Thursday, November 16, 2017

Needtobreath Interview with Seth Bolt: The Extras

Needtobreathe at the Mud Island Amphitheater in Memphis, TN


Back in August, I had a chance to interview Needtobreathe bassist and vocalist Seth Bolt about the band's history and current tour. You can read the official interview - "Needtobreathe finds success in the space between mainstream and gospel"
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It's a tight piece and well-edited, but that editing for the magazine meant a lot of streamlining, and there's material from the interview I knew a lot of you would want. So here's a bit more. Call it the special features edition!

Seth Bolt
On Meeting Bruce Springsteen: We did meet Bruce Springsteen when we were touring with Taylor Swift, back in 2011, and he was…the coolest dude of all time. He’s just…down to earth. He kinda saw us, over near the side, backstage at a Taylor Swift concert, it can be chaotic, and have a lot of overzealous fans, super young fans – which is probably different from what it’s like at a Springsteen show – we were up, near the front, and he came over and started talking to us, asked what was going on, and we had a great conversation. He’s genuine and heartfelt, interested in what we were doing, signed a guitar for us, it was a really cool thing. 

On the Pressure to Be More or Less Christian: Luckily, we haven’t felt pressure to be more mainstream or more Christian, more spiritual. Everyone just lets us do what we want to do, and I think for that reason what we’ve done, because it’s genuine, hasn’t really fits in either box that well. And we get push-back from both sides. We’re told that our music, that it’s not Christian enough – which, that’s fine. But then, without a doubt there’s discrimination against our band from the mainstream, because of that label, and because some people see a label, and that’s it. They’re like, “not for me.” I think that’s the one reason why we’ve never categorized ourselves as a Christian band, it’s pushes people off and what we love about music is its power to bring people together. 

That’s the beauty of it. In any given night, you can have people from both sides of the political aisle, from every walk of life, rich, poor, different backgrounds, but music brings us all together. Even though we’ve tried to, sort of, shed the label, it has stuck around, so we’re fine with it but we’re here to make music for everybody. We kind of ask people to put aside anything they’ve heard about the band and make their own decision. 
On their Songwriting Process: Bear and Bo Rineheart are the principle songwriters and they are…prolific. I’m sort of the studio guy who tries to capture it, but they write, like, a million different songs every day, just take turns like that. And since Josh Lovett’s joined the band, too, about six years ago, we’ve had a good process. Bear and Bo are still writing the songs, but we’re speaking to them and it’s a really cool thing to be a part of. 

Needtobreathe, the band.

Our stories have been united for a long time, but now that we’re having all these unique experiences outside of music with starting families and everything, we’re able to bring all that back, and push all of it onto the table when it comes time to talk about what we want to say.

On Why Cages was Released Later: We recorded [Cages] shortly after we performed it for the first time – I don’t know, it’s kind of a wild thing. We recorded the song live, thinking it was gonna be on Hardlove, the proper album, and then as we wrote more and more songs, we got to a point where we were trying to figure out how to still put it on the album, but we also didn’t want to have an album that was 16 songs long, in an age where singles are kind of the thing and they have a song or two patience for an artist, people aren’t listening to albums front to back as much as they were. 

I feel like our fans still do that, but we didn’t want to release a marathon, so we did have to cut it from the record which is  why we’re releasing it now – we still love the song and want it to be out there. 



Advice to Younger Bands: Be yourself. There’s a lot of things you can look at to try to emulate or copy or whatever, people just want to hear you do you. 


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