Spreading the Gospel Message 'Downhere'
Canadian Band Has High Hopes for Rock the River
August 20, 2010 - Radio program producer Phil Fleischman had a chance to catch up with Glen Lavender, bass guitarist for Downhere, one of the featured bands of the Rock the River Tour West.
Our nation needs to hear the message of Jesus, and I’m so excited that it’s coming from Franklin Graham.
Lavender talks about his home country of Canada, his band’s music, and the message he wants to get across to Canada’s youth.
BGEA: How are you feeling about your involvement with Rock the River Tour West?
Lavender: I’m really excited for multiple reasons. For starters, I have a great respect for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, along with Franklin Graham and the whole team. They have a really strong history in my home country of Canada. Our nation needs to hear the message of Jesus, and I’m so excited that it’s coming from Franklin Graham. He delivers a strong message.
I’m also looking forward to being able to play our music in front of a larger Canadian audience. We had the chance to tour Canada with Michael W. Smith, but other than that, we haven’t had any significant tours around here. We are building up a good following at home, and I hope that more people can enjoy our music. We write songs for the people of the church, who we hope will spend time praying through lyrics, and know Jesus better as a result.
BGEA: How did the band get its name?
Lavender: We’ve got four guys in the band, including two singers. Mark, one of those singers, had a couple of friends die in an accident. He was mourning that and dealing with the loss, and ended up writing a song called Down Here. We ended up taking that name for the band, because it has a couple of different meanings. First of all, we are down here on the earth living our lives, because there is an “up there” that is worth living for. We also want to be down to earth; we don’t want to be the band that hides out in the green room.
BGEA: How do you gear your music toward someone who might make a first-time decision for Christ?
Lavender: We try to use language that a nonbeliever would understand. If our music is going to be used to introduce people to Jesus, we need to stay away from language you would only hear in church.
Our most recent full album is titled, Ending is Beginning. It’s about God using us in our weakness. We have got to come to the end of ourselves for God to work in us. When we were trying to come up with a title for this album, we thought about what Jesus’ followers must have been feeling or thinking when He was nailed to the cross. They thought it was the end and that their hope was gone. Now we know that Jesus’ death was only the beginning. So, that’s where the title comes from. When you really hit the bottom and realize you don’t have control, it can be a new beginning.
BGEA: What are your thoughts on working with BGEA?
Lavender: We worked with the BGEA team when Franklin came to the Tacoma Dome in Seattle. That was a great experience. Also, back when I was a teen Billy Graham came to Toronto and preached at the Skydome. DC Talk was even there. That event had such a huge impact on lot of people. Now, it is very cool to be on the other end and be in one of the bands that are playing. I love that the BGEA team is coming back to Canada. Hopefully, we’ll have a strong impact.
BGEA: You mentioned earlier that Canada really needs the message of Christ. Would you elaborate on that?
Lavender: Canada is very politically correct. Many people have the mindset that truth is relative, and that “your truth is your truth, and that’s okay.” Canada is also quite environmentally conscious, which is not a bad thing, except it causes people to misplace the emphasis on the creation rather than the Creator.
BGEA: Can you tell us about your own spiritual journey?
Lavender: I came to the Lord fairly young. I grew up in the church, but I remember being a kid in school and swearing. Around the third grade, I made the decision to follow Jesus. I had to give up some hard things, but giving them up brought me freedom. Every day I have to choose Christ over myself.
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