Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Live Chat with Jars of Clay

  • 1999 1 Nov
Live Chat with Jars of Clay
From Sunday, November 21, 1999

The Music Channel at hosted JARS OF CLAY for a live chat event in celebration of the release of If I Left The Zoo!

If you are just joining us, CATCH UP with our Jars of Clay EXCLUSIVE here on the Music Channel!

We've got weekly updates from the guys while on tour, a recent live concert from the Lambs Theatre in Times Square, discussions about the band in our Forums/Message Boards, audio, video and much more!

Brought to you by Jars of Clay, Essential Records and the Music Channel at

Jars of Clay Bring Treasure to
A Summary of our Special "If I Left The Zoo" Event
by Renee Mullen for the Music Channel on

Chatters gathered early in anticipation of this event. It was indisputable that {{Jars of Clay}} have an abundance of fans! The event opened with our zookeeper; I mean fearless trainer, Fred Alberti, chat and forums administrator, on stage along with the one and only, our beloved Nana!

Fritzpw_Host said, "Hello everyone! Woo hooo! Essential Records and The Music Channel at are proud to sponsor this live chat event with {{Jars of Clay}} to celebrate their latest release entitled, 'If I Left the Zoo.' Thanks for joining us! I am so excited about having with us today {{Jars of Clay}}! They are joining us today from Cincinnati." Fred then introduced his sidekick, the awesome, spoon-bearing Nana! "Nana dear, you look flawless! And now I shall exit the stage and let the event to begin!"

The {{Jars of Clay}} members include Matt Odmark, Charlie Lowell, Dan Haseltine, and Steve Mason. They met at Greenville College in Illinois approximately 6 years ago and currently reside near Nashville. Charlie shared the source of the name of their group. "We took our name from 2 Corinthians 4:7,' We have this treasures in {{Jars of Clay}}, to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.'"

Dan added, "We started singing together in college, but we have all played musical instruments since grade school."

The group recently released a new album entitled, "If I Left the Zoo." Charlie explained the unique name. He stated, " There's no specific meaning. We really like the picture of the elephant and that came first." Dan then provided insight into the meaning of the song, 'Sad Clown.' He explained, "Sad Clown is basically a song, not really about a contrast, as far as meaning goes, because each song on the record deals with a concept of God's pursuing us and our running away. That song deals with the masks that we wear that prevent people from seeing the real us." It is this current album, according to Steve that is his favorite.

These young men radiated humor with a unique blend of their Christian calling. They jokingly claimed to be in their 50's, but quickly refute this statement with an honest admission of being in their 20's! They are each married and find spending time with their families to be an endearing priority.

The event proceeded with many questions. Several chatters expressed an interest in some aspect of the guests' spiritual lives. They each shared that they had been raised in Christian homes. Then Charlie shared his means of staying focused on Jesus while in the limelight. He said, "It is very difficult. We spend a lot of time as a band in prayer and worship and try to surround ourselves with people that know our weaknesses and our needs." It was Steve that related an insightful definition of worship. He stated, " Life is worship. Life SHOULD be worship." Steve also explained his theory on evangelism. "I think everyone who believes in Christ is an evangelist."

{{Jars of Clay}} willingly and passionately share their talents with the Christian community. Steve elaborates, " We find that the opportunities we've been granted in the places we play speaks a much stronger Gospel message when we explain where we come from, how songs were written, love each other well on stage, and see how God moves through the songs we've been given. We are one body with many parts and ministry should not be compared or boxed-up in ways that we're used to getting it. Expect great things from God, things you aren't even used to or familiar with. So, in that regard, nightly the aroma of the Gospel is with us there at our concerts as the Spirit works. We realize that not everyone's going to get it and that's okay."

Dan discussed the source of their inspiration by saying, "It is through books and life experiences and watching the way God works in people's lives, that we are impassioned." The group collaborates in writing nearly all of their songs with the music generally being composed first, followed with lyrics. Steve shared other writing endeavors. He said, "Dan has some plans for doing a photography book. Each of us is individually working on a poetry book, and we're working on a movie script."

On a lighter note, Steve explained what the plot would be if they write a movie script. He emphatically states, "Squirrels. Loosely based on the huge success of the cinema-tastically monumental brilliance of the landmark film "Bats!" It was Fred, who now asked his favorite question. Fritzpw_Host asked, "What is the most awesome prank you guys have pulled off when on tour?"

Steve seemed anticipatory and quickly replied, "Beyond canceling a show a couple of weeks before we were supposed to do it, I think, suspending our bass player in mid-air and having him float down like an angel in the middle of the opening band set." He then defended the group and shared a prank played on them. "Brent Bourgeois put baby powder on our drums when the drummer played, great big clouds of baby powder were everywhere."

In regards to touring, Dan shared the most difficult aspect. "The hardest thing is living on a bus with fourteen people." Steve added a beneficial point. "Getting to see so many different places and meeting so many different people" is rewarding. Matt continued sharing his aspiration, "I think that we hope by listening to our music that people ask deeper questions about who they are and about who God is."

Some of the superlatives noted are as follows. Steve responded with a favorite movie with "Bats." Dan shared the favorite song as, "'I'm Alright' off of our new record." Their favorite region in the U.S. for performing was provided by Charlie. "It's hard to pick a favorite. We love to perform in the Northwest. Steve says he loves playing in Miami; he's just kidding, though." The favorite album for this group is their newest one, "If I Left the Zoo." Steve shared the favorite song they have written. He stated, "It changes, but, right now that I think it is "Frail", off of the "Much Afraid" album." Each member related a favorite Bible verse. Those are "Hebrews 10:23, Romans 8:38, 39, Phil. 1:21 and Phil. 4... the whole thing..."

In closing, Steve shared the one thing that God reminds them of when they are feeling down. "We have been called for a purpose." He then made a fervent request for prayer and specifically he asked, "Pray for our families, for the record, unity, and for boldness."

Alfred Plummer wrote the following regarding 2 Corinthians 4:7. "It was in the man as a whole, and not in his body in particular, that the Divine treasure which was to enrich the world was placed to be dispensed to others." It is unambiguously evident that {{Jars of Clay}} have recognized the Source of their treasure and are endeavoring to enrich the world through the pouring out of their gifts to others!
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us." 2 Corinthians 4:7