Rock quintet Kutless just recently finished opening for the successful
GO Show tour with Audio Adrenaline and MercyMe, but that doesn't spell break time for these boys!
As they prepare for a mainstream release of their 2002 debut project, they're also working hard on
their sophomore project going into production this Fall. Lead vocalist Jon Micah Sumrall paused
to answer some questions for the JfH while also answering some questions you guys had for them!
This interview took place on: 6/3/03
Jesus freak Hideout: Why the name Kutless?
Jon Micah Sumrall: The idea behind the name is; when Christ died on the cross for us he bore all
of the cuts and bruises that we deserved, leaving us without those cuts and therefore, kut-less.
JFH: How did you guys get started as a band? When did you know you wanted to make a ministry out of it?
We started in college about 3.5 years ago. We were originally a worship band and we led an alternative
worship service at our college on Thursday nights. During practice one night, Stu mentioned that it had been
on his heart to be in a rock band and do original music. We all looked at him and saying, “No way, that has totally
been on my heart too.” Looking around, we realized we already had a band, so we decided to go for it.
Over the next several months, our calling became more evident and specific and we knew that God had great
plans for our life and our music.
JFH: What artists have influenced your sound?
Unfortunately, there are very few Christian bands that have a good “nu-metal”/”popmetal” sound.
Because of this we had to pull musical influences from some secular sources such as Linkin Park, Incubus,
Nickleback, and Staind. These groups, while musically very talented, unfortunately do not always have the
most positive messages. We have had to be very careful as we try to pull musical ideas from their music,
without taking in too much of their negative messages.
JFH: It is reported that later this year your self-titled debut will be
released to the mainstream audience. How did this come about and how will the band handle the wider audience?
Our record is scheduled to be re-released to the mainstream market late this summer. It was a decision
that our distributor, EMI and our label, Tooth and Nail/BEC made. We are excited about the opportunity
to reach more people. Particularly people who do not yet know Christ. We do not plan to change our message
in any way and we hope that we can share God’s love to this broader audience.
JFH: Already you guys have had some chances to play to secular crowds and to minister to some kids there. Any particular stories, testimonies or experiences that have really impacted you guys?
Jon Micah: We hear daily of lives being changed and how our music has affected their lives.
It has been incredible to see people accept Christ and turn their lives around. To be a part of what God is
doing in many lives is an incredible privilege.
JFH: You guys just got off the GO Show tour with Audio Adrenaline and MercyMe.
What was that experience like for the band? Any standout moments?
Jon Micah: We had a great time on the GO Show. We really enjoyed hanging out with Audio,
Mercy Me and the Swift. All the bands were really cool and we had a great time on the entire tour.
As far as memories, all I can say is on the last night of the tour, traditionally “prank night”,
Audio got WORKED!
JFH: We heard you guys are working on a new record. When is the projected release date and what can fans expect in your sophomore record?
The release date is not yet set, but we will be in the studio for all of August and part of September and November. I think our second record will be a little more refined as we have grown a lot as musicians in the last year.
JFH: Who are some of your favorite Christian artists?
Swithfoot RULES! They are one of our all time favorite bands. We also listen to quite a bit of Grits, Pax 217, P.O.D., and our good buddies Seven Places.
JFH: Favorite venue to play?
Jon Micah: The Norva in Norfolk, Virginia. That place is incredible.
JFH: Favorite movie?
Jon Micah: Dumb and Dumber
We asked some of the Hideout users to come up with some questions for the guys in Kutless. Below
are a few of those questions and Jon Micah's responses...
What would be your dream tour? - [mandy]
Jon Micah: A sold out arena tour.
What is your goal as a band? How do you go about accomplishing that goal? - [Colin]
Jon Micah: We hope to reach as many people as possible through our music and share Christ's love with them. I believe this is accomplished through both our lyrics as well as the things we say from stage.
Even beyond the song "Tonight," many people claim that you're a lot like Creed's style. Is this a legitimate accusation? What is your response to this comparison? - [iloveska]
Jon Micah: I think that we are in the same genre as Creed, but we don’t sound any more like them than we do like Nickleback or any other band in this genre. Does Grits sound like 50 Cent because they both rap? We hardly ever listen to Creed and we didn’t realize the song “Tonight” sounded like one of their songs until after it was already released. We actually realized it was similar to an STP song first. The STP song came out long before Creed’s song but is just as similar.
What is each band member's favorite beverage to drink before a live show? - [FreakofGod83]
Jon Micah: Water, water, and more water. We drink lots of water.
Hey, I was wondering who are your favorite secular bands and do you like kool aid? - [eric]
Jon Micah: As far as bands go, check out the previous question about musical influences. As for the kool aid. I haven’t had any in years but I loved it as a kid.
I just wanted to thank Jon Micah for being in the booth selling his own merchandise so that the fans can meet him. Does he do this by choice? - [drummerchic5588]
Jon Micah: Yes and No. We do try and make ourselves available as much as possible. We love meeting our fans. At the merchandise table sometimes we have to be there because we are short on help. Ideally we typically like to get plenty of help at the table so we can just hang out with everyone after the show.
What has God been teaching you lately? - [JeSuS_FrEaK_3D]
Jon Micah: Patience. Live in a 45 foot bus for 5 months straight, with 8 other people and you start to learn a whole lot of patience.