This interview took place on: 6/12/01.
Joel Hanson: Since PFR disbanded in 1996, I've learned a lot about myself. I like control, but lack any ability to really control anything. Also, that God doesn't look or act like I imagine Him to. Musically, I've had a chance to explore different music styles and co-write with a lot of other writers. Lyrical, melodic and chord structures have all been challenged. The great thing about that process is that you find out what you don't like about your writing but also what you really do like as well.
Joel: I think it was a phone call from Mark (Nash), really, that got the whole Roaring Lambs ball rolling for us. Pat and Mark talked, then called me to see if I was interested in the project. There wasn't anything attached to the project at the time. No tour. No lengthy contract. No hoops to jump through really. The song was fairly easy to write because I believe so strongly in the philosophy that was being portrayed.
Joel: I think the time in the studio doing "Kingdom Come" (for Roaring Lambs) was the catalyst for everything else. Our producer Jimmie Lee Sloas said to us while we were recording "Kingdom Come," 'You guys never broke up. You just stopped making music together.' I think what he meant by that was that the chemistry was still there. That was part of the persuasion. Seeing that there was still something special. Eventually we decided to pursue the idea further so we spent time writing together. One thing lead to another and the next thing we know we're back in the studio working on Disappear.
Joel: I think we have approached this recording differently. First of all, we wrote together as a band more on this record more than any other we've done. I mean, just working it out as a band. We used to bring songs to each other on acoustic guitar and then the band would shape them on the road or in the studio. But this time at least some of the songs got the benefit of being drafted as a band -- with all the energy and attitude that brings.
Joel: I agree that there is a sonic difference. I think all three of us were just more vocal about what we wanted things to feel and sound like. We took advantage of today's technology and edited differently than we have in the past. Also, this recording is really just Mark and Patrick and myself playing and singing everything. That, for better or worse, is what we wanted -- to make the best record the three of us could make.
Joel: I don't think there are regrets in breaking up. After all, it's the making up that's the best part, right? I think Mark and Patrick and I had a chance to do some growing up while we were an ungroup. We had a chance to be just individuals and not PFR. The band had its upsides for sure but we all felt a sense of individual loss for the sake of the group identity. All in all, the breakup has probably been very good for all of us. We are more focused now than ever.
Joel: Working with a different label is always going to be, well... different. Different people, strategies, contracts, distribution. It's all different. Our experience in the past was a good one and we anticipate the same at Squint.
Joel: I am sure all three of us could come up with things that we would change about the past but you can't. The only thing you can do is learn from it. But that's a choice, too, isn't it? I think we're aware of what was good and not so good about who we've been. Now we're focused on being great at what we do and who we are. Change is in the present, not the past.
Joel: Patrick came to Mark and I with this song back in September. The story is about wishing for days gone by because you long for who you were. Patrick said when he started writing this song he was longing for a time in his life when he knew for certain he was doing what he was put here to do. When we were touring in Europe, Patrick definitely had a sense of purpose.
Joel: "Gone" is simply a song about moving on. Some people have a hard time with that. At some point, even if you were the one hurt in a situation, you have to make a choice. Do you long for what can no longer be or look ahead to all that is still out there to embrace?
Joel: Lots of artists have had an impact on this record. Too many really to name. The three of us have listened to so much different music over the last few years that it would be hard to list. I know. Let's just say that everyone has influenced or impacted this recording in one way or another.
Joel:Maybe "Fight" off of Them.
Joel: "Gone" or "Missing Love."
Joel: My favorite movie is "Say Anything"
Joel: One of my favorite moments on the road would be driving back from California to Minnesota in a Suburban for four days straight. We went pretty insane. There was nothing to do, no good radio, conversation had basically dropped off. We actually started lighting things on fire and throwing them out the windows of the truck. Did I say favorite? I meant worst.
Joel: I do listen to Christian music as well as others. I like Switchfoot immensely. Nicole Nordeman is also very good.
Joel: I just hope people will listen to this record for what it is. It's not a comeback or reunion record. It's just another piece of our (Mark, Patrick and Joel) friendship along the way.
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