Between the Liner Notes
BarlowGirl: Stepping Up and Speaking Out
By Jennifer E. Jones
Call these girls anything but timid. The Barlow girls wear their faith on their sleeve, and little sister Lauren shares why they can’t stay silent.
Jennifer E. Jones: The last time I talked to you was 2005. Another Journal Entry had come out. What's changed since then?
Lauren Barlow: We’ve been traveling a ton. We’ve gotten to go to a lot of cool places this year, which has been awesome – Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Guatemala. That’s been the biggest thing; the overseas travel has picked up.
Jones: What country gave you the best concert experience?
Barlow: Every place you go to they respond differently. We just got back from Guatemala; that was an experience. That was the first time we’d ever been to Latin America. It was the most amazing thing that we’ve done. When we landed, there were kids with signs waiting for us at the airport. We’ve never had that before. It was really cool.
Jones: Signs when you get off the plane. It’s like you’re the Beatles.
Barlow: [laughs] I know. I thought, ‘I like this place!’
Jones: On the new album, one of the themes I love is stepping up and speaking out. You’re very bold about your faith even in a climate where some bands keep it purposely vague in order to get played on mainstream channels like MTV. Why are you so out there when staying low key could sell more records?
Barlow: We’re not here to sell a lot of albums. We’re here because God brought us here and God has given us this platform. I couldn’t imagine not singing about Him. We’re not purposely singing about Him. When someone is such a part of your life, you just talk about them a lot. That is why we do it. It’s not to make good music to make some people happy. We believe that God has given us an opportunity to speak to this world and show them the hope that God is. That’s what we want to do.
Jones: The bonus is that your record, sales-wise, started off strong. When other bands usually loose steam by the third album, why do you think you’ve stayed on top?
Barlow: We have the most amazing fans. They are so hardcore! They’re such a passionate group of people, and I love it. I don’t get why we’ve sold [so many]; we’re still shocked. It’s very humbling. It’s like, "Wow, God! Look at what You’re doing."
Jones: One of the songs that touched me was “Sweet Revenge”. Everyone’s been hurt by either family or friends. Yet you talk about forgiveness. Where did this song come from?
Barlow: It’s happened in our lives. There are stupid things that happen that you can hold on to for years. The only person that it’s harming is yourself. That’s what we realized. How stupid is it that we hold on to these things. Forgiveness is so hard. We want that person to come to us and say, “I was wrong. I’m sorry. I was a big jerk.” You want that, and a lot of times that’s not going to happen. Or even if they do say they’re sorry, that’s not going to change. That came [up] in our lives -- realizing how many times we hold on to those things. And also seeing the brokenness in our generation and seeing the hurt and the things going on in our youth today… it’s affecting the way they live. We realized that we have to forgive. It was a big deal with us. It was an inward song yet everybody goes through that.
Jones: I was listening to “Keep Quiet”, and the line that kept getting to me was: Why are we so scared / To tell the world You saved us? It’s a problem with many Christians. You have this great faith that you’re passionate about, but speaking it out loud to non-believers is hard. Why is that?
Barlow: It’s so crazy when we look at this world. MTV, VH1, and all the reality shows… it’s all so controversial. With Christianity, they want to take the ten commandments out of the buildings. We don’t want to say God in the pledge of allegiance. We don’t want to do all these things that the country was founded on. I think Christians are seeing that and getting scared. We cannot be scared; we can only be bolder. Not that we need to be going out on the streets and slapping people across the head with our Bibles. That is the completely wrong approach. People need to see our actions and how we’re living our lives. We as Christians cannot listen to what this world is saying. I think the reason why they pick on us is that we’re already acting like the underdog. We can’t do it any more. We cannot back down. We need to be just as out there with our faith as everybody else is. Nobody is ashamed that they’re a Buddhist. They openly speak about it. So why can’t we openly speak about who our God is? We have the truth.
Want to share about how you're using your faith to change your school? Speak Out on BarlowGirl.com
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