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Pillar exclusive interview
[ purple door 2003 | august 15, 2003 ]

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cMW: I am sure many people know by now that you have signed a mainstream record deal. Of course, that brings up the question in people's minds, "Is that going to change your music?" So, what is different and/or the same with Pillar going mainstream?
Kalel: Pretty much everything is exactly the same on our end, nothing has changed. We played some mainstream shows before we were on the See Spot Rock tour. We have done some club dates way before when we were indies still. We will play anywhere. We have always had that motto. We will play anywhere, any place. We don't care. Because our message in our hearts and everything we stand for is going to stay the same no matter where we go.
cMW: Is this something that you wanted from the start? How did this come about?
Kalel: No, it just happened. We never tried to get on a mainstream label. We just went out and did what we did and if it happened, it happened. And it ended up happening for us. Absolutely nothing has changed, though. Everything else is pretty much the same. I mean actually we decided to do a headline tour this Fall. I don't know if it is confirmed yet, but I am pretty sure if it is going to happen it will be us and we are going to have Skillet open up, and Disciple and maybe Spoken. That would be this October and November.

cMW: Tell us something about one of the bands that happened on the See Spot Rock tour.
Kalel: The thing that stands out the most is on one of the last dates we stole Relient K's big plastic buffalo.
cMW: Dermike!!
Kalel: When they first loaded it in the morning, our bus driver took it and hid it in the building. It was a big building. And then later on we really hid it, and hung it upside down and duct taped it to a pole like we went hunting. And they were all freaking out because they thought it was gone. Then during the set we walked out with it on our shoulders. It was pretty funny.

cMW: Now the mainstream remix just came out. Do you have any plans for a new album?
Kalel: No we don't. We have been writing. We have a new song that we have been playing. We have some other ideas. We are going to be writing a lot probably this winter, and hoping to be ready to record any time in 2004 as early as we can. We are hoping to somehow release a short EP to our fans by the end of the year, but we have to go through all the legal hoops to make that happen. We want to try to get a new song out to them now, and hold them over until that album comes out.

cMW: Is there any theme that has started to form for the album?
Kalel: No, because right now we just have a lot of music written. Rob writes all the lyrics himself and he has all of the ideas in his head. Right now I am just aware of a lot of music. We have a lot of riffs and a lot of song ideas, but not so much a lyrical theme yet. I am sure Rob is racking his brain, though. He will be working on it.

cMW: cMusicWeb's current theme is "A Different Approach to Music." How does Pillar fit into that?
Kalel: I don't know if we do things so much different, it is just what we do. We try to do our best at everything we do. We have always been hardworking and trying to come up with new ideas. We play as hard as we can and put as much into it as possible. I think maybe lyrical content, our stuff is a little bit different than most. Even Christian bands, there is a little bit stronger message I think. Bolder maybe, not so abstract in our music than a lot of other Christian bands, let alone the mainstream bands.

cMW: A lot of people say that music should have a high "Jesus" factor. If it is Christian music and it does not have a high "Jesus" factor, then they should not be playing it. What do you think of that?
Kalel: If someone were to ask us if we are a Christian band, I mean there are bands out there that just say, "No. We are just Christians." I don't care about that. If someone calls Pillar a Christian band, I don't care. I know what our hearts are and what our music stands for and what we are trying to do with it. I think that our music is just music. You don't have to say it has to have Jesus in it because it is Christian music. People can call it what they want. To us it is just music. God is in our hearts and He shines through in our music. It still touches people. I don't think having Jesus in a song is bad. I think that is good and it touches a lot of people. But I think our music touches people that the other music can't touch. There are people who think that music is cheesy and don't want to listen to it just because it has Jesus so many times. We don't consciously say, "Let's not put Jesus in a song, it is just how it comes out." What God has called on our hearts to write. We are touching people that they cannot touch with their approach. But I think the two of us working together is touching everybody.
cMW: Yes. God leads people in different directions. If you could do something to take away the difference between mainstream and Christian music, how would you do it? Or would you?
Kalel: I would definitely do it, but I don't think there is one thing that can be done that is not being done right now. Especially Christian rock bands, a lot of the new ones are really good. Bands are getting better and better. Even with some of the bands now, there is a fine line between the mainstream sound and the Christian rock bands. They are starting to get so much better. After a while I think all of the mainstream labels are going to end up taking all of the really good Christian bands and all of the bands will be on major labels. I think eventually over the next ten years it will evolve that way. We will all just be one thing. Except for the worship bands. I think they will still have their own thing.
cMW: I heard Jon Foreman of Switchfoot once say generally that ultimately, whatever record label you are on, many of them are owned by another record company that has a mainstream label.
Kalel: I think the mainstream labels will buy them all out after a while. Because Christian music is the only genre making money in the music industry.

cMW: Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?
Kalel: Thanx for all the support and we have got a lot of things planned for this Fall and 2004, so just keep checking our website.
- Kim Flanders
October 2002
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