Tony Cummings asked James Gregory, frontman of worship band HEAT, a couple of questions
Tony: What's the history of Heat and what's their current line up?
James: In 1997 a few of us felt God calling us to start a youth event in Salford, with the aim of providing a place where young people from Greater Manchester could come and meet each other and be changed by God in a setting of intimate worship, relevant teaching and ministry. As the Heat youth meetings developed, God gave us a real passion for the area where we live, and the six of us who formed the worship band began to sing and write songs reflecting this heart for Salford. At the same time, people started asking us to lead worship at other events, and we became known as 'the Heat band', or Heat. We led worship at events such as Planet Life, Manchester Prayer Network and also went to Soul Survivor to play at some seminars. Most recently we led worship for a couple of the morning sessions at Soul Survivor: Message 2000. Our main ministry is to lead people in worship and intercession. Last year James married Hayley and Chris married Esther, bringing the band closer together! Our line up is James Gregory - guitars, lead vocals; Hayley Gregory - saxophones; John Maiden - bass guitar; Oggy - keyboards, Hammond organ; Esther Lane - backing vocals; Chris Lane - drums.
Tony: How did you end up getting signed to Survivor/Emerge?
James: We've known Mike Pilavachi and some of the Soul Survivor guys for a while and they've really helped and encouraged us. One of our songs was included on The People's Album 2', and after that Mike introduced us to Les Moir from Survivor/Kingsway. We were planning to record a six-track CD ourselves at the time, and when Les suggested doing a similar thing with Survivor Records we felt it was right with God.
Tony: 'Can I See Heaven' is your first recording. What was it like in the studio?
James: It was a massive learning experience. We went down to the studio in Brighton in twos and threes, and while it felt strange to be playing along to tracks that had been recorded weeks before, it was also really exciting to see the way the tracks developed over time. Mostly it was good fun mixed with hard work. We were really helped by the fact that Paul Burton was producing/engineering the CD, as he was patient with us and is very talented and professional We also enjoyed consuming pies and burgers near the beach while the inappropriately named Johnny '1 take' Maiden laid down his tracks.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.