On February 24, 2006, JfH writer Andrew Shaw had the chance to interview Sparrow Records recording
artist Bethany Dillon backstage before her concert. Besides writing her own music and
only being seventeen, her passion for the Lord is unmistakable, which influences her entire live
show. If you haven't heard of Bethany Dillon, check our her sophomore offering, Imagination which
released Fall, 2005.
This interview took place on: February 24, 2006
Jesus freak Hideout (Andrew): So you've already released two great
albums, had a song featured in a big-screen movie (Dreamer), and yet you're only seventeen?!??
Andrew: How did you do this?
Well I'm actually almost seventeen and a half, so...
Andrew: Oh, Right!
The truth is, we're busy a lot of the times, and yet (there are) only a few days a month I feel
overwhelmed. I think because God is giving more and more peace about the fact that it has so little to
do with me, and so much with Him pursuing things, and trying to increase himself. All of that,
especially the thing with the movie, it could have been overwhelming, but the Lord just made it
clear that I don't think He's too concerned with my song being in a movie, but just (people) knowing
Andrew: That's awesome. I identified in particular with "Vagabond,"
because of its missions theme, because I've been on a lot of mission trips myself. Is mission work
important to you as a Christian?
Very much. I actually support a missions organization called Gospel for Asia, and they work in the
10/40 window, which is mostly India, (specifically) with the Dalit people. Since I was about eleven,
**There was a knock at the door, and Bethany's supper from Panera arrived** I wanted to be a
missionary. So, yeah, my heart is definitely in that.
Andrew: I was listening to Imagination, and you have the pop
songs, and then you have a song like "Airplane"…
*laughs* Which is my favorite!
Andrew: Mine too. When you were recording the CD, was it your goal to
sort of step outside the pop/rock mold of standard Christian music and make some really neat songs,
or was that just a thing that happened in the studio?
Bethany: Oh, no. Sometimes it's a fight to have a quirky song on a record,
but the truth is, sometimes you gotta write songs for radio, and that's fine too. I think there's a
part where it's like, you know, just respecting the vehicle of "the label" and all of that, but if I
could, I would have a whole record of quirky songs. Someday I will!
Andrew: Who are some of your musical influences?
Umm…the reason I started playing guitar is Jennifer Knapp, because she plays guitar, and is a girl,
and the only other person I'd seen play guitar was my Dad. So, you know, a 47-year-old man didn't
really appeal to me when he played. So, her music was a big deal for me, and Sara Groves, I think she is
the writer that I'd love to be someday.
Andrew: When did you start playing guitar?
I started playing guitar when I was eleven.
Andrew: You've come a long ways!
Well thank you!
Andrew: You're playing solo tonight, but you're also on tour with Jeremy Camp. Are you enjoying that?
Oh gosh. We were on tour with him last fall, and I think he had too much fun. And we were like,
"Are we really doing ministry, suffering for the Lord?" They're just a great family, he has a great band,
even the people that do lights for him, and they all just have the greatest hearts. The show is a small
part of what we do on tour, the rest of the day is what is fun for us.
Andrew: What's your favorite song to play live right now? **At this point, Bethany catches me staring at her supper from Panera Bread**
Hey, would you like some?
Andrew: No... uhh...
Panera is amazing! Probably my favorite song to sing right now is a song that is not even on a record,
called "You Are On Our Side." I think probably for most artists, the newest thing they've written is the
most fun because they aren't tired of it yet.
Andrew: Favorite bands?
My mom would kill me if I didn't say U2, so U2. Switchfoot…they really have impacted the way I write.
Definitely Caedmon's Call, I grew up listening to them - 40 Acres was like the coolest record.
Andrew: Cool. One last thing, what's the last thing you listened to?
This guy, Clint Brown, he's a black worship leader and has this CD called In His Presence,
and it's amazing. So I just put it on, and I just like want to run a marathon! So anyway, that's what
I've been listening too.