UPDATE: FEBRUARY 6, 2014 INTERVIEW:
February 6, 2014 an interview by Rick Moore did. We were sitting in a fuzzy's taco shop in Dallas.
1. How are things going?
Things are going good. Things are always going good. That doesn't mean they're not hard. That doesn't mean things are always going as I planned them to. I'm continuing to do what I have for years. Ya know…doing concerts. And, every now and then, I'll make a record to document the songs. Happy to be here in Texas right now...snowy Texas. I never thought I'd put those two words together!
2. I think your last album, "Underneath", was your best overall collection. Do you ever feel pressure to make the next album as good as the last one?
I don't know that I feel pressure…but you're always wondering if you have anything else to say. I guess you're always hoping to grow as a person and grow as an artist. I am kinda glass-half-empty more than I would like it to be. I go, do I have stuff to say? Am I still growing? I know I dumped more into this last record than I think I have before. I am not slighting any of my previous records. Each time you do one you feel like you dumped your whole self into it. But with this one, I can't imagine dumping more than I did. So I go, can I do that again? Will I get the opportunity to? Will the Lord see fit for me to do another record? Will it be the best decision for my family? So those are all the questions. So it's not necessarily pressure…but definitely questions.
3. You're in the upcoming film 'Ragamuffin', based on the life of Rich Mullins. How did it feel to dive into all that again, particularly knowing how painful your recovery was.
Parts of it were hard, but, really, I don't think it was very difficult for me to do it. I've always wondered why I don't seem to be grieving, or having a hard time with things, like other people are. I went to the movie's premier, and so many people were impacted by the movie. It was powerful for them and it was so hard for them to watch some of it. Afterward I heard from people, over and over, "Wow that must have been so hard for you to do that. It was so brave of you to be in that...the filming of some of the stuff in there". And really, it wasn't. Sometimes I found myself asking, what is wrong with me, what is wrong with me? I talked to a friend of mine who is a psychology professor out at Fuller seminary in California. And I was telling him about this. And he said "Well I don't find that odd at all. There's nothing wrong with you." He said "When the wreck happened, it hit people hard. But the next day they went to the grocery store. You've been dealing with this every day for the last 16 years. So the movie is not going to hit you as something you haven't been experiencing all along. It's hard for these people because they're experiencing it all over again." Some of the stuff Rich said, which I heard often in concert, didn't hit me like it hit people who had never heard it before or were hearing it again for the first time. The wreck scene was so hard for people that were experiencing it like new, some 16 years later. But it's been with me…it's nothing new. I was very close to the filming process. So as i was watching the film, I found myself going "Oh Ok I remember this. Or oh so that is how that scene was pieced together." And then of course I was very close to the actual events. So I watched the movie from a different viewpoint than a lot of people. This movie wasn't really for me, anyway. So I don't deserve to have much of an opinion on it. I'm just grateful that it's impacting people and moving people. Is it accurate? No. There's plenty of it that's not accurate. But is it true. Yes, the essence of the movie is spot on. I was talking to a friend, and it came up…would Rich want a movie about him to be accurate or to have an impact on people. He would want it to impact people…I have no doubt that would be his answer. Well, that's what it's doing. The essence of the movie is spot-on true. It's just trying to tell Rich's story in 2 hours…things have to be finagled a little bit. So it was hard, and emotion would sneak up on me when I least expected it. But I guess it wasn't any more difficult than several things that I do each day.
4. So that ties into my next question, which is, did you feel the movie painted an accurate depiction of Rich's life?
The timeline was fudged with a good bit. They had a monumental task to turn it into a two hour movie and they did an unbelievable job. It's a great piece of creative accomplishment. I wish the lighter side of Rich's personality had come through a bit more. But when I think about it, I go, well, not only did they have to squash the movie chronologically, but they had to do that with Rich's personality, too. The message they were trying to communicate called for certain aspects of Rich's personality to be focused on more than others. I think everyone needs to remember, or realize, that Rich is much much more than this movie. And, for me, the timeline sequence, and the ages of different people in the story, don't make sense. But I don't think the person watching the movie, and being impacted by it, is really concerned about that. I don't think they care. The movie is definitely revolving around Rich, his struggles, his relationship with God. And, therefore, the movie is revolving around God, and God's relationship with all of us. It's dealing with God's relentless pursuit of us. So some of the accuracy gives way to that theme…and that's for the best.
5. Was it fun playing yourself onscreen?
I don't think it was fun…(laughing)…I mean, I don't even know if it's fun playing myself…in real life…every day! But I'm grateful. I'm grateful to get to breathe this day and to have experiences I get to have this day. It was cool to get to be a small part of the movie making process. To get to see what goes one. I knew nothing about it. All the ins and outs. I'll tell you what...I don't know what real acting would be like. Now, some people talk about me also being an actor, and I go, "What?? I was playing myself! Does that even count??" So you know, It was nothing. There were certain instances when I was recounting, and would say to myself, "I remember this real event we're trying to get down here" So it wasn't really acting at all. A lot of it was just thinking back to what it was…and kind of reliving things. That was the extent of my acting: Reliving!
6. I've often heard that people getting into acting either love it or hate it. Are we going to see you in any future film roles? Any academy awards headed your direction?
Well if we use my music career as a reference, I would say there are no academy awards on the horizon!! I don't know if you could I was bit by the bug…but I do think it is a viable medium that I'd be up for exploring. But like I said I didn't feel like a real actor. Who knows what lies ahead…
7. Are you currently working on your next full length record? Any idea about when we might see it?
It seems I am always working on the next record…though i never know if there will be a next record. Does that mean that I have any songs? No. But you're always working on ideas. I always have a bunch of "in-process" songs…carrying around a bag of melodies, chords, and phrases. I have no idea of when the next one will happen, or, IF it will happen. I know that there are no tangible plans for it to happen in the next, say, 4 months. Beyond that, who knows?
8. I know you wrote a couple of songs for the 'Ragamuffin' soundtrack, including a song that was supposed to have been written by Rich. Did you make a conscious effort to try and capture a 'Rich' vibe while writing it?
Well...eventually, I approached it as a co-write. It's a song called 'Danger'…in the original script, it was a song that Rich, and the character Justin, were working on. So it's kinda written from Rich's viewpoint. After I read through the script the very first time, long ago…I wanted to document some of my feelings, and some of what I felt Rich's feelings would be, in a song. I just needed to document some of the thoughts and get those down. This was before they talked to me about doing anything for the movie. I didn't know Schutlz was gonna ask me to write a song or a specific purpose in the movie. I had no intentions of it becoming anything in the movie, but it did. Though the whole script changed…(laughing)…and so the song has no spot in the movie….(laughing). But it's in the very tail end of the credits, which is, ya know, whatever. The other song merely ended up on my last record…that's it . So I am grateful.
9. You're about to kick off a new spring tour. Who's traveling with you and how many stops so far?
How many stops so far? Tomorrow is concert number 2 out of…50 spring concerts, something like that. Probably about 90% of the time I'll be solo. The rest of the time Dave Sprinkle will be playing with me. Multi-instrumentalist. Bass player, percussion player, keyboard player, guitar player. He is great. Very talented. Awesome to have around. HIs strongest characteristic is his ability to go with the flow…in music…and in life.
10. Any specific message or theme that you're trying to convey to the audience during this new tour?
I'm sure there is...I just don't know what it is yet. I know, last night, I blabbed about a lot of stuff that I hadn't talked about before. A lot of times you just have to be receptive to what you'll be led to say. You have to be open and pay attention to what's going on in you and around you…and soon the message or the theme will become evident. It always happens. I don't even know that I have a very good idea heading into it of what that might be. There are the big things that I hang onto. The faithfulness of God persisting though our rough difficult stuff. There is nothing we can do good, nothing we can do bad, that can alter our standing before the Lord. That kind of stuff. That Jesus saves me from myself. That I'm completely trying to live in the kingdom of God and, then, how that goes against living in our society, and living in our culture. So those are some things that...whatever message I have, whatever songs I have, whatever I have to say…hopefully will come out of who I am. I have one pool to draw from. And everything I do comes from that pool…whether that's folding clothes, dropping my kids off at school, doing a concert, or, you name it. I have one pool to draw from. Like brother Lawrence said "Do all things unto God" Those are words that have become kind of cliche, but if you mull those over that's a big big thing.
10. How's the family doing?
They're doing great! Brooklyn is 8 years old now and in 2nd grade. Payson is 3 years old and raising hell…(laughing)…he's a little ball of everything and I'm grateful to get to be a part of his life. He's super smart and he's a lot to keep track of. Both my kids are wonderful teachers and I love how they've made me more me. My wife Paula and I are just trying to keep up with the kids, and uh, my family is super supportive of me doing all this. I miss them a lot. I'm always, speaking of questions regarding my music career, I'm always asking myself, is this worth it? Is being gone from my family worth it? Though it's not a one-verses-the-other kinda thing, the question remains. Most all of the time I can say, yes, and then there are times I have to say…I don't know.
11. What's been the biggest challenge of being a father/husband that spends so much time on the road?
Just not being there for various things. Ya know, for the daddy/daughter breakfast. It's not like I miss a lot of stuff, all the time. I'm there for a lot of things, but when I do miss, that's hard. It's being gone and getting a call from Paula telling me that Brooklyn locked the keys in the car…and knowing if I was there, it wouldn't be that big of a deal. But, really, i'm helpless. I am unable to do anything about a lot of situations. It's, uh, a sacrifice for my family. The hard thing is when I say I'm leaving to do concerts. I say "I'll be gone for a few days and I'll see you real soon." Brooklyn says "Daddy don't go...please don't go, don't go!" You know I don't know that that'll ever get easy. Yet when I'm home with my family, I'm pretty much home. Period. I'm a loner…ya know, in my personality. But when I'm home with my family that's not the case. There are times, say, when I'm driving across Alabama in the middle of the night, that it actually gets hard to be alone. But overall it is a really good life. I have really great friends in a lot of places that I go…and that doesn't make it any easier to be away from my family, but there is so much goodness to experience. So the challenges are many and they're different with each day.
12. Do you feel like fatherhood, and the new perspective it brings, has changed anything about the songs you write or record?
Yeah, yeah I know it has. It's difficult for me to put my finger on it. But I know that I like to run each song by Brooklyn, and, soon, Payson too. I know the ones they like are going to be the good songs for me to do and record. They're little kids with short attention spans and I'm old. I want to hear what they have to say. And, also, I want to say stuff that resonates and communicates with them. A lot of times I find myself going "Ok what is this...if Brooklyn and Payson were ever to listen to this song...really listen to it...would this be giving them something substantial, something helpful. Would this be pointing them towards Jesus?" I've been impacted greatly by being a dad and being a husband. That has affected hopefully almost all of my conversations in life and I know it's affected my songwriting.
MARCH 7, 2013: UNDERNEATH, TOUR, RADIO!
Underneath is out! I am extremely pleased with it and I am excited for you to hear it! These days, "out" means that Underneath is available at www.mitchmcvicker.com, on itunes (and other internet digital music sites), and at concerts. There is some in-store distribution that is pending.
This spring, my concert schedule will, once again, have me criss-crossing the country. Hopefully, the Underneath tour will come your way. I would love to see you at a concert.
Thank you all for your gracious support of this my ninth album. I am moved that so many of you decided to partner with me in Underneath's creation process. Now, it just comes down to creating some awareness and getting it out there! When one believes in something, one wants as many people as possible to know about it...and that is definitely the case with Underneath.
In a week or two, "Savior, Savior" will be the first song released to radio for airplay. Who knows what lies ahead? But this is one aspect that could definitely help in creating awareness for Underneath. I will let you all know when "Savior, Savior" is "hitting" radio.
I look forward to our continued partnership and to what Underneath is yet still becoming.
2013: UPDATE ON NEW MUSIC! SUPPORT THE NEW ALBUM ON "KICKSTARTER"!
The time has come to record once again. This new recording will be called "Underneath". Unlike like my last two CDs, which only had a few songs, "Underneath" will consist of 10 songs.
I believe "Underneath" will be my best recording to date. The release date is coming soon. "Underneath" will be out February 22.
Much of this record deals with the practical, earthy truths and the mysterious beauty of the kingdom of God. The songs have been inspired by Jesus' sermon on the mountain, in which he teaches that the kingdom of God does not lie on the surface. And that's the main theme you will find running through "Underneath"
I NEED you in order to make "Underneath". I have started a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds that I will need to pull this off.
I believe in "Underneath". I believe you will like this album and like being a part of it's creation. In making a financial donation in support of "Underneath", you are not merely investing in the record monetarily...you are taking ownership. This is your album. I will do my very best...but this is yours. We are in this together.
I have invested much of myself into "Underneath...creatively, artisistically, musically, and monetarily. This is something I WILL do. But the level to which I am able to do it will be determined by the graciousness of givers. This project is something I HAVE to do. I am compelled to do this, driven to do this, and dare I say, called to do this.
Please go to the side link www.kickstarter.com on the left and consider partnering with me in the creation of "Underneath"
The money that is raised will go towards several things. It will fund using a top of the line studio, a first-class sound engineer, wonderful musicians and their travel expenses, and a great job mixing and mastering the CD. It is going to fund the design, packaging, and physical manufacturing of "Underneath". And, it will make promotional efforts (getting word out about "Underneath") possible.
Nothing that I have mentioned above will be done half-way. I have been entrusted to do this, and like I said, I want to do the best I possibly can. But, this is yours. To one degree or another, we are all walking through the kingdom of God...which is not on the surface...just like this recording.
All of my past records have seemed to have flown under the radar and turned into sort of underground movements. "Underneath" will be no different...I believe this will be the case, more than ever. After all, that is the very theme of the this record.
When the monetary goal is surpassed, it will not only make for a better recording, but it will initiate better marketing and promotion, higher quality manufacturing, and more extensive touring. I will be overwhelmed with gratitude. Yet, I will not be altogether surprised...based upon the level of gracious support I have received in the past! So, once again, what "Underneath" becomes will be determined by your "givingness".
I am recording "Underneath" at Greenjeans Studios in Kansas. I am benefiting from the wonderful musicianship of players; Michael Aukofer, Carter Green, and Dave Sprinkle. I have no doubt that "Underneath" will be as artful and creative as anything I have done...maybe more so. These guys are all accomplished multi-instrumentalists. We are coming together from all over. Michael is coming from his home in Chicago, Carter hails from Kansas, Dave is coming in from his home in Arizona, and I will be coming from Atlanta.
I would be moved to partner with you in the creation of "Underneath". Many of you have been super supportive of me in the past...and I am so very grateful.
I can't wait for "Underneath". Let's create it together. It is quite possible that we are never more like our Creator than when we are creating.
Some Exciting News! - June 2012
Film maker David Schultz, founder of Color Green Films, is directing a full-length feature film on the life of Rich Mullins. The film is called Ragamuffin and will be filmed this summer. Several of the concerts on the summer leg of Mitch McVicker's Walking Through the Dark tour will be used in the filming of the movie. Come to one of these concerts and you just might find yourself in the movie. To learn more about the film visit richmullinsthemovie.com.
Ragamuffin's film crew will utilize approximately a dozen of Mitch's summer concerts to film the movie's various concert scenes. The tour's concert venues and audiences will be used as Ragamuffin's actors, Rich and his band, play a couple songs. The songs will be filmed live and this will all be, in essence, a 20-30 minute opening act.
I am excited to begin…again. Yet, my resolve remains the same. My mission is steadfast. I am undistracted from my purpose. This journey is not new. But now, with "Walking Through the Dark", I am taking a fresh approach. The new CD, and the tour that is coinciding, is the latest installment in my exploration of what it means to live in the Kingdom of God. I look forward to partnering with you on this journey. For, we are all on the same journey. We are all wanting and needing to become more our true-selves and walk through the Kingdom in a real way.
After nearly four years of doing solo concerts, Mitch will be joined onstage by a supporting musician this summer. Dave Sprinkle will play bass, keys, percussion, and guitar. This will add yet another interesting layer to Mitch's already dynamic concerts. You don't want to miss this!
Mitch and Dave's friendship goes back a long way. Dave is a missionary who runs a traveling music school for Navajo and Apache kids in Lakeside, Arizona. This vision was first expressed by Rich Mullins in the years Rich and Mitch were roommates on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico while doing concerts and writing songs together. A traveling music school, on the reservation, never became a reality for Rich. However, Dave and Lisa Sprinkle have brought the vision to life and call the school Hope in Transit. Visit www.hopeintransit.com to learn more about the Sprinkles' ministry.
The Walking Through the Dark tour will also feature Cadee. Her debut CD, Sew in the Seems, produced by McVicker, showcases Cadee's youthful, yet mature, songwriting and singing, and her classically-trained piano playing. You can find out more about Cadee at her website, www.cadeemusic.com
Grace like dewdrops
Covering my soul up
Rustlin’ the leaves whisperin’ to me
I see it in the silver lining around the clouds,
I hear it in the wind, it’s callin’ my name
And I believe in you
I believe you believe in me too
The whole world would believe
If only, only all could see
Sunday July 3, 2011 -
Walking Through The Dark - check out the bio link for more info on this project!
Monday, September 6, 2010 -
Here it is, Everything Shines!
I am trying something new. I just released a mini-CD called Everything Shines. It is a 3-song CD, and it is not a "pre" to something bigger. It is its own thing. Sonically, it is as good as the longer CDs I have done in the past. Everything Shines, is made up of three new songs that I have no intention of recording again. So, there is nothing more coming, except for the next mini-CD.
I am still on the Always Believe Tour. Always Believe is still my "new record". But now there is a bonus...Everything Shines.
This is my new approach. Instead of waiting three years to record 12 songs on a long CD, I am going to record 3-song mini-CDs every nine months. For me, and hopefully for those of you that come to concerts and listen to my music, it will keep things more vibrant. There will be no lull or waiting period for the "next thing". The next thing will always be happening. (and, not to mention, a lot cheaper) It is my intention to have new recorded music every year. The concerts I do are always morphing, changing and growing, and now the CDs I record will be a reflection of that as well.
I think this is a closer representation of God's activity in our lives. With God, the next thing is constantly happening. God is always at work on us...ever-molding us, ever-shaping us, ever-making us. Sure, we can settle into the mundane and take it all for granted, but then we are not taking advantage of the opportunity and the gift that the Grower and Giver graces us with. But as we become our true-selves, the "next thing" is a constant.
So here it is! Everything Shines.
It is my prayer that I will always believe that everything shines. This record is the next successive step. After listening rather intently, one listener said that "Renovate Me", the opening song on Everything Shines, is a continuing thought of "Fifteen Minutes", the opening song on Always Believe. I smiled.
Everything Shines is my most recent "new record"...with more to come
Peace of Christ
THURSDAY, AUGUST 27, 2009 -
The time has come! Always Believe
Always Believe will be released on September 8 (I know, I know…nothing like letting you know at the last minute…but I wanted to make sure everything was lined up and going to happen for sure).
I have never been more excited about a CD, and the possibilities that come with it’s release. It has taken a while, but everything has come together in a way for this to truly be a great situation.
Always Believe will be released through Out of the Box Records and distributed by Bema Direct. As of Sept. 8, it will be available at all concerts and at mitchmcvicker.com (which is being revamped as we speak, and will reflect the themes of Always Believe very soon) It will be available at major Christian bookstores (and many not-so-majors…as I would have it no other way) and on all internet digital music sites (such as itunes, etc) by mid to late September.
As I said, I am excited. This CD means a ton to me. I believe in the songs. I believe in their message. I believe in the music. I believe in the artwork. I believe in the making of the whole thing. The recording process was a beautiful experience filled with hard work and creativity. The process of God-making-us was laced through the whole project.
Always Believe was my first crack at producing. I co-produced it with my great friend Michael Aukofer. We decided to record in a small, but stunning, studio in the little rural Kansas town of Wellington. It was the most creative process I have ever been a part of.
Always Believe’s first radio single, “Goodness”, will be released in a couple weeks. You can support the cause by contacting your local, or favorite, station and requesting the song. As I have come to find out, and many of you also know, getting a song played at radio is a huge, steep mountain to climb.
On a side note…heirchex.com posted Alway’s Believe’s “15 Minutes” on it’s website a few weeks ago. This makes it available to radio stations in heirchex’s network to download and play. I am unsure as to how much this has been happening, but I am grateful for their support. So who knows? You may hear both “15 Minutes and “Goodness”
On September 10, I will begin the Always Believe Tour, which will coincide with the release of the CD. I would love to see any and all of you at a concert somewhere along the way.
You do what you can, ya know? I am just trying to remain faithful to what the Lord is doing in me…and keep moving forward. From the start, my prayer for this record has been that it would be a kingdom success. That seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? But probably only in as much as it is vastly different from what the world calls successful.
Let me say it again, I am excited about Always Believe. I can’t wait to share it with you. We are all in this together. I couldn’t do any of this apart from your support and your prayers.
Peace of Christ
* BRAND NEW VIDEO - "UNDERNEATH" *