BAND: John Ball | INTERVIEWER: Brian Morrissette | DATE: January 20th, 2011
(Brian) So, John, what do you play on your debut record and in The Sleep Design?
(John) On this album I tracked vocals, acoustic guitar, and bass. In The Sleep Design I just play bass guitar
(Brian) Why did you decide to do your own record?
(John) Well I’ve had these songs just kinda sitting around for a little while now, and I just felt like it was time for people to hear them. I think God gives me the music and lyrics that I write, and I felt like He was telling me it was time to put them out there.
(Brian) Why did you decide to do a worship album?
(John) It wasn’t really so much a choice as it just sorta happened. These songs were mostly written out of me wrestling with [junk] in life and in my own personal worship times with God. I’ve told a lot of people it’s a 'selfish' worship album because it wasn’t written originally with the intention for others to worship to but me having conversations with God. Now that it's done, I can see how God’s hand was on the project and others can easily worship Him through the songs.
(Brian) How does your album differ from The Sleep Design’s usual (or unusual) sound? How’s it similar?
(John) Well, the obvious one is that my EP has words. The feel of my stuff and The Sleep Design is similar because obviously I’m in The Sleep Design, but also all the guys who tracked on my EP are in TSD too. Both are written out of a worshipful heart, so I’d say that’s the biggest similarity.
(Brian) Why did you decide to give the record away for free?
(John) With this being my first release, I just really wanted people to be able to hear it. When most people think of me, they think of me as a bass player, so I wanted to make it easily accessible to everyone.
(Brian) What are some of the meanings behind the record?
(John) The lyrics are pretty upfront for the most part. Not too many hidden meanings, but some of the major themes are redemption, grace, and a desire for people to know what the real nature of God is. A lot of the songs were written in a time of struggle where I was asking God to help me or thanking Him for his forgiveness after the fact. I have a strong desire to write Christian music with lyrics that are real. A lot of Christian music today bypasses the struggles and pretends like they’re not there. But I’m trying to convey that Christians aren’t perfect, they do have struggles, and God is there to help you out of the darkest of situations.
(Brian) What’s your favorite song off of Found Among The Broken? Why?
(John) That’s a tough one. I think it’s 'Can You Feel' or 'Haiti.' Both are pretty simple songs and really fun to play live. If you enjoy the song 'Haiti,' we do a really cool version of it live, so you should come out and see us play it some time.
(Brian) Are you planning to do any shows or tours on your own?
(John) I’m hoping to do a lot of shows this year. I’m in school in Nashville right now, so it's tough to play as much as I’d like to, but I’m planning on doing as many weekend and summer gigs as possible.
(Brian) What can we be praying about for you?
(John) Probably direction. The whole solo musician thing is totally new to me, and I’m just looking for the next step in getting people to hear the EP. I think it has a lot to offer, and I want as many people to hear it as possible
(Brian) How’s it like being in a band that’s on Come&Live! Records?
(John) Awesome. Chad Johnson and everyone involved with C&L! are incredible people. In TSD we feel no pressure to crank out albums or tour full time but know that we are always covered in prayer and if there is any resource available to them, they will willingly help us.
(Brian) What’s the future looking like for the The Sleep Design?
(John) Bright! We are planning on hopefully getting in the studio in the next few months. It’s tough because the past six months or so we’ve all been busy with different things. Nathan and I are both in school and have been busting our butts working on my EP as well as Nathan's other band called Ravello. John-Mark works at a church part-time in Birmingham and plays for a worship leader named Daniel Bashta, and Mikey plays for a guy out of Birmingham named Matthew Mayfield. We are all super pumped about a new album; it's just finding the time.
(Brian) Any new music coming out in the near future from The Sleep Design?
(John) Like I said, we are hoping to get in the studio in the next few months. As I answer these questions, the rest of The Sleep Design boys are chatting online about possible dates. We have three or four solid songs done and hours' worth of jam demos. We are all super excited about this new project, and I can easily say this new material is way better than the first album. Hopefully we can have something out for you guys by the end of 2011.
(Brian) Is there any tour/shows for The Sleep Design coming up?
(John) Nothing planned as of now. Like I said, both Nathan and I are in college, so summer is usually the best time for us to hit playing hard. We’ve talked before about maybe doing a few dates with another C&L! band once school is out.
(Brian) Is there anything we can pray about for the band?
(John) Time. TSD is something we are all super passionate about. I know there are a lot of people out there worried we aren’t playing anymore, but I assure you we aren’t done yet. We just need the time and the finances. Hopefully once we figure out a date, we are going to launch a campaign to start raising funds for a new album.
(Brian) Is there anything else you would like to say?
(John) Please check out my music and download my EP for free at johnballmusic.com!
Please check out my music and download my EP for free at johnballmusic.com! - John