The Christian boy band Plus One have more on their minds than tuning up the frenzy of their female fans. Having performed over the past year everywhere from the Democratic National Convention to "Live With Regis and Kelly," the quintet (Nate, Nathan, Gabe, Jason, and Jeremy) capped a truly amazing year by winning the Gospel Music Association's Dove Award for Best New Artist of the year. Beliefnet's Ellen Leventry recently sat down with the boys.

You’re involved with Habitat for Humanity. How did that get started? Do you feel it helps bring the group closer together?

Nathan: About a year ago, we were in Selma, Alabama, for a whole week building a house. We sang at benefits and stuff like that. We plan on doing more when we have the time.

Is it harder to put together an album or a house?

Jason: Probably a house since we’re singers and not builders.

Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson and other artists are talking about not only their Christianity but their stances on premarital sex, virginity, etc. Do you think that motivates teens, or is this an issue to keep private?

Nate: I don’t think it’s a private issue at all. In church, people will get up and say, "I used to do this, and this, and this," and it’s very personal. But once they’ve been changed, they know their testimony can help somebody else out. I don't think that it has to be shared, but I don’t think it’s wrong if it is.

Jason: I think it's definitely something that can be addressed, especially when you're an artist. That’s what your testimony is. Definitely [people] have a right to know if they’re going to listen to your music.

I read that talking with secular media was a little different for you guys, because they were asking you questions about being a virgin and dating...

Nate: Yeah!

Nathan: I’m open. People can ask me whatever they want. People ask me if I’m a virgin. I am a virgin. That’s probably one reason that I’m comfortable talking about it. I think we want to be careful in not offending others who feel like they have messed up. If you talk about it too much, you may [sound] condemning to the people who aren’t. Everybody messes up, no sin is greater than the others.

What kind of misconceptions do you run into?

Jason: People are always curious if this is real. Like, if we’re really Christians, or if this is just a marketing thing. We get that a lot--are you guys serious about this thing, you guys don’t do certain things? We’re for real.

Jeremy: The only misconception [is] that because we’re Christian artists, we're not going to stumble or go through real-life problems.

Gabe: Most of them think that we’re really judgmental and really conservative.

So, if a Hindu girl wanted to go to your concert, is she going to feel alienated going to your concert or will she feel like this is great music and I’m having fun?

Gabe: Definitely, yeah. Our message is for anyone. We don’t want to bring it just to a Christian audience or just certain people. Our ministry’s still going to be the same. We still speak our hearts and talk about God openly, and you’ll also hear it through our music.

Nate: There are the girls who are attracted to us because they saw us in Seventeen and think we’re cute or whatever. But God uses different things to attract people to himself. And once they get past all the hype, they’ll see what we’re really about.

You were created as a Christian alternative to the Backstreet Boys and 'NSYNC. Do you listen their music?

Nathan: Who doesn’t listen to their music? I’m not an avid listener, but I do check them out to see what’s going on.

Jason: I think they’ve got some good music and I love some of the production on their albums. I think they’re very talented guys. Some of the content--whoa! what was that last line about something sexual or talking about a girl in a certain way! We just choose as Plus One to live a higher standard. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect them as musicians and artists.

Is it difficult to be characterized that way, as the Christian Backstreet Boys or N'SYNC?

Jeremy: We feel like we have our own identity as a band. We feel chosen to do this. That’s first and foremost the main reason why we do it. Everything else just kind of falls into place. It’s not like we feel like a knock-off.

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