Q&A: Crowder

Sitting down with Peer like friends over coffee, top Christian artist Crowder shares his heart.

The David Crowder Band first formed in 1996. Today, Crowder’s latest solo album, “I Know A Ghost,” debuted at #2 on Billboard’s Christian Albums chart and his new single, “Let It Rain,” released this past June. Combine both his familiar Appalachian and new hip-hop sound, Crowder is one of the top Christian artists in 2019. Sitting down with Peer like friends over coffee, Crowder shares his heart.

PEER: If you could go back in time 22 years ago when the David Crowder Band first formed (in 1996), what would you tell yourself?

CROWDER: I would say, “Self. You know how you feel like you have no business doing this and that you don’t know anything about what it is that you are doing? Yeah, that won’t ever go away, and it is your greatest asset.”


P: What’s the biggest piece of advice you can share with our readers?

C: What I would love to say more than anything would be that I believe in you. I think the brilliance and the belief in the minds and hearts of this generation—that absolutely anything is possible and redeemable—is like none other that has come before. But, if I have to say, like, a straightforward word of advice, it would be: (1) Robots are never going to be as cool as you thought they would be. (2) There is nothing worse than a pretentious, judgmental robot. (3) Oh! And, you can totally judge a book by its cover!! Most of the time. And then, the rest of the time, when you were wrong about the book and what you thought its cover was saying, is the reason that idiom exists. I’m still, every day, trying to learn those lessons. Main thing though, if ever there were a time for grace, it is now. Never, ever, ever, march anyone into the town square and ratio them. Both grace and the future have space for us all. That is complicated thinking. Be beautiful and complicated.

P: How does your faith influence your music? 

C: It is the reason I am making music. I was a part of a church start while I was going to school at Baylor University. It was a bunch of college kids and I happened to be somewhat musically-inclined, so I was asked to help with the musical portion of our Sunday morning gatherings. About a year into things I started writing songs because it was difficult to find material that fit our collegiate aesthetic. To me, music seemed to be a very simple way for us to express what we understood as the activity of God among us. We wanted something as visceral and common as music to remind ourselves of who He is and what He has done and to be formed in the process of doing so. Making liturgical music is what I do, and my faith is inherent in it.

“If ever there were a time for grace, it is now. Never, ever, ever, march anyone into the town square and ratio them.”


P: Who are your musical influences?

C: It can all be traced back to my formative years. My dad always had either Willie Nelson, Elvis, Bill Gaither or Olivia Newton-John playing in the car. Everything I have ever done musically can be blamed on those folks.

P: Do you have anything exciting with you or your music in the works?

C: We are back out on the road with MercyMe this fall, and it is my favorite. They are the absolute best folks ever. One of the first “professional” tours I ever went on was with those guys, and by “professional,” I mean like I wasn’t driving a car pulling a trailer, but we were in a tour bus and it felt so super legit. It was the absolute best! We went out with them again this spring and I can’t wait to pick it back up in the fall. And then, I am SUPER stoked about Passion Conference. On New Year’s Eve, we will be in Atlanta, my hometown, with a stadium packed with college students going after it for the Passion 2020 conference. I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited for a get-together ever. It’s going to be stupid great.


P: What is your favorite Bible verse?

C: This changes. For one, I read Scripture a lot and things floor me all the time. I mean, I could read the same passage every day and every day it would feel different because I am different, the day is different, life unfolds and what I need today is different than what I may have needed yesterday. I love that about Scripture. It is living and breathing. If pressed though, my go-to verse is Luke 24:42. Because it is hilarious. But, for real, my very all-time OG favorite, and you will think I am being less than sincere when I say this, but, for real, is John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” It’s the craziest thing ever and why I love Jesus and Scripture so much. So, here’s the deal. He knows He is about to go to the cross. And He also knows that He is about to go raise Lazarus from the dead which, in literary terms, would be referred to as, “foreshadowing.” And so Lazarus’s friends send word to Jesus, “Hey, Jesus, your friend Lazarus is sick,” and they are super distraught. They want Jesus to do what He has been doing, heal their friend.

As Scripture puts it, “Lord, the one You love is sick.” He knows this already. And He knows that He is about to blow some minds when He tells them, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for the glory of God…” Well, after being asked to come heal Lazarus, Jesus doesn’t. Lazarus dies. By the time Jesus gets there, Lazarus has been buried for four days. Martha, who was one of the friends who had sent word that Lazarus was sick and had faith that Jesus could have healed him, said, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” And then … when Jesus saw her weeping, He was moved. And He wept. That is Emmanuel. God with us. We are loved by a Creator who does not simply sympathize with our circumstance, He empathizes. Completely. For me, those are the most beautiful two words in Scripture.

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