CNN SUNDAY MORNING
Aired April 25, 2004 - 09:30 ET
David Crowder is joining us now. He is a veteran of the contemporary Christian music scene. For years he's fronted a Christian rock band, joining us this morning from Nashville.
David, do you really consider yourself a Christian rock band?
DAVID CROWDER, CHRISTIAN MUSICIAN: Christian rock band. We do make music and it does sound like rock and roll.
CROWDER: So I guess there's some -- no, not really. We exist to try to give voice to a group of people and it just happens to surface in the language of our culture, and popular music is one of those languages.
CALLAWAY: So the beat may sound rock but the message is decidedly different. It's worship music, isn't it?
CROWDER: Yes. It's actually us addressing God or our response to God for who he is and what he's done wrapped in the package or the vehicle of music.
CALLAWAY: you are incredibly popular. You perform in concerts all over the country. And this is not like the way most groups would operate in the music industry. I know these people gather to worship as you say and listen to your music and that's where they can actually buy your music? CROWDER: Well, yes. It's kind of -- it's kind of a strange thing. You've got a lot of folks that are musicians that most of what they do is spend their time performing trying to attract attention to themselves or try to get fans. There's a pursuit of stardom or fame. And for us, I've got a really good pal that says, you guys are more like a moon than a star. Because a moon, if it wasn't for the sunshine, it's just a ball of dirt. For us, the light of Christ when it shines on us, it's just a beautiful collision. We're more interested in attracting attention to God than ourselves, which is kind of weird for a rock band.
CALLAWAY: Right. I want people to look at this video and see the crowds you attract here. I don't think a lot of people understand how big this is. The CD that Time Warner is selling called "Songs for Worship" has sold something like 8 million CDs since the year 2000. Why do you think that is?
CROWDER: I think we've just got the climate in our culture. There's just a great need for hope. I mean, you see all these things that are happening with the war and it's just the climate exists that things are not right. Things aren't as they should be. When you have this picture of hope and rescue in the middle of it, it's just a huge encouragement. I think that's why you have "Passion of the Christ" and the "Left Behind" series and "Songs for Worship" having such -- really pervading our current cultural scene. I think it's a picture of hope in the middle of a great need for it.
CALLAWAY: I understand that your first love is really not rock. It's polka music?
CROWDER: That's a vicious lie.
CALLAWAY: I know that's what you started hearing a lot, you said, growing up. But truly you were kind of a punker, weren't you, when you first started?
CROWDER: Come on. Look at me. I'm conservative. You have to be kidding.
CALLAWAY: It is just amazing, you know, the wave of popularity that your music is receiving. Do you consider yourself a rock star?
CROWDER: No. I am a complete dork.
CALLAWAY: Listen to you. I know you have your own church, is where I'm going.
CROWDER: Actually, we've got -- it's just -- it's hugely encouraging to see people attached to this music. I mean, granted it's a very subjective thing, it's us trying to express our faith, and then you see there must be some objectivity in it when you have other people attached to these lyrics and words and they somehow find their way into their hearts and lives and a part of their spiritual devotional lives. That's a huge encouragement.
CALLAWAY: I know you helped start the University Baptist Church in Waco, Texas.
CROWDER: That's true.
CALLAWAY: That's what I was trying to get you to talk about.
CROWDER: I'm so sorry. I'm slow.
CALLAWAY: I just want to say thank you for being with us today. Good luck on your mission and I'm sure we'll be hearing more of you out there.
CROWDER: Thank you for having me.