This is Love – One Year Later

It’s been nearly a year since four boys headed out to the mountains of Eagle Nest, New Mexico in order to get outta town, get closer to God, and record an entirely new type of worship album. I just listened to it again last night as I was putting it onto my iPod, and I thought I’d share some questions I get asked about it fairly regularly, as well as the answers.

So here it is, the B-Matt’s “This is Love” FAQ!

1. So what kind of music is this?

This is not exactly something you would play in your car and rock out to with your friends. (Though if you really want to, go for it!) “This is Love” is meant to be a meditative worship experience, something you dwell on the love of Jesus Christ to. It’s something entirely different that any worship album you’ve listened to. There aren’t any lyrics. We took the greatest words ever written, the Word itself, and read it to music we wrote with the inspiration of God and the talents He gave us.

2. So is this a new monkeywrench album?

Sigh. No. This album is not a monkeywrench album. It is not ska. The only connection this album HAS to monkeywrench is that A) Both are albums meant to worship God (though in VERY different ways) and B) “This is Love” was done as a collaboration between 4 of the 9 members of monkeywrench. Please don’t call it anything but that.

3. So what is the name of this collaboration of 4 of the 9 members of monkeywrench?

There is no official name. We didn’t “start a new band” to do this. We’re just 4 good friends who love the Lord who gave us the talents we have. So we put our heads together, spent a week in a cabin in the mountains of New Mexico, and came back with this.

Unofficially, we called ourselves the Cabin Boys.

4. So the album is just called “This is Love?”

Yup, that’s it. It’s not “This is Love – The Cabin Boys” or “monkeywrench – This is Love”, just “This is Love”.

5. So what are the track titles?

Officially, there aren’t any titles to the tracks other than “Track 1”, “Track 2”, and so on.
Unofficially, we have names that we called them based on what scripture we read. The names that I refer to them by are probably not the same as what David or Peugh calls them. But here’s what I called each track when they ended up in my iPod.
In the Beginning (Genesis)
The Sin Track
The Prophecy Track
In the Beginning (John)
The Passion Track
This is Love
The Resurrection Track
The Praise Track
These Are the Words of Him
The Rest is Silence
A word about Raw Jams
The Sin Track – Raw Jam
The Prophecy Track – Raw Jam
The Passion Track – Raw Jam
The Praise Track – Raw Jam.

6. So what’s the theme of this album?

Putting it simply, the title “This is Love” really tells all, it’s about the greatest act of love in the world, Jesus Christ accepting the ultimate punishment for the World’s sins so that humanity may reunite with God again. The album goes somewhat sequentially, starting with Creation, the sin of man, and prophecies of Jesus, then the Passion, Resurrection, and then praising Christ.

7. Where are the verses you read? I want to read them.

I don’t have specific documentation for each song as to where the Scripture we read is. I believe we all read from an NIV translation. Try using a concordance to look them up, or ask us about specific ones, I’m sure we could tell you or help you find it.

8. How do I get one?

This, I don’t know. You’ll have to ask David if he has any more or if he can make some more. We tried to get as many to people that we knew would want to hear it as possible.

Next, I’m going to go through each track and share with you some cool insights about it, what its purpose is, stuff like that.

In the Beginning (Genesis) – We wanted to show the parallels in the Bible between the Creation of the world and the opening of John 1, so we began at, well, the beginning. We went through each day of creation (read by Truett) and in the background added some sound effects to kind of help “immerse” you in what that week must have been like. Those sounds were actually done late the very last night we were in New Mexico by me and David. The wind effects? That’s David breathing really heavily and slowly. The birds chirping? David. The noise of the seeds? That’s me, with my shaker.

The Sin Track – Obviously, this track deals with man falling into sin. It’s very slow, almost mournful. You might recognize the passage David reads; it’s the “meaningless” passage from Ecclesiastes. I love how David reads this, so fatalistic. It’s perfect for this track.

The Prophecy Track – I love how this song’s intro sounds increasingly hopeful, given that it’s subject is the prophecies of Christ. This track is one of my favorites, and not just because I do all the readings, or because the readings are some of my favorite passages from Isaiah or Luke, though that is a factor. I also love the percussion work I did for this one, and how well Peugh’s harmonica synchs with the guitars. Take a listen to the bridge section, right after I read Luke 3:16, with the dual-percussion beats. I LOVE how that sounds. David and Truett ROCK at this mixing and mastering thing!

In the Beginning (John) – If this sounds familiar, it’s actually because we used the same music recordings we used in the first track to make this one, just recorded a new reading to it.

The Passion Track – This song is just under 8 minutes long, and took the most work to record for that very reason. It starts with Jesus praying at Gethsemane and finishes with His death at the Cross. If I’m not mistaken, we read from the Gospel of Mark. The very cool thing about this song was that we recorded and mixed this song before we decided what we were going to read to it, and it was absolutely amazing how well the scripture fits the song. Right when we start with Jesus brought before the Sanhedrin, the drums come in, changing the mood right when it’s appropriate, further augmented by Peugh’s harmonica. Right when we got to the rooster crows after Peter’s third denial, Peugh comes in on his flute. There are plenty of examples of this in the song. We didn’t do this on purpose, this was totally God. We tried to read when it seemed appropriate, but these little things just happened.

This is Love – I don’t think I really need to say anything about this. God pretty much did it very well. This is the verse that inspired the whole project

The Resurrection Track – This song feels like something you could dance happily to, and it only gets more that way as it progresses. The readings are all about what exactly God has accomplished with Christ’s death and resurrection: the final defeat of evil and the salvation of the human race for those who would accept it. I love how Peugh says “…and power” at the end of his reading. You can just HEAR his smile.

Interestingly enough, I’m not playing the tambourine on this song, that’s David. We recorded them both at the same time.

The Praise Track – This track was a little different, and you can probably hear a difference in it. Normally when you record a song, you record each individual instrument, then mix them all together. This one was recorded live. The Wilson family had a cabin really close to the one we stayed at, and we recorded this on their massive back porch live. You might actually have to turn the volume up on this one to hear it better because of this.

Once again, that’s not me on the tambourine. Peugh’s doing it. We had to send him around a corner so that the tambourine wouldn’t overpower the rest of us!

This song is all about praising and glorifying Jesus for His ultimate act of Love.

These Are the Words of Him – I’m actually really proud of this one. It came to me that the parallel verses read here would be a perfect way to end the album. Read Revelation if you don’t recognize them.

The Rest is Silence – Well…um…that’s what it is. Silence. 5 minutes of it. Take the time to meditate on what you just heard. Cause the goofy stuff is after this.

So, you know how some albums will have a “hidden track?” Basically, after the last track on a CD, you’ll have a few minutes of nothing, and then the artist will have another song? That’s what we were kind of going for here. This track is the silence in between the album and the bonus Raw Jams.

A Word about Raw Jams, and the rest of the Raw Jam versions – It’s David. Telling you what you’re about to hear. More like, warning you actually. The raw stuff we recorded and experimented with before we finalized it into the stuff you heard above. It kind of gives you a little before and after picture. I think they’re worth listening to just for the goofy stuff we say before and after the songs. Yes, I really did say “It’s GO time, baby!”

Hope that gives you some insight into one of my favorite musical projects I’ve been a part of!

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