Recently Redpoint Magazine staff had a chance to dialogue with Jeremiah Carlson, lead singer of The Neverclaim (this issue’s Featured Artist) about music, worship, and passion. You can hear a sample song by clicking play under Featured Artist in the right hand column.
Redpoint Magazine (RM): Let’s start off with Q’s about the band: What is the vision of the The Neverclaim?
Jeremiah Carlson (JC): The Neverclaim exist as a ministry that uses music to inspire people into deeper intimacy with God as well as to prophetically call out people’s destiny as children and ambassadors of His Kingdom. The name of our band also holds us accountable to our call to lose claim of our lives all for God’s glory.
RM: If you guys could add something to the current “landscape” of worship
music in America, what would it be?
JC: I really don’t necessarily desire to add anything to it. I like to make music that I would love to hear and I like to write lyrics that I believe in. I think there is so much out there it would be really hard to bring something fresh or new if we tried. The only thing I can do is to be the man God called me to be and write songs that come from a genuine place in my heart and from a place of intimacy with Jesus. If that adds anything fresh or new to the landscape in other people’s minds then I think that’s great.
RM: What are your plans for the next year with The Neverclaim? I know you
released Quiet Down in July 2010, what’s next for you guys?
JC: We have a pretty exciting year planned ahead of us. We just teamed up with Vineyard Music to distribute our EP. We are also planning on recording a new full-length album this year along side of a February release of a live album that we recorded last year at a Conference I run called Cultivation Generation. We also plan on recording another live album this August at that conference. We believe God has called us into full-time ministry with The Neverclaim so we are playing a lot all around the U.S. this year. We also teamed up with a new manager that has overseen the careers of bands like Third Day, Caedmons Call, New Boys etc. We believe as long as we keep our hearts right the Lord will use us in a mighty way for his Kingdom.
RM: OK let’s talk about worship -
I know you are passionate about worship. When you get the chance to
lead a group of youth in worship, what are your goals right there at
that time? What are you hoping you’ll be able to accomplish in the
next thirty minutes?
JC: My biggest hope is that somehow through the time given us that young people would have authentic encounters with God and that through those encounters in his presence they would discover more of who He truly is and they would also discover more of who they truly are to him.
RM: Sometimes, as a worship leader, the lines can be blurred between
leading and performing. How do you keep those two separate?
JC: When I show up to a place to lead worship I just try my best to imagine Jesus sitting in the back watching me and my goal is to get everyone to turn around and look at him. At the same time, I think a lot of what I do could come across to people as performing—which I personally don’t have a problem with—because I know for whom I am performing and why. The ultimate goal is to get people’s eyes off me and onto Jesus.
RM: What advice would you give to teens out there who are aspiring to
become worship leaders?
JC: 1. Draw near to God through worshipping in your own private time and reading/meditating on his word. Authentic worship comes from a place of understanding the greatness of God. Remember that your public worship will reflect your secret worship.
2. Practice your musical skills a lot. Never think you’ve reached it. Always be hungry to learn more from others more seasoned than you.
3. You must become less and He must become more. If you’re attitude is contrary to that, then you need to repent and start fresh!
RM: Lastly, about you:
What are the things that bring you inspiration as a worship leader
personally? I mean, everyone else in a worship context can “phone it
in” or “spectate” once in a while if they just “aren’t feeling it.”
But that’s not so easy as a worship leader. How do you stay inspired?
JC: I can say that I stay inspired, passionate, compassionate, etc, when I am hanging with the best…Jesus! My dry times have always reflected my lack of being in his presence personally. There have also been those times as well where I wasn’t “feeling it,” but I think that is where worshiping God out of Truth and Spirit comes in. Sometimes if I’m not feeling the Spirit as much, I still have the Truth. And the Truth is, God is worthy of all that I am and that will never change. Even if I feel unworthy, dry or whatever, he is still worthy and when I’ve pressed into that, I’ve seen the Spirit move in such powerful ways in and through me. Lastly, I would also say it helps to live on a diet of music that is musically and spiritually inspiring. Some of my favorites right now are Future of Forestry, John Mark Mcmillan, Mumford and Sons, Old Johnny Cash, The Ember Days, and Misty Edwards. Anyhow, everyone needs to find a good play list that inspires them musically as well as draws them closer to God.