After playing so many songs in churches for eight or nine years, I've learned what songs people react to. Then I just had fun with the arrangements. That's how this album came together.
When I was first writing, I was writing mostly about sporting events, which was really what my assignments were. I was working on the Tour de France bike race and the Barcelona Olympic Games, and those songs tend to be very big, very bombastic-type music, which is the type of music that I love to write.
I hate to say it, but Christmas as a kid was always a moneymaking venture for me. I played trumpet, and a friend of mine who played trombone and a guy who played tuba, every Christmas we'd go out for three or four days beforehand and play Christmas carols on our horns.
Risk means everything from being honest about your faith, to moving, to quitting a job that's paying you a fortune but it's not what's in your heart. Risking things is one of the biggest fears we have.
Big band music, to me, it really has three key elements. First is the lyrics are really sweet, and they're just really family-friendly. The second thing is the music is jazz music, so the music is complicated enough to hold your attention for 5 or 6 million plays. That makes the songs interesting. The last part is the fact that it's danceable.
I was 23 years old. It was a wild time. I was covering everything that blew up - blackouts, Studio 54, son of Sam killer, and all of that stuff.
I grew up wanting to be a musician, but my parents were sure I would starve to death. So, they put me in physics and chemistry. That eventually blew up, and I got into radio.
People like Bryant Gumbel and Bob Costas are terrific broadcasters because they get challenged every day.
The world is full of people who have dreams of playing at Carnegie Hall, of running a marathon, and of owning their own business. The difference between the people who make it across the finish line and everyone else is one simple thing: an action plan.
I like writing different types of music. I like writing Christian music. I like collaborating with Christian artists. We have a Christian following. I love writing kids' music.
'Entertainment Tonight' would send me out to do interviews with musicians like Sting and Coldplay, and I was able to watch how they plan their shows. The late Jerry Garcia of Grateful Dead always had a game plan, but he also was flexible if he had to change something at the last minute.
I guarantee you that the people who watch 'Conan O'Brien' or who watch 'Entertainment Tonight' and probably a lot of these other programs have never heard of Operation Blessing. Maybe they have heard of UNICEF, and I'm sure they have heard of the Red Cross, but they haven't heard of this organization.
Really, at a time when they're debating when and where a nativity scene can be used, this is the kind of stuff we need to have out there - outside of the church.
I can change a No. 1 diaper in 30 seconds and a No. 2 in a minute.
My favorite bands were Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Jethro Tull, Uriah Heep, Grand Funk Railroad. If you listen to some of my early music, you can hear it.
The real advantage for me is that I have the opportunity to lead worship every Sunday.
When I was playing piano, it was like, 'I'm going to write a song using all the white keys.' My music director, who knew my jazz background, suggested I try big-band music, so we spent a year experimenting with it in concert, and the audience reaction was really good.
We never want to go into a tour and play 15 songs and say 'Enjoy.' We have messages: Number 1, follow your dreams. If I can do it, you can do it. Number 2, give your life to something. We say, 'Volunteer and add seven years to your life.' You can have your own personal ministry. The message we have is 'What do you stand for?'
None of those jobs were high-profile, but once I was on ET, people then began to associate me with that show. So, that is the thing that many people know me for. When in effect, that was the end of my television career.
Most of the people interviewing me are far more square than me. I think it's the ET thing. I'm sitting there, my hair is combed, and I'm in a suit.