American-based, UK-born children's music minister CAPTAIN BILL, otherwise known as Bill Mason, answered the questions.
1. When the Bill Mason Band and Ishmael United pioneered Christian punk rock in the UK did you have any inkling that 20 years on you and Ish would both be doing children's ministry?
I have always connected with young people of all ages, big kid really! Besides doing worship for young kids, I also lead worship for teenagers. That's my next challenge, to write songs for them to worship to!
2. What do you most miss about England?
Saturday football results, Liverpool FC and steak and kidney pie and chips!
3. What's the hardest - working with a bunch of exuberant kids or working with a bunch of pogoing punks?
Working with young kids is much easier. They are very forgiving and have no agenda. They are free and without inhibitions. When you say raise your hands they stand on a chair and raise their hands! Teenagers have too many hang ups, but when they connect with God they go all out and you feel that you have achieved something amazing!
4. Are you surprised at the comeback punk rock has made today?
Its a valid form of exciting and frantic music, it will always have a place and identity in musical genres. (Don't ask me what that means!)
5. Who's better - Superman or Batman?
Aragorn from Lord Of The Rings!
6. Do the kids actually call you Captain?
Everyone does, even my wife!
7. Why are so many Christian children's albums so cheesy?
Because they are written by adults for children, who think they know what kids like. But kids are much more sophisticated in their musical taste than we realize! The proof for me is when I play new songs for them and ask them what they think. If they don't like a song, it's gone! They are the most important critics
8. Do you think ageing Bill Mason Band nostalgists would find something to enjoy in 'Run To The Lord'?
I would hope that the people who bought 'No Sham' 22 years ago would buy the 'Run To The Lord' CD and enjoy a completely different kids worship album! There are a few links to the BMB songs, if you listen hard! But most of all give it to your kids or grandkids!
9. When was the last time you were back in the UK?
I was back there in 2000 for my brother's wedding in Liverpool. Two weeks of sun and searching for old Enid Blyton books!
10. Do you like Tele Tubbies?
Who? No, but I love Wallace and Gromit!The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.