Worship pastor Layton McGuire has just released his brand new album "Hero: the Album." The album, which features newly penned original worship tunes, finds McGuire leading us to worship in his own unique style. We are honored to be able to catch up with Layton for this exclusive interview.
Q: Time flies. The last we interviewed you was almost two years ago. For some of our readers who may not been too familiar with you, can you briefly give us a description of yourself and your ministry?
Sure! Yeah it has been a long time. Last time I was interviewed I came out with an album called Trust. Trust was really simple with acoustic and vocals and really familiar, great worship songs with two of my own in there. This time I'm bringing something I worked on in my own studio. I really want people to be able to have a meaningful, personal relationship with the Lord. Part of the vision of this album was to create a place where people felt like we were together in the arena worshiping together. I really felt God's power and love as I was writing and recording this album and I am very much hoping that other people will have a similar impact on their heart Lord willing.
Q: You have recently released a new album "Hero: The Album." I have been listening to it on iTunes, and it's very different from your previous record "Trust." While "Trust" has a very acoustic sound, this new record sounds very different. Tell us about the sound of this album?
Absolutely. With Trust it was very simple and stripped down. As I would listen I could envision drums behind the song trust or some violin. When I approached building my own studio I knew I wanted to incorporate a much fuller sound. I love big songs for worship because to me it makes the moment more full and more epic rather than something soft and sweet. I did throw in an acoustic and vocal song on this album called This man which is very much soft and intimate but it does have a fuller more powerful sound. My desire is to really serve each song and add or leave out whatever is called for for each song. I love having the tools to be able to really develop a song or simplify it and make it high quality as far as sound goes.
Q: What inspired to change direction in terms of the sound of the record?
Most of the time when I am at a worship event in an arena or I listen to my friends services or albums they have very full sounds, full bands. I love acoustic times but there are some times that it's just necessary to have a big sound. It cant be accomplished all the time with just beefing up the acoustic and vocals although I thoroughly enjoy that. I also felt I could do much more vocally and musically and wanted to put that into the album to more fully express how I worship and how I see worship music.
Q: While "Trust" was mostly an album of your take of popular worship songs, "Hero," I guess, is all original songs? Did you write them all?
Yes. This is a full, original album. I felt this is where I was headed as I was working on and finishing Trust.
Q: What are your hopes for this new album? What kind of impact do you wish this album will have on your listeners and churches?
I'm really hoping people will feel peace, comfort and power in Christ. I would love to gather together and worship with these songs in a large setting but it also brings me joy to think that people can just taste and see that the Lord is good through this album through their headphones and really just take it in. We have so many ways to listen to music now. I'm hoping people play it in their cars and homes and that it would be a blessing. I really believe it would stir their heart to confidence in God.
Q: Why did you entitle the album "Hero: the Album"?
One of the songs is called Hero and it was a major foundation of the Album. I had shown people glimpses of writing the song and I put a video of recording the rough draft of the song production wise. It was fun but then I realized the Album could be mistaken for the song, so I added at the end; "the Album".
Q: Tell us about the recording process, how did you experience God in a fresh way while making this album?
I went through a very different season with this album. I was in a lot of battles and really felt the Lord was a warrior who fought with me and I with Him. He spoke to me as a Leader, a Coach and a King you would meet with before battle. The Lord was also showing me more heavily that He fights over me. A lot of different places in life pull on me and ask for my attention but God continually draws me to himself and shows me he wants time with me, a connection with me and He has good things for me. I also enjoyed the creative process of caring for others in this album. I very much feel God in caring for other people and this album was a way to do that.
Q: For our readers who would like to find about you and your music, where can they go?
They can grab their copy of Hero on iTunes. I'm all over social media but a good place to start would be my Facebook Music Page. I also have my website they can head over to and find out more about me, LaytonMcGuire.com