In the CD interviews column, instead of sharing a reviewer’s thoughts about a project, we interview the artist to get the artist’s own thoughts. Our family has taken the structure and adapted it into a 8-1 format: a question from each member of our family for one singer. In this edition, Scott Fowler of Legacy Five shares some insightful thoughts about their upcoming album, Great Day.
David: What is Legacy Five looking for when you go to Lari Goss to produce a project?
Scott: I’m looking for the very distinct “high church” sound that Lari Goss produced music gives. Big orchestral ballads especially. Nobody does those like Lari. You need certain songs and certain arrangements at certain points in your live performance. When you need a big, moving ballad…Lari is the man!
Kris: Being a Lari Goss project, did that make recording vocals for Great Day more intense?
Scott: ABSOLUTELY. He makes you sing STRING parts much of the time. I always hear, “Ok Fowler…now your going to be a viola on this part”. It’s a very different approach to vocals….and it is very hard, which is probably why most groups don’t even attempt it. Every time we do a Lari recording, I promise myself I’ll never do it again…..then a few years later, I return back to the torture chamber to take my medicine.
Ben: Who picked out the songs for your CD?
Scott: I did. I probably listened to about 200 songs looking for the ones I felt strong about. That’s pretty typical on most every recording.
Taylor: How do you see the songs — particularly “He Heals” and “Only the Living” — ministering to your audiences?
Scott: It’s interesting that you ask about these two songs in particular. They are the “heaviest” songs on the entire recording, that’s for sure. It’s always hard to know how folks are gonna embrace these kinds of songs.
“Only the Living” is a song about the subject of dying. Obviously not a fun topic to think about. But, it’s the one thing every person at every concert has in common. We have all had or will have to say goodbye to someone that we love. But as this song says, if we are saying goodbye to a Christ Follower, then “only the living regret the leaving. It’s only the one’s left behind who cry. Only the living, no shadows of grieving, but there is joy on the other side.” So, I think this song will do great and will encourage our audience as it reminds us that the dearly departed are not crying….unless it’s tears of JOY!
Concerning, “He Heals.” Everyone needs to go to our blog and read the story behind this song. It will shed great light on these amazing lyrics. Suffering, questions, doubt, resentment, anger….these are emotions we will all likely encounter at some point in our walk with God if we live long enough and experience enough heartache. One of the most challenging issues is how to reconcile great suffering for the believer. Especially when it comes to health related illness or accidents that adversely alter our lives forever. That’s exactly what the writer of this song was challenged to do when her 20 year old son, Joey fell asleep while driving one day. The resulting crash and devestating injury relegated him to a vegetative state that continues to this day. Joey is now 27. Joey’s dad became angry with God wondering why He was just letting Joey “lay there.” His mom, in an effort to encourage her husband, penned these lyrics . “I know you’re hurt, I know you’re angry, I know you don’t understand. Why you’re here, How did this happen, How can this be part of his plan? Well, I don’t know what he knows, So I can’t tell you why. But I know the love He shows, And His ways confound the wise…and…He heals, broken hearts, broken bodies, broken minds. He heals, by His blood, by His love and in His time.”
You see, Taylor…many of us never see the healing in the sense of a miraculous healing or reversal of the damage done as a result of debilitating sickness or injury. My dad died of cancer when I was 19 years old. My best friend, Roger Bennett died from Leukemia. The list is almost endless, the number of funerals I have attended of people dying before “their time.” Sometimes, God does heal miraculously. But when He doesn’t…..what then? What does that mean? That’s where most of us live. This song addresses that head on. And I think it addresses it in a significant and realistic way. So to finally answer your question…I hope this song will bring enough of an answer to these difficult questions so that the listener trusts God….and doesn’t blame Him when we have to endure the unthinkable.
Leesha: Are there any songs on this project you personally identify with?
Scott: Yes. I really, really identify with “So Many Things To Thank Him For.” Let me tell you a quick story. One night recently, I laid awake in bed and couldn’t seem to fall asleep. As my mind wondered aimlessly, I found myself thinking, “man….I’m laying in a king-sized sleep number bed. I have a wonderful wife next to me. I have two amazing, healthy, happy boys upstairs and they are sleeping soundly in a warm, dry non-sleep-number bed. I have a great “job” doing what I love to do with guys that are incredible to walk thru life with. My tummy isn’t growling. My car runs. My bills are paid. I was born in America. I have great family and wonderful friends. I go to a fantastic church. Most of the food in my fridge still has a valid expiration date. My family are all Christians….man, I’m blessed! This song challenges me to stop concentrating on what I don’t have and focus on being grateful for what I DO HAVE!
Sam: Your Kickstarter campaign was a great success. Could you tell us how it came about, and if were you ever concerned that the funding wouldn’t come through?
Scott: Well Sam, I had been contemplating this concept for quite a few months. I’m not even sure how I stumbled on to kickstarter a few years ago, but I have been “milling” it around for quite some time now. Recording a CD like “Great Day” is very, very expensive. You have a full orchestra to pay. Having a full orchestra means you spend an enormous amount of time mixing which means lots of extra studio time and engineer time. You have to hire a producer to write every single instrument’s part in the orchestra. Lari Goss writes his charts the old-fashioned way…by hand, on staff paper. Then, you have to hire a copyist to put it all in a computer program and get it readable and printable for the players to actually read like a normal piece of music. Then, we wanted a choir, so Trey had to write all the choir parts. He wrote two soprano parts, two alto parts, two tenor parts and one bass part. Lord knows Trey ain’t cheap! Plus you have all the typical expenses of photography, graphic design, mastering, manufacturing the final product, marketing, etc. Another reality is CD sales in every single genre of music has fallen drastically. So, it’s much more difficult to warrant making these expensive CD’s because you can’t sell enough these days to ever recoup your costs. So, I decided to see if the people who love Legacy Five and love our music would want to partner with us to make this type of recording a reality for us. I didn’t really know what to expect. But what I soon found out was that people were loving being a direct part of the process. So for different “pledge” amounts, people got different “rewards.” The L5 choir was a BIG hit and it turned out fantastic! Folks can go here to learn more about what we did on Kickstarter. The money we raised didn’t pay for the entire recording budget, but it sure did help get us a long way down the road!
Jayme: Who came up with the idea for a choir composed of fans on “Christ is Still the King”?
Scott: Well, I actually came up with the idea when I was brainstorming on different creative pledge rewards to offer. I remember thinking how cool it would have been when I was a kid, if I had had the opportunity to sing on a southern gospel recording with my favorite group. So, I decided to find a song on the CD that would work well with a choir and “Christ Is Still The King” is perfect! The choir MADE this song!
Caleb: What was your first impression when you heard “That’s a Hallelujah”?
Scott: The biggest challenge for me when I am listening to songs trying to find 10 to record, is frankly the up-tempo ones. It’s kind of hard for me to find up-tempo songs that actually “say something.” I don’t like songs that are filled with predictable cliché’s. So when I heard, “That’s a Hallelujah” I thought….”yes, here’s a good up tempo song that say’s something.”
TGF: Are you up for a bonus question? We sure hope so! Here it goes:
Caleb: If you could be anyone in the studio but the singer, who would you be?
Scott: I would either be the piano player or the producer. Both seem super fun to me!
David: Finally, is there anything else you would like to say about Great Day?
Scott: When you’re down and out, lift up your head and shout, it’s gonna be a great day.
Angels in the sky promise that by and by, there’s gonna be a great day!
Gabriel will warn you some early morn’ you will hear his horn. Rooty tootin’.
It’s not far away lift up your head and say, it’s gonna be a great day!
Thank you so much for making time out of your busy week to answer our questions, Scott! You will be able to order Great Day though Legacy Five’s website, www.legacyfive.com, when it is released.
Editor’s note: If you’d like to hear one of this album’s songs for yourself, Daywind is holding a giveaway: The first 1,000 to email firstname.lastname@example.org will receive a free mp3 of “Christ is Still the King,” the song with the Kickstarter Choir!