Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

The Paul Colman Trio, on How One Became Three

  • 2001 30 Dec
The Paul Colman Trio, on How One Became Three
Interviews sometimes start in unusual ways. This interview is so different, I thought its unique beginning should be printed. So let's get started.

Paul: You know, we'll ask tonight, "How many people here don't know the Paul Colman Trio?" And most will raise their hands, so we work with that!

J MAN: From what I've heard, more people need to know who you are, so that's why we're doing this interview!

Paul: I like that! Well let's start. I'm ready!

J MAN: First off, introduce the team.

Paul: I'm Paul Coleman (barks like a dog)!

Grant: This is the voice of Grant Norsworthy. I play bass and sing backing vocals in the Paul Colman Trio.

Phil: And I'm Phil Gaudian, and I play the drums and sing.

J MAN: So let's hear the story of how the band started.

Paul: How we got into music separately or as a band? How much time you got? You probably don't have but a little bit of print area, right?

J MAN: I write for a Web site. Web pages can run long, brother!

Paul: Alright, then.

Grant: In a nutshell, we all lived in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne - Australia, not Florida -- since we're not far from [Melbourne, Fla.] now. In Australia, there's a community of musicians who want to glorify God through their talent, so you end up -- Ahhh! -- knowing each other!

J MAN: For those in Internet land, Paul is eating Grant's banana pudding!

Grant: So you end up seeing each other at parties, filling in for each other at gigs. So in various capacities, we'd all played with each other. Paul was the one that was actually a solo artist in his own right. He had released some independent albums of his own. Since Phil and I were just a rhythm section, we thought to ourselves, "We need to join up with someone like, uh, maybe Paul Colman!"

So late in '98 we started playing gigs with Paul, and because he already had an established name, we thought we'd lose some of his following if we called ourselves "The Banana Pudding Men" or something. So all these gigs he had booked as Paul Colman, he called the promoters and said, "I'm bringing the trio." They were like, "What?"

Paul: Yeah, the band, the Paul Colman Trio! You haven't heard of us? The Paul Colman Trio, come on! So that was our first show, at the Melbourne Zoo, in front of 3,000 people. So all of us come from differing backgrounds.

In Australia you can't make a living playing in churches, because there's not that many of them. If you want to play, you find yourself playing in "Jesus-centered" environments. The majority of your playing is in schools, clubs, pubs, parties, and weddings to make a living. There's an advantage to that because you are a seasoned entertainer by the time you hit the stage. You have to be, or you'll die.

Phil: Your promotional skills get sharpened because you have to make the best of every situation every time.

Paul: We'd all made a living playing other people's songs for at least five years individually. I got to a point in my life where I didn't want to be a solo artist. I wanted to be a part of a group. I work better with a group I'm not just employing but I'm sharing with. And these guys being bass and drums, there's not much out there for solo opportunities. It wasn't passive dependence, it was interdependence, we all wanted [to work with] each other at the same time.

J MAN: How did the deal with Essential come about?

Phil: Paul's been going back and forth to Nashville about four times.

Paul: Excuse me, 14!

Phil: He was meeting a lot of people, and you realize it's just relationships that get you from Point A to Point B.

Paul: And the irony is that every single record and management company we approached from 1998 to late 2000 turned us down. So we thought we'd go to Nashville, make a record [ourselves]. We'd already met Third Day, and they invited us to be on the road with them. We didn't know we were on the biggest Christian tour of the season, we just knew we'd met these cool guys and they wanted us to tour with them.

Then Monroe Jones heard about us. So by the time we started our independent CD, we were on Third Day's tour and had scored one of the best producers in Christian music, Monroe Jones.

So we had two sets of problems. First no one wanted us, now everyone of the previous people I spoke to wanted us. So we had a largely hard decision, and we feel that God ultimately helped us make it by us choosing Essential Records.

J MAN: When someone walks away from a PC3 show, what do you want them to walk away with?

Paul: I want them to feel thoroughly entertained and thoroughly challenged to leave everything in their life but Jesus. And what I mean by leaving everything, I mean when you have Jesus you're committed to your family and community. It's getting back to a full focus on Jesus Christ, not Jesus and everything else. The songs are crafted toward that end, a revival of a more personal relationship with Jesus. Our music is designed to be fun and entertaining but also a challenge to the heart of humanity to consider our Lord and Savior.