We spoke to Adam Agee, lead vocalist and guitar player for Stellar Kart about the band's history, their new single, 'All In (Apologize)', their upcoming album, their future plans and more. The band comprised of Agee, Nick Baumhardt, Jeremi Hough and Aleigh Sheilds is doing some summer touring and expects to release their next album 'All In' in August.
1) Can you explain to me a little bit about your history, because it seems like you guys have been on a little bit of a roller coaster ride with band members coming and going over the last few years?
"Our first record came out in 2005. We all went to the same High School and were in the same youth group and started playing in our youth group and then we put out several records. And then, about three years ago, a couple of the guys decided to, you know some of them got married and had kids, so they decided to stop touring and being away from their family so much. And so we added in Nick Baumhardt, our guitar player, he used to play with A Thousand Foot Krutch, so he has been playing with us for a while. And then Jeremy Hough is our drummer. And then we just, a year ago, added in Nick's sister Aleigh to play bass and sing for us as well. She sang on our Disney EP that we did."
2) Has it been hard for the band to deal with some much change, with band members coming and going?
"Uh, yeah. I mean, it's always tough when somebody decides to move on and do something else in the band and you definitely miss those guys, or whatever, but you've got to keep moving on a keep playing and we've been fortunate to have people step up to be a part of it. It honestly hasn't really been too difficult. It seems like there always just somebody in the right position."
3) Can you tell me a little bit about your new single 'All In (Apologize)'?
"It's basically a summation of the last couple years of my life. I actually wrote about about a hundred songs for the same record. The song is basically about not living life half way, not just half way believing what we believe or compartmentalizing God and just giving Him Sunday morning or just givingHim bits and pieces of our life. It's more of a whole-hearted, complete connection with God and I want that. And I feel like, not that I was doing anything bad or anything, it was just, I was kind of concentrating on my own strength and trying to do stuff on my own and I missed that connection where I was completely in tune with God. And so I wanted that to happen, so that's what the song is all about."
4) Was there something in particular that inspired you to write the song?
"We started out as kind of a punk-rock band, and so I've always kind of had just a little bit more of an attitude. I'm not exactly your down the line CCM musician, but I feel like I had a lyrics that kind of sparked the song and the lyric was, 'I won't apologize for what I believe,' so kind of that attitude, just I'm unapologetic about what I believe in. It's kind of and anti go-with-the-flow kind of thing."
5) What other plans do you guys have in the works? Are you working on another album in addition to the single that was recently released?
"Yeah, our album is done and it comes out August 27. It's going to be called 'All In.' We have some festivals this summer and some other shows. And then we're touring with Audio Adrenaline later this Fall."
6) What would you say has been the highlight of your career so far with the band?
"I think just getting to tour all over the world and meet so many people in so many different cities, states, countries. It's been incredible and I'm really looking forward to getting back out and touring a bunch, and doing that, I mean we get to play some really killer shows all over the world and it's been a great time."
7) You were one of the founding members of the band. What has it been like to see the change and growth within the band over the years?
"It's been good. I mean, it's just kind of like life. It's like anybody or any job, you grow and learn more about your trade and your craft and you try to get as good as you possibly can and keep improving and you're always looking to do better. And better and that's kind of what I've been doing and I feel like it's just my calling, this is what I'm supposed to be doing. And sometimes its obvious and other times I have to kind of search for if it's really what I'm supposed to be doing. And I feel like it's different for everybody and that's why it's hard for a lot of bands to stay together for so many years because everybody has their own different call from God and sometimes it lasts the entirety of a band's career, other times it lasts for a short time and then they go on to other things, and that's fine. But yes, I'm just trying to get better and better."
8) Do you have a favorite song you've written over the course of your career that has an interesting story behind it that you'd like to share?
"I love the song 'Me and Jesus,' just because it has connected with so many people and we've gotten so many e-mails and Facebook messages, tweets and all that kind of stuff about how that song has really impacted people, even to the point of some people saying the song saved their life. I remember, back in the day, it was cool someone said that she went on her friend's Myspace page, basically to leave her a not saying 'Goodbye,' she was going to commit suicide and she said she clicked on the page and that our song 'Me and Jesus' came on and she listened to the whole thing and decided to give life another try. She came to a show and told us that and she's still doing fine. It's just crazy, it's a crazy story and crazy stuff that happens and I'm just blessed to a part of it."
9) What would you say the band's main message behind your music is?
"I think, from the beginning we've been about encouragement, none of our music really tears you down or anything. It's mostly really encouragement, building you up, having a good time. And then, this new record, take it to the next step, not only just encouraging but it also moves on to challenging as well. I think encouragement is extremely important, but then I think there needs to be more than just encouraging. I think there also needs to be challenging. And it's challenging in your walk it's challenging in your life and your decisions and challenging you to be the best Christian you can be."
10) What do you think the future has in store for the band beyond the new album, beyond touring? Do you have any long-term goals for the band in mind?
"Yeah, I hope to keep going as long as I feel like it's what God wants me to do, and I really enjoy touring, I really enjoy meeting people and playing shows. I like seeing new cities and seeing the world. I like making music that positively impacts people and I'd love to continue doing that as long as I can and get involved with as many people as we can and experiencing relationships as we can."
11) Are you guys still actively involved in youth ministry?
"We definitely still have a heart for youth and it's definitely something that we still really enjoy, just hanging out with young kids and trying to impact them, because, I feel like me, personally, I wasn't bold enough about my faith when I was a youth and in youth group, until I got to college and I really started making my faith my own. So I think impacting kids at that age is a huge responsibility of ours and I'm going to really focus on doing that along with, obviously a lot of our fans started out with youth group when we were in youth group and have grown with us and now they're older as well, and I feel like a lot of them have stuck with us and that's pretty awesome too."
12) Do you have a favorite Bible verse that you would like to share?
"Yea, the first one that comes to mind is Philippians 4:13, 'I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.' That's just a super encouraging quote to make sure that I don't do stuff relying on myself. I can do that a lot, I like to think that I can handle it and I can't handle it but I can handle it through God's strength."
13) What do you and the band members like to do in your spare time?
"Well Jeremi and Nick are huge into hunting and fishing, so even on the day of a show they're out either at a pond or trying to find somebody to take them out hunting or bow hunting or something like that, they're crazy. Aleigh, she writes music and does of bunch of stuff like that and is into fashion and stuff. Then I like sports, like golf and basketball, and so if you're looking for me you can find me on the golf course."
Thanks so much for taking the time to speak to me today Adam. It was great to get to talk to you and hear about some of the exciting plans that you have in the works!