20 Things You Probably Didn't Know About: Jars of Clay
- Tuesday, November 30, 2004
It’s been 11 years since four Greenville College students put their heads together on their first loop-laden song “Fade to Grey.” But instead of fading away, Jars of Clay’s future remains bright as the band puts the finishing touches on its seventh as-yet-untitled hymns album for a Spring 2005 release on Essential Records.
With all the attention Dan Haseltine, Matt Odmark, Stephen Mason and Charlie Lowell have received over the years, is there anything you haven’t been told about these perennially popular guys? After conferring with Dan and Matt, the answer is, “Yes.”
20. "Flood"-ed with Options
There have been many arrangements of Jars’ 1995 hit “Flood,” including one short-lived incarnation with a “lounge-jazz” bridge. “The looks of sheer puzzlement on the faces of our audience were priceless,” laughs Matt.
19. Happy to Be There
Among their favorite places to play, Matt votes for the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. Dan lists Irving Plaza in New York City and Stubbs’ BBQ in Austin, Texas, as well as pretty much anywhere in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Boston.
18. Dan Turns "Evil"
As his 3-year-old son, Noah, swoops into his superhero phase of life, Dan often finds himself playing the evil nemesis. Translation: “I get hit with swords, sprayed with squirt guns and beaten down a lot.” The proud dad adds, “I would not have it any other way.”
17. The Reel World
“I do a little fishing when I can,” confides Matt, who claims to be guilty of having one too many hobbies. “And if I’m really honest, it is mostly an excuse to spend an afternoon with Charlie, as we rarely catch any fish.”
16. Novel Idea
Inspired by author Anne Lamott ("Bird by Bird", "Traveling Mercies"), Dan is slowly writing a novel.
15. They Just Said, "No."
When Jars was looking for a producer for its first album, the band was turned down by Tommy Sims (CeCe Winans, Rachael Lampa) and Wayne Kirkpatrick (Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith) before things clicked with Adrian Belew (King Crimson, Talking Heads). Now friends with both “snubbers,” the Jars guys like to occasionally remind the producers of their decisions.
14. Ultimate Conflict Resolution
After more than a decade together, the guys in Jars rarely get into conflict. “We have reached a near-perfect homeostasis amongst the band and crew,” Dan professes.
13. Applause For Aaron Sands
“(Bass player) Aaron has been the spiritual glue for the band for nearly nine years,” praises Dan. “His heart and passion for truth, social justice and authenticity of faith have been vital to everything Jars has put its hand to.”
12. Banging the Drum for Joe Porter
“Joe Porter can build or fix about anything,” marvels Dan. “He is as skilled a carpenter and mechanic as he is a drummer. I’m fascinated by people like that.” And he adds, “I call him when I need to change a light bulb.”
11. 1000 Wells
Compelled to make a difference in third-world countries, Jars founded Blood: Water Mission. The first effort of this non-profit organization is the 1000 Wells Project, which officially launches in Spring 2005, with the goal of raising funds to build, rebuild and repair 1000 wells in urban and rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa. (Visit bloodwatermission.com)
10. America Revisted
Some find it surprising that Jars covered America’s hit “Lonely People” on its current album, "Who We Are Instead." The guys say they would have recorded it years ago if they had known the cheer that rises from the audience when they sing, “This is for all the lonely people.”
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