Anberlin's frontman, Stephen Christian is releasing his new solo album, Wildfires, on July 28th with BEC Recordings. With the disband of Anberlin in 2014 and working four part-time jobs, Christian began searching what was the next step for his future. During that challenging time, he was able to create this worship project that has special meaning to him. The debut single, "Gloria," from the upcoming solo album is already gaining traction at radio as it is the No. 2 most added single at Hot AC/ CHR this week.
Following the retirement of Anberlin, Stephen Christian is now a full time worship leader at Calvary Albuquerque in New Mexico. Anberlin was a staple in the rock music industry since 2003 and has been featured on USA Today, Billboard, A.V. Club and many more. Seven albums and 11 years later, the band released their final full-length album in 2014 with Tooth & Nail.
Q:. After all of these years of fronting Anberlin, what were some of the highlights for you?
The first time we saw Seattle for the first time, it felt like life went into slow motion. We were on our way to record Blueprints and the world felt obtainable & surreal at the same time. NTFP recording process, we would all fall asleep to the Cardigans with the window open and we were too naive to realize what we had in the palm of our hands.
Q: Why did Anberlin have to dissolve? Do you miss the band now?
Anberlin, in the form that it was in, had to dissolve. It was unhealthy and corroding from the inside out, I cannot say it is gone forever but it will absolutely look different if it came around again. I miss aspects of the band but I don't miss the anxiety, the separation from my family, and the interpersonal relationships, or lack thereof.
Q. Currently you are a worship pastor in a church, how did that come about?
God. Nothing short of God. I have a friend here at Calvary Albuquerque who asked me to come and lead, it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I enjoy the team I work with and the head Pastor, Skip Heitzig, is incredible.
Q. Being a worship leader, what were the songs you included in your worship set the last time you led worship in church?
A lot of them are originals, we are currently recording a Calvary Albuquerque Worship record under the name 'Battledrums'. Other than that, I like the songs "Alive the River." "Wonder," "Brave" and many more.
Q. Let's talk about your new album. How is Wildfires different or the same compared to your work with Anberlin?
There are a lot of differences, and similarities. I am still greatly influenced by the 80's and Electronic music and my lyrics are still personal and are the overflow of personal experiences. The differences are clear: this is a Worship Album, vastly different than anything Anberlin put out.
Q. Why did you call the album Wildfires?
Every three generations there is a move of the Holy Spirit, it is our time, these are the days. I am not sure when and where it will take place, I doubt this record will be the catalyst, but I hope that this record moves people and draws them closer to God.
Q. Many of the songs come out of your own personal struggles. Can you pick a song or two off the record where the song(s) was (were) birthed out of your struggle(s) with the Lord?
"Trust" and "All I Need To Know" are the two songs that I thought of when I read the question. The beginning of 2015 was a tough time, but my faith allowed me to press on and these songs are based on those times.
Q: How do you wish this album could impact the lives of your listeners and God's kingdom?
It's not my job, it's the Holy Spirit; the Bible says, "The Word will not return void." My job is to simply be the conduit to the throne room of God.