Ghost Ship has just released their highly anticipated sophomore album, Costly. It is the follow up album to their label debut with The Good King in 2013. Costly was written over the last two years during a difficult time for leader, Cam Huxford. Each song came out of a personal hardship and conversation with God about each one of those hardships. With the dissolvement of Mars Hill Church at the end of 2014, the band still continues to lead worship and write music that points to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Hallels: Some of readers may not be familiar yet with your music. So, let's start from the most basic, why did you call yourselves "Ghost Ship"?
We used to say that our full name was "The Holy Ghost Ship" and that Ghost Ship was our nickname. The idea behind the name is that we are a vessel driven by the Holy Spirit. We don't control where we go. We go wherever He takes us.
Hallels: How is Costly different from your previous music?
It is more personal. Our last record, The Good King, came from a place of theological confidence. Honestly, this one doesn't. It comes from a place of brokenness. We still want to write music that is theologically sound and we are careful to write music that is true but I'd say the main contrast between the last 2 records is this: In The Good King we wanted to proclaim something about God. In Costly we are documenting experiencing something about God, specifically his love for us in the midst of hardship. When things got really hard, everything else faded away and I was left with the fact that he loves me.
This record is about God's love. From the beginning I felt strongly that the message of this record should be, "Jesus loves you." That decision came out of a personal experience I had with God this past year. I experienced a lot of heart break and pain this year and in the middle of it, when everyone and everything around me started to fail me, what I was left with was God's love. When I was really up against the wall, all of my theology and what I believe about God was boiled down to something that simple: Jesus loves you.
Hallels: Why did you title the album Costly?
When we had decided that we were writing I record about God's love, we asked ourselves, if we ran into someone on the street and only had time to tell them one thing about God's love, what would it be. I decided I'd tell them that his love is costly. It cost Jesus his life. And what was costly to him is free to us. Part of the idea behind the title and artwork is to show that nothing on earth is as costly or valuable as God's love for us.
Hallels: Can you share with us a little of what you went through during the difficult time making this album? And how did the Lord ministered to you during this time through music?
In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul says (I'm paraphrasing), if you as believers fight with each other, it will be a loss to you...Why not rather be wronged..." I feel like this year we experienced what Paul meant be, "it will be a loss to you." When things were going crazy at the church, it felt like civil war.; brothers and sisters fighting against each other. And we experienced great loss in so many relationships that we had. But now I am seeing Jesus to a great work of reconciliation and re-unification in our city. It seems miraculous. Many of the relationships that I had lost have been repaired by now. It's amazing. In Jesus' High Priestly Prayer, he prayed that we would be one. One thing I've been thinking about recently is that we as believers do have differences and disagreements and that's ok. But we need to remember that what we are unified in (Jesus Christ) absolutely overwhelms where we are distinct.
Hallels: Tell us more about your single "Look What God Has Done?"
This song was a cowrite between myself, Zach Bolen from Citizens & Saints and Brian Eichelberger, who produced our record and who plays in C&S. The lyrics are based on Ephesians 3, which says some crazy things about the church. That passage says that the mystery of the gospel is that gentiles are adopted into the church. That's the huge mystery that has been hidden for ages, that he let us into his family. Coming out of something as bad as the implosion of Mars Hill, on this side of it, I'm just grateful to be a part of Jesus church and I'm amazed by it. I believe what Ephesians 3 says, that Jesus church brings glory to God and that the whole universe learns something about the manifold wisdom of God through what he is doing in his church.
Hallels: Where can fans find out more about Ghost Ship?
You can visit our website http://ghostshipmusic.com/ and follow up on Facebook and Twitter @GhostShipMusic.