Celebrating 10 years of “I Can Only Imagine,” MercyMe drummer Robby Shaffer reminisces about the band’s storied career thus far.
1. How does it feel to be putting out a “greatest hits” project? Did you ever dream that your success would one day merit such an accomplishment?
Robby Shaffer (drummer, MercyMe): It is pretty crazy. We always associated a hits record with the end of your career, but we are still going strong. It’s really just a chance for us to look back at the whirlwind we call “the last 10 years.” God has really blessed us.
2. Do you have a favorite memory over the course of your career—a milestone (or two) that really stands out?
Robby: Playing for Billy Graham’s last crusade in N.Y.C. Also, getting to attend a Presidential Prayer Breakfast with “W.”
3. What do you view as your greatest achievement to date?
Robby: Staying together and still having the same focus and calling. Not many bands can say that after 14 years.
4. “I Can Only Imagine” is without question the song that jumpstarted your career. Did you ever dream that it would connect with audiences the way it has? What do you attribute to the song’s long-running success?
Robby: The fact that all of us at some point have gone through loss or have undergone a hardship. God is always going to get His glory from whatever it is. The song seems to make sense to people on that level.
5. What does this season of MercyMe look like?
Robby: Just a chance to be with family and celebrate a lot of new babies. Lots!
6. What’s next for MercyMe? A new album? A new tour?
Robby: All of the above. We are [currently out on] the “Rock & Worship Road Show.” [It’s been] a fun tour. We hope to get to writing and recording a new record sometime in the late summer. Look for it to be out sometime the beginning of 2010.
7. What are your long-term plans for the future?
Robby: Not really sure. We just want to continue this as long as we see fruit and God is still getting glory from it.
8. The six of you seem to maintain a great relationship. What’s the secret to all six band members getting along so well?
Robby: We are like family. We go through our moments as all families do, but in the end, I think we’re like-minded in our spiritual goals. I think all bands have to be on the same page spiritually for it to work.
9. You all have brilliantly utilized your blog (mercyme.org/blog) over the past year, providing a great mix of fun content on your site every day. How do you feel like these blogs have helped bridge that gap between you and your fans?
Robby: I think the fact that we can show the fans a little bit of our daily lives goes a long way. So many times, artists seem to stay so withdrawn from their fans as to who they really are. We want our fans to see us for who we are every day. That way they know we are the same on the stage as we are at home.
10. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Robby: God Bless America!
For more information on MercyMe and the new project, 10 (INO), log on to mercyme.org.
Read an exclusive feature article on MercyMe in CCM’s Digital New Release Guide.
© 2009 CCMmagazine.com. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
**This interview first published on April 16, 2009