Atlanta pop rock quartet The Waiting are no amateurs in the
music industry. Since the mid nineties, The Waiting has been making an impact
on fans across the globe with their uplifting pop rock. Recently, guitarist
Todd Olsen took a moment to share a little about their latest album Wonderfully Made.
This interview took place on: March, 2002
JFH: Why the name "The Waiting?"
Todd Olsen: When my brother, Brad (the lead singer and primary songwriter), and I were forming
the band and going through the name selection process, I stumbled upon a lyric from a Tom Petty song
(I'm a big Tom Petty fan). The lyric was "The waiting is the hardest part." I loved that and it describes so
well our often impatience with God. We often joke in our band that we should have named ourselves "Hurry Up!"
Jesus freak Hideout: What artists would you say have influenced your sound?
We all love Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, U2, The Police, Keith Green.
JFH: How did a number of song writers and 3 diverse producers help shape your latest album, Wonderfully Made?
We were blessed to have a long time to make this record. We started this record with just the four of us
band members, no record company people, no outside producers - just us four, locked in a little studio in
Atlanta. We wanted this record to be what we wanted, not anyone else's agenda. After writing and tracking
the songs by ourselves for a year, we (through the help of inpop) began working with the great producer
Bryan Lenox. He helped us put polish on the record. I learned so much from being in the studio with him
day to day. Brad began co-writing some songs with Third Day's Mac Powell, which are all great songs!
We ended up using four of them on this project. Brad also wrote with some other folks, a worship leader
from England, etc. Another big influence on this project is Duncan Phillips. He's with Newsboys of course,
but he also A&R'd this project for us. He was in the studio helping us with artistic direction, etc.
His input was invaluable to us.
JFH: Why has it been three years since the last Waiting offering?
See above (ha ha) not to mention Brad began work as a youth pastor at a church in Atlanta and he and
his wife had their first baby!
JFH: What prompted the switch from home label Sparrow over to Inpop?
Todd: We had some close ties with inpop. We toured with Newsboys on their Step Up To The Microphone
tour and got to know the band real well. They are closely tied-in to inpop. Our former manager works for inpop.
So, it was real natural to sign with them. They had the same vision as we did.
JFH: Although probably a common topic, how much of a part did Mac Powell play in the creation of your new record and how did you guys team up?
Todd: The Waiting and Third Day both opened up the Newsboys' Step Up To The Microphone tour.
That's when Brad and Mac started talking about co-writing. We've actually known Third Day forever. We both came
up together as "Atlanta-bands." Most of us have been roommates at one time or another!
JFH: What inspired the song "Sleepless?"
Boy that song is sure getting the buzz on this record! Brad wrote this song while we were on a road trip.
He was sitting in a hotel room and turned on the news. The lead story was about one of the lesser-known
shooting sprees - a guy shot up a day trading place in Atlanta where we live. One of the guys that he killed
was a member of Brad's church. The lyric is really about Brad's frustration about how the world deals
with those tragedies. They blame it on teen angst, or what parents failed to do. And all those deficiencies
may have contributed, but the root cause of all of it was just sin. It is even more poignant now with what's
happened at the World Trade Center. Sin keeps rearing its ugly head. Even though Jesus died to take care
of it, we still manage to make our way back to it. Chris Falson, a worship leader from England, helped
Brad finish up the song.
JFH: Although our current culture has been inundated by this subject, it's naturally something that has changed our nation forever. Where were you when you heard about the terrible events of September 11, 2001 and how did it effect you personally?
I was at home in Atlanta. It was very sobering and made me rethink all my relationships and reflect on how
important the people in my life are to me. Also, it made me think about our country and world situation
in a new way-- realizing the world IS a dangerous place, and that makes me actually want to put myself more
in God's hands.
JFH: Was there a prerequisite to playing the trumpet in high school to be a member of The Waiting? :)
Todd: Not a prerequisite-- but it helps!
JFH: How has fatherhood changed the applicable members of the band as a person?
Todd: Brad often talks in interviews about how having a child makes him understand God's unconditional love for us even more.
JFH: What is your favorite song on Wonderfully Made?
Todd: I like the title track-- such an uplifting song-- so positive! I think Brad struck a chord in me with that one.
JFH: What is your favorite movie?
Todd: American Movie
JFH: What has been one of your all-time favorite on-the-road moments?
Todd: Mainstage at Cornerstone festival-- unforgettable!
JFH: What is the band's favorite thing to do in their spare time?
Todd: Mine are surfing, snowboarding, reading, hangin with friends, etc...
JFH: Do you have any favorite Christian artists?
Todd: We love our Atlanta-band friends, Smalltown Poets and Third Day.
JFH: I really appreciate your taking the time out of your busy schedule to
answer some questions for us. Are there any last comments you'd like to make?
Todd: Hi and thanks to everyone for supporting us!