Christian Retailing

Meet the Artist: Building 429 Print Email
Written by Christine D. Johnson   
Tuesday, 10 May 2011 10:24 AM America/New_York

Best known for the breakout hit “Glory Defined,” 2005 Dove Award New Artist Of The Year Building 429 has been playing 200 live shows a year. Now a part of the Essential Records/Provident Label Group family, the band sees Listen to the Sound release May 10. Christian Retailing asked lead singer-songwriter Jason Roy about life on the road and the new album.

You’ve been busy touring, haven’t you?

The road has always been a second home for us. Our bus really does start to feel like a house sometimes with the kids on board with us. Some people think we are crazy for how many shows we play each year, but to be honest, we've really never known anything different. When we started years ago, we had a desire to connect with people on a personal level through the music we wrote, so we booked shows and toured like crazy. Social media has made it easier for fans to connect with us, but we as a band struggle with that because it doesn't feel as honest, so we still long for concerts and face-to-face interaction.

How did it come about that you signed on with Essential?

The real connector to Provident is our longtime relationship with our A&R guy, Blaine Barcus. Interestingly enough, Blaine signed us to Word in 2003, but he eventually left to go to Provident. We did three albums with Word, and in 2007 we signed with INO because all we really wanted was the opportunity to own our art. But at the end of that record, we felt like God was pushing us to move towards a possible partnership with Provident.

Jason Ingram, Rusty Varenkamp and Rob Hawkins produced this album. What was it like working with them?

Working with Jason and Rusty was a really cool experience for sure. Funny thing is that Jason was the guy who found me and the band back in 2003. He took me to his publisher where I would later sign my first publishing deal. Another unknown fact is that Jason was part of our first management team (Talon Management) and was heavily involved in the writing process of our first record. Sitting in the studio with him was like meeting an old friend for a cup of coffee and a hang. It was seamless and it was a blast!

This record was also half produced by Rob Hawkins, another amazing producer in his own right. It was a nice marriage of his super-hip new-school styling and my Southern rock history. He pushed us into a new vibe and what we like to call a more "West Coast" flavor that ended up permeating the record. In fact he co-wrote and produced our first single, "Listen to the Sound," and it's obvious to anyone who has followed us that he ushered in a new era of Building 429 with that one.

How many of these songs did band members write?

Every song on the record was written by the band except for the song "War Zone," which blew us away because it was an obvious tie-in to the record’s theme, which was, "where we belong." When we first heard that song, it spoke exactly how we felt, and we immediately told the A&R staff to put it on hold for our record. We don't do that very often because we have always felt like we had things to say and that no one could say what was on our heart better than us. That song was the exception to the rule.

Any word for Christian retailers who are putting this album in the hands of their customers?

I can’t thank Christian retail enough for the support of Building 429 over the years. I’m excited for retailers to hear our new music, and for audiences to be truly encouraged by these songs. Life is tough, and we all struggle, but hope is rising.


Photo courtesy of Lee Geffen.