Almost all of your songs on your new album "Theology" are based on Old Testament scripture, not New Testament. Is there a reason for this?


It's really that I love the Old Testament. Since I was a kid it was my particular area of interest. I love the New Testament also, obviously, but I suppose, from an artistic point of view, if you're going to write songs, the Old Testament is a little more artistic, very poetic, very dramatic, very emotional. It contains within it a whole lot of songs, not only in the Psalms but in some of the books. It's just more conducive to songs.


Is there a part of the Bible that you resonate with most, that you go to for comfort or inspiration?


My love is the books of the prophets. Particularly I love Isaiah and Jeremiah, but Jeremiah would be my favorite, above all.  So, I'd read [Jeremiah], and just the language and the place it took me to would make me forget about anything that might be on my mind. It is a beautiful book.


You've said that your new album is "an attempt to create a place of peace in a time of war" and that it was a response to what was happening in the world after 9/11.  How did 9/11 personally affect you?


I don't think there was a person on earth who wasn't extremely affected by it, obviously some much more than others. But that day did change the world—everything changed.  Now, that act [the massacre] was performed by a small minority of people who claimed to represent a particular theology. And in doing what they did, they very badly misrepresented their religion and their theology, and more importantly, they misrepresented God. Obviously, it doesn't need to be stated that anyone who believes in God would never do such a thing.


And anyone who says they're a Christian doesn't send bombs to kill anyone. The world has become a very frightened and frightening place. The existence of war is proof of the absolute lack of contact with God, and that is something I see as having got a lot worse. We're all affected by what happened on Sept. 11 because all over the world there are countries at risk because of involvement in the war. In the case of the British people and the American people, they can't walk down the street without being frightened, with very good reason, that something dreadful might happen. 


In the case of Britain, they've had [the violence].  A bunch of bombs went off [in London in 2005] and killed a lot of people and caused a lot of pain. If [the government of a country wants to go] to war, the people of any country should be asked and polled whether that is what they want, because they're going to be at risk. That's what has happened since Sept. 11--people all over the world have been put into a lot of danger by both sides, by Islam and by Christianity.  I suppose musically that's what I'm saying-- that behaving like that, they've both misrepresented their God.