BETWEEN THE LINER NOTES
Bebo Norman: Living in a Season of Peace
By Heidi Krumenauer
Guest Writer for CBNmusic
Heidi Krumenauer: Let’s talk about your new CD. Is this new sound something that you carved out intentionally or did it just happen?
Bebo Norman: That’s a good question. It’s probably a little bit of both. I’d say it’s more of something that just happened than something I carved out. I was in a place in my life where I wanted something that was interesting to me again musically. I got to a point where I was struggling to be inspired by the music around me, and that’s kind of a sad place to be because I love music so much.
Krumenauer: So what’d you do?
Norman: My songwriting has always been inspired by other songs. I asked a few of my friends to put together CDs of the songs that moved them that much. For a few months, I dove into the songs they gave me and listened to the favorite songs of people I respect. Honestly, the songs on my CD are the songs that came out of that period.
Krumenauer: I was reading a quote where you said, “My album is a turning point for me; everything feels new to me again, from the writing to the production.” Tell me about that.
Norman: The last few years have been a discovery process. It’s really the first time I’ve ever settled into a place of peace in my life, and I’m just feeling peaceful for the first time ever. I finally realize that I don’t live and die by music. I’ve started realizing that what inspires me are the people in my life and how profoundly God shows up in those relationships. I’m living in this newfound peace.
Krumenauer: I just read that your music is used in the promotional spots for the new CBS sitcom, The Class. How did that happen?
Norman: Yeah, that was neat! That was one of those random things I have very little to do with. The publishing company compiled some music, and they sent it off to CBS. It’s completely outside of what I do, but it’s fun to flip through the channels, and I yell (laughing): “Hey, that’s me!” That’s pretty fun.
Krumenauer: Your music has changed, but other things have changed in your life. You’ve been known as the quintessential bachelor, and now you’re married and going to be a dad.
Norman: Yeah, we’re pregnant with our first child. I’ve been painting our nursery, so I’m dressed up in my painting clothes today.
Krumenauer: When are you due?
Norman: We’re due March 28, so here we go! We’re having a little boy. My wife has always said she wanted a house full of boys, so I guess we’re on our way.
Krumenauer: So are you glad bachelorhood is behind you?
Norman: It’s funny. Musicians sort of become caricatures of ourselves. The media finds something of interest that sets us apart, and they inflate the things that become attractive. The whole single thing was very much that. My life didn’t look that much different than any other guy who was single until he was 30. I talked a lot about being lonely, and I really enjoyed the opportunity to talk to single people. In some strange way, maybe I was being a spokesperson for those people. I’ve been married for three years, and I can honestly say that it took every single minute of 30 years for God to make me into what I needed to be for my wife. Even the lonely moments are not being wasted. There’s no question at all that was a huge part of my story.
Krumenauer: There really is a lot of pressure these days to get married.
Norman: Absolutely. My family didn’t pressure me, but I think culture puts pressure on us. I think the bottom line is that there’s a story being told within each one of us. We need to embrace the unknown. If you’d have asked me five years ago, and if I would have been honest enough to give you a straight answer (laughs)…if something uncertain was going to happen in my life, even marriage, I would have told you that I’d be nervous and afraid. One of the biggest things that happened with marriage is that it’s the first time where I really stepped into something that I really didn’t know a whole lot about, but I felt certain I was called into it. In these past three years, life has unfolded in an incredibly beautiful way. The process of unfolding is beautiful. So, now we’re going into having this child, and we don’t have a clue what we’re doing.
Krumenauer: You won’t have a clue for the next 30 years!
Norman: (laughs) Exactly! You have to embrace what you don’t know. I don’t have a clue, but that’s exciting for me. For the first time, it’s really exciting. I’m ready for what I don’t know, and I know that God’s in control of it.
Krumenauer: So if you had to wrap up all your advice, what would that be?
Norman: Jesus’ blood never failed me yet. Those lonely times when I was on the road, even in the darkest moments, I can remember Jesus’ blood never failed me. I’m still standing. It’s not a testament to me but a testament to the Lord. I guess I would say embrace the story. Embrace the unfolding of the story and don’t rush to jump to the end. It’s like my new record. When I first started writing for this record, my songs were coming out sounding like happy, happy, joy, joy songs. I’ve realized that peace doesn’t make sense without problems. It’s hard to understand light without darkness. They need each other to make sense. Peace has to have something to stand against. If I hadn’t understood loneliness like I do, I wouldn’t have the appreciation for my relationship with my wife like I do.
Krumenauer: So how has marriage and this pending fatherhood influenced your music?
Norman: I don’t know. Because of the ways I’ve been affected by marriage and by stepping into this season of peace, I realize that I needed to find some level of service in my life by serving my wife. God has opened my eyes to the needs of the world, and that’s coming out in my songs. They aren’t songs about marriage, but they’ve come about because of my relationship and what I get out of my marriage. I can only imagine how God’s going to keep opening my eyes.
Krumenauer: Bebo, you are really living in what you call “a season of peace.” Good for you!
Norman: No, good for God, really. Maybe it is just a season, but I certainly hope that He allows it to stick around for a while. Even if He doesn’t, it’s been a beautiful season for sure.
Between the Dreaming and the Coming True (2006)
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