Since 1997, I could always count on All Star United for an awesome album, a great live concert, and incredible lyrics. The band’s latest album, The Good Album, is all that and more. Led by Ian Eskelin (who is also a producer extraordinaire), All Star United delivers once again with piano-driven good-time rock and roll mixed with wit and satire.
Even though 2010 has only just begun, I am pretty sure that The Good Album will remain one of my top albums this year. So I was excited when Ian Eskelin agreed to Take 5 with Backseat Writer.
What I love about All Star United is when you guys put together an album, it’s always incredibly true to the ASU sound—even after 13 years. It’s been three years since your last album, why did ASU decide to release an album now?
Yes, for better or worse we do have a sound – ha. In all seriousness though, when we get the itch to record new stuff, it’s like riding a bike. Even if it’s been 3 or 13 years you know exactly what to do, and an ASU song always has a way of dictating where it wants to go. I don’t think we’ll wait 3 years to do another one though – it’s too much fun!
There I was working and listening to The Good Album in the background when “The Blame” started playing. All of a sudden, I erupted into a sea of tears. What a powerful song! What inspired you to write this song?
“The Blame” is one of those songs that wrote itself really. It was finished as quickly as we discussed the idea–the idea that no matter how far we may have fallen or how much pain we may have caused, there is forgiveness. Sin was swallowed up at the Cross so we could be blameless. That is always moving.
To me, the funniest song on the album is “Dude, That’s Freakin’ Awesome,” which pokes fun at all those young adult movies where college-aged kids go on drunken adventures. Tell me a bit more about the song.
The best part about writing an ASU record is that we have no rules. One day we write “The Blame” and the next we put the fool form Proverbs in a college frat. A little humorous social commentary is always a good thing, although it gets us in trouble sometimes. 🙂
With The Good Album, you’ve decided to share your song explanations along with Scripture on ASU’s website. Why is it important for you to share these with your audience?
Don’t want anywone missing the point now do we? And what is a “Meta for” anyway? Just kidding, of course. My wife was never particularly fond of “I’m A Killer” until I showed her where the thought came from:
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Not only are you the front man for All Star United, you’re also one of my favorite producers, so can you give BSW a sneak peak of what you’re working on in the studio?
Thanks! I really try to mix it up. One day it’s Francesca Battitstelli, then some worship with Starfield, then some punk rock with Stellar Kart. I like it all. But, my 6 year-old son’s fave is a new Veggie Tales song you’ll have to look out for– “Pants!”