Few bands have made authentic ministry a priority in their career quite like Big Daddy Weave. With plenty of powerful anthems in their discography and a sincerity that can be heard in every song, the band is gearing up for the release of their next project, When The Light Comes.
After a difficult past few years that have included severe sickness, heartbreaking diagnoses and a lot of loss for the band and their families, their persistent faith is encompassed in this new album that declares God's goodness through it all. We caught up with lead singer Mike Weaver at a recent show in North Carolina to discuss the new album, his upcoming book and what the rest of this year looks like for the band.
Let's talk about the new album When The Light Comes. I know these songs were born out of some rough few years for you guys. How did all of that shape the message and songs on this project?
Yeah, a brand new record coming out and we're really excited about that. It's called When The Light Comes, and it's all about the last season we've been through. There's a lot of parts of it that we would have never chosen. It was a really difficult season, but even in the difficulties, we were seeing Jesus with us every step of the way.
My brother almost died, and in an effort to save his life, the doctors amputated both his feet. He plays bass for Big Daddy Weave. That was a really tumultuous season, going through that entire thing. Thank God he's still with us and recovering. A lot of these songs come from that place of just like, "God, where are you at this moment?" and then finding God in those moments and then expressing what it was like to go through that.
Right after that, my dad passed away from Pulmonary Fibrosis. He was my brother and I's hero. He went to be with the Lord on Christmas Day, and it just left us rocked. We know he's with the Lord, but it was hard to see him go through that part of his journey, especially right up next to what we had been through with Jay.
Then my mom got a cancer diagnosis, and it just felt like, "God, it's one thing after the next. We don't really know how to deal with all this." All these songs come from this place of pain, but it's crazy because we were sharing with some folks the other day and the first thing out of their mouths, opening the entire thing up, was, "we hear so much joy on this record." I was like, "man, that is crazy," but that's just how the Lord is. Only God can bring joy out of our greatest seasons of sorrow. That's what He's done. He's seen us through these seasons. It's not that we don't hurt anymore–we have some really hard days–but we've really seen Jesus in ways that we never have.
Is there one specific song from the new album that you're most excited to share?
Oh man, to pick a favorite song from this record would be really difficult. It's crazy because some of these are just introspection, and some of them are ideas that were brought by other friends. Hank Bentley and Benji Cowart are incredible, incredible songwriters and incredible, incredible men, period. They brought this song called "I Know," and it just sort of said everything perfectly. It's like they were reading my emotions, somehow. It's the questions that come up, but then it's the answer that is not information, but the answer is a person–the answer is Jesus. That sounds like a super Christian-sounding thing to say until you go through it and you find out that that's what it is. That's who He is. He is the way out of it and the way through it. They brought this song to me and I'm like, "man, this is perfect," and I got to write a bridge on it. So I can brag on the song more than normal because mostly Hank and Benji wrote it. There's a line in the song that says, "Though my eyes have never seen You, I've seen enough to say, 'I know that You are good.'" I'm like, "that pretty much sums it up, Benji."
I feel like I understand fewer things than I've ever understood in my life, but my answer and my response to the stuff that we've been through and the things we're still going through is Jesus. I don't know how to have this big theological discussion anymore, but my theology is completely wrapped up in a man, in Jesus.
"Alive," the lead single from this record, was written by Zach Williams, who has this story of being deeply impacted by your song "Redeemed." What's it like for you guys to hear that story and now have a song that he wrote on your album?
"Alive" was such a full-circle moment for us. Again, we can super brag on that one because Zach wrote it. We're so blessed that Christian radio has embraced that song, and it's been so cool to see it become an anthem for people. God had used our song "Redeemed" in Zach's life when he was living this whole other life, and Jesus called him back to something that he had been running from. Zach starts writing these incredible songs, then we were sitting on the tour bus one night when we got to tour with Zach and he was like, "dude, God used your song in my life, now I think Jesus gave me a song for you." So he shows us "Alive," and I remember Jeremy, our guitar player who produces all our records, was sitting there and we were like, "yes dude!" That kind of sums it up because every night we just feel grateful to still be here.
After Jay almost died, after we've been through this season with all this heavy stuff, to get this stuff out and to still sing about hope and Jesus and to really believe that still after going through the things you're afraid to go through...man, it was not an easy place to get to, but it's a wonderful thing that we do not take for granted to get to do this.
Are you blown away that after all these years, "Redeemed" is still having such an impact on people?
Yes! We continue to hear stories about "Redeemed" all the time, and it's unbelievable. God just keeps using that song. There's no way when you're writing a song that you can be like, "this is when God's going to do this, this, and this..." Only Jesus can do that with a song. We continue to be grateful for the testimonies that come from that song.
Big news–you wrote a book! Can you talk about what that experience was like?
This has been a crazy and awesome and terrible and wonderful time. We just finished the book. Jim Scherer has been our manager for, gosh, more than fifteen years. We're closing in on twenty years of him being our manager. We got together and I shared with him, "man, I think there's a book in this." I said, "I want to share it, but it'll never happen unless somebody helps me because I am so out there." We started compiling all of this stuff that has happened and Jim started taking it and organizing it into what became this book that's called I Am Redeemed. That'll be out September 3rd, so we're super excited about that.
I really am a big fan of audiobooks because when we're traveling or on a plane and you want to close your eyes and check out, you can put on an audiobook. The folks at Hachette invited me to read our book, and it was so cool to sit and read the entire book from start to finish. By the end of it, I've got to tell you, I was super encouraged in the Lord. I'm so grateful for what the Lord's done in my life. If nobody else gets it, for me, this collection is sort of chronicling what the Lord has done and when I read it, it's like my Ebenezer. It's this place of remembering what the Lord has done and I'm super excited to get to share it with you.
Anyone who has seen you guys live knows that you prioritize ministry on the road. How do you keep that spirit of worship authentic and fresh night after night?
The Lord brought a word at the beginning of this year, in the middle of all of our busy-ness, and I think in some ways we had failed to rest. A pastor friend of ours shared this word and just said, "you guys are going to find the rhythm of the rest of God." I was like, "man, I don't even know what you mean, but I know that's right because it just hit me right in my heart." That's been it–learning how to do this, but remembering how to laugh, you know?
When you're hearing about difficult things that people have been going through or that you've been going through in a season, it's so easy to get your battle face on and never come out of that place. But I think some of the biggest ministries to us has been the comradery of just sitting and laughing about some of the goofiest things and remembering the joy, not that we have to do this, but that we get to do this. This is not what we do for a living–it is that, too–but this is what we do with our living.
That's a different way to look at it, and that's a step in the right direction to try to stay away from burnout.
Anything else big in the works for the band this fall?
So I got this phone call from Matt Crouch at TBN and we just started talking about the music and about life and about identity in Jesus. By the end of the phone conversation, he's like, "man, I want you guys to make this little TV show," and I'm like, "what?!" Big Daddies do not like to be on camera, so that's not my favorite thing. He set it up for us to talk about this last season and what we've been up to as Big Daddy Weave and to show a little bit of life on the road, like homeschooling kids on the road and praying for people on the road, setting things up and tearing things down and all of that stuff. There's an eight-part reality series coming out on TBN, in the fall as well, with the same title as the record, When The Light Comes. Watch for it–we're gonna be on TV!
If anything, I think after all this time, the message that God conveys to people through Big Daddy Weave is that, if God is using these guys, He can use anybody. I think that's the whole point–God's not looking for people who are awesome. He's the one who's awesome. He's looking for people who make themselves available, and He can use anything or anybody.
To wrap up, how can people be praying for you guys in this next season?
That we really would get that about the rhythm of the rest of God. If people are going to pray for us, that they would remember us and say, "Jesus, please keep those guys on their knees in front of You," and to remember to breathe and to laugh and to have joy. That would be an awesome prayer request.
Caitlin Lassiter is a worship leader, songwriter and journalist with a deep passion for Christian music. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, where she attends Trevecca Nazarene University and can frequently be found loving life at a concert.
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