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Date: August 2007
'In my mind, it kills the band. You can’t beat the horse until it’s pulpy.'
Former dc Talk singer and poet Kevin Max was asked by George Luke what he would be doing at Greenbelt
First, an unanswered question from your set at last year’s Greenbelt: what was that outfit you had on?
Oh, they had a tough time with that, didn’t they? I read a couple of the reviews. It’s an Asian coat – actually a Karate-inspired Ninjitsu type coat.
When it’s worn with a white shirt underneath, it starts to look clerical. One reviewer said I looked like ‘a wild-looking Anglican pastor’ or something!
I just had fun. I usually just go onstage with a suit coat and jeans, but that time I just thought I’d do something different. I thought the Brits could handle that!
Apparently, this year you’re doing a poetry seminar as well as singing. Isn’t poetry a dying art?
It does seem to be. One of the aims of the seminar is to figure out why. In the States, we have people like Russell Simmons who are interested in it enough that they’re trying to bring it back into popular culture.
I did a poetry seminar at a conference in New Zealand once, and it was a lot of fun.
I’ve been writing a lot of poems; I just haven’t had any published since my last poetry book. I’ve been putting them out on Myspace when I get bored. Myspace has actually been a really great outlet for me.
I go on; I get tired of reading the comments, and checking out bands that send me stuff every day, so it pushes me to write a poem. I get a poem out just about every time I’m on Myspace.
You’ve recently become a dad. How’s fatherhood treating you?
The dad thing constantly reminds me of why God created us. I think it’s obvious that there was some procreation in mind at the beginning, and it’s a shame that he had to separate us because we weren’t getting along very well.
Then again, I think it was because we were trying to attain the levels of Heaven; we’re always over-achievers, it seems.
Fatherhood has grounded me. It’s helped me gain a few pounds; it’s helped me become older and wiser.
In my mind, I was such a caricature of my own self, like in the 90s with dc Talk, that I think I needed to change to break out of who I was in the 90s and become a bit more real and not so ‘poster boy’.
The whole dad thing has given me something to chew on. And it’s a lot of fun.
We’ve seen several high-profile band reunions recently – Take That and the Police, to name two. Have ForeFront (dc Talk’s label) taken notice and tried to nudge you three back together?
No, because ForeFront’s still busy putting out Greatest Hits albums. I don’t think they have the vision for that sort of thing! I’d be up for it if they did, though.
Things like the 10 th Anniversary Jesus Freak reissue do cause me to reflect – but not in a positive way.
I look at those projects and think that what we were doing at the time was so creative… and now these projects just literally re-package the same songs, and don’t put any time into getting new music. I wish they’d go a little further.
Some of the remixes on the 10th Anniversary Jesus Freak CD were really great. But then there’s an album out called dc Talk: the Early Years; there’s one called dc Talk: Top 8; the Gotee people did Freaked! (a tribute album), and of course there’s the Greatest Hits… and now ForeFront are putting out another Greatest Hits.
In my mind, it kills the band. You can’t beat the horse until it’s pulpy; you’ve got to let it rest. I’d love to see that guy in a suit who’s making that call right now. I’d love to wrestle him to the ground and shout in his ear!
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