Frontman for ABOUT A MILE, Adam Klutinoty talks us through the tracks on their debut album
Adam, Luke and Levi Klutinoty are three brothers, known as About A Mile, from the working class town of Butler, Pennsylvania. The pop rock trio's self-titled debut album has just been released by Word Entertainment. Their name originates from the belief that Jesus carried his cross "about a mile." The brothers have long loved music. Remembered frontman Adam, "We always loved playing music together for as long as we can remember, from banging on pots and pans at six and seven, to hearing our dad write songs when we were kids, to writing songs and having jam sessions with our friends as we got older. My dad always told us, 'I don't care what you do, just honour the Lord and don't work in the steel mill.'"
A tour of America's west coast introduced About A Mile to the rigours of the road and also earned them an opening slot for Grammy Award nominees DecembeRadio, who besides befriending the upstarts, suggested they get connected with veteran Ian Eskelin (long time All Star United leader turned superstar producer/songwriter). So with that suggestion, the brothers sent the multiple Dove Award winning Eskelin a message and hoped they'd at least get a response. Explained Adam, "We simply said we made a little money from the tour and wanted to hire him to record a song. A couple of days later he said, 'Save your money. I'm coming to your next show.' We'd never gotten any type of response like that and weren't even looking for our big break, but sure enough, he flew from Nashville to Pittsburgh, said we were just the kind of band he was looking for - rough edges and all - and he set up a showcase for Word Records that eventually got us signed. I learned most of what I know from Ian."
"Right after we signed with Word, I got sick and went through a lot of pain and weakness," Adam revealed. "A lot of the songs ended up being about that story, just the incredibly hard time I went through, not being able to eat or sleep for days on end because anything I would eat was like poison to my stomach. I lost 60 pounds, which coming off playing football in high school and working a lot of heavy lifting jobs, really threw me off and I can think of six specific times when I actually thought I was going to die. God knew what he was doing though."
Continued Adam, "We don't sugarcoat anything. Some of our songs might have some darkness in them, but we always make sure to bring out hope by the end of them and make sure people know about our Saviour. Even so, it's equally important that the music sounds just as good as anything else out there, which is why we sought to work with the best producers, mixers and mastering guys to make sure the songs could stand on their own." Adam went through each of the songs on the 'About A Mile' album.
It turns out this is the album's first single, but it actually came after I hadn't eaten in seven days. I was fasting from food and just drinking water during my illness, slowly realisng that as long as we have Jesus, we will always be satisfied. It also was inspired by moments growing up, like when my dad lost his job but never once wavered from his belief that God would provide for our family. Instead of saying "woe is me" during those situations, I've realised God is my fortune, and no matter what I go through, I always have enough.
"Power Of The Cross"
So many people wear crosses around their neck without really knowing what it means, but the fact is, the cross is a symbol of what gives us life - a crucified and risen Christ. If he would've stayed in the grave, it wouldn't have meant anything, but he died and rose again and is the Saviour of the world, which is what this song is all about.
"Who You Say You Are"
I wrote this pretty quick one night during the year when I was dealing with my illness pretty much every day. I was having a lot of doubt about my faith and actually felt like I was going to die physically. In fact, I was so worried that if I fell asleep, I might not wake up, so I'd always kick out of it just because I wasn't sure if I was right with God and I sure didn't want to go to hell if I wasn't! It was a period when I was just a mess, from my stomach falling apart and barely being able to eat, to never getting any sleep. It got so bad that I even started hearing voices in my head that said, "God can't hear you," and at my lowest point, I held a Bible in my left hand and a gun in my right hand. I knew I wasn't going to kill myself, but it was in that moment of desperation when I just held the Bible close to me and finally felt that he does love me and had a plan for me. God works out everything for good, and while that didn't mean I got better right away, I haven't doubted since I wrote that song.
"In With The Out Crowd"
Here's another really fast-paced pump-up song with even more meat to it. It was the last one we wrote and goes back to the days of growing up and being made fun of a little bit for being a Christian. I was sometimes the guy who was left all alone at the lunch table or grouped in with the misfits, but I never cared when people called me a freak. I guess you could say this is a "Jesus Freak" for this current generation and it's simply a reminder that we should never be afraid to be Christians.
There's a girl I've always liked and she even asked me out on a date at one point, but I'm not at a place where I'm ready to do that since we're embarking on this season of so much traveling with our music ministry. That idea broke my heart for some time and almost made me feel like I was suffocating for awhile without her, though who knows, we may have that relationship some day. Either way, I relate that feeling back to God. Without him, we're going through life suffocating. I wanted the song to be something for anyone who experienced loss, death, divorce or leaving behind their relationship with God to know that other people have been in their shoes and God can relieve that pain in time.
I used to spend so much of my life worrying about all the turmoil in the world and, on a much smaller scale, all of my personal circumstances. But I realised that Jesus is on the throne, he has a plan for all of us and there's nothing in this world that God isn't in control over. I used to be so stressed to the point I wasn't even sleeping, but then I looked to his disciples, who may have been locked in prison but were still at peace enough to get some sleep and sing some songs. So I stopped worrying so much and realised all of the negativity life can throw our way is all just a temporary test for us to get through.
"He Won't Stop Loving You"
That was written around the same time as "SOS", about the fact that I'm far from perfect as someone who falls short of living out Biblical principles so often. But God is still using all of us who are committed to serving him no matter what we do or who we are. There was a kid who was about to kill himself and heard this song on YouTube and decided not to, but still felt like he couldn't come to God because he hadn't been a believer and had even burned Bibles. But whatever any of us did in the past was in the past and we can come to Jesus right now no matter where we're at.
"S.O.S. (Hope Won't Let Go)"
I wrote this as one of the very first songs for this album. It came after a period of leaving home for the first time, moving to Nashville and feeling lost at sea. Originally the plan was to live with our adopted granny for half a year and then tour, but we wound up writing this album for two more years and really feeling like we went overboard into the ocean and were in need of a rescue or some sort of wave pushing us in the right direction. But even amidst all the uncertainly of not knowing exactly when everything was going to happen, we knew God had a plan for all of this and he continues to be the one we lean on with our trust.
"I Hate Hate"
This song was written the night of the Boston bombings when I was watching TV and it got me really, really mad. You can't turn on the TV without someone being shot or a building being blown up! I've never understood how someone could hate someone else so much that they would want to kill someone, so I came to the realisation that I hate the idea of hate, which is something I know everyone outside of those with evil intentions can relate to.
It's basically a get revved up rock song that reminds us that no matter how difficult a circumstance is, we're going to get through it. There's a lot of colourful imagery in the song, like pushing up 500 pounds on a weight bench or pushing a car, which makes it hit really deep and really hard.
"Reason For Breathing"
I've gone through seasons of depression in the past and this was written after waking up in the morning and feeling like I didn't know why I was living at all. During my lowest point, I didn't know if I even believed in God, but I also knew that playing guitar for nine hours a day didn't fulfil me either. I remember as far back as 12-years-old praying to God and saying, "If you just give me this girl I like and that record deal, I'll be happy," which is funny because even when we were able to get the deal all those years later, it still didn't bring the fulfilment that can only come from the Lord. In fact, to me if I'm not serving Jesus, I don't see any reason for being here, which is what I'm trying to say in this song. Maybe you're at a point where you're not talking with God or you need to mend that relationship. I'm here to tell you that I've been there before and learned that more than anything this world has to offer, he's literally my "Reason For Breathing."
I swear this was written in two minutes and it's a song of sweet surrender with a really emotional, worshipful vibe. I may have been writing on a piece of paper, but I think God wrote that song. I had been writing for 10 hours straight that day and these words just fell straight out of the sky. The lyrics just marvel at how awesome God is and just the thought of who he is leaves the enemy trembling.