Crosswalk.com Music Editor Matt Turner recently interviewed Natalie and Phillip LaRue.

Matt: Now you're just getting off the Rebecca St. James tour right?

Natalie: Yeah.

Matt: How'd that go?

Phillip: It went pretty good. I mean, the crowds were really good, and it was kind of like our first official tour. We went on a tour in the fall of 1999 with New Song, and it was more of a contemporary kind of directed tour, so it was neat for us to be on a different kind of tour. It was good to be with Rebecca. We like Rebecca's family.

Natalie: I think that was the best part of the tour. There was no competition or anything stupid like that. It was just everybody goofing off and having fun. There wasn't a whole lot of stress on that tour. I think that was what made it most enjoyable.

Matt: Well, guys, your new album comes out in a week or so. It's about time, I'm sure.

Natalie: Yes, it is about time.

Matt: What are you most excited about with this album?

Phillip: I think I'm excited to see ...

Natalie: The people's reaction.

Phillip: Yeah, the people's reaction. I'm excited to see our fans and what they think about it. I think that the album is more mature.

Matt: Lyrically, it's unbelievable. There's a depth to it that your debut didn't have. Not that it wasn't deep, but there's a definite spiritual depth to this album that is extremely evident.

Phillip: That's what we hope.

Natalie:Because we feel like we've changed this whole last year. We've learned so much, we've grown so much. It feels like our eyes have been opened in every aspect. I hope that that came out on the record -- not to dis the old record. We loved it. It was perfect for our debut, and all that, but a lot of the songs on there are, like, what, three years ...

Phillip: Four years old.

Natalie: So to have this record where all the songs we had written in the past year. And everything's fresh and new, and Phillip and I really just wanted to be bold about what we've learned and the experiences that we went through during this past record. Just because it's made us who we are now. So why not be bold about that?

Phillip: I think I'm excited, too, to see all the doors that open from it, or whatever, because I just feel like, I can't explain it really, but deep down in my heart, I feel like God has some good things in store for it. I think that it's good because the audience will grow with us. I think it's a step for us, and I hope they think it's a step in the right direction. A lot of sophomore project are discouraging or like, "I expected something different." Our goal in this CD was to stretch to where musically and lyrically we could be more mature, but not to go overboard to where people were like, "What happened to them?"

Natalie: We didn't want to shock the audience.

Matt: What I'm so impressed with is that instead of going to what the market desires as far as, like, a pop record, you've made more of a rock record. I mean, it definitely has a pop feel to it, but my question is, was there any pressure from the record company to come out with the shiny pop?

Natalie: Totally. Our record label's actually pretty good, but in the beginning process they were so nervous, because it's dependent on us to write the songs and that's the kind of stance we take. That's the kind of hill we die on, my dad says. We don't let anyone else write for La Rue.

Phillip: They were kind of nervous. It started happening actually right when the first record came out.

Natalie: They were like, "OK guys, write songs for the new one now."

Phillip: Yeah, write songs, and we were kind of nervous, because we try not to think about what to write or how to write ...

Natalie: ... a good pop single.

Phillip: But obviously, you have to think about things, you can't just ignore the industry and do your own thing, so you have to keep things in line. We just try to write good songs that represent out heart.

Matt: You're doing a lot more singing together. Were you attempting to do that? It seems like there are a lot more harmonies. There's a lot less solo, letting Natalie sing solo.

Natalie: Yeah, I think we didn't "do" it, but subconsciously, I guess it really kind of symbolizes another step we've taken in writing, and we're unified as far as, like, when we write a song now. It's almost, it's not mechanical, but it's like a system now where we get down, and there's not a whole lot of fights. It just kind of happened, and I think it kind of shows to us how we've grown this past year with each other. It's not about one or the other, it's all about together and how we cooperate together.


Continue to Part 2