This interview took place on: 4/3/06.
Jeremy Camp: Omigoodness. When I was a small kid, when I was fifteen, my dad always played music
and he didnít do anything in the industry, but he used to play around and heíd
use it as a tool of ministry, so that was my experience of music. And back in the day I listened to
Mylon LeFevre and theyíd be preaching it, so in everything I knew music was a platform to share.
It was what I saw and what my example was. I played sports all my life, picked up guitar when I was
fifteen just because my dad played and was jamminí, learning some chords. Then one day I wrote a song
and played it for my parents and they were like, ďYou wrote this song?Ē and Iím like ďyeahĒ and I
wasnít walking with the Lord then so it was a song that was kind of like crying out to the Lord and
theyíre like, ďwhatís going on?Ē and I was like ďI wrote it for my sister. I wrote it for April!Ē
*laughs* It was called ďSet Me Free.Ē Y'know, *starts singing* "set me free, free
from sinÖ" and theyíre like ďwhatís going on?Ē and Iím like ďnothing.Ē *laughs* I was kinda
masking it. But then I kept playing and jamming and learning and I just gave my heart to the Lord
and starting writing songs and from there, God just started opening doors for me to start playing.
Went to Bible college, played at Bible college, did worship, and the kids that went to the Bible
college would tell their churches about me and I started playing at all these places until I was
playing so much I just did it full time randomly. It wasn't like I was trying to do it full time,
I was just getting a ton of calls and it was the best way to do it. When Godís leading and directing,
you don't have to kick the doors open. Itís so nice. Basically, I just kept doing that
independently and the record company Iím with now, BEC, was like ďHey, can we hear a demo?Ē
Sent them a demo and the owner called me right away, Brandon, and heís like ďDude, What's up man?
We want to sign you, manĒ and Iím like, ďOh, alright. Well, letís talk!Ē So we took awhile and did
the long negotiating thing and thatís kinda how it all happened. God just kept opening the doors and
I was like, obviously this is what he wants me to do.
Jeremy: Yeah. (John:
Really? Howíd they hear about you?) One of the A&Rís, Tyson from BEC,
had a friend that played worship at a big church in California and heís like "Hey man, weíre
trying to look for someone to help do this worship thing we do every year called Any Given SundayĒ
and he was like ďOh I know this guy, heís awesomeĒ because I went to the same church this guy went to.
And heís like, ďcheck him out.Ē So they started hearing about me and were like ďHey, send us a demo.
Scott told us about you.Ē And thatís what happened. Isnít that crazy? That's what got me going.
I look at it now and Iím like ďHoly cow, thatís how it started.Ē And to think thatís where God
has taken it and thatís whatís nice because you know itís Godís hand that has led to this point.
Yeah, October 31st. Halloween.
I definitely pushed myself vocally and musically. You know how all my
albums are, I write some up beat songs, some rockiní songs, or I write some, whatever.
Itís still that, it's me, but I pushed myself in a lot of ways.
Does that make sense? (John: Yeah)
'Cause I write what I write. Like, if Iím writing one day a full rock album, then
thatís how Iím gonna write, but it always comes out how it is. But I experimented a lot more with my
falsetto and stuff like that, you know what I mean? (John: Yeah)
But lyrically itís the same. Itís just me, you know?
Itís a new chapter of my life. The song ďBeyond Measure,Ē the title track is basically taken from, you know, Ephesians, ďHe gives us exceedingly, abundantly above all we could ask or even imagine.Ē
Itís like, thatís what I feel and I feel like thatís the next chapter of my life. Man, just that
abundance of what God has done. And thatís what I want to represent as a new chapter in my life.
(John: That's awesome) My wife has, of course, an album
coming out in September (JFH's Josh Taylor: Does she really?)
Yeah, end of September. (John:
C'mon man, where've you been?) I donít know what day.
(John: September 26th, I saw the banner.)
Oh nice. You know! Thank you. *laughter* (John:
Itís called Donít Wait and sheís going by "Adie," right?)
Yeah, A-D-I-E. There you have it. Itís awesome. Not being biased or anything, but itís pretty
A little more loopy. You know what Iím saying? Like loops and thereís been some worship stuff too.
Itís crazy cause like itís just awesome to see what came out of her heart.
You know what I mean writing and the styleís are just diverse but itís definitely has a little more
loop pop, but like have you ever heard of Frou Frou? I wouldnít even say itís like Frou Frou,
nevermind. But itís just more musical pop. Does that make sense? (John: Yeah)
Where itís not just like bubblegum pop at all, but itís cool.
(John: What kind of hand did you have in it?)
I pretty much co-produced a lot of the album and wrote, co-wrote a lot of the songs.
(John: is it weird doing that considering sheís your wife or did it
just come really natural, the two of you working together?)
No, um... Iím not gonna lie... *laughter* You get a married couple that are both creative,
and your married, and youíre working together on an album, and Iím producing it and writing some and
she... you know what I mean? Of course! But I mean it wasnít bad.
But I look back and it was so rad, y'know? To look back and see what God did. But you have like,
ďOh I think we should do thatĒ and then itís all, y'know... (John:
You're sleeping on the couch) *laughter* Yeah itís personal cause youíre like
ďNo, itís up to you Honey, itís just Iím producing the... nevermind." *laughter*
So I had a guy that was co-producing with me, Zach Hodges, and Iíd be like, ďyou tell herĒ *laughter*
Well, weíre still working but (John: Okay)
Ron Aniello - he did stuff for Lifehouse. Aaron Sprinkle again. Gonna do Brown Bannister for a couple
maybe. Yeah like that. But a lot of Ron Aniello for sure. Totally different thing weíre trying.
Never done it before so I think weíre gonna use Aaron a little bit cause he did some good stuff on
the last album.
Yeah, but weíre, you know, itís one of those things where itís still gonna be God directing but it
just seems to be going that way. But Iím still writing. The songs are still what they are, you know,
I just write what I write and theyíre bold. You know what I mean?
(John: Thatís awesome, dude)
Weíll see what happens. A comment last night was, ďIf the songís there and it tests well," you test it
you know, "then weíre one hundred percent for it.Ē Which means that itíll be awesome, so weíll see.
But I donít know whatís gonna happen. Itís cool because I wouldnít be bummed, which is nice.
Iíll be stoked. Itíll be like, ďcool this is great, itís another opportunity.Ē But it just seems to
always have kind of gone that way. Like when I first started I actually showcased for Columbia and
it went really well but they guy I showcased for ended up moving to a different record company and it
was a smaller one and Iím like ďIím not going to take this big leap unless itís super legit.Ē So
itís always kind of been there but Iíve always kind of been like "Nyeh." We even started pushing a
song two years ago and we just were like, ďNo. More time.Ē [It was] "Right Here." We were like,
"No." On a couple of stations, it started going well, but then we just did not feel it and no one
wanted to put a lot into it. But itís fine. Iím glad because it wasnít the right time.
Itís not like Iím all ready now but I feel like God's done a lot since then.
If it happens Iíll be like, ďI know what Iím called to do.Ē Period. So no compromise will happen.
Yeah. Well itís my house [with] a recording studio [next to it].
(John: That's awesome)
Yeah itís pretty big actually. Itís like the legit thing. I recorded most of her (Adie's) album there.
I'm going to record half my album there. So I mean, itís the real thing. Cause Iím like you know
what, thatís the best investment you can make. Especially when you have kids being at your house, doing
a song. I sent out demos to my record company for my new album and theyíre super stoked cause
theyíre like ďWow you sent out real demos, they sound good.Ē You know, not just like 'hereís an
acoustic and me singing.' Itís like 'hereís drums, bass, guitars, singing, background vocals,'
you know what I mean? And I mix it and master it, make it the best that I can. Iím gonna start
producing more in the future. Iím gonna probably chill a little bit after doing that and then
focus more on doing some stuff with our next record. But I think definitely Iím gonna start producing.
(Josh: Maybe start doing a little for BEC?) No, well itíd
just be whoever... (Josh: Right.) You know what Iím saying?
But maybe like a new band or I might end up starting a record company one day. You know what I mean?
Just a small thing. (John: Camp Records) Yeah, Camp.
Campground Records. *laughter* I love it.
I would actually say that the more mellow stuff - the ballads and the worship - comes a little more
natural. But if a rock song comes, then itís natural to play it, does that make sense?
(John: Yeah, it does) And thatís why it kinda works
because it is me, because I wrote it, Iím digging it, Iím writing it. Like this new album, thereís a
song called ďTonightĒ itíll be the first CHR Rock song. And full on like different rock song, but
itís rockiní. Because at first Iím like, "I donít have any rock songs on this next album itís more
like just vibey, medium tempo, grooviní stuff. But the song came out and itís like, "Dude! Thank You,
Lord." And my record company were like freaking out. (John: Really?)
Yeah because you know, thatís just who Iíve always been. Every album has had a song thatís been
rock. And theyíre like "Well, is it going to continue to happen?Ē and Iím like, ďShould I get someone
to co-write to help me write?Ē and just the song came out and it was just, "Oh. Thank You, Lord!"
You know what I mean? And it just keeps coming out. Now, one day if I do a whole rock album,
cool, if I do a whole album thatís just chill, whatever. I mean Iím just gonna write what I write.
If itís a mix like itís always been, then there you go. Weíll see.
I thought ďTake You BackĒ was the biggest surprise Iíve ever had. (John: Really?)
I didnít think itíd do as well as it did. I felt like it would do well, but I felt like the song
ďThis ManĒ would actually be a little more deep, you know what Iím saying? But ďThis ManĒ did well.
But I felt like that wasÖ isnít that funny? I always thought ďRestoredĒ would do well, but... it never
got on the radio. So... that's my little thing... *laughter* I always thought thatíd be
good because also itís just part of my life. It tells more my story of what Godís done. *voice trails off...* Sorry,
Iím losing my voice. My goodness! I have a long day still. (Amy: I have "Halls" cough drops?)
Should I? (John: Sheís a nurse) Are you really? *laughter* I think itís partial allergies too.
Are people getting allergies? (Amy: Oh yeah. Well, I mean, you think about the wind down here
right now blowing everything around.) Thatís true. (John: Yeah, my allergies are starting to hit me.
Ever since I got here my allergies have been kicking me in the face.)
(Amy: I'll hook you up.)
You want to be home more. And then when theyíre on the road with me sometimes,
itís hard because itís a different world when youíre on the road. And so youíre trying to
intermingle your family with your different life. You know what Iím saying? Like itís a whole
different thing and thereís no schedule really. Youíre living on a bus, you know what I mean?
People are like, "Aw man, youíre riding on a tour bus!" And itís like "When thatís your home itís not
that glamorous." I mean itís the best way to travel but when thatís your home, believe me.
Especially having your kids on the bus where they're running back and forth down the bus cause itís all
they can do. I'm like "Aaahhh!" *laughter* So you just take them for walks, take them
outside. Like come this Fall my wifeís opening for me on tour, which is cool, kind of works out
good, but weíre going to have them set up a room just for the family and kinda have them set it
up for that type of vibe.
Man, advice for new dadsÖ well I will say that one thing Iíve learned - advice on more of a
spiritual side - is that at a very young age you can be that example by if you have delved
yourself and just spend time with the Lord and really have that overflowing out of your life,
itís going to pour out to your kids in the way you hang out with them and the way you interact and
the way that you love on them, which will nurture them and grow them. But it all begins with your
relationship with the Lord and if you donít have that... Like right now, the other day I was like
"Can you say Jesus?Ē and sheís like ďJesusĒ and I was like *pretends to cry*.
*laughter* Iím like crying because itís like the best thing in the world, your kid saying
ďJesus.Ē So it made me realize the importance of me being on my face because Iím raising her up to
love the Lord so I need to be on my toes and be on my face. I feel like I fail a lot and thatís why
I donít want to look back and have regrets. Just get on your face before the Lord, and do what youíre
called to do. Be their father, that spiritual leader and example.
Just hearing stories of how God uses the music and the songs to comfort their lives. You know and
people have accepted Christ because of songs or something that youíve heard or whatever.
Yeah, thatís the biggest thing. Like awards, the stats, blah blah blah - those things will get you
distracted. Thatís all they do. Thatís all they do. Donít get me wrong, itís cool, itís a blessing,
but believe me, it gets you distracted. The greatest reward or award is just hearing people that have
been touched, truly, not just like, ďI like your music itís coolĒ or ďyou have a good voiceĒ or blah blah blah,
"I like your music, it rocks." Nyeh, I donít really care. I mean, "Cool! Thanks!" But Iím not the type
of guy like ďOh, I hope people accept my art.Ē You know what? Thatís not me. Iím not saying it's wrong,
I'm just saying itís not me. Iím like ďHas God used this in your life?Ē Awesome. Then thatís what itís about.
Oh man, thereís this scripture that I read and what Iím learning is that - well my daughter was running
around one day and sheís going crazy and I just wanted her to sit in my lap. I was like
ďHey honey just chill, just hang out with daddy!Ē and sheís like "Nah!" running around and it hit me,
"Man how many times do I just go nuts? and Godís like 'Jeremy, I just want you to sit at My feet,
sit on My lap and just chill. I want you to just be My son'" And as Mary and Martha, when Jesus went
to visit them, Martha was going around crazy doing all this stuff and Maryís just sitting at Jesusí
feet and Marthaís like, ďJesus whatís going on? Maryís not doing anythingĒ and Heís like,
ďSheís got it right. Leave her alone, sheís doing it right.Ē Weíre just supposed to be before Him at
His feet and Heís like ďOkay, slow down, just chill.Ē Thatís a big thing right now.
I just need to learn to let God steer the ship and not me, because itís easy to just take control.
(John: Oh yeah, I can understand that too, definitely.)
Yeah, because youíre doing well and youíre like ďNo, I like this itís going well,Ē
and you start to take control and youíre like ďcímon, God help meĒ and itís like - No, Heís supposed to
take it and weíre supposed to seek Him and obey and do what Heís called me to do.
Jeremy Camp's new album Beyond Measure hits streets October 31st!
(Left to right: Amy DiBiase, Jeremy Camp, John DiBiase)
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