BETWEEN THE LINER NOTES
Third Day's Journey to Present Day
By Hannah Goodwyn
The Gomers are happy now. Third Day released their latest project, Chronology II, a collection of their favorite songs from the previous five years.
For those of you who aren’t in the loop, Gomers are die-hard Third Day fans. Since the band went national in the mid-'90s, these enthusiasts have shown their support by going to all the concerts wearing orange t-shirts (their signal to the band that the fans are with them).
“We see them all the time -- going strong,” says lead singer Mac Powell.
“It’s very humbling to see people who are supporting in that way… coming to the shows, wearing the t-shirts, night after night,” says Tai Anderson, the band’s bassist.
And there have been many nights since these five guys first exposed listeners to their southern rock twist to Gospel music. They’ve come a long way from the days of Mac’s streaked blond hair and their first project. It was 1996, and the popularity of their self-titled album spread across their generation with the break-out hit, “Consuming Fire”.
Previously Released Songs + Never-Before-Seen Video =
A Great New Album
Last January, Third Day released the first project chronicling their music journey. This latest album, Chronology II, also is a compilation featuring 18 of their original songs since Come Together (2001).
“We’ve been around for 15 years (on a national level for 10), and it’s hard to narrow that down,” Mac says.
“It was a fun project, but it was also a painful process,” says guitarist and co-founder Mark Lee.
He calls their originals "their babies". As you can imagine it was difficult for them to pick which ones to re-release on Chronology II.
“We didn’t just narrow down to radio hits,” says drummer David Carr.
That was important to the band. They didn’t just want to put together a “Greatest Hits” CD. Their goal was to focus on the songs that ministered to them and their fans the most. Mark says that they asked themselves, “Which ones have life in them today?”
Even though there aren’t any new Third Day songs on this album, fans will be pleasantly surprised to find treasures of another kind.
“There’s a bonus disc, and it’s got a whole hour long documentary about the band,” Mark says. “I’m just going to go ahead and say it, because I didn’t do it. It’s really good. I’m just so arrogant, aren’t I?”
Seriously though, Mark sees this new project as a chance for fans to experience Third Day in a new dimension.
“This is a good way to see us way back at the beginning and see where we started and how we got to where we are. I think it’s a really fun piece, and hopefully people will enjoy it,” Mark says.
On the Road with Third Day
With many succesful years in the Christian music industry under their belts and three Grammy awards, Third Day still focuses on one thing – glorifying God through everything they do.
Recently, the guys made a little trip over to the United Kingdom to do a few charity shows. Stopping off in London, Cardiff, Belfast, and Glasgow, the band rocked the crowded halls and clubs encouraging the crowds to donate to a church building construction charity called Ignite India Churches and Friendly Faces Foundation, which helps free child slaves in Ghana.
According to ThirdDay.com, thousands of fans emptied about $18,000 out of their wallets for the charities. One particular night in a club in Glasgow, Scotland, bartenders blessed the band by giving all their tips to help to the causes.
“It was a neat way that we got to paint a picture of what Christianity is all about,” Tai says about how the bartenders respond to the need.
Trips to foreign countries aren’t necessarily a novelty to the band anymore. At least, not like it was in the beginning, which led David to recall one of their fondest and one of their funniest memories.
It all began when the band had to go to Holland to play at a festival in 1995. They’d never flown in a plane and never even played a festival in the U.S. at that point. As they tell it, the hilarious journey began in Georgia, their home state.
First, they crammed themselves and all their stuff into a van and drove 12 hours to Baltimore. Why the booking agent didn't just have them fly from the airport in Atlanta, they have no clue. From Baltimore, they flew to Amsterdam by way of Iceland. They still laugh about it.
That’s not the end of their story though.
About 15,000 people joined in the festival fun. There Third Day made its European debut and rocked the house... or so they thought.
The next day, the festival newspaper, which was in German and Dutch, printed a review of their concert. In big English text, the article headline read “Third Day Please Stay in America,” Mac says laughing with his band mates.
Despite their first appearance in Holland being shot down, the guys gave it a second and third try.
“We’ve been back twice, and we had a great time,” Mark says.
What’s Next for the Band
Third Day informs CBN.com that they’ll be touring with Jars of Clay for the holidays this year. The Christmas Offerings Tour begins November 29 and ends December 16, offering fans a chance to see them in concert with their special guest. Tickets to the 12-show tour go on sale September 7. A portion of the ticket proceed will go to Blood Water Mission, the African mission work started by Jars of Clay.
After that, plans are up in the air for Third Day. They have a pretty good idea of what they’d like to do next.
“We want to go to Africa,” Mac Powell says. “Three of the guys are going. But as far as us going and playing some shows, I think that’s one dream. Also, we’d like to go to India and even Asia. I think that’d be awesome … to do a World Tour.”
Third Day even talked about their desire to do a U.S.O. tour to connect with some of the soldiers overseas. But for now, they’d just like to travel and share their music with people around the world.
“You just get such a great perspective of life and of your faith, and you see that Christianity isn’t an American brand. We have our little versions of it, but it helps us tap into what God’s doing around the world,” Tai says. “It’s really important for us and impacts our ministry at home. So we continue to look for those opportunities.”
They've done a lot of things over the years… won prestigious awards, played for millions at concerts, gone multi-platinum. One thing’s for sure, they’re not ready to stop anytime soon.
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