Jason Watkins, Paul Watkins, and Mathew Linton have a lot in common. They live in Nashville and grew up in Oklahoma and Louisiana. They also share a strong passion for music. "We share a commonality for the music we listen to, so we knew that collaborating would feel natural to us."
The Nashville Christian rockers, also known as Coyote Choir, have made music together for a few years. "We started writing songs and thought it was good timing to begin a separate music project that was different from the other music we were involved in. We thought about naming our band Coyote, but we wondered if we needed to add something else to it. One day, we were listening to country musician Rodney Crowell, and he sparked the decision to change it to Coyote Choir.
To describe the band: "Coyote Choir is friends making music to help people wherever they are in life. We want to give you a song that will help you to remember." We had the opportunity to talk to Coyote Choir about their new album, their history as a band, and their music. Here is what we got.
What are some of your favorite artists and music that you listen to and why?
We like the music that was a part of our childhood. We like to go back and try and learn from older music, but we love a lot of new music as well. Brandon Flowers is someone we enjoy; he never lets down. What we find interesting about him is his lyrics have a very story-minded approach that hearkens to the ways the older country writers would approach songs. He has a ballad brush that he uses while constructing his songs, which give them a sensitive, yet triumphant feeling. We also love Elvis Presley. Elvis had a great sense of humor.
You guys are very much embedded in the indie mainstream scene. What messages are you hoping to take to that culture?
We really just want to love others through song, wherever they are. We hope that others will feel encouraged to go on towards the future and not be bound by the darkness of this world. There is more to everyone's story. Hopefully, we can help people remember that even in the hardest times, there is a reason to go on.
How are you balancing faith in the mainstream music space?
We wanted to find a way to approach the music as a blessing for others, instead of satisfying our own selfish tendencies. We love the idea of making small sacrifices in order to give our best. We're not too interested in things that feel superficial and oddly bombastic. If we continue to approach our music with a servant mentality, then we know we're doing the right thing. Loving others through hard times is a way to remain faithful.
Talk about a few of the songs from the new album.
One of the songs from our album, Volume 1, is "Keep The Fire Alive." It’s a song about remembering who you are even when you're being lied to or you don't want to face life's confusion anymore. We were inspired by author A.W Tozer and country music legend Garth Brooks during the making of this song. Another song from the album is "Sing!." We wrote it for someone who went through a season of quietness; this someone was waiting for the right time to sing again. We wanted to try and write a song about using one's gifts to help inspire others. There may be a song, a story or some other kind of message that could help wake someone's heart up to a beautiful reminder about themselves. You are loved.
What are you working on right now? What’s next?
We're working on a new batch of songs for our next release. We’ve been in East Nashville recording with Joe Causey and Shane Wilson. We’re excited to share these new songs with you.
How can we be praying for you?
We would love for you to pray for our families. We have multiple family members with health problems and we’re hoping that they will get better. Specifically for us, we just ask that the Lord will direct our music and be honored by it. Please also pray that we continue to love our friends and families well. Thank you, and God Bless.
Kevin McNeese started NRT in 2002 and has worked in the industry since 1999 in one form or another. He has been a fan of Christian music since 1991.
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