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Thousand Foot Krutch

Months before the world would hear the band's latest venture, we sat down with Thousand Foot Krutch frontman Trevor McNevan to discuss their album The Flame In All Of Us. Kicking back in a hotel room during GMA Week 07, we discussed the band's musical progressions, calling, and the unique process for recording the new record...
This interview took place on: 4/23/07.
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  • Jesus freak Hideout (John DiBiase): So howíve you been?
    Trevor McNevan: Good, man. Doing good, working hard, keeping busy. My wife and I just moved to Brentwood actually, about five months ago, so it was kind of a new move, a big move for us. Definitely feels like where weíre supposed to be for a season, you know?

  • JFH (Amy DiBiase): Were you in an apartment? Or what?
    Trevor: No, we had a condo, owned a condo out home, and we bought a house here.

  • JFH (John): And home is Canada?
    Trevor: Yeah, weíre a Canadian band. *laughs*

  • JFH (John): Well I wasnít sure if you were still in Canada or if you moved somewhere else around here.
    Trevor: Yeah, the other guys still live in Canada. And weíll see what happens, weíll probably be here a couple years, and then weíll see what happens. It feels more like home all the time though. Kind of settling in. I havenít been here very much because we just finished a new record not too long ago. And weíre on tour with Toby, just finishing that up too.

  • JFH (John): I wanna talk about the new record, totally. When is it coming out?
    Album cover Trevor: Yeah, right now itís September 11. [NOTE: was later changed to September 18] Yeah, weíre going there. But no, it feels really appropriate for this record. I mean, itís one of those things that could possibly change, but weíre excited about that. Coincidentally, thereís a song on the record that starts with someone waking up on the morning of 9/11, itís a song called ďWhat Do We Know?Ē, on the new record, and itís kind of talking about a lot of stuff that has happened in the past five years, with Katrina, and 9/11, and even recently, it definitely applies to Virginia Tech. The experience is just crazy. Things as a nation that have just made us stand back, or worldwide, just be like, wow, weíre not in control. You know what I mean, no matter what you believe. People on this planet, I think itís made everyone stand back and be like, "sheesh." It just makes you remember whatís really important. So thatís kind of what that song is about. That was coincidental with the whole September 11 thing, yeah, but it works out.

  • JFH (John): Thatís really cool. Explain the reasoning behind the title, The Flame In All Of Us.
    Trevor: Itís about a couple things. One thing, on a spiritual level, I try to get across the point that sometimes - other Christians will have a problem with this but - I really believe 100% that all of us that are doing this, that are making music, just Christian people writing about life the way we see it, that whether youíre Chris Tomlin, or Hillsong United, or someone whoís doing what theyíre doing in that platform, which is incredible. Or someone like us who might be a more hard rock platform, we do things very differently but we both love the same God. We both have the same purpose, and we both have the same hearts. Weíre doing what we do for the same reasons. So, The Flame In All Of Us is in a way symbolizing. I really feel like when we do what we do, we are worshiping, in the way that we do that. We are worshiping, every bit as much as someone would in a traditional church sense. So I think thatís something important to us to kind of get across. Thatís on a spiritual note. I think the title also stemmed from; I just recently read that book that Donald Miller wrote, Blue Like Jazz, I know itís probably like way after the fact, I know everybody probably read it years ago, but I finally read it because people were recommending it. Just the way he looks at stuff. He had some really good points, just in general, how our nature - the human nature - is imperfect and weíre born with a void to fill. Who are we? What are we here for? All that stuff. He puts it in a really cool way, itís pretty stinkiní cool. Thatís the other element, to The Flame In All of Us. Thereís a lot of things, no matter what race you are, no matter what you believe or what you listen to, that we have more in common than we think.

  • JFH (John): What can fans expect, musically, from the record?
    Trevor: I honestly think, take this for what it is, Iím not trying to pump up the record, as much as I hope everyone digs it, I think itís our biggest, freshest version of just who we are as a band, and who we want to be. Itís got the biggest, heaviest sounding moments weíve ever been to, and itís also got - for the first time I got to work with an orchestra, on about three songs, and Iím really stoked about that. So itís got even the gentlest, most quiet moments that youíd probably never have thought weíd go there. Itís really cool though, Iím really excited about it. I think it flows, itís completely honest, and we werenít like ďletís do a slow song!Ē (John: It just came out, felt natural.) Completely, and thereís about four slower songs on this record, which is really different for us, man. But thereís also a lot of everything in between. I think itís got something for people who have grown up with the band a little bit, and then people who maybe have just heard the band, itís something new, and then it kind of gives you an idea of where weíre headed to.

  • JFH (John): Have you started playing any new songs live?
    Trevor: Yeah. Just one right now, I mean, everyoneís got a fairly shorter set on the Toby tour, so we only really have a chance to play one new one. But weíve been playing the title track, "The Flame In All Of Us." Itís been really cool, to see the response weíve been getting. Itís been encouraging too, you know, when you play a new song. If I go see a band that I dig, you kind of just take it in, right? You just listen to it. Iím probably not freaking out during that song if Iím going to see a band I love, cause I just want to hear it. But we get responses from it like songs weíve been playing for years, so itís been awesome.

  • JFH (John): Who did you work with, production-wise, on the record?
    Trevor: We worked with a cat named Ken Andrews. Heís an LA guy, and he did some stuff we really dug for Beck and Tenacious D, which is kind of funny, and some Chris Cornell stuff, and I love him. Heís mixed in a lot of stuff. Heís worked with a lot of bands like Perfect Circle, and we really dug what he did, so we initially were supposed to work with another guy, but the timing wasnít right. So weíre glad that things ended up the way they did. It was cool. Itís the quickest record we made too. It was refreshing to go in, cause for us, this was a new thing. Usually you go in, and itís pretty standard. You do drums, then bass, then vocals, or guitars, and all that stuff in a certain progression. This time, we went in and we had drums, rhythm guitar and bass all playing at the same time, and recording stuff in the other room, so we played everything live off the floor. (John: That's awesome.) Just rocked it, and recorded like six takes, and added it to the best stuff that we got. It turned out really wicked in my opinion, for what we were going for. Iím really excited.

  • JFH (John): So itís kind of like, an almost live studio album feel to it.
    Trevor: It does, but itís still probably the biggest sounding record weíve had. We still managed to get that because that was important, but it has more energy I think. For us, for a band like us, you get more energy that way. It just feels like it, itís not so 'cut and paste,' yknow?

  • JFH (Amy): Youíre also together, so you can feed off each otherís performance.
    Trevor: Right, and thatís what we do. Thatís why live is so important to us. It worked really well. Iíd recommend it.

  • JFH (John): A lot of records, when thatís done, it has such a unique sound, and an energy, and itís like, why donít more bands do that?
    Trevor: I donít know man. It probably sometimes comes down to producers wanting to do it the way they feel comfortable. Other times, thereís quite a few bands that wouldnít feel comfortable doing that either. You have to come in prepared to play your songs front to back, and have the songs. Itís not coming in with a chorus and saying ďhey letís try and write a song!Ē Itís like ďhereís what weíre gonna do. Here it is. 1, 2, 3, 4, bang.Ē It suits us man, and we dig it.

  • JFH (John): So you think youíll do this in the future?
    Trevor: Oh yeah. Hopefully. Thatís the goal.

  • JFH (John): Is there a particular song on the record that youíre just totally stoked about?
    Trevor: Thatís a tough question, because as a songwriter, they all have such a meaning to me. But in different ways, there probably is, yeah. Thereís a song called ďWish You Well,Ē and itís a slower song, and we actually used a quartet, and it just really hits home, on a personal level in a lot of ways. Itís kind of about having a loved one, someone who youíre really close to and youíre really on the same page - just who you are, what you believe, what youíre living for. And then whenever someone that close to you, for whatever reason, decides to take a 180 and make a lot of life choices that go in the completely opposite direction. Itís just one of those things that hurts. It hurts to have to sit there and watch that, but in the same sense you really, as a person, all you can really do is be there for that person, you can listen, and you can pray for them. At that point itís completely God. When theyíre ready to accept that, God will be there to meet them where theyíre at. But it canít be you or I trying to make it better. Thatís not gonna work. The songís called ďWish You WellĒ and the chorus is just like ďI wish you well, I wish I could help, I wish you well, but I canít help you find yourself.Ē So itís just one of those things.

  • JFH (John): Itís true though. Itís a hard thing.
    Trevor: Yeah man, itís a rough thing. In the end you can just hope that someone can get through to the other side of what theyíre walking through.

  • JFH (John): Even if itís after youíve parted ways, to a degree. Just hoping that Godís got them, and Heíll take care of it at some point.
    Trevor: Thatís probably the most personal, in a sense.

  • JFH (John): Is that about a certain person that helped you write it, something you had in mind?
    Trevor: It is, itís about a couple of things. Itís generally about a certain person, and then other people that were close to me that went through the same thing, in sort of the same way.

  • JFH (Amy): As you bring hope to those who hear it, does it bring hope to you as well, singing it?
    Trevor: Yeah, I guess. Itís a sort of an uplift thing. Yeah. Weíre just totally stoked to be a small part of what Godís doing with the generation. Just to be able to do music still, and still communicate that way. Couldnít ask for anything else, thatís for sure.

  • JFH (John): Itís cool to see where the bandís come. I remember seeing you guys at Purple Door years ago, when you were still doing the Set It Off type stuff. Itís cool to see the progression, and the maturity in the sound.
    Trevor: Itís funny when you look at it. We had our indie record, Thatís What People Do, and then Set It Off, and then we signed with Tooth and Nail, but that stuff was so fun to do, and it was who we were, and you just try to be who you are.

  • JFH (John): Well thatís important. Because if you try to be something else, people can tell. People can tell that youíre faking it.
    Trevor: Yeah Iím always trying to encourage younger bands too, y'know? Do what makes you excited. Donít try to be these guys because itís cool right now, because by the time your record comes out thatís not even gonna be cool.

  • JFH (John): Yeah, because thatís going to happen. Especially in the Christian industry.
    Trevor: Yeah, that whole thing with us, for what itís worth, I feel I need to say it sometimes, we were just looking at music in general. Weíre just huge music fans, still. I feel the same way about music since I was ten. Iím still excited about it. I mean, we were kind of doing that when there was Rage Against The Machine, and Red Hot Chili Peppers, Faith No More, and whatever. It was before that whole Limp Bizkit rush. It was all honest and it was exciting to do. And it got to the point where music took some serious turns, and kind of became, at least to me, almost stagnate. At the time, we wanted to do something fresh and not just be another ďletís fuse hip-hop with rock!Ē type. I still think itís a great thing, and bands are doing it great still. Sometimes I look back and I think it would have been fun to carry that out as well. But I think we did what we needed to do. As you grow older, your musical tastes change. You gotta stay true to that. Iím not going to say the same things that I write today in a song that I would when I was like 15.

  • JFH (John): We were recently at a show of a band that has really progressed lyrically, and yet they have a very strong fan base that wants to hear their older, less matured songs. And weíre in the audience hearing their newer, fresh stuff and all the fans are like, ďwhy wonít you play the old stuff??Ē and we couldnít believe it. The band gave a little intro to a fan favorite as almost if to say ďthatís not who we are anymore, but we'll play it cause you like itĒ and I donít know if the audience members heard it, but I heard it. It was very interesting.
    Trevor: It is funny though, and you appreciate those people just for supporting you, but in the same sense thereís a lot of people that wonít let it go. Thereís a lot of people that wonít move on with you. Itís funny though, theyíll still support you, theyíll support us now, but even with us, it seems most people have stuck with us and weíve been able to open the door to some other people and kind of keep moving. There are still those people that will come to a show and be like, ďdude we love that first record! I donít know about the other stuff, but we love that first record!Ē Theyíre still there because of that first record.

  • JFH (John): What has God been teaching you lately?
    Trevor: I think heís always teaching me patience man. Itís an on-going thing, and I feel like Iíve been saying that for a while, but itís still so in the forefront. You know? Itís still the main thing. No matter how patient you are, I mean, Iím a pretty patient person, but weíre still tried, a lot of the time, a lot of things. You know. as a band too, we went through a lot of stuff in the past few years where we were really outreach hard as a band. Just like everyone, Iím sure everyone says, but we make music for everyone. You donít write songs for just Christians or people like that. Thatís kind of silly, y'know? We make music for everyone, and I think you just want people to take it as music and accept it, and be able to spend time with it, and God is so much bigger than that, than us making a song. So I think weíre constantly learning new things in that. Weíve been faced with a lot of new things over the past few years of where you almost come to this crossroad... The whole general market/Christian thing, where are we going as a band, and I think our heart has stayed 100% the same where itís always been - where itís like exactly that: we've made music for everyone from the beginning. We really enjoy doing outreach stuff and just being out there, and being with people that weíre just talking to. But also, at the same time, weíre not for a second ashamed to play a church, or play anything like that. Weíve tried to make, just out of respect for everyone, try and play at neutral venues. Thatís what we try to do. On our own tours, we try to play at a place, whatever the big rock station is in town, where theyíre screaming ďF-ThisĒ and ďYou Rock!Ē Weíll still feel comfortable coming to the show and doing what they do, and be a part of that, but so will Way-FM and whoeverís out there. We want to focus on the people, to be honest. We donít want to have Christian kids have to come to a bar all the time that parents wonít let them come to if theyíre young. We also donít want people who woul never go to church to have to go to a church. That gets weird too.


    Thousand Foot Krutch's latest album The Flame In All Of Us hits streets September 18th!




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