After Four Years, Out of the Grey Returns
- Updated May 23, 2002
J MAN: After a four-year hiatus without any new music, you suddenly appeared on Rocketown Records. How did that come about?
Scott: What is a hiatus? Was it four years?
J MAN: That's what it said in your bio.
Scott: Why are you talking to us? You've got the bio! We don't want bio questions! I'm kidding.
Rocketown was something that I had admired from afar for a long time. I had known Don Donahue, president of Rocketown Records, personally for a few years. When Christine and I first came on the scene, Don was the A&R guy at Reunion, and he heard our music 10 years ago and passed on us.
[We] loved Chris Rice's music. It's [Rocketown is] a singer/songwriter-based label, and it seemed like a great fit.
We met with Don one afternoon, and about six weeks later they invited us along. And as far as our career, we were thrilled to be invited anywhere.
It's a natural progression, the life of a recording artist. Some have a really long career, and put us in that category. If you're making albums, going on the road, touring, and writing songs for more than a couple years, you're doing okay.
If you look through CCM Magazines 10 years ago . . . seven times out of 10, you'll go, "Oh, I remember them. What happened to them?" We're really blessed that we got to stick around longer than that. And to be asked along on a second chapter at Rocketown, that's a real blessing to us.
J MAN: How do you think being on a label like Rocketown has perhaps changed or enhanced your musical focus?
Christine: I think being on Rocketown has given us a new freedom. We have nothing to prove at this point. Rocketown has allowed us to breathe and be the type of songwriters we want to be. I think [our new record, 6.1] is a more joyful Out of the Grey. Not as many strings attached to the music. It's where we are and what we have.
J MAN: Is 6.1 nominated for any Dove Awards this year?
Scott: The packaging.
J MAN: (laughs) Well, that's all [Jimmy] Abegg.
Scott: Well, I know!
J MAN: Your favorite tracks on the record?
Scott: Cut three, What's It Gonna Be, has [a] beautiful melody, wonderful chords. It's a really great marriage of production and the lyric of the song. It's not a big radio song, but it's still a beautiful song. Shine Like Crazy, I really enjoy playing that song live. The groove the band got into in the studio, [and] we were pressed for time and got it in the second take, that's a really great memory for me.
Christine: Tell Your Story is one of my favorites. I think it really shows off [producer] Monroe Jones' great ideas, like the really cool background vocal idea he had. The song is about being able to share with other people the deep dark secrets, knowing that if you're loved by them, you can pour it out to them. And ultimately we have a great listener, Jesus, to tell our stories to.
J MAN: Monroe Jones has a unique approach to producing. What was it like working with him?
Scott: He has a unique approach to producing. (laughs) Just when you think he doesn't have a plan, and when you meet him you think, "He doesn't have a plan!" Monroe's like a lot of artists, a little scattered, a little wild-eyed, a little bit of living in the moment and when you're making a record, you've got to have a plan.
Come to find out, he has great plans. He joked and said: (taps his head), "It's all up here!" I didn't really believe him at first, but it really was. Monroe is a great producer and I think we're going to hear a lot more from him, even in mainstream music.
If you listen to a Chris Rice, Ginny Owens, or Out of the Grey record, you hear Chris, Ginny, and us. A lot of producers put their stamp on a record and you know they produced it. He manages to keep Monroe off of it.
J MAN: Maybe that is Monroe's stamp, that he lets the artist come out.
Scott: And that's a great stamp. It's what production's supposed to be, right? Production is supposed to bring out the artistry at its very best. Brown Bannister once said to me, though, "Any artist who is worth being called an artist is producing their own record." And Christine and I had a lot to do with the making of our records. We're there from beginning to end. We don't just walk in, give a DNA sample and say, "Call us when it's done!" We leave our blood, sweat, and tears on those records, and Monroe's not threatened by that, because he knows it is our record.
Christine: Make sure you have the real basis for why you're doing it. Your philosophy of education, why did you choose this for them? And remind yourself of that on those really hard days. Last night, Scott and I were talking about teaching our children. We remember that no matter how smart our children are, it doesn't matter compared to their character. We want God to give us the wisdom to mold these hearts into His character.
J MAN: Anything new we can expect in the near future?
Scott: We're looking at another project. And I'm going to produce it. And that's great for us. After saying all those great things about Monroe, (laughs) but time wise it's just not going to line up, unfortunately. So I'm going to produce, and we'll walk through that together. Right, Christine?
Christine: Oh, yes! And our marriage will be stronger than ever!
Scott: Or . . . no, but we're writing for another Rocketown project, and I guess it should be out sometime in 2003.
J MAN: Finally, when someone walks away from a show, what do you want them to walk away with?
Christine: I want them to say, "Oh, they're just like us. They don't have their act together all the time, and they live by the skin of their teeth sometimes. They know how to live in God's grace and that inspires me to live in God's grace, too."
Scott: I think great art asks great questions. When we ask great questions, we want other people to start asking questions as well. We can't give all the answers in an hour-and-a-half show, because we don't have them. But, we do want to make people think.