Tony Cummings made like a nosey DSS official when he quizzed each member of THEBANDWITHNONAME.
At the home of Chip K I grilled each member of thebandwithnoname shortly before they flew off to begin their American tour. Here are the results.
Full name: Leon Henderson
Date of Birth: 10th March 1984
The Month Joined thebandwithnoname: September 2005
Favourite Scripture: "The favourite Psalm that I always give whenever I'm signing - I'll stick with that one for now - is Psalm 103 when it talks about God's love and compassion."
Favourite Book by a Christian Author: "I'd say the one I really enjoyed because I could relate to it was the Nicky Cruz book Run, Baby, Run."
Favourite Bit on 'Dying To Be There': "Right from the beginning on 'Do Or Die' the whole piano thing, then the sound just building up to that mass of different sounds that Zarc manages to put together all the time. I think that was influenced by the Beatles - I've been listening to the Beatles and I can really tell that he's been influenced by that.
Most Embarrassing Experience: "Embarrassing and painful I would say is when we were in Ireland and during the show we've got this trick that we do. We do actually do do it, it's not a trick really for the people who ever come and see our show. Basically I lean on a board and I go to the side and they put up the vinyl and I say 'Dance, dance, can you do it like this.' So in Ireland what we did we had the board out it was alright and we got to that part of the show and said 'Dance, dance, can you do it like this?' Leant to one side. Fine. 'Dance, dance, can you do it like that?' Leant to the other side. Fine. I went, 'Dance, dance, can you do it like this?' - crunch. I just fell down and basically my straps had come out of the board and I found myself on the floor. And I was sort of like crunched over in an awkward position. I tried to move to get back up and felt my leg go click. I don't know what happened but I was in agony. It sort of clicked out of place but I had to continue the song and act as though I hadn't fallen over and during the show I was like limping on to the stage and at one point Chip actually pushed me to the stage because he thought I was being slow or lazy or something like that. None of these guys actually realised at the time but the audience noticed and they all laughed."
Best Experience Since Joining thebandwithnoname: "A lot of the times we do a gig and we don't get to see any of the work afterwards but in the schools we sort of got a relationship with the kids and I think that was just the best. The fact that we got to speak to the kids on a one to one basis and really built a relationship with them. I feel as though like sometimes we don't get to do that as much just doing big gigs and just doing a one off night and then going away. It's really cool just to go in there, talk to young people cos that's what I love. I used to do it all the time with my youth. I used to be like a group leader at my youth and children's club and I really enjoy just talking to kids, getting to know kids especially the young lads cos I can relate to them and I know some of them might be rebellious or they might want to do their own thing and that's what I used to be like. But I really enjoy just talking to young lads about God and about what I believe in and I can relate to them and talk to them about experiences that I've had and maybe if they're feeling down hopefully I can relate to them or help them out."
Full name: Jonathan Moore
Date of Birth: 13th January 1984
The Month Joined thebandwithnoname: August 2005
Favourite Scripture: "Romans 8, 38 and 39. 'I'm certain that nothing can separate us from his love. Not angels or demons, not the powers above or the powers below, not death or life, whether I'm in the deepest ocean or the highest sky, I'm certain that nothing can separate us from the love of God which comes to us through Christ Jesus our Lord.'"
Favourite Book by a Christian Author: "One that I've just finished that said a lot to me: Smile Of God, by Andy Hawthorne."
Favourite Bit on 'Dying To Be There': "I'd actually say it's probably the climax of 'Great Is Your Name', when it kind of reaches its peak and I just find that really, really easy to worship to. Every single time it gets me there and I'm in the throne room - it's awesome."
Most Embarrassing Experience: "As has been well documented - at Spring Harvest we had a new intro for the whole show and I hadn't really practiced to it very many times so when it came on I was waiting in the wings with all the other guys and when it got to the bit that I thought was the quiet bit before the track 'Found And Lost' kicks in which was our first one but there's actually two quiet bits so the first one I thought that was just before we go on and I came running on to the stage by myself and kind of like jumped into the middle of the stage did like a little pose and I thought, 'Oh, wait a second, the intro's still carrying on.' And I looked and I could see the other three just waiting in the wings just kind of looking at me like, 'What are you on?' That was pretty embarrassing because I had to kind of improvise to an intro that I didn't really know for about 30 seconds. It seemed to go for so long I thought I was going to have to do a preach or something. Longest 30 seconds of my life."
Best Experience Since Joining thebandwithnoname: "It was the first Serious For God tour gig that we did, at a place called Fraythorpe. The whole Serious For God tour was a bit of a different set up to what we're normally used to. This particular one, normally Chip will preach at the end of our set but this time he did it right at the beginning before we came on and did any songs. And yeah, there was just something about that particular preach and the fact that the Spirit was just really there. I think also what made it different was that we actually got to pray with some of the guys at the end like when Chip asked them to stand up and it was strange because I just knew that loads of kids would respond. It was one of those moments when it was tangible, you could really feel God there. And when he did the response this whole crowd of children stood up. I'm not really a very emotional person but I was actually quite close to tears then. And we also got to pray with them as well and help them so that was special."
Full name: Chip Kendall
Date of Birth: 18th December 1977
The Month Joined thebandwithnoname: Technically the band launched March 2002 but I actually moved down to Manchester in September 2001 so you can take your pick.
Favourite Scripture: "Romans 12, 21. 'Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.' Sounds like something Yoda might say."
Favourite Book by a Christian Author: "That's a good one. Most recently I'd have to say it's The Barbarian Way by Irvine Rafael McManus. He's a pastor over at a church called Mosaic in Los Angeles and he wrote this book that just inspires young people, old people, whoever is reading it to be barbarians for God. To return to the fact that we'd be willing to lay down our lives and die for the sake of Christ. It's a good book."
Favourite Bit on 'Dying To Be There': "There are a few of them. Probably my favourite comes on the DVD which accompanies the album. There's a moment where you get to watch thebandwithnoname on the road and as far as I'm concerned thebandwithnoname as a band is a lot about what we do on the road. We spend some time on the album but it's miniscule compared to the amount of time we spend on the road. And there's a whole segment where it's just over the first part of our song 'Drive' you get to see different episodes of us having fun out on the road and performing and ministry and praying together, preparing for the gig, tearing down afterwards and all that kind of stuff and it's a really good moment. That encompasses what thebandwithnoname really is."
Most Embarrassing Experience: "Right. I've got loads of these. I'm going to give you one that I was just reminded of quite recently when I went to dinner at Ellen Brown's house. We were meant to come on stage to do a song called 'Drive' in which we wear these overalls, sort of mechanic's suits. I have loads of chains on my shorts like dangling down at the side and because I was in such a hurry putting on my 'Drive' outfit, which is the overall, the grease monkey thing, I reached my hand through and didn't realise my hand actually went underneath one of my chains but because we were so out of time I realised at the last minute once my arm was half way through the sleeve that my chain was up so I just ripped my chain right up over my shoulder. So I had my chain over a shoulder, my arm through the sleeve, my other arm through, buttoned up as quick as I could and ran out on stage and realised that my other chain didn't get attached and was dangling out of my crotch. No lie. So I had one chain around my shoulder pulling my shorts right up and one chain dangling right out of my.between my legs and I'm like just doing the movements and anyway I looked down and realised what was going on and there was nothing I could possibly do about it. I had to carry on until the moment came to take off the suits."
Best Experience Since Joining thebandwithnoname: "Obviously every time that young people respond and become Christians at the gigs that is always undeniably a great moment for us. I've had several actually. I think for me, before these guys joined, we did a gig at Creation Fest down in Devon and afterwards I just got such a sensation while I was on stage right at the end when we did 'Amazing Grace' of the fact that these young people were really being impacted by what we were doing. It wasn't just a show, it was really having an impact and it just hit me. We came off stage and were all praying together and I just started weeping and crying and I was a proper blubbering mad lunatic person. Anyway, managed to pull myself together enough to go out to do the signing, saw a couple of kids that I recognised from a previous gig that had come along and they were really happy and in my heart I thought, 'Wow, these guys are really being discipled, it's all carrying on.' And as I was signing autographs I went back to crying again, I couldn't hold it in. It was a really good afternoon. And then probably since these guys have joined we've had tons and tons of great moments together, certainly the Schools Week that we were able to do. You guys probably remember this. At the end of one of these Schools Weeks - it was one of the ones in Thrapston - and at the end we were all praying together and again got such a sensation of, 'Wow, when I get to Heaven I'm going to see a lot of these people. They're all going to be coming up to us and hugging us and saying thank you for being a part of my journey here.' Do you know what I mean? And it just hit me, it hit me really strong. Anyway, that was a really good moment as well. And praying for these guys and realising that these guys were getting trained up and discipled. Good moment."
Full name: Dave Strafford
Date of Birth: 14th October 1983
The Month Joined thebandwithnoname: September 2005
Favourite Scripture: "It changes every week to be honest but recently Psalm 19. I love it - the beginning - 'Heavens and the Earth declare the glory of the Lord.' It's just, you know, it talks about the sky and beauty. To be honest I'm a very creative person so I always think in pictures and so when I read that Psalm I get this painting in my head and I just see the sky and the glory of the Lord and I'm just like: 'God is amazing, God is huge, God is better than that sky.' And it goes on more about - the psalm talks about wisdom, it talks about so much more. So Psalm 19, yeah. It's really beautiful."
Favourite Book by a Christian Author: "Shock Of Your Life by Adrian Holloway really impacted me. It impacted me because it was the first book I've ever read. I'm quite dyslexic so I'd never really read a whole book until I was probably 18. And that was the first book and it took a lot for me to get through it because I think there was a lot of psychological barriers as well. I just felt that I couldn't read and I was my own worst enemy really. I kept putting books down, never really finishing them and this was the first book that I read from beginning to end and it's got so much meaning to me because I persevered. And also because it talks about three characters who die and what happens to them after death. And I just realised God's called me and I'm going to be the character that goes into glory and that my life, at the end of it, when I die, I'm going to glory to be with my Dad so that's why I love the book."
Favourite Bit on 'Dying To Be There': "This is really tough. I think what is really important to me on 'Do Or Die' is the chorus because this song has been dedicated to my brother and my brother has had quite a few problems, struggles and issues and that song is dedicated to him. And so whenever that song is played, even though it is not really an emotional song as such, to me it really is because it's about something quite personal. So I would have to say probably the chorus when Chip says, when I get to Heaven my fear is you're not there. That song always gets me now. But I've got many favourite bits."
Most Embarrassing Experience: "This is really bad. This is the one that always comes into my mind when someone says that. OK, I've got a friend that I knew at primary school. I was working in a cinema and she came to visit and was telling me that she had had a child and I said, 'Oh that's great, I can tell.' And she's like, 'What? I had him a year ago.' I'd thought she'd had him like a day ago or something and it was the most embarrassing moment in my life. There were loads of people at the bar and they all heard."
Best Experience Since Joining thebandwithnoname: "One comes straight to mind. We were in Poland - there are two in Poland but I'll do this one - we were at a prison, young offenders prison and at the end our mate Vic from America does loads of BMXing tricks and stuff. He's a professional. And he's doing some tricks and he preached the Gospel, got his Bible out and laid it out the thickest he could. He just said this is what is going to happen to you if you reject God, this is what is going to happen to you if you accept him. And I just looked at one lad with his arms crossed, trying so hard not to cry. His heart was broken. I just knew that that Gospel had gone in and it had just broken him but he couldn't let it out because everyone was around him, the other prisoners were there but his heart was breaking. I looked into his eyes and the tears were welling up in his eyes and I just knew the Spirit was touching him. It wasn't important that it didn't come out physically. I just knew that inside - it was like God had revealed it to me - I just knew that that man was being completely transformed by what we were saying, what Vic was saying. That was an amazing moment for me."