Salvador: Making it Look 'So Natural'
By Jennifer E. Jones
Playing hundreds of shows a year, Salvador rightfully earned the title, "The Hardest Working Band in Christian Music." And no one works harder than frontman, Nic Gonzales. I caught up with the singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer to see what life is like wearing so many hats.
Jennifer E. Jones: How was it working with Rick Cua on your new album, So Natural? He’s been out since in the 80s making music.
Nic Gonzales: We wrote a couple songs with Rick Cua, only one of which made it on the album. I love Rick. I consider him one of my good friends. He’s so amazing. He’s like a musician’s pastor. Writing songs is so much more than just writing words on a paper. There are the friendships and relationships you build while writing.
Jennifer: Does it take a long time to write songs?
Nic: There are some people that are very gifted at it; they can write fast. I personally cannot. It takes me a long time to develop songs. All the songs on this particular record lived in demo form, which is basically a stripped down version of every song, for a while. It took me a year [but] it was a labor of love.
Jennifer: You not only wrote the songs but you did a lot of the producing on this album. It seems like you wear a ton of hats. Where do you find the balance?
Nic: Well, I sleep two hours a day so it gives me lots of time to do other things.
Nic: I don’t know. The band helps me out in every way they can on the road. It allows me to do other things. They do lots of things outside of Salvador just to keep things in perspective. Spiritually, it’s really easy because my parents are pastors. I certainly could never do it without having such great guys in the band. Even the guys who are new come in and help along side. Producing is something that I’ve recently started doing. I’m producing indie records right now for a couple of different bands. It’s cool. I don’t think I know everything. People ask me to do things, and I try to do my best.
Jennifer: How do you like being a producer?
Nic: It’s a chance to spread my wings and fly. It’s always cool to see new bands coming up.
Jennifer: And you get to see what’s new in the industry from the ground up.
Nic: I love it because these guys are untampered with. They’re brand new. Some of them have never been part of a record label and don’t know anything about it. So I’m really glad that they can turn to us. We have an interesting outlook. We don’t take things too personally. We know that we live here just for a short time. We don’t put our eggs in every basket that we come across. We certainly believe that God has a purpose in our lives. So as long as we keep that up, we’re in good shape.
Jennifer: You have so many great songs on this album. My personal favorite is “This is My Life” with the hymn in it. What made you want to do that?
Nic: That song is interesting because it came about on a day when we were initially writing something different. We started something in the morning that was an up-tempo, usual Salvador, kinda funky thing that we always write. Right towards lunchtime, we started talking about how awesome God was and all the things we wanted to do for Him in our lives. That ended up being a song. We talked about old songs, and we said, ‘Why don’t we just put an old hymn in there.’ Originally we talked about 'Amazing Grace'. Then we started singing a little more, and I think it was Jason who said, ‘What about the chorus to ‘How Great Thou Art’?’ We were like, ‘Yes.’
Jennifer: Do you almost feel more humbled by the awards and the press?
Nic: It’s a little embarrassing when people say things about you in third person. My mom and dad always said, ‘People are gonna come and they’re gonna think you’re cool. But don’t ever forget, don’t ever forget, don’t ever forget.’ And don’t ever forget is the easiest way not to forget.
For more on Salvador, visit their Web site.
Purchase So Natural.
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