With their 'Liquid Prayers' album out now through Authentic, RIVERDEEP continue to make progress on the UK scene. Steve Perry spoke to the band's Sam Warren.
Cross Rhythms has featured Riverdeep on two previous occasions, the first time shortly after the release of their first independent EP 'Sometimes' and the second occasion when Authentic Media (or Word as they were then) finally gave this most talented of pop rock bands distribution into Britain's Christian bookshops. Now, with the release of their first worship project, it seems appropriate to bring us all up to date on the activities of this Chichester-based family band. I spoke to the band's guitarist Sam Warren who with his singer sister Esther heads up the band.
SP: What you've been doing recently?
SW: "Well, we've just finished recording our album and it was released at the beginning of April, so we've been getting that out really, it's taken a long time. It's been good!"
SP: Have you been to Spring Harvest?
SW: "No, we haven't this year, no. We played at it last year but because of the busy-ness of everything we've been doing we haven't managed to get there."
SP: Ultimately if you don't get your album out then it's a bit pointless touring isn't it really?
SW: "Yes it is really!"
SP: So looking ahead at this time of the year now, going to the summer, you've got the festival season coming up and so on. Is that quite daunting for you as a band?
SW: "No, we've played a lot of these festivals before, so no. We've done a lot of touring and gigging. Not just in the UK, but around Europe and North America as well and Canada. So gigging and touring is something that we've done a lot of, although we're doing a bit less of it at the moment because we're really focusing on a lot of work in our local area. So we're just keeping very busy."
SP: What kind of stuff do you do in your local area?
SW: "Well, we've started up an outreach worship event that we do as part of what we're doing with our church and the youth in our church, which is all basically a cell based church - part of the G12 thing if people have heard of that. We're seeing a lot of youngsters from completely non-church backgrounds coming to these events. And obviously the latest in technology with projectors and really good quality PA systems and everything is as good as any club, if not better in the local area. We put on an event and the power of God comes which is the most important thing and people are getting saved at every event. We're seeing a lot of fruit from that so we're putting a lot of our time and effort into that at the moment."
SP: That's an interesting kind of angle on that, 'cos often the emphasis within churches is 'lets give people something that's kind of a little more entertainment based and not worship based' but that's not the case in that, is it?
SW: "We're trying to bridge that gap in the sense that it is full on worship and that is all we do now as a band. We were basically a Christian entertainment band before and when we were out in Canada, playing at a youth conference the preacher there said that God had got him up in the morning and told him that we were meant to be doing worship and not entertaining people. But we knew that God was really challenging us on it anyway, 'cos we were praying for direction on it at the time, so then we started to change our albums, the type of music we were doing - which is what happened with the last album. It was more Christian orientated, more worship based. But this album really is a worship album. Although again, it's not - well, it's contemporary worship, if you know what I mean!"
SP: It's not the "Hosanna singers" then?
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