Aaron Gillespie is rock and roll to the core. He’s the former drummer for Underoath, and the current front man for The Almost. And now he has a new solo project out called Anthem Song.
I recently had the opportunity to catch up with Aaron and talk with him about what inspired this new project, and what God is doing in his life.
Dan: I know that this new album was sparked by a trip to Uganda with Compassion International last year. What exactly was it that inspired you so much while you where there?
Aaron: The people in these depraved countries worship God so non-circumstantially, with complete abandon, just because he is God. That’s what we are called to, yet we seek God’s hands and not his face. It was convicting, life altering and beautiful.
Dan: I can totally relate to that dude! I spent a little time in Uganda as well, and that struck me too. I love how the people gather in structures that you’d never see in the States, and with no sound systems they blow the roof off the place when they sing praises to God. The worship that I witnessed was so full of life and was so pure.
Is there a particular ‘story behind the song’ for one of the tracks on this new album that you really enjoy sharing? Please share…
Aaron: Anthem Song – I believe with everything in me the anthem of God’s love, grace, and mercy have been playing since time began, and in this little thirty second blip that is our lives we were made to jump out, be real and loud and sing along.
Dan: You’ve also recently been to Haiti with Samaritan’s Purse, and we have a video with some of the images from that trip set to music with one of the songs from the new album… “We Were Made For You”
How was this trip to Haiti different for you than your trip to Uganda?
Aaron: Every third world place I visit has so much in common, but Haiti is so different and I really feel the reason for that is because they have been so exploited, by us in particular. We go over there with cameras claiming to “tell their story” and end up just getting great “photo journalism” and never telling their story and getting help for them. They are not into cameras and fake media hype. They want the real thing.
Dan: Dang… that’s convicting dude. I know that I was just there in August, seven months after the earthquake, and all of the media and hype was gone, but they were still working around piles and piles of rubble. So I can see how they could easily loose faith in ‘the system’ that claims to be there to help by telling their story.
Let me ask you this… Was there a special moment or experience for you in Haiti that continues to make the Anthem Song special for you?
Aaron: We went with the BGEA first response team (a Billy Graham prayer team that is typically first on the ground in a disaster) to pray in a village called Cabaret II. Upon arriving we expected to have people ask for prayer for money or health (which is fine) but the first guy I met asked for prayer to be a better leader (he was a local pastor) and have a deeper walk with the Lord. Talk about a slap in the face!!! I couldnt believe it. Jesus was number one to him in the midst of ultimate disaster. Huge.
Dan: Wow dude… that is huge. It’s obvious that God has really been working on you through these mission trips, hasn’t He? What’s been the biggest impact that all of this has had in your personal life… apart from the music?
Aaron: That Him and Him alone is the reason I am alive. I am last and He is first.
Dan: Amen to that! What would you share with someone who wants to have a positive impact on the world, but feels like they don’t know what to do or where they can start?
Aaron: God calls us just to jump. Who cares what people think? Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. Your song is gorgeous and God loves hearing it.
Dan: Awesome. I’ve heard similar responses from others here before, so I appreciate that perspective. So, what’s next for Aaron Gillespie?
Aaron: Touring…A baby in the winter!!! Writing a new Almost record and making Jesus famous!
Dan: Wow! Congrats on the baby dude! I just pray God would continue to use you and bless the music that you create in His honor. I pray a blessing over you and your expanding family. And may others be encouraged and blessed by the testimony of your life… your song. Amen! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us dude! You rock!
Small world! My son David worked with UnderOath for a while and may have played with them.