kenya/favorite bands/

its an interview day. a day where my publicists lines me up with one interview after another. my least favorite topic is music, seems like everyone has conspired together and asks me the same questions over and over. i love talking about india though, and once again when i went to india i knew that i had to bring others overseas with me. this winter i am going to be taking a group of band members to kenya, africa. this trip is going to be a bit longer, and the planning a bit more extensive because i want to take 30 guys/girls (from different bands) along with me.

you can help me assemble the team! please write all your favorite signed bands (i say signed bands because i want people completely concentrated on helping the people in the villages of kenya and not trying to further their own musical career) and ask them to please get ahold of me at and i will put them in contact with the project coordinator.

secondly, the website JUSTANOTHERTRAVEL.COM , a travel tickets website, has agreed to give me a % of their profits to help fund the trip to africa. so if you are booking airline tickets, cruises, etc. try their website out.

well i am back to interviews. the last one i just did was incredible, we talked about india almost 1/2 the time. he said thanks for all the humanitarian work that i had been participating in lately. i said that i appreciated the compliment,  but then that reminded me of watching part of the pre super bowl game interviews when they asked one of the coaches how he felt about being that this was the first time in superbowl history that 2 african americans have coached against each other in the superbowl, and it would be the first time a black coach has ever won the super bowl. the coach said that it was cool, but he cannot wait for the day when being an african american was a non-issue. people should just stop pointing out when a person of any race does anything extraordinary, because we should be counted as the same. the coach wanted to be known for winning the super bowl, not for being born a certain race.  in the same way i can't wait till they stop applauding musicians for being concerned with the worlds well being. no applause for bono fighting aids, or chris martin working for free trade; because all musicians should get over themselves and work for the betterment of humanity. we all have a duty, whether we are students, lawyers, musicians, or doctors; i want to be known for inspiring all musicians to be equal in the fight against poverty, human trafficking, aids, etc. i don't want to stand alone in this industry anymore.

go help your own community! you can help africa! you can help the world!


Nicole said…
Great post, hopefully those interviews are up soon, I'm interested in reading them.

I'm happy to know I'm not the only one who doesn't particularly care how much praise Bono is getting for whatever the heck he does.
David Malcolm said…
I think one of the reasons you're getting thanked is the fact that you're doing something that deserves credit anyway. Not to mention people look up to musicians. People look up to anyone who can do things they can't do. I mean, I'm an outgoing person and I've had people at school tell me that they were scared to talk to me because I seem to know anyone, and I've had people honestly feel special just because I took the time to talk to them. It's weird, we often think people are special, or better than us, when they're just the same, they're just good at something we're not.
At the same time i'd give respect to anyone doing humanitarian work, not just musicians. Actually I'm a little annoyed with the whole Bono thing, I mean sure he seems to be a really good guy, but everyone talks about how great he is, but all I can see is that he's a good musician with a lot of fame who is leveraging it to help others. The sad thing is that it's so uncommon that Bono stands out. I mean again he does great work, but I think it's just a commentary on how pathetic it is that other people have no desire to use their influence or money to help others, but would rather just get hammered at a bar and get their photos in the tabloid again.

So, enough about the humanitarian stuff, let's hear about the music! I bet you haven't talked about that enough recently!
Michelle said…
well said, stephen. :) thanks for always being so inspiring.

if i ever get to interview you, i'll know what to ask!

love mich
N. Thayer said…
I sent Mute Math a message...

Hopefully they will respond!

take it easy Stephen!

Christopher B said…

Thank you for helping the world. And encouraging other people on a higher 'level' to do the same.

Anonymous said…
The fact that you do these things even while making a CD and touring and everything else that comes with being in a band is...incredible. And I thought my senior high school life was busy. I agree with what you are saying about the superbowl coaches. I happen to be dating someone three years younger than me. About 3 months into our relationship I asked my mom how she felt about him because she always treated him differently than any other boyfriend I have had. I expected her to be upset over the age difference. Instead, she told me it was because he is Guatamalen. I was extremely surprised. Since when has race mattered when you're dating someone? (or age, for that matter) People are too concerned with prejudice and social norms to consider the possibility that we are more alike than we are different in this world. It's amazing how many people can claim to have no prejudice and yet subconciously act with one.

You're inspiring, Steven. The fact that you take the time out of your life to go to India and help those who really need it is incredible. And I think getting other bands involved is a great idea. Of course I'll try to help.

Also, I just wanted to say I love Adelaide. It reminds me of December 2005. I love it. Pretty much I love almost every song you guys have made. Other than the love song cover, to be honest. You did a good job on it, I'm just not a big fan of the song. I fell in love with your music when I first heard you at a Minnesota concert a little over two years ago. If I remember correctly, you weren't even supposed to be there, Letter Kills was. But I'm so glad they weren't. I'm always such a lyrics person and your lyrics always speak to me and I can relate each song to a different time in my life. I can't wait for Cities to come out. I think every one of my friends is annoyed with me for it because I won't stop talking about how excited I am for the release!

And I know you probably won't remember me, but I was at the Minneapolis Tooth and Nail Tour concert last year. I got out of school early to be downtown at noon so I could be first in line to see Anberlin. Which I was. It was amazing being in the front row. Actually (I know you wouldn't remember this) I got to talk to you afterwards and you signed my set list because you had noticed me singing along to every song you played (Dance, Dance Christa Paffgen being my favorite). The point of this is, I have the tickets to see you backstage before the show for the March 3rd Minneapolis show. And I'm hoping maybe you'll have read this by then and know who I am.

I'm grateful for everything you're doing--both in India and with your music.
Brightest said…
"all musicians should get over themselves and work for the betterment of humanity."

i like that. stay humble, it's a good quality, hold on to that.

as far as the interviews go, i can only imagine how many times you are asked,"so stephen, was this song written about someone in particular?"

i vote next time you get asked that you tell them, "yes, i wrote it about my boyfriend actually."

i bet it'd leave them speechless.
Heather said…
another great post. please stay humble. :)
Christopher B said…
Just read through some of the interview stuff on that Absolute punk page or whatever.

A Smith's cover? I recall you mentioning something about needing a keyboard live for it, so I'm counting out This Charming Man...?

Take care Stephen
Scooby said…
A good word. I want to see all people take responsibility for their bit of help in society.

My missions base is sending a group to Kenya in a couple of months, then going to Rwanada, where I'm supposed to join them. I'm excited to tell their story.
Book of James said…
Glad that you are grounded and trying to use your influence to help others to move in that direction.

The comment you made about the two Coaches in the Superbowl reminds me of the Speech by Tony Dungy head coach of the Colts.

I think Dungy and Smith of the Bears, beyond being African American, are simply two of the best examples of positive role models you will find.

I hope everyone will take the time to read and appreciate what Coach Dungy says in this speech.

It helps to illustrate why bad things happen to good people.

sj. said…
i love how you say it!! very good.
yes. its about time people stop applauding some one for doing humanitarian stuff - everyone SHOULD be doing it!!
Antoinette said…
Hopefully one day I'll be able to interview people like you; for now, I'm just a journalist for a little high school newspaper. Anyway, some of my favorite bands are Mae, Relient K, and Copeland -- and you guys have all toured or played with each other before, so you all already know each other. What we really need are for more people to be moved to help the community. It would take a while to get to where you want the world to be; but looking back on the world's history, we've come a long way when it comes to other problems.
Anonymous said…
always inspiring.

Casey said…
Hopefully people will take notice of the things you and others are doing, and maybe they will find it in themselves to lend a hand as well.
Anonymous said…
I thank you for that and for all your dedication and wanting others and inspiring others to help. I see things everyday on my way home from work that make me cry and I know that crying about it is not going to do anything to I know what I have to do.
Thank you again, my friend.
-A :)
Kate said…
just heard about TWLOHA touring with you guys. thats amazing. i can't wait. dallas, tx march 23.
josh said…
get dies(showbread) again he told me the calcutta trip was amazing...and didnt timmy from UO go also? yeah i bet that was life changing for all of you
chris said…
Um, heya!
Im chris...and this is my very first comment, so it's all exciting for me and stuff! Obviously I cant get enough of Anberlin but recently I've been looking past your music and into who the members are, I think your trip to Calcutta sparked my interest. Reading your blog makes me want to just run outside and help as many people as I can...but it just feels so hard to do sometimes. I'm in my final year at school and I'm still not sure what I want to do when I get out but I don't want some job that doesn't help other people other than myself..I want to help people out, I want to make a difference but this years as confusing as it is! Anyway, that was my ramble that you probably didn't want to hear but in the end what I'd love to do is pretty much what you have done. Sort of change the world I guess.

Anyway, thanks for hearing me I have a pound of homework to face, see you!
Sarah said…
I am excited to here that you are going to Africa. I am currently in Uganda and have been here since the beginning of January and will be here until the end of may. Africa is challenging and amazing. My worldview as been stretched so much here that it is hard to put into words. I hope you experience in Kenya will be just as challenging.

awesome encouragment at the end.
Anonymous said…
I think you should ask ARMOR FOR SLEEP if they want to go, they are and amazing band.
MH said…
That's really awesome.

On a side note, I'm listening to 'Cities' right now and it's wonderful. Great job!
hans said…
I do hope you'll excuse me throwing in a brief commentary on your brief social commentary as well; I think that there are myriad things we can do to make the world a better place, to lessen the divide between ourselves and the third world, and just in general be more responsible with our ridiculous wealth. Most of the things are small, like paying $0.15 per oz of coffee to buy free trade, or driving a different car, or donating extra cash to an international charity or just using your vote intelligently, but they do add up.

As to this post; I respect your humanitarian tendencies and actions deeply, and I think that it's especially commendable that you aren't using your position to rail and scream and throw tantrums about American politics, but are instead concentrating on the specific issues that need to be dealt with.

And finally, I am shivery with excitement for tomorrow.
Heather said…
just thought i'd let you know, Cities is absolutely amazing.
sj. said…
Hey darl.. Don't you reckon its high time you updated.

ps. I hope album launch was amazing.. I love the new album!!
All the song you've written have changed my life. Really.
shypoet83 said…
have a great time in Kenya helping :)
dan bowen said…
Thanks Stephen...
I enjoy your posts a great deal. I am heading to Hungary/Romania/Ukraine in April to create a film to help get funding for some churches and aide shelters/homes in the surrounding areas. I would love to work with you sometime on one of your trips. I am passionate about helping people who don't have the same opportunities that a lot of us have in the states. Check out my blog if you ever get the chance.

Praying for you buddy.
Kate said…
soo i just watched the AnberlinDVD that came with cities, and on the part about studio participation, you mentioned a person who put a joke in their message. that was me :). thanks for the shout out.
Ashley said…
When can a person be just a person, and not some statistic in a fact book? I agree with David when he says it's sad that Bono stands out so much for the work that he is doing. If more people were making the same kind of effort it would be seen as a norm. I also think it's sad that we count on one hand how many African American coaches made it to the super bowl. Do we keep track of the height and hair color of the coaches that make it to the super bowl? I don't hear anyone saying "This is the first time we had a blonde coach who is 6'2 in the super bowl". I'm pretty sure the color of his skin had nothing to do with his ability to coach a team. If we are still able to identify and itemize the "progress" we are making then perhaps we have a lot more work to do.
Christopher said…
hey stephen i totally agree with you. i am in a band myself and sometimes i get caught up in the "getting involved" thing just because all the other bands are doing hte "getting involved" thing. getting involved with the world should come from a person's heart, and i believe that your heart truley is in everything good thing you do. as for inspiring people, you are doing an awesome job. see you the cincinatti show.


btw. cities is ridiculously amazing
Ben2theEdge said…
Just wanted to congratulate you on Cities! It's a great album and your lyrics just keep getting better! I need to find a wife so we can play Inevitable at our wedding. Thanks for awesome music!
GreatGrace84 said…
great show last night! we raced to see you and caught the last 5 songs. loved the new stuff - it was so great to hear so many of the audience singing the lyrics. our 2 hours in the car were spent listening to cities trying to learn the lyrics. :-) sorry to miss the philly shows. hope they go great!!

ps - gretchen and i owe you cookies
Lil Renny said…
Stephen, I admire you and your valiant effort to improve the lives of others so much. This is why I am writing you right now. I don't know if you have done any work with the invisible children project that is working on bringing an end to the issue of children in Uganda being captured and forced into the rebel army. Its a heartbreaking story. I just hoped that maybe I could tell you about it, and send you a link to my blog where I give a little more information on it, including a link to their cite. It is my hope to get the word out about this as much as possible so that others may take part in it. My blog is I look forward to meeting you on March 20 when you come to Salt Lake and would love to talk to you more about it then as well. Thank you for remaining part of the solution, and may others follow suit.
Eric Taylor said…
It would be sweet to see some other tooth and nail bands go. Emery would be a really cool band to have go along.
joshuathesmart said…
Right on! I think that the work you are doing is awesome, not because you are in a band, but because the work you are doing is awesome. People forcing tolerance here in America are not doing anything to make us color-blind, but to make us see that we are different. While diversity can be a good thing, I see no reason to be diverse when we are all members of one race...the human race. Well, thats my two bits.
andrea ayala said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
andrea ayala said…
Paramore, Mae, Thrice, Underoath, and Reliant K would be good bands to go with. Paramore is really good. I don't think ya'll have ever played with them, but i think that ya'll would get a long really well. i didn't message or e-mail any of these bands, i was just throwing these out there. i figured that you could decide who you would want to go with and contact them because they'll probably respond to you over me. i hope you get enough people to go, that's really awesome. i have been waiting to go on a mission's trip for a really long time, you're so lucky that you're able to go twice in one year. keep up the amazing work for God and He'll continue to Bless you.

p.s. anchor and braille is an amazing side project, and cities is phenomenal.
Kim F. said…
it's refreshing to see a "rocker" for lack of a better word be so accessible and down to earth. May God bless your efforts.

I'm curious to find out if you do any humanitarian work stateside?
yAnz solo said…
i just want to say that "Priorities are like flowers; they are best when properly arranged."

i want to share these words i got from Christianity 101:

God has deliberately called you out of the ordinary activities of life to a higher level of living. He doesn’t want you to worry about your short-term personal needs (because He will provide them). Instead, He wants you to structure your life in a way that makes Him your highest priority. When you arrange your priorities in that fashion, then everything else will fall into its proper place. Can you say that you have made God your top priority? Does your daily schedule confirm or deny it?

No, O people, the Lord has already told you what is good, and this is what he requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

you are an inspiration esteban. God bless u even more!
Shari Black Velvet said…
/makes a mental note to try not to ask too many music questions when I get an interview scheduled with you.

I always feel the need to ask x amount of music questions for fear of the bandmember thinking that I don't actually care about their music if I don't, though. I try not to ask the same old same old, but I have a tendency to ask quite a lot about music/lyrics since that's usually the main reason the band are there, and why I became a supporter in the first place. But of course when they do have other interests that they like to talk about, or there are things you connect with outside of music that makes for a nice detour, and makes a change in a rock mag too.

Two of my fave interviews, being into animal rights and vegan, were with vegan musicians specifically about animal rights - because it was something that both I and they were interested in, and I hoped it would inspire readers too.

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