The Evolution of Derek Webb
Beliefnet gets personal with the singer/songwriter about what he learned from making 'Feedback'.
He's the contemporary Christian music artist who breaks all the rules. Derek Webb talks with Beliefnet about the controversy he's stirred and how the Lord's Prayer brought him to his knees.
Q. You are a founding member of CCM band Caedmon’s Call. Then you went solo and started taking on social and political issues. What made you go in a different direction?
A. Honestly, I feel like I’ve always been the same writer. When we started Caedmon’s, I was just out of high school. Even before I was using music to express myself, I’ve always been wired a particular way. As a kid, I’d hear things that sounded like conventional wisdom and cock my head to one side. I’ve always been a little suspicious of structures of authority. I think I spent a lot of my time in Caedmon’s trying to figure out if that was right for me to be that way. I eventually figured out that God made me this way for a reason. My creative life would be better spent figuring out what the right things are to rebel against rather than trying to not be who I was.
Q. You’re one of the only people I know of who has a fake Twitter based off the old version of you.
A. Yes, I don’t know who it is…
Q. Some inspired fan that says, "I miss the way Derek Webb was when he wasn’t controversial." What did you think when that started getting popular?
A. I thought it was fantastic. If people won’t go with me, they can just follow that guy. Then, somebody else popped up as the future me. I guess I’m the present one. When the three of us get into a conversation on Twitter, you kind of feel the space-time-continuum starting to stretch a little. I get it. When they connect to an artist at a certain point in their lives and it means something significant to them, they want that person to stay with them in that moment. When that person evolves and moves on, then I get how people could be really resistant and resentful of that. I get the people who just wish I would remake my first record every time and really want me to apply myself only to the state of the American Church and talking about those issues. I really do understand that. I’m so glad they connected at all. It’s an honor that people would have spent even a year of their lives connected to what I was making then. Beyond that, maybe they need to be okay with the idea that they’re just not really a fan of mine anymore. I’m not going back. It’s just not in my DNA. There’s so much great music out there, there’s bound to be something else for them now. It doesn’t have to be me, and I’m okay with that.