instantly correlated with my religion, as effectively, within the band.
“And so, this summer season now we have two festivals booked: And one, the primary day, we’re taking part in with Disturbed and Korn and like a number of very huge metallic acts. After which the very subsequent day, we’re taking part in with Jordan Feliz and Skillet, and headlining the rock stage of a competition there.
“So, it is actually humorous as a result of I simply – I do each – and I like doing each.”
Extra from Mullins on this edited Q&A.
Q: Loads of the musicians I have been speaking to these days are in Nashville. I like Nashville; I’ve visited there a number of occasions. However is there one thing within the water, man; what is going on on? Why is all people heading out to Nashville lately?
Matty Mullins: Man, it is loopy. I am going to inform you what, I really feel like, from seven years in the past once we moved right here, to now, it looks like a totally completely different place. Even all the way in which out right here the place I stay (in a suburb), now we have a number of farmland that is been developed and now it is become an actual metropolis – a inhabitants that may truly present up on Google (laughs). It has been loopy, man, but in addition a blessing on the similar time. The extra those that transfer right here, you recognize, gifted and able to work onerous, is extra alternatives for all of us to jot down collectively and hopefully create nice music.
Q: That’s one thing else that I’ve seen quite a bit inside Christian music of late; there does appear to be a number of collaboration. Is that new, or are we simply listening to extra about it lately?
Matty Mullins: You already know, it is positively not new. I feel that perhaps lately individuals are simply prepared to share a bit of bit extra behind the scenes in regards to the individuals they work with.
I feel extra from behind the scenes, usually. I feel the way in which that media is consumed and the way in which that music is consumed, I feel 20 years in the past individuals knew nothing about their favourite artists. It was simply no matter you heard them say on stage. However now it is wish to develop a real fanbase you virtually have to indicate them each facet of what your life appears like on and off stage, you recognize?
And so, there’s only a lot to it. There’s quite a bit occurring and, for those who’re gonna write with someone and doc the method and present a bit of snippet on Instagram of your co-writing, it is that rather more attractive with the individuals which can be going to eat the music.
Q: So, I am watching the video for “Present You The Cross,” and it is an ideal music – and it is a good setting. However I additionally thought, “That is very 2020. He is all by himself; he is socially distanced; there isn’t any one round him.” For you as an artist, how have the previous 12 months been?
Matty Mullins: Oh, man. Yeah, a number of ups and downs. My spouse and I actually went by means of it, you recognize like lots of people did, and it was a loopy time. However having the day off the highway, you recognize, as a result of I play in a band as effectively. And we have been collectively for 15 years, and been touring everywhere in the world. And so, to have pressured day off was scary at first, after which actually ended up changing into a blessing for the music that we may create. And if it wasn’t for day off the highway, I do not know if I’d have ended up within the writing session that “Present You The Cross” got here from.
It was positively completely different; it felt completely different. However on the similar time, extra time to work on music, and extra time to spend with my spouse and simply concentrate on issues round the home that we often would not get to, as a result of I might be on the highway. It has truly ended up being an enormous blessing, so that is the silver lining, for certain.
Q: This music is so acceptable for Easter week. Clearly, a number of Christians are fascinated by Jesus and his resurrection this time of 12 months. However what have been you pondering whenever you sat down to jot down this music, and what did you need to get throughout to the listeners?
Matty Mullins: Yeah, completely. You already know, there was some stuff taking place within the media once we all acquired collectively to jot down this music, and I feel it was type of like jarring for everyone. You already know, it is like this pastor makes this error and the entire world hates him now. And I feel that it is simply simple to neglect that, as a believer, it doesn’t matter what place you are in, all people’s a human, proper?
I simply was feeling this tug on my coronary heart to say, as Christians, you recognize, once we enter into dialog, we do not have to all the time act like we’re going to have the precise factor to say – that we’re gonna have some magical string of phrases or inspirational quote that is going to result in someone’s salvation. You already know, it is like, if we wish individuals to expertise Jesus, we must be actual and trustworthy about the truth that we’re additionally damaged. And that is what verse two is about: “If all you recognize of fact and love is lies and hypocrites, then nothing I may say will change (the way in which it’s).”
As a result of I am flawed as effectively. However I’ll, if you’re , I am going to present you the cross; that is what it is all about. If you wish to know what it appears wish to have a real, actual, trustworthy interplay with the creator of the universe, that is the chance he gave us to try this. The cross is for me, and it is for you, and it is for anybody who’s prepared to come back.
And I simply suppose that, you recognize, that mentality is what the world wants greater than something proper now, you recognize? Honesty, and being real, and admitting to the truth that we’re all defective, however that is why we’d like the cross.
Matty Mullins (Picture courtesy of Black River Leisure)
Q: You talked about you’ve got been with Memphis Might Hearth for a very long time now, and also you guys have had a number of success. However from what I perceive, you had some moments in your life – you had some challenges – that made you significantly take into consideration moving into Christian music and sharing a bit of completely different type of message and a distinct type of a music. So, once more, if we take into consideration what this week means, what’s your private resurrection or rebirth story, if you’ll?
Matty Mullins: Yeah, so, you recognize, I acquired saved at a younger age. My dad was a pastor, and so, not solely church however church-related music and musical occasions have been an enormous a part of what our household did. You already know, we weren’t a sports activities household, we have been a music household, and we’d go to a number of Christian festivals. And my older brother performed in a Christian band and all the pieces, so I used to be fortunate sufficient – I used to be lucky sufficient – to be raised within the church and to be on condition that route from a younger age.
However I feel that, whenever you carry your mother and father’ religion, it is really easy to simply type of be snug with that. “Nicely, hey, Mother mentioned this,” or “Dad mentioned this, and that is what’s proper,” and “God’s good.” And hastily, you are saying all this Christian lingo and all these items that simply sound good, however you begin to turn into actually numb to it. And I feel that everyone has a second of their life the place that shifts, and you need to determine for your self, “Is God actual?”
If I am on the lowest of lows proper now and I am reaching out, what am I reaching out for? Who am I reaching out for? And is he there? Does he love me? Does he truly need what’s greatest for me? Does he combat for me?
And for me, that was, you recognize, a very dangerous season; two years straight of hysteria and melancholy and panic and ideas of suicide and issues that I by no means, in one million years, would have thought would have entered into my life – however they did – they did in an actual approach – and in an enormous approach, and in a painful approach.
And I needed to, in these moments, develop in my religion as a result of, for me, it was one or the opposite. It was both I do not need to be right here, or I need to be right here and I need to know extra about why I am truly right here. To not play exhibits; to not simply write songs; to not promote merchandise; to journey on a bus and to fulfill all these individuals; however to genuinely know and perceive that I’m liked by the creator of the universe.
If you happen to can wrap your head round that – how huge of an announcement that’s – that’s our objective in life, is to like and to be liked by God. And for me, I needed to learn to try this my approach – you recognize, which was not simply reciting Bible verses; it was not simply going to church on Sunday; it was not simply understanding what to say when speaking to a different believer; it was actually, genuinely reaching out and saying, “God, for those who’re right here, I would like you; I would like you to indicate up.”
And he did – and he did in so some ways – by means of mates and thru alternatives and music and issues that I can by no means clarify. Even simply being right here on the cellphone with you proper now, I really feel like I do not deserve this chance; however God continues to offer me these, and continues to belief me with this, and present me ways in which he loves me that I by no means knew have been doable. So, that is mine.
Q: I discussed I watched the video, and the opposite factor that I, in fact, seen was that you’ve got some fairly unbelievable tattoos.
Matty Mullins: (Laughs)
Q: It is not your … I suppose I need to say your cookie-cutter kind of Christian artist picture, proper?
Matty Mullins: Positive.
Q: There are such a lot of individuals on the market who disqualify themselves for therefore many various causes. They are saying, “God would by no means love me, as a result of I seem like this, or I gown like this, or I do that or try this.” However you are telling them by means of your story, and thru your look, that it is not in regards to the exterior – it is in regards to the inside, proper?
I am questioning if that makes you extra profitable, or offers you extra credibility with the viewers, the truth that you’re your personal particular person – and you’re speaking about your personal experiences – and you aren’t only a Ken doll, you recognize, of Christianity. Do you discover the way in which you strategy your music, and your look, that it makes you extra relatable along with your followers?
Matty Mullins: With sure followers most likely, yeah.
You already know, for me, I’ve by no means struggled with, “Do my tattoos make me much less lovable by God?” I feel that is truly hilarious. For me, it is extra so, you recognize, somebody who does not have tattoos, or somebody that perhaps does not perceive tattoo tradition, or has, you recognize, cherrypicked verses from the Bible to consider that tattoos are sinful – these type of issues, proper? It is like, for them, I am extra so curious about, “Can God nonetheless use my music to affect their life, although they do not essentially belief the way in which that I look?”
And that is the interior battle. Does it assist with my followers that do (have tattoos)? Completely. I feel that they are like, “Oh that is superior. You already know, I am coated in tattoos, however I additionally genuinely consider that God loves me – and this man will get it.”
And in order that’s cool. I do not actually know if it has something to do with any success or something like that. Clearly, I play full-time in a metallic band, and that is type of the norm in that world. However so far as Christian music is anxious, I feel I am nonetheless type of new to this world, a minimum of like so far as radio listeners are involved. So, I suppose we’ll see (laughs) is the reply.
Matty Mullins (Picture courtesy of Black River Leisure)
Q: All proper; truthful sufficient. So, one in every of my favourite interviews was with Chris Cornell. He mentioned that anytime he was along with his band, he was all the time fascinated by going acoustic – and anytime he was acoustic, he was all the time fascinated by going again along with his band.
How do you strike the stability? How have you learnt whenever you need to go off and do solo –Christian music – and whenever you need to be within the band? How do you exist in each these worlds and be sure that each these worlds are thriving and profitable, and never competing with one another?
Matty Mullins: Completely. Nicely, for Chris, I imply Chris being with the band or Chris being acoustic, I feel he nonetheless type of had the identical persona with each.
You already know, it is like, “Nicely, if I do that, it is gonna take away from this. However, you recognize, if I do that, perhaps I will not have the chance to do that.”
For me, these two initiatives are so polar-opposite – you recognize, genre-wise. It is type of humorous to consider that I am the identical particular person in each, although I’m.
I feel that, having grown up on Christian radio, and loving Christian radio – and nonetheless to at the present time adoring Christian radio and what it is accomplished for me in my life – what it’ll proceed to do for me – I simply all the time wished to do that so dangerous. I feel that I’m cautious with any potential scheduling conflicts, simply because the band is what feeds my band members and their households and our managers and reserving brokers and all the pieces, proper? However on the finish of the day, I’ve the capability – the God-given capability – to stability each. And I do love each equally, and I like the power to do each.
However I feel that, simply so far as genres are involved, Memphis followers, you recognize, perhaps a few of them are into this venture; however a few of them aren’t. I feel that there is simply two completely different demographics and two completely different fan bases that I can cater to from one mind, you recognize what I imply? And that is a number of enjoyable, man. I like heavy music, and I like Christian radio, and to have the ability to do each is, I feel, a really unusual type of factor; however for me it is it simply feels proper.
Q: And I am certain that there are much more positives. I am certain you discover you are getting much more creativity on each ends, since you’re doing these completely different initiatives. …
As for those who weren’t busy sufficient with all of the belongings you’re doing, you even have a pomade model? Is that proper?
Matty Mullins: Yeah, yeah. For anybody that is not acquainted, it is a males’s grooming product line. It’s hair care.
I used to be, most likely 2012, out on Warped Tour, and had been styling my hair with all types of various grocery retailer rubbish; you recognize, like … no matter you’ll find that’s similar to mass-manufactured and it does not work nice.
I had a good friend that introduced on a can of pomade for me from this sort of underground firm from Australia and was like, “Man, you bought to verify this out.” And so I did, and I liked it. And I liked sure issues about what it may do for my hair.
You already know, I actually like like a slick, agency look that, if I am rocking out on stage for an hour-and-a-half, I am gonna stroll off and my hair is gonna look simply pretty much as good as after I went on stage, you recognize?
For me, I wished to create one thing that had the firmness of this product, however the ease of washing out from this product. And I wished it to scent this sure approach. I need it to type of really feel like this cologne I have been carrying since I used to be 18. I wished to make the factor that was mine, and so I did.
It was only for me, however, over time, grew to become a factor that lots of people truly actually take pleasure in. And so, yeah, we do all of it. We deal with all of our personal success and manufacturing and all the pieces. It is fairly loopy, but it surely’s additionally one thing I actually love doing.
So, yeah, On Point Pomade.
Go to mattymullins.com.