The Honest Side of Bebo Norman
- Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Bebo: I was just talking to a friend about this. The first single is called “Pull Me Out,” and I've been doing a lot of media for the new album. I told him it's really funny because after an interview, people will thank me for talking about anxiety and say, “Thank you for being brave in that.” That's the word that people use, but it's funny because I'm talking about this weakness of mine after already dealing with most of it. I'm talking from a place of strength about my weakness. I've come through it a bit. The reality is that I'll always be dealing with it to some degree. But if I were to stop in the middle of a song [during] a concert two years ago when I literally thought I was going to die, then I'd be really honest. I couldn't breathe. That's real honesty, because I would be talking about it in the concept of not knowing what to do with it.
I would love to be in the place of being that guy. I don't know if I will ever get there, but that's what I am shooting for. I'm aiming for the day that I can stop in the middle of a song and say, “Hey, I'm feeling insecure” or “I can't breathe right now.” I think [I’m] moving toward vulnerability constantly, especially in my own songwriting, but I still have a long way to go.
CMC: Looking back, were there ever any moments to let the “cat out of the bag” at one of those shows that you felt that way?
Bebo: I was absolutely tempted to do that. In those moments—and this is the craziness of it—I didn't know how to literally do the next song. Honestly, I was struggling so much that I didn't know how to play a song. It was beautiful in the sense that I literally had to pray constantly in the middle of a song to get through it. I know that sounds crazy, but that's literally where I was internally. But what stopped me from saying anything was my insecurity. That's always what stops me. I think that's what stops all of us. I've always wanted to be in control, and I was not in control. So this has been a huge struggle, yet beautiful in a way.
CMC: Can you tell us about this new song, "Britney?" It seems ...
Bebo: [Laughs] I get it, man. Who writes a song about Britney Spears, right? I totally get it. It's an odd thing. I feel very proud to have written this song, and this is why: I really struggled with this song when I wrote it. I was up really late one night, and a news story came on where she was being taken out on a stretcher from her home to a mental hospital, I think. It's a tragic story, but the thing that shamed me was my first response. My gut response was to scoff about it: “Is this another story of Hollywood excess or whatever?” But there was one moment where they zoomed in on her face, and this look paralyzed me. It was of complete confusion or brokenness and being completely gone. This is from a girl who had every accolade the world could throw at her.
I remember being frozen in that moment and, for the first time, having compassion on her. And it's because the look on her face was one I recognized. I've had that face at the dark moments of my life. The response I can imagine Jesus giving to me in that moment is not one of condemnation, but one of “Hey, I'm sorry [about] what this world has done to you, and I'm here.” What we are telling young girls these days is a lie, and this was the first moment I recognized that. So maybe I saw her through the eyes of Jesus for the first time. So that's why I wrote it.
So I sat down in my study that night, and I wrote a 15-minute song, apologizing for everything I could think of. We had to narrow it down to a normal sized song, but I didn't play it for anyone for three months. Again, who writes a song about Britney Spears? Finally, literally the day before we went in to track the record, my friend who produced the record convinced me to play it. I did, and he said that he felt it belonged on the album. We recorded it the next day, and that's been the process.
Recently on Music
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content