Jonas Woods may not be a household name among Christian music fans, but the singer songwriter has been around for over a decade crafting heartfelt music. On the heels of releasing Whispers, Woods took part in an interview with JFH's own John Underdown to discuss his past career and the messages behind his latest music...
Jonas Woods: Thank you for having me. Excited to be here. I've been in the music industry now for almost 17 years full time. I started and was the frontman of the band Farewell June for the beginning of my career. It was the start to where I am now. With FJ we toured the country and had music on MTV and VH1. I was writing music for NBC and the CW channels for a bit. As amazing as those beginning years were it wasn't where I would end up. I am a modern folk, blues or whatever interests me at any particular point in my life sort of artist. I love music as a whole. I am a full time minister of the Gospel. My first ministry is to my wife Becky and my two boys Hunter and Liam. We all tour together full time coast to coast. It's the joy of my life! Second only to them is my focus on this ministry. I have a pure desire to instill hope, to share love and laughter, and to remind people who they are or who they will be in Jesus when embracing His purpose for their lives.
Jonas: Whispers does have a variety of "LIFE" topics. My last record Tales of the Bittersweet was written during my wife's battle through stage 4 cancer. She is 100% cancer free today! But that record was heavy and deep. Whispers, although deep in content, is intended to share my current situation. Songs about my kids, a love song to my wife, and songs that dig into our relationship with God have been racing through my brain for quite a while. I was excited to finally cut them loose.
Jonas: During my wife's cancer treatment I knew that God was asking me to be vulnerable and transparent. I thought that it would hurt the ministry to be open like that. I thought that people would look down on me for having struggles. However, it was the complete opposite. What a treasure being transparent is! I have not felt any trepidation. I've been excited to share in my victories and slightly less excited to share in my failures. But I know that God uses it, and that keeps me focused.
Jonas: In line with the above commentary on being transparent, I have songs that are deeply personal on Whispers. The song "Totally Still" is written from a deep sadness that comes with marital neglect. I have found myself living with my wife, who I love with all my heart, but treated her like she was my roommate. We ate together, watched TV together, and took care of the kids together. But, I was so focused on my "to-do" list, I nearly forgot to tell her that I loved her anymore. Hence the chorus: "WHY DON'T I SAY I LOVE YOU, WHEN I LOVE YOU..." The song that spawned this entire project is "Whispers". In today's world we are bombarded by and enslaved by being busy. Too many options, too many things pulling for our attention. We act as though God doesn't speak to us anymore. That it was for the Old Testament believer and not for us. I disagree with this idea entirely! Taking deliberate time to shut off the noise. Taking time to sit and wait on God to talk would reveal treasures that we would hardly be able to contain. Only over this last year have I started taking deliberate steps on listening. It has literally changed everything. "You're not in the earthquake, You're not in the fire, You're found in the whispers, You're found in the quiet..."
Jonas: The music industry makes it hard to dabble in different genres of music on one single record. This is why, in part, I decided to go independent again. I enjoy too many styles of music to hold it in. If a song longs for a style that I can attempt, I'll always take a crack at it. The song "Because a Girl Loves a Boy" is a prime example of this. It's a love song to my wife Becky. I really wanted to try doing a 1930's swooner style with it. And with a little help from the team at Old Bear Records, I think we pulled it off.
Jonas: I have a very eclectic bag of musical influences. James Taylor is one of my favorite story tellers. I find his ability to weave a story into poetic lyrics and music haunting. I've been recently on a throwback listening tour. Artists like Randy Stonehill who is a personal friend, inspired me as a child and still inspires me today.
Jonas: Stepping into music full time is terrifying. Hahaha. However, if you feel compelled to do it. If you feel led to step out in faith to do it, do it! The cornerstone of a recording artist is faith. Faith that God has me protected and provided for. Work. Like, actually work hard at your craft and write songs that speak to your heart. Half the songs I write are for me first. Remember, if God has put in your heart to pursue music as a ministry, know that it begins immediately. Meaning, don't sit and wait for the perfect opportunity to come. Now is when you begin your journey.
Jonas: The WHISPERS TOUR 2019 IS JUNE-AUGUST!!!! You can connect with my music directly through my website: www.jonaswoods.net or all of the social media pages. If you're interested in getting your church on the books for the summer tour please contact me ASAP. We'd love to make it work.
Jonas: 100% open for the Jonas Brothers. Reading the Lord of the Rings with anyone would be a minor nightmare for me.
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