9. Cash Connection
Dan wrote the foreword to Dave Urbanski’s book "The Man Comes Around: The Spiritual Journey of Johnny Cash." You’ll have to pick up a copy to discover Dan’s personal connection to The Man in Black.

8. Thanks, Bono
At this year’s Dove Awards, Bono — via video from Dublin, Ireland — introduced Jars’ performance by mentioning the impact of one of the band’s songs (“Jesus Blood Never Failed Me Yet”) that he’s been listening to for the past year. “Surreal,” describes Matt. “It was humbling,” says Dan. “We look up to Bono as a man who has carried a vision for the gospel in music for a long time. I stood at a recent U2 concert and wept because I was seeing what it looks like when Christians move away from safety and take risks, risks that show a much more relevant and wide side of God’s character.”

7. Surreality Check
Looking back through the years, the guys think their most surreal moment was playing a show with Duran Duran or getting cookies from Lisa Loeb’s mother.

6. No, Wait ...
It was probably watching Sting, clad only in a loincloth, practicing yoga in the courtyard of a Texas amphitheater hours before they were playing a concert together.

5. No, This, Now This Is It ...
Dan talked with Barry Manilow at the Apple Store in Soho (New York City).

4. Surreal (Final Submission)
In Connecticut, they were in a conversation that simultaneously included Miss America, Donny Most (Ralph the Mouth from “Happy Days”), Gary Wright (1976 No. 1 hit “Dreamweaver”) and Dave Mason (1977 hit “We Just Disagree”). Dan surmises, “That doesn’t happen but maybe once every 75 years!”

3. Mapping the Future
While on the road, Dan found an old schoolhouse map from 1920 that shows all the train routes and plane routes in America. “I use it to show my son where I will be going and how close to home or far away I will be.”

2. The Ultimate Retro Worship Album
It’s not surprising that Jars of Clay would consider making a worship project, but what is unexpected is the path the band’s taking. They’re doing a major time warp — and we’re not talking dropping drum loops on “Nothing But the Blood.” We’re talking hymns that are more than 200 years old.

1. Ancient and Timeless
“This has been one of the most inspiring and faith-deepening projects we have ever done together,” muses Dan. “We have taken hymn text from the 18th century, stuff from Europe that had no melodies, and we have constructed songs. The text is so rich. I hope people will love this record as much as we have loved the process and the education behind the creative process.”

© 2004 CCM Magazine.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.  Click here to subscribe.