Interview: Matt Redman

Sep 08 2011

Much respected worship leader Matt Redman has just released his eighth album, '10,000 Reasons', which was recorded live in Atlanta. As if that wasn't enough, he's also just written a new book 'Mirror Ball', and moved his family back to the UK following a spell in the US. Matt chatted to LTTM about all of this and more...

Tell us a little bit about your new album '10,000 Reasons' and what the inspiration behind it was?

There are 11 new songs on the album, and we recorded it in a live setting with over a thousand worship leaders in Atlanta, USA. It was such a great gathering and I hope you can hear something of the explosive praise that happened in those couple of days on the record. The album title points towards the utter worthiness of God - there are 10,000 Reasons and many, many more why we should offer up our worship response to Him every day.

Which is your favourite track on the album and why?

Probably the title track, 10,000 Reasons. It was the last song to be written before we recorded the album, and one of the quickest songs I was ever part of writing. It's quite a simple song, and we recorded it in that style too - everything is quite stripped back and acoustic on this song. But during the recording, and since, it feels like a fresh moment in worship, and it's wonderful hearing heart and voice sing it out wholeheartedly to God.

Why did you decide to record '10,000 Reasons' as a live album, rather than as a more conventional studio recording?

I love both. But the dynamic that happens on a live album is unique. The worshipping, singing church is a powerful force to be reckoned with - there's just something so beautiful and powerful about the people of God in the presence of God, pouring out the praises of God.

You've also just written a new book called 'Mirror Ball', can you tell us what it's about?

I'm hoping it will give people a confidence boost - a heightened sense of who God is, and therefore a heightened sense of what their lives can become in Him. There's a bright-thinking optimism we find in the bible which I'd love to see more prevalent in my own heart, and in the heart of the church. The writer of Psalm 18 gives us a great example - phrases like 'with my God I can scale a wall' and 'with my God I can advance against a troop'. He's encountering the greatness of God, and it's affecting his outlook for life. So the book encourages that same thing to happen in our own lives.

Having spent a number of years living in the US and working with the Passion City Church, you've recently moved back to the UK - what are you involved with now?

I'm at St Peter's church in Brighton, which is a newish church plant from HTB church. It's an exciting adventure, and a much needed one as it's quite likely the UK's most unchurched city.

You've been heavily involved with the Soul Survivor youth events for a long time now - what was it like this year?

I've kept in touch a lot with Mike [Pilavachi] and the guys and often end up down at the festival in the summer, but until this year I hadn't actually led there for quite a while. It was a blast. I love seeing what God is doing at Soul Survivor - it's such a beacon of hope in our nation - especially this year as it was happening at the same time as the riots in all those major cities. It was great to see thousands of young people living in the opposite spirit to all the destruction that was going on around the UK at the time.

Last time you spoke with us here at LTTM you said you wanted to write a song with Tim Hughes - has that happened yet?

It will do soon! We've been emailing about that just this week! He's a good friend, and I have so much respect for him as a worshipper, worship leader and songwriter.

In your opinion, what makes the perfect worship song?

Something that helps you respond to God in Spirit and in truth.

Who are your musical influences?

All sorts! But all time favorite must be The Beatles. I love it now that my five kids even get into their music. That's quite amazing, so many decades after it all happened.

What does the next year hold for Matt Redman?

Lots of fun and adventure at St Peter's in Brighton, a few events around the place, and the release of a coffee-table style book I've co-authored with Louie Giglio - it's all about the wonders of the cosmos, and how the the starry heavens declare the glory of God.

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