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Jen G: What is the story behind the name Over Ashes?
DENVER: The name Over Ashes comes from Isaiah 61:3 of the Bible, where God grants us the promise that "He will put crowns on your head, instead of Ashes". So what that means is regardless of the mistakes you have made in your life, God still has a great future for you.
Jen G: Why do you think you guy’s work well together as a band?
JUSTIN D: Because we're 4 guys that are all tugging on the same rope, it’s a brotherhood and a family. We all got together at our managers house last night and played the board game RISK for 7 hours, and when you're a family you do that, and have a blast.
JUSTIN A: Because we have a collected mission and vision to tell everyone that God loves you regardless of the mistakes you have made.
DENVER: We each understand our role and purpose in the band.
Jen G: How would you describe each other individually both musically and personally in what you bring to the band?
DENVER: Gardy is the silent warrior and has a Chinese pop side album called "Tiger Party", and his phone doesn't start ringing till after midnight.
J.D. is the new guy, and he is proving himself more and more everyday.
GARDY: Denver is corky and a cool cat. Loves Chick rock, and he falls asleep at the wheel once it gets dark. But he is the heart and JD, I like to call him Jr. He's has some decent taste in music and he always has something to say and he goes to bed at 10 and he’s a great guitar player.
JUSTIN A: Denver musically is the heart of the band and personally he loves to have a good time and likes to dance in public, just ask him when you see him. Gardy musically he is a solid rock and personally I think he could be in the CIA, because he never talks.
Jen G: How has the Lord changed each of your lives through your friendship?
JUSTIN D: Through knowing these guys the Lord has taught me, to rely on him more and for me not to stress about things, because God has already won my battles for me.
DENVER: God has been sharpening me through my relationships with these knuckleheads.
GARDY: He has taught me accountability and I am so blessed to have these guys as brothers.
JUSTIN A: God has taught me that he has a master plan. That it’s not just by chance, but by God doing what he does great.
Jen G: And what does it mean to, ‘give your music back to the Lord,’ on a personal level?
JUSTIN D: When we see kids making commitments to follow the Lord at our shows or seeing them worshipping with us at a show, that blesses me, because I know that God is pleased with what we're doing.
Our album is one of the best selling albums for a new artist this year, and I think that’s because God is using us to minister to people and let them know that we're not rock stars, we're just like them, and you're not ok and we're not ok and that is ok because God loves us regardless of the mistakes that we have made.
Jen G: How has your relationship with Christ influenced your passion for creating music that will impact souls through your album Begin Again?
DENVER: My relationship with God is the root of why I play music and why I am so proud of this album, because of what it says.
Jen G: In The Author you guys paint a vivid picture of God saying basically to come to Him, that he’s like the answer. Who wrote the song and how does it paint a picture of your experiences?
JUSTIN D: I co-wrote it with our wonderful producer Justin York and that song was birthed by us just sitting in the studio and talking about God and how we suck at thinking God doesn't want us to come to him with all our needs, because he is to busy dealing with the people in 3rd. World countries or San Francisco!
We always want people to remember that God is in your corner and you must expect that our God is going to do amazing things in your life. You just have to ask him, have the faith and live the life God has called you too.
GARDY: Our manager made us read a book called "Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen when we were making the album. So that might have had something to do with it. (Laugh)
DENVER: I love playing that song live!
Jen G: What inspired She Won’t?
JUSTIN D: She Won't is the song that we receive the most emails about and have had the honor of young girls at our shows coming up to us with their stories on how they wouldn't given in to the peer pressure.
That song was inspired by the fact that you have MTV, Seventeen Magazine, and Hollywood telling women of all ages that you need to dress like, you must party like this, and this is just our way of sending a message back to the girls telling them not to live by the rules Britney Spears tells you to.
Jen G: All I Need is a beautiful song that just has words that I know I’ve even expressed to God. My favorite line is, ‘With-out you I’m incomplete…” tell me how God has completed that piece of you guys individually…
JUSTIN D: I went through a period in my life, where I was really depressed and questioning my faith, and all the emptiness and broken heartedness I had in me, God completely took my hurt, pain, disbelief, and used it not only to change my life, but the lives of kids we perform for every night too.
DENVER: When I look to other people or things to bring me fulfillment, I end up lacking what only God can complete in me.
GARDY: You know lately God has been keeping in perspective what is really important in life, and if everything else falls apart I’ll still be fine, because Christ is all I need.
JUSTIN A: It is a process of dying to yourself everyday.
Jen G: When I listened to Hangin On and read about your awesome involvement with Music For Troops it really blessed me to know your music is encouraging those who really need it in times like these. Could you tell our readers exactly what Music For Troops is and what Over Ashes is doing and why?
JUSTIN D: Music For Troops is a non-profit organization that supplies our service men and women with free music to listen to, while they're out there defending our freedom and rights.
The reason we got involved in it, is because we're so sick of people and bands trashing our troops, we're gearing up to go Gitmo Bay, Cuba on a USO tour and even though Over Ashes is nothing compared to what our service men and women our doing, the least we can do is to perform for the troops, and to thank them for their service. To let them know that the anti-war bands don't speak for Over Ashes and 70 percent of the country.
Jen G: What would you guys say to those who are at that place of desperation who believe they’re beyond redemption?
DENVER: You're never too far from the father, and all you need to do is acknowledge him and he will direct your path.
GARDY: You can never be too far from the love, forgiveness and grace of God.
JUSTIN A: It is impossible to sin too much for God not to forgive you. It doesn’t matter what you have done, God will always welcome you back and forget about your past. It is just as simple as asking him.
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