Rock and Worship Roadshow adds ministry to music
MercyMe isn't like other bands.
The motive behind their music is ministry, not money.
"We have had an idea in the back of our heads," said bass player Nathan Cochran. "We wanted to do concerts as cheap as possible. Hopefully one day, we'll figure out a way to do it for free."
The band's actions back up its words.
MercyMe is currently the feature act in the Rock and Worship Roadshow, a tour that follows the successful model of Winter Jam. Five acts - MercyMe, Jeremy Camp, Tenth Avenue North, Addison Road, and Hawk Nelson - will take the stage.
"We want to make the concert accessible to everyone," Cochran said. "We try to do a great job as musicians. But the only reason we do this is to try an point people to Christ."
He also enjoys touring with artists from other genres.
"It is great for the big arena shows," Cochran said. "It is fun to have that huge variety of people from every demographic."
Cochran said it is hard for him to pinpoint a favorite song from the current playlist.
"It changes sometimes during the tour," he said. "Right now it is 'You Reign' because we love playing it and we also love the way crowds respond to it."
The song is not entirely original to MercyMe. Stephen Curtis Chapman had written part of the song but it - along with about 40 others - remained unfinished and unrecorded. When the band went into the studio to begin recording their latest CD "All That is Within Me," Chapman offered them the song.
"We finished it out in one day," Cochran said. "It was great the way it came together."
Contemporary Christian music has seen incredible changes since its inception. At first, a few radio stations played an hour of "Christian" music on Sunday mornings. Now, nation-wide stations like K-LOVE and AirOne offer a great vehicle to help bands reach new audiences.
"Those stations are essential for bands like us trying to spread our message," Cochran said. "They have a huge mission field. They reach people we might never come in contact with without them."
Not only is the tour offering fans a chance to see five popular bands for only $10, but it also supports Compassion International and Imagine a Cure. Both organizations support children with medical needs.
For more information about the event, go to www.therockandworshiproadshow.com.
Cochran side project releases new EP
If you just can't get enough MercyMe, Nathan Cochran, the band's bassist has recently released an EP with a side project.
Diving Blind released four songs recently with Cochran as lead singer.
Bart Millard, lead singer for MercyMe, also had a side project that he released last year. Hymned Again features Millard's take on several classic hymns.
Both side projects feature decidedly different musical styles from the band that spawned both artists.
Rock and Worship Road Show tour dates
April 2 - Baton Rouge, La.
April 3 - Dallas, Texas
American Airlines Center
April 4 - Oklahoma City, Okla.
Ford Center Arena
April 5 - Bossier City, La.
April 9 - Denver, Colo.
April 10 - Wichita, Kan.
April 11 - Springfield, Mo.
April 16 - Columbus, Ohio
Value City Arena at the Schottenstein Center