with Jamie Barnes
Bands: Jamie Barnes, Sojourn Music
Websites: jamiebarnes.net, sojournmusic.com
Listen to “Jealous Arm”
QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a professional musician?
Jamie – Very early. Not sure the exact age, but everything I did seemed to foreshadow me playing music. I would even put on my parents’ old records & use my GI Joe’s to put on concerts.
QRD – What are a few highlights of your musical career?
Jamie – Opening for some bigger names like Over the Rhine, Stars of the Lid, Lovedrug, etc. I think my biggest thrill now is writing songs that get sung in churches all across the world.
QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?
Jamie – Always wanted to be a dad.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career?
Jamie – No negatives here. I’ve always hated touring even when I didn’t have a family. It’s actually a great excuse to stay home. If anything, leading my family has helped me see the world as more beautiful & breathed more grace into life. Those kind of realizations I think can only enhance your art.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your career has had on your family?
Jamie – Well, I’m a full time music pastor now & ministry coupled with also playing gigs really zaps up your time. So, the biggest negative impact would be my own inability to leave my work at work & not let it distract me when it’s time to focus my energy on my family. There are numerous benefits on the flip side - including just having a house where music is always being played & listened to. I’m hoping to see more fruit of that as my son gets older & begins to develop interests of his own.
QRD – Has your son effected the music you make &/or listen to?
Jamie – Not really. It’s fun to see what Arlo (my son) responds to when we are playing around the house. He really likes the Beatles & most british invasion stuff - great melodies coupled with rock beats are pretty universal.
QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from a musical career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?
Jamie – I feel very blessed right now to be able to comfortably provide for my family. That’s mostly because of the church that employs me & allows me to make music both for the world & the church. My wife lost her job last year when she was pregnant & was put on bed rest for the entire 9 months. She was very ill & the pregnancy was deemed very high risk. Thankfully, we made it through & by God’s grace we were able to adjust from moving from 2 incomes to 1. She stays at home with my son now & seems like she doesn’t want to return to the workplace anytime soon.
QRD – Given the limitations having a family has on being a touring musician, would you have toured more earlier in life if you’d known?
Jamie – Probably not. As stated earlier, I don’t really like touring. Quite frankly, I think I travel more now as a musician than I did before. I got to play London earlier this year & it was the most fun I’ve had making music outside of my hometown.
QRD – Do you think being a father or a musician has a greater impact on your community?
Jamie – I don’t think one is more morally upright than the other. Whether you are a drummer, a dad, a doctor, a broker, a baker or a candlestick maker you can do all with a high standard of excellence & a sense of humble service in order to impact a community. The world needs good dads & good artists.
QRD – Would you rather see your son eventually become a musician or parent?
Jamie – I want my son to pursue whatever he feels called to with passion, humility, & love for God & others.
QRD – Both family & music seem like things that will take up as much of your time as you’re willing to put in. How do you end up dividing your time?
Jamie – Not as well as I’d like. My family comes first & I don’t want to give them the scraps of my physical & emotional energy. I’m constantly having to repent of not doing well in this area & trying to adjust accordingly.
QRD – What does your son think of your music?
Jamie – My son is very little, but he seems to enjoy me singing & playing the guitar to him.
QRD – Do you think you could ever do a musical project with your child?
Jamie – That depends on whether or not he’s any good. :)
QRD – Any words of advice to young people?
Jamie – On parenting? Heavens, no. I’m still learning my way & failing miserably in the process.
Other QRD interviews with Jamie Barnes:
Interview with Jamie Barnes (September 2013)
Christian Musician interview with Jamie Barnes (March 2011)
Guitarist interview with Jamie Barnes (June 2010)
Interview with Jamie Barnes (February 2007)
Interview with Jamie Barnes (May 2006)
i heart fx - Jamie Barnes (May 2006)