GLO's Steve Jordan was quizzed by Tony Cummings.
Tony: Can you give a potted history of Glo?
Steve: "The forming of the band was originally initiated in August 1998 following a vision I received some eight years prior. Due to the tragic loss of our first keyboard player and songwriter Ben Summers, the progress was set back a further eight months. We began rehearsing as a four piece in April 1999 and quickly bonded as both friends and musicians. The guys are well respected as musicians within their local communities. Phil Le Cheminant is from Romsey and can play just about anything exceptionally well, including his mobile phone, but for now we thought the bass guitar would be adequate. Ricky Selby is from Bournemouth and plays a very mean six string. Paul Williams, also from Bournemouth, is our drummer and in spite of his young age, comes across as a very tight and professional percussionist. And then there's me.
"The main thrust of our ministry is to take a raw Gospel message to the far ends of our culture and communities using a language that relates. I guess few would disagree that lyrically there is a very prominent message throughout all our songs. I must confess that I find it extremely uncomfortable to write songs with lines that have very deep subliminal meaning or at the other end, no message at all. This often means that the songs take longer to develop, but I feel more comfortable with that. Even though we recognise that being up front will cause many to reject us, as an outreach ministry I see little point in hiding the message in a song for the sake of being socially palatable. In any case I know that God is about a mighty work preparing the hearts of people to receive the amazing revelation that he loves them and died for them. He will ensure that those who need to hear, will hear.
"Without sounding too clichéd, we also want to touch hearts with words that will help to train and disciple people on spiritual, moral and ethical issues. It has been said countless times that music is a very powerful influence and you don't have to look too far to see the evidence of this in the secular world. Spiritually, we want our lives to reflect what's in our hearts. We want people to see the love and compassion that Christ has for all people projected in the way we talk and conduct ourselves both on stage and in the real world, so it's not just about the music of Glo."
Tony: I see you describe your music at 'Gritt-pop'.
Steve: "Gritt-pop stands for Gospel & Rhythm Introducing The Truth. As our main objective is to reach the masses with the Gospel, we are aiming to create a sound that will relate to a wide audience without compromising the message and without incorporating the 'cheese' factor found in many pop-style songs. We offered up many prayers for inspiration and direction and it was during this time that I felt inspired with the word Grit. When I sought God for the meaning behind this word, he showed me an image of thousands of smooth, glistening pebbles washed up on a beach. They had all started life as sharp, dull and irregular shaped rocks, but over time they had been rounded off by the constant cleansing of sand and grit found in the ocean waves. This would be the effect of our ministry, to continually bring through the music, sound advice, teaching and assistance with the spiritual development of both Christians and non-Christians alike. Like the sea water the music will carry this message and the words will gradually bring about change in people's lives, rounding and sometimes breaking off hard, God resistant edges, thus encouraging them to conform to the likeness of Jesus. Although still under development, the music itself also reflects this concept by the use of pop-style rhythms interlaced with raw, gritty guitar parts. It has always been my desire to create a trend rather than follow an old one. I wouldn't say that we're there yet, but our newest material is beginning, we think, to break new ground!"
Tony: Recording a debut is never easy... Little money, little studio time, few opportunities for promotion. What was the recording experience like?
Steve: "It's exactly that really! We always have a great time no matter what we do as a band, but somehow the recording aspect always seems to provide plenty of challenging opportunities for both friendship and faith building. All tracks on our EP have been digitally recorded and mixed using computer technology based at my home studio, so in this instance, time doesn't necessarily mean money, it is more a case of time means late nights, sweaty bodies and juggling the family. Having said that, we are all extremely blessed with understanding and supportive wives which is absolutely crucial to the development of any ministry. There are always things that you want to change after the final mix that time will not permit, at some stage you just have to say 'let's go with this and move on.' We have been described as a 'big sound' live band which is very difficult to bring through into a home studio recording, so the EP is a very much refined version of what we actually do live. We are in faith that the ministry will develop from here on and that someone will see and invest in the future potential of Glo."
Tony: Tell me about two of the songs on 'Intense Expectation' and how you came to write them.
Steve: "The first lines of 'Flesh & Blood' came to me in the bathtub. The song is very much based on Isaiah and openly exposes the futility of Idol worship. The Bible is extremely explicit in the way that it handles this subject and the consequences for Israel were catastrophic. There are many forms of modern day idols, the most common being the god of mammon. However, the underlying emphasis is not on the wrath of God, but actually the love of God for all people. Also on the fact that no other so called god would care enough for man as to actually sacrifice himself for their salvation. What kind of King would trade his Heavenly position as ruler of all, to take on the guise of one under authority? No statement is stronger concerning the love of God than that of the cross.
"The chorus for 'Wake Up' also came to me in the shower. (There's something about hot water that brings out the writer in me!) This song basically addresses the illusion that fulfilment can be achieved through external possessions, power or pleasures. Although written some time before, it has a similar theme to the film The Matrix, where the whole world, bar a few, have been subject to a deep sleep thinking all is well, pursuing their life desire and ambition. Only through a revelation of the Holy Spirit will the sleeper wake up to the true picture concerning the shocking reality."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.