Between 1998-2000, I published an e-newsletter called United in Christ. One of my favorite features for the newsletter was a series of interviews with Christian bands (and one television personality). Presented below is my interview with the band 3:16.
Okay, the answer to this question is quite obvious, but to make sure…how did you come up with the name 3:16?
Rusty: It came from the verse John 3:16 (Not the wrestling reference). I wanted a name that expressed what we were about.
Sam: That was Rusty’s idea. I wanted to use “Paraplegic Rat” but he didn’t like it.
How did the band get started?
Rusty: I had a calling and desire to use the talents for God and ministry. I called up a few guys I jammed with back in high school to join in. And the band formed in 1994 under a different name. It was a learning experience. A lot of changes have taken place since then. Changes like the name (3:16 of course), style and members. I could write a book on how many member changes we have had.
Sam: Being the newest guy in the band…I am really not sure.
How would you describe your sound?
Rusty: 2 part blues, 1 part rock with a dash of jazz and funk and a side order of energy (or you could call it Speed blues or Thrash Blues or Hardcore Blues. We haven’t found a definite title for the sound yet.
Sam: Stevie Ray Vaughan meets Jimi Hendrix meets mass quantities of caffeine. ALL with a Christian message!
What bands have influenced your sound?
Rusty: I try to keep the sound original. But there are definite influences from Stevie Ray, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, and guys like that. But I also feed off of the other stuff I grew up on like Stryper, Petra, Guardian, and guitarists like Jimi Hendrix, Steve Vai, and Eddie Van Halen.
Sam: Personally, I grew up with Petra, Stryper and bands like that. More recently, I have gotten ideas from King’s X, Collective Soul type of music…and of course, I try to be as original as possible.
A while back you released an album called Lucid. Do you feel that the project was a success?
Rusty: I agree with Sam. The band has moved on beyond that sound to a sound more original. But I will say this, I learned alot from that experience.
Sam: At the time, it served its purpose. Considering changes in the band and our direction…”Lucid” of outdated.
Approximately how many copies have you sold?
Rusty: Not many. We gave away 5 times as many that was sold. It is difficult to sell indie music.
Sam: GOOD QUESTION! (??)
Have you ever had any strange experiences at a concert?
Rusty: All the time. Each concert is unique and different. One especially was the benefit bash at The Lightspot. Everything was coming against us. The drummer just left but we had a fill in guy (Who did an outstanding job). Chris (the rhythm guitarist) broke a string on his only axe. But miraculously a guy had a guitar in car ready to be used. With all that we still had an outstanding concert. PRAISE GOD!!!
Sam: “A Five Piece!?” Strange experiences at a concert. Every concert is strange to me!
Were you in any bands before 3:16?
Rusty: A couple back in high school. It was good time to polish my chops.
Sam: I was in a few. Nothing significant, just good practice
Soon you will be doing a concert at Jesus Jam III in Gun Barrel City, Texas. What are your hopes for that concert?
Rusty: I hope and pray that it goes over big. I hope a lot of people come to Christ, and people leave feeling that God is alive in Cedar Creek Lake. It is good to do something for your hometown.
Sam: hope it turns out BIG. Huge! And I long to see Christians having a blast and being encouraged as well as “non-Christians” making decisions. And in all…I hope everyone has fun!
What are your future plans as a band?
Rusty: I hope to continue to produce quality original music with a message that people enjoy listening to. I long for the day to play in front of 50,000 people and tell them about Jesus through the music. I would love to do this full time. It has always been a desire of mine. But most important, I want to follow the will of God. Hopefully that includes signing with a major label! Hint…hint…
Sam: To be another “Petra”. A long standing group. Always a favorite, and always on the top of our game. Actually…I would love to be able to make a career out of it. I don’t ask to get rich and famous…just to make a comfortable living.
Do you have any further words of wisdom or comments about the United in Christ Newsletter?
Rusty: Reach as many people as you can with The Word. Don’t let the devil get the victory and keep your eyes on Jesus.
Sam: Well…I would like to say that things aren’t always easy. In your Christian life or otherwise there will always be ups and downs. It isn’t a sin to be down. But it is a test of character how you deal with it and that is what God looks for. Our reaction. And of course, in our down time it isn’t a time to panic or lose hope…but hold tight to that you hold dear, Jesus Christ, who can give you strength and bring you back “up”.
Thanks a lot, and good luck with 3:16!
Rusty: It’s been fun. Thanks and God bless you.
Sam: Thank You Very Much. God Bless!!
Click here fore more United in Christ interviews from Hokus Pick, Satellite Soul, and more.