GRAMMY Award-winning artist TobyMac, on his Feb. 9 release, Tonight (ForeFront Records/EMI CMG), creativity, touring and digital music.
Tell us about the new album.
“I try to write about life as a believer on this planet and all that comes with it. ... I call the record Tonight because that’s when things come together for me. A written song turns into a produced recording and then gets into the hands of people and we get together in a concert setting where anything can happen.”
What did you bring from your experience with the live record Alive and Transported?
“My band played on a lot of tracks on this record. I have always had a mixture of studio musicians and my band to make up the sound of my recording. I am always thinking about the live show. My band is so amazing they make me think we can do anything in the studio. So I think the live record probably busted my confidence to take creative adventures with my show in mind.”
The songs touch on a variety of topics. Where did you draw from?
“My own personal experiences, my friendships and my shortcomings. ... I want my songs to be about life, a pursuit of holiness in a crazy mixed-up world.”
Where are you now creatively?
“Coming off a year-and-a-half-long process—the writing, mixing, mastering these songs—has been a long run. Then I headed straight out to the Winter Wonder Slam Tour. I usually get refueled creatively very quickly, though. ... Right now I am most inspired about taking the songs on the Tonight album and turning them into a live experience.”
What are your thoughts on the changing landscape of the music industry?
“I would always want people to enjoy the experience of buying the CD and delving into the packaging. ... But if my songs are getting into people’s hands, I’m not complaining. When artists begin to overly concern themselves on how music is getting into people’s hands, they are not concerned enough about the art that they are making.”
Will you tour in support of the new record?
“I will be co-headlining with Skillet on the Awake Tonight tour. I think the intensity of both bands will make for a great live experience. Later this summer, I plan to co-headline some shows with Chris Tomlin.”