Episode 41: The Story Behind “You Are Faithful”

Hear the heart behind the new song “You Are Faithful” from songwriter Amanda Lee Potaczek. You can download this song + 2 more for free at www.noisetrade.com/1000generations.

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Why Exactly I’m Letting “1000 Generations” Go

Last week, I announced on Twitter and Facebook that 1000 Generations is coming to close. We also released “The Last 3 Songs” that we’ve been working on, for absolutely free on NoiseTrade (to download it, click here). This week, I’d like to explain why exactly I’m moving on.

Let me start by saying that I love our tribe of 1000 Generations so freaking much. This truly has nothing to do with some internal struggle in the band. Over the years, we have truly become a family. I know them inside and out, and they me. We will continue to do life and music together, just not as “1000 Generations.” The reason we’re moving on is a bit a hairball, but I will try to peel back some of the layers for you.

The most focused and happy I felt with the band was probably around the time of releasing our 2nd album, “To Those Who Cry.” It felt pure. It felt honest. It was life-giving. Somewhere along the way though, I started getting caught up in “bigger, better, stronger, faster.” This became especially apparent to me after we started seeing some chart success at radio.

Getting radio was such a blessing. Yet for me, it seemed like all I did for a while was watch the charts to see where we were. I started having good days or bad days depending on our rise or fall. I hated it, and wasn’t feeling very good about myself either.

Around the same time, I started producing other artist friends of mine. I was having SO much fun. I wanted to get into this more, but never could find enough time.

I also started having a strong desire to go back to school to work on a Master’s of Science in Music Technology. I have always loved the nerdy, tech side of music just as much as the creative, emotional side. But we were on the road almost all the time.

I started losing passion for touring because my once clear, God-given mission with the band started getting hazy. What were we supposed to be doing? We tossed around a lot of good ideas but without a clear directive from God, I knew we were just floundering doing our own thing. I didn’t like this idea at all, and I know the other guys didn’t either.

Finally, Amanda and I started having this crazy desire to procreate. We noticed the world differently. We saw “families” for the first time, and wondered what that might look like for the two of us! There really is something to the whole “biological clock” thing I think. Prior to this, we really poured as many of our waking hours solely into 1000 Generations. That was our family.

All this started adding up until the day came that I just asked Amanda, “are we really supposed to continue 1000 Generations?” We’d worked so hard to establish a dream in our hearts, so even the thought of quitting seemed ridiculous. But I couldn’t shake the feelings. “What if it’s time to let it go?” Scary thoughts.

Around December 2011, Amanda and I got together with the rest of the band, and asked them what they thought we should all do. After going round and round for a few hours, we all came to the conclusion that without clear directives from God, 1000 Generations doesn’t make sense. It was bittersweet. It still is.

So what are we going to do now? First, we’re going to finish out this year strong as a band. We are thrilled about the upcoming events left on our calendar, and plan to put out a few more videos and things here and there. Apart from that, we’re not really sure. I know that I want to produce more artists, and spend more time with my amazing family (I also have this secret desire to release a children’s project that parents wouldn’t actually mind playing on car trips because the music is creative and good). We’ll just have to wait and see.

If you haven’t already, be sure to share “The Last 3 Songs” with your friends because they’re completely free. We did this as a way to say that we love you and sincerely appreciate you as one of the many who’ve supported us and our music throughout the years.

Keep watching as next week Amanda will release a YouTube video here sharing her heart behind writing one of the songs on the free release, “You Are Faithful.”

With love,
Steven

Overcoming…

My brother just came out of something really painful. What’s weird about it is that I pretty much went through the exact same thing several years before he did. What’s weirder still is that as we talked about his situation, he had no clue that I had been through a similar event. You see, I had never told him.

It wasn’t because I didn’t want him to know. Sure, I was feeling bad about it, but it wasn’t that I didn’t want him to know. It wasn’t even that he wasn’t around, as we lived in the same house at the time!! I had just done a bad job of being transparent and sharing my life. I wasn’t telling my stories.

Revelation 12:11 says, “And they (being us, as believers) overcame him (the devil and his wiles) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.” This Scripture says that we overcome by 2 things: the blood of Christ, and the word of our testimony. Read: we overcome partly by SHARING OUR STORY.

This is fascinating. We will have victory in our lives not by pretending to have it all together or by living in cloistered closets, but by sharing the good and the bad of our lives with others. The ups and the downs; the highs and lows; the hills and valleys. Everything that is our story.

As a worship leader, I hear from folks often who really think that I have it all together. I guess they just assume that since I’m elevated off the ground by 12-24″ and have a microphone with a cord going into some speakers that I’m somehow different! When I hear stuff like this I wonder if I’m doing a bad job of being real. Truly, I believe that it is by being transparent and sharing our stories (both the testimonies of God’s faithfulness and the disappointments of life in a fallen world) helps people OVERCOME.

Jesus cried in front of His disciples. Sure, there were plenty of stories to share about God’s faithfulness, but there were moments of tears too. He wasn’t afraid to show His sorrows as well as His joys.

The truth is, if I hadn’t gone through that painful season of my life, I would not have the countless blessings that I now have. I’m on the other side now! It was great sharing from this side, but I learned a bit today that I need to share “the word of my testimony” at all times, in all seasons. And because I went through that season of life, I’m able to give encouragement and comfort to someone who feels a bit disillusioned. I’m able to help someone overcome.

Steven

New Album!

Hi friends! Just wanted to let you know that 1000 Generations’ new EP “Wrecked For the Ordinary” is available now for only $4.99 at www.1000generations.com! The album contains the new radio single “It Could Be Me.” Hope you love it!

Blessings,
Steven

Playing At the Indy State Fair Memorial Service…

On Saturday, August 13th, 2011, the main stage at the Indiana State Fair collapsed. With it, 5 people lost their lives and many more were seriously injured. Most of us at home sat  in front of our TVs just in shock. It was awful to watch as they played the same video clips over and over again. How could this have happened?

Here’s something you may not have seen in the news reports though: without even a second’s thought, dozens and dozens of concertgoers rushed not to the exit, but straight to the stage to lend a hand. You see, many of the people in the front rows were trapped underneath the rubble. No one knew exactly what to do, but these heroes that rushed forward knew they had to do something. Suddenly, someone yelled out “lift on three!” “1, 2, 3!!” All of a sudden, the crowd was pulling people out, getting them to medical personnel, and sticking it out to make sure no one was left behind. It was amazing to see.

It truly left me with a sense of awe. Wow, what would I have done? Would I have run to the exit, or to the stage? I felt so proud to be a Hoosier that night, and I still do today. That is true heroism.

The next day, Sunday, the news reports had confirmed that 5 folks had lost their lives in the incident and that there would a memorial service held in their honor. Shortly after, we were contacted by a friend to see if we would be willing to play during this service. Both Amanda and I felt honored to be asked to apart of such a service and of course said “yes.”

We decided early on that “Fail Us Not” would be the most fitting song. This song does not deny the existence of tragedy, but doesn’t end the story with it either. It boldly declares that God is above all things, and faithful throughout. Dr. William Enright’s words at the memorial seemed to echo the sentiment perfectly. I thought what he had to say was beautiful and powerful (you can view his message at the service by clicking here). 8:59pm on Saturday was horrible for sure, but it shall not be the last word.

I don’t get nervous often when we play, but I was incredibly nervous at the memorial. Honestly, I didn’t even know that the service was going to be televised nor did I know that it would be covered by so many news sources. I wasn’t nervous because of that. I was nervous because as I looked out at the crowd and saw people’s faces, I wanted to say something meaningful and hopeful to them. I wanted “Fail Us Not” to bring God’s peace in the midst of their grief and despair. I wanted them to have hope.

It is always tough when you are playing a song and you see people crying. You’re not sure if you’re helping or hurting. In the midst of these times, I am always aware that it’s not about me, but that God is in our midst and He is active. He is moving and touching. Honestly, I don’t know if “Fail Us Not” was helpful or not, but I know that the God that we sing of is an “ever-present help in times of trouble.” To be sure, Psalm 46 speaks beautifully…

 1 God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
   and the mountains quake with their surging.
7 The LORD Almighty is with us;

   the God of Jacob is our fortress.

The service was closed out by all of us singing “Amazing Grace:”

When we’ve been there (heaven) 10,000 years, bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun…

Our tragedies are real and they can be awful. But they are not the last word. Praise God that He reserves that right and that He will make all things new, and set everything aright.

Peace be to you,
Steven

We Can Make A Difference (or “It Could Be Me”)

One person really can make a difference. In August 2011, the band 1000 Generations released this video for their song “It Could Be Me” (from their critically acclaimed EP “Wrecked For the Ordinary”). Both the song and video are born from the belief in the power of simply doing something.

To read the lyrics, buy the video and/or mp3, and find out more about 1000 Generations, please visit www.1000generations.com.

The Story Behind the Song “It Could Be Me”

Hey friends, thought you might enjoy hearing a bit of background on the new single!

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