Third Day Band’s Mac Powell Talks About New Album Move In Interview The Recording Process & Fan Response – Revelation Cry Out To Jesus Born Again Children Of God


third day MOVE

He’s simply walking through the parking lot of the Murray Arts Center, an unassuming guy in black jeans and shades.

But still, there is that aura, something in his gait, maybe the longish hair, that radiates Somebody Famous.

As he walks, a middle-aged man approaches.

“You’re Mac, right?”

“I am, yes. And what’s your name?”

And so goes a cordial minute-long conversation between Mac Powell, lead singer of Third Day, and a random fan.

It happens frequently around metro Atlanta that the members of one of Christian music’s most popular and successful bands get recognized doing mundane tasks.

But that’s to be expected when you’re year-old inductees into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame and have won four Grammy Awards and sold more than 7 million albums.

On Oct. 19, Third Day releases its 11th album, “Move,” which the band recorded at its new Kennesaw studio, nicknamed The Quarry partially because of the actual quarry nearby, but also because the band thought, this is where the rock comes from.

Last week, positioned in a recording studio at the arts center, the quartet — Powell, drummer David Carr, bassist Tai Anderson and guitarist Mark Lee — talked excitedly for an hour about the freedom of working in their own studio, the gospel-rock elements on “Move” and their upcoming tour.

“Move” is Third Day’s first release since guitarist Brad Avery, a member for 13 years, departed, an occurrence that naturally affected the band’s dynamic.

“From a musical standpoint, it’s been interesting because the four of us started the band and he came in a year and a half after that. So in a way, this album is more of a return to our musical roots — a Southern, American-rock record,” said Anderson.

“When Brad left, it was a big crossroads for us musically,” added Lee. “We talked about, do we need to have somebody else in there because they’re big shoes to fill. But the decision was, let’s don’t. So we did a few shows to see how it sounded and from the first show — yes, it was a little rocky — everybody felt like they needed to step up more. So it helped to improve us as a band, how we interact musically.”

Along with recording at a central location where they could work the closest they ever have to a traditional 9-5 schedule and have breakfast and dinner with their families every day (all of them have kids), the guys believe that their recognition by the Hall of Fame served as inspiration.

“I don’t know how much (the induction) means to our fans outside of Georgia, but we’re so proud to be from here. We tell people every night onstage, whether we’re in Slovakia or Australia or Birmingham, Ala., where we’re from,” said Powell. “That’s something that comes through in our music.”

Anderson agreed, but noted that in the past, the band, which has an international fan base, might have reined in any sounds that were too Southern rock.

This time, though, “It was like, let’s let our Georgia flag fly a little bit.”

The album features haunting background vocals from the Blind Boys of Alabama on “Lift Up Your Face” and a sumptuous choir to complement Powell’s muscular vocals on “Follow Me There.”

The songs fit perfectly under the banner of gospel rock, a category that is a slight departure from Third Day’s usual pop-rock leanings.

“Gospel is an easier word for people to digest than Christian sometimes,” said Carr. “I think a lot of people think they know what we do and then we have to validate it a little bit.”

The band won’t necessarily have to worry about validating itself to the crowds attending the “Make a Difference Tour,” a monthlong outing with Michael W. Smith, TobyMac, Jason Gray and author/preacher Max Lucado that starts this week in Ohio.

The idea behind the tour is to challenge churchgoers to be better Christians and, said Anderson, change the world for the better.

Since Third Day has existed for almost 20 years, that translates into a robust and dedicated fan base.

The band works diligently to return that loyalty with frequently updated Facebook and Twitter feeds, special online listening parties and chats and, coming soon, a catalog of all of their past live shows available for streaming.

But, what about expanding that fan base, of crossing into the mainstream to court radio play and late-night talk show appearances?

It’s a topic the band has discussed, argued and prayed about for years.

And the answer is now firm.

“We’re a band that yes, we make great music, but we also communicate a faith message and that’s why our fans love us,” said Anderson. “I think it’s never a successful formula with any genre of music to abandon your core to try to have greater success. The real successes aren’t the crossovers, but the spillovers.”

2 Comments to “Third Day Band’s Mac Powell Talks About New Album Move In Interview The Recording Process & Fan Response – Revelation Cry Out To Jesus Born Again Children Of God”

  1. I went to their move concert and it was amazing!!!

  2. I wanted to go to that concert. I’ve heard good things.

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