So I like being on a label. I like having a room full of people, all of whom are particularly gifted at things that I am moderately, if at all, gifted at, and whose job it is to help me think through how to connect this music to the marketplace. I like having that team around me.

CCM: But with INO censoring a portion of Stockholm Syndrome, wouldn't being on a label counteract your ability to make open forum records?

Webb:  Not so much. As long as you trust the people you work with, which I do, [the artist/label relationship] can be a really healthy set of checks and balances.

People say, "It's a Christian record label and if they are trying to censor him, maybe he needs to listen." It's not like, because they are a Christian record label, their judgment in matters of spirituality or any more or less sound than my own. That just means we had a business conflict, that they are trying to protect a distribution system that they also have to put Sara Groves, Phillips, Craig & Dean and Sandi Patty through.

As long as I can be aware of who they are, what they're doing, the way they're doing it, then it makes perfect sense to me they would protect their distribution system to the point where they would not want me to include certain songs on my record. It's about money. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's a business. It's not a ministry. It's a business. Christian and secular money is all green.

CCM:  So Christian music, secular music, it's all the same.

Webb:  I don't operate in a reality in which there are such narrow categories, where there is this genre of art that is somehow redeemed, that's even "Christian." "Christian" art seems like a logical impossibility to me. Every artist, regardless of what they believe, leaves fingerprints of their beliefs on the art they make. Every artist, every person, has a way they look at the world to help them make sense of what they see. So you're going to detect that on the art I make.

I'm doing my job best when I give no consideration to those categories. It's healthy, this dance we do, the label and I. The bottom line is, I trust them. I trust Jeff Moseley. I think I have his [trust].

For more info on Derek Webb, visit

© 2009  All rights reserved.  Used with permission. 

**This interview first published on September 10, 2009