The fibers of the flesh and night sky have created the magic and musical talent that is Sparrow Record's pride and joy, Starfield. Initially started by brothers Tim and Jon Neufeld, their band has since expanded to host Shaun Huberts (bass) and Johnny Andrews (drums) over the past year. While their mission may be clear on their self-titled debut, their music reaches beyond borders.
SS: Is it important to you as a band to branch out into the secular market?
Jon: We feel called to the church and to lead people in worship. We grew up as kids in youth group in a church band. Tim as a music pastorÖyou look back and can see the gradual progression into our becoming a performance band and learning how to put on a show, but in our root, we're a worship band and Tim is a worship leader. For now anyway, that's where we've been called and are most effective.
Tim: Rick Warren has this book called The Purpose Driven Life that has a chapter called Listen to Your Life and if we're really listening to our life, it can show you were God is nudging you. It's not all the rocket science that we try to make it, it's just a matter of looking back and knowing what gets you going and what excites you, like your passion for life. That's music and worship for us.
SS: What honesty do you feel you can provide your generation through your music?
Tim: Christian artists are just Christians who are artists. For us, we write songs about surrender and our relationship with Christ; we just really have a heart for the church. Other people have a heart for the people in the clubs, who may not care about Christianity, but just want to write positive music. That allows people to look deeper into their lives and allows them to be open to the bigger questions of life. The band Switchfoot is a great example, their hit radio singles are songs that you can't help but listen to and ask the questions they're asking about the purpose of life. I love that and that's what I love about the body of Christ too because there's all these different parts that are designed to do different things or be different things for people.
SS: How did everyone in the band meet?
Jon: Tim and I are brothers. It's been about 6 years since we started this band, I started when I was 17 (laughs), we all had factory jobs on the side. We met Johnny, our current drummer about 2 years ago when he played with a Canadian band called Jake. Johnny grew up with a guy from Victoria BC, Shaun, who's now our bassist and we've all been together for about a year. We're definitely open to having them write with us in the future.
SS: Who are your influences as musicians, what artists do you admire?
Tim: I'm big on a band called Muse right now, they sound like Radiohead. Canada has some great songwriters. I think Bryan Adams is the ballad king. All of his songs he's loved and suffered through them. Shania Twain is another great writer, even though she's in a completely different genre; I respect them.
Jon: I love the band Keane; they don't use electric guitars, only keyboard sounds that sound like guitars. We've both always been huge Brit Rock fans.
SS: Have you ever thought about doing any charity concerts in North America or Overseas?
Tim: We've been thinking about going to Africa, some charity's need you to get like 500 sponsorships on your tour and then you get like 3 round trip tickets or something (laughs). There are some things in Eastern Europe we're thinking about doing actually. It's such a different vibe there, they can't afford to bring a band there, and people can't pay to come. We don't care though; we're not about the money here or there, just as long as we can pay for our expenses. It'd be a great experience to travel and perform. By default, we definitely have a heart for where there is more need.
Jon: I think it's so important to think outside North America because it's so easy to just keep our world view so self-centered, where we feel we have to make a certain amount of money, own 4 carsÖwhatever it may be. The rest of the world doesn't have the luxuries we have and I think we need to see that and be accountable for it by doing something.
SS: What do you think your music says about God and about Christ as a whole?
Tim: I hope that it would say that God is real and he's not mad at you and what you've done. I hope it would give people a real understanding of what grace is and not just a Sunday school understanding. That God created this life to enjoy it with you and there's freedom, truth, and real life in surrendering to that. The world has attached, especially for men, this machismo and said that surrender is for the weak and foolish, but it's truly the secret to life, it's where you find fulfillment. The scripture's talk about the two greatest Commandments; to love God and to love people. I feel like we're missing out if we just love God and don't do the things that Jesus talks about like loving the poor, fatherless and the widowed and giving back rather than holding onto your wealth. Your wealth is not God's priority; it's that your life is lived in surrender and that your life is being given away to those that are in greater need than you.
For more information on upcoming shows visit: www.starfieldonline.com
Writer: Lindsay Bloemink