Britt Espinosa, one of the founding members of The Exchange, may only be 19, but he is wise beyond his years. In this exclusive interview with Hallels.com, he talks about purpose, ministry and some recent changes in the band's lineup.
Kim - Let's talk about the why behind The Exchange ... why you do what you do and where you see the band going from here.
Britt - There is a bigger purpose. I've been in the band since I was 16. I grew up always dreaming about playing. This year, everything kind of exploded for us. A lot of big things happened. We played with Newsboys. I got to hang out with Michael Tate before the show. We went out there and there was 20,000 people. It was crazy. You've fought your whole life for this moment and it lasts for 30 minutes. You come off stage and it's over. You're left wondering, what's next? I think that's what happens with big artists and people in general. They spend their whole lives thinking, if I just "make it, I'll be good." Then they get to that point and they're left wondering, "what's next?" There is never going to be an end-all answer for this world. What's next is Jesus and Heaven and eternity with our Father. It's crazy to me. I've grown up my whole life in church, yet it took me 19 years to relearn rule #1 of the Christian faith ... Commandment 1 - you shall have no other God before me. I just think it's so crazy how God brings these lessons back to our lives. The lessons that people who have never known God before can be a lesson that we have to learn even after 19 years of following God.
Kim - True. We have to learn daily in our walks. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, how much money is in your bank account or what your title says on your door, we all will stand before God on judgement day and answer for our lives. Speaking of lives - you guys made a big announcement about some changes in your lives not too long ago.
Britt - We did. We let Mikey go. It's been crazy. Mikey and I started this band. We met about five years ago standing in line at a concert in Seattle. He was in front of me and we started talking about music. We were like, "Let's start a rock band!" I didn't get his number, so we didn't start a band. About a year later, I was 15 and at a music festival. I saw him and we started talking again. We talked about starting a band again but it still didn't happen. About six months later, I was hired to play guitar at a local church and Mikey was there, playing drums. We finally started our band but it was church worship music. My younger brother, who was 13 at the time, played drums and Mikey sang. The first year, we did 50 shows. The next year, we doubled that to 100. This year, we've done about 150 dates. We love Mikey but this wasn't his dream anymore. He got married last year and his dreams have changed. Me and Jack, my brother ... this is still our dream. We want to do this full-time. We want to travel and be on the road 200 to 250 days a year, doing ministry. It's not about money - we don't care if we make it or if we don't, if we have hit radio singles or we don't. We love people and loving on people. When you're in a band, whether you like it or not, you're on a platform. The thing about being on a platform is that when you're on it, you can totally rip people apart and make them feel bad about themselves. Just little "normal" things like walking past someone without speaking - they can think that you just don't care - don't want to talk to them. But the cool thing is that you can use it to speak love into people's lives. You can make someone's day. My brother and I love that. One time, we played show for 5 people that we had driven six hours to get to. It didn't matter. Those were 5 people who mattered that we got to love on. Mikey loves people too - don't get me wrong. But once he got married, he had a wife he had to think about and we don't blame him for wanting to be at home more with her. God had been putting it on our hearts - all of us - that this was the step to take. Jack and I both knew that this might be the end of the band, or at least the season, but we also knew that this is what God wants. We just gave it to Him. I've been singing over the past couple of weeks but I don't know what will happen next - if we'll get another singer or what. Jack and I are content to just keep traveling and loving people like God calls us to do.
Kim - Getting married changes your life and the lives of those closest to you. That's how it's supposed to be. Priority's change when you step into that season. It's sad to see a chapter close, but God opens the next one.
Britt - That is so true. We're all young. My brother is 17, I'm 19 and our bass player is 19 too so marriage isn't it our plans at all yet. We're still in the season that Mikey had moved out of. Whatever God has in store for us, we're excited about it.