Smalltown Poets: The Atlanta pop rockers, now recast as a duo

Tuesday 1st May 2001

Miguel DeJesus and Michael Johnston are quizzed about the changing faces of the SMALLTOWN POETS.

Smalltown Poets
Smalltown Poets

We're a little confused. The Smalltown Poets were a five piece but now there only seem to be two of you, Miguel DeJesus and Michael Johnston.

(DeJesus) You don't know what's happening when the members of a band that's really working come up to you one by one saying, 'I think I'm meant to go now.' When this band came together there was something at work that was bigger than all of us. We worked so hard to achieve what we had. Here people were really embracing (us) and all of a sudden it felt like it was starting to come apart. We thought, 'Wow, is this coming to an end? Are people going to give us a chance if we continue without the other members?' For a while there was a lot of searching. But the more we prayed, the more we determined to stick together to do something. We didn't know if we'd continue as the Poets or not but we came to a point where we felt confident in carrying on. We really believed in the vision that God was giving the two of us.

'Third Verse' sports a decidedly edgier feel than your previous albums.

(Johnston) Miguel and I both agreed that we wanted to stretch a bit and maybe record (a sound) that was closer to our live show. It's got a little more of an edge and is a little more focused on guitars.
(DeJesus) We were given the opportunity to make a third record and Michael and I didn't take that for granted. We felt responsible to God and to the fans to go the extra mile in soul searching for this record.

We understand you brought in former Eager drummer Paul Eckberg and former Sonicflood guitarist Dana Weaver to round out your live sound. It's been quite a rough ride for you guys this last year. What would you say you've learnt spiritually?

(Johnston) Being able to do what we love to do and going through some of the challenges we've had to go through, we've seen that our faith holds up. Not only does that help us understand that God is faithful and trustworthy, it's also helped us to understand that knowing God is the primary calling in life. It really is true that if we seek that calling first and are really serious about knowing God, then the other things in life just fall into place. CR

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.
About Tony Cummings
Tony CummingsTony Cummings is the music editor for Cross Rhythms website and attends Grace Church in Stoke-on-Trent.


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