Interview: Newsong's Matt Butler Shares on Their New Album 'Swallow The Ocean', Fall 2013 Tour Plans & His Dream of Playing for the Detroit Tigers

Matt LloydAug 28, 2013 11:26 PM EDT

Newsong is a Christian pop/rock band from Georgia. They have been making music for over 30 years now and are still one of the premier bands out there today. They released their latest album Swallow the Ocean earlier this year. Newsong is made up currently of Eddie Carswell, Billy Goodwin, Matt Butler, Russ Lee, Jack Pumphrey, Mark Clay and Rico Thomas. 

We would like to thank Matt Butler for taking the time to speak with BreatheCast. 


BreatheCast: How do you feel your new album Swallow the Ocean has been received?

MB: "Swallow the Ocean has been not only well received, but has had a more positive response than any NewSong project since I've been in the band. From our faithful fans, to radio response, to our newest fans, I think this project has been very well received."


BreatheCast: Can You Tell us the story behind your single, "Who Loved You First"?

MB: "This single has a message of hope and encouragement that anyone can relate to. You've had a bad day? You've had a tough past? You're going through a hard time? There's hope! You don't have to carry the burden yourself. Jesus said "Come unto me, all who labor....and I will give you rest." He encourages us to allow Him to carry our burdens. To surrender the fight and allow Him to go to battle for us. The beauty of the Gospel is that He offers it at no cost - and it works! All you have to do is surrender to the One who loved you first."


BreatheCast: Tell us about your Fall 2013 'Swallow the Ocean' Tour?

MB: "We always surround ourselves with other bands and artists who like to do what we do - to use music as a tool to not only worship God and lift up His name, but have a good time doing it. We love touring with bands that are all about Jesus, and coming together to present the Gospel as a united front. This year we are teamed up with Aaron Shust, Royal Tailor, and Love & the Outcome."


BreatheCast: What advice would you give to bands starting up and working on making a career playing music?

MB: "There is no rhyme or reason to "success" in the music business. I cannot retrace my footsteps to where I am now without the obvious hand of God paving the way. First, you must feel called. If you are married, your wife must feel called as well. Trust me on that. Our wives are the real warriors in this ministry. Second, be dedicated to your craft. Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God and strive for excellence. I spent countless hours each day, week and year, practicing to develop my craft and artistry. I did this even before I was a believer, not knowing God would use it all for His glory. He is worthy of our best, so give Him your best. If it's meant to be, He will make a way for you."


BreatheCast: If you could collaborate with one Secular Artist and one Christian Artist, who would you choose?

MB: "Tough question. I have many categories I could go through for this one. Living, dead, past, present, influential, or just admired. All things considered, I'll stick with artists who are currently influencing our culture. So I'll have to say: Bruno Mars & Matt Redman."


BreatheCast: If you guys could each play professionally for any sports team for one day, who would you guys pick?

"I am the lone guy in the band not from the South. I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, so I have many favorite sports teams from up there. I'd have to say the Detroit Tigers. Playing with the best baseball player of our generation (Miguel Cabrera) would be quite a dream come true, if not for me, definitely for my son! (And I would be remiss if I didn't say that any other guy in the band would say the Atlanta Braves - who though they were swept by the Tigers this year, currently have the best record in baseball)."


BreatheCast: Do you guys have a favorite scripture as a band or a truth that you guys use a lot? If not, what are some personal favorite verses of yours?:

MB: "I have a favorite verse, for sure. It's Psalm 19:14: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to God, my Rock, my Redeemer."

As a band, NewSong is based on Psalm 40: "He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him."



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