Favorite “guilty pleasure” TV show:
Jon Steingard (lead vocals, guitar): “Friends,” except I don’t feel guilty about it.
Daniel Biro (bass): “Downton Abbey.” Haha. My wife got me into it.
Micah Keiper (guitar): Tommy Boy
David Niacaris (drums): Gladiator
Favorite book you’ve read recently:
Micah: Wild at Heart by John Eldridge
David: Currently reading Crazy Love, actually. A little late on that one, but I am absolutely loving it so far. Francis Chan is great!
Favorite Broadway musical:
Micah: “The Sound of Music.” Don’t judge me.
Daniel: “Les Miserable”
Favorite non-Hawk Nelson song of all time:
David: “Africa” by Toto
Daniel: That’s too hard! So many good tunes. How can someone just pick one? My favorite song of last year was “Magic” by Coldplay. My favorite album of last year was When I Was Younger by Colony House. But all time? That’s TBD.
Favorite on-stage moment from any time in your career:
Jon: Being Amy Grant’s band at Creation 2008. Amazing.
Daniel: The moment our drummer, Aaron Tosti, accidentally flipped off a trampoline and tackled TobyMac while he was still performing.
Jon: Superman. He is the only hero where the normal clothes are the costume. The cape and tights are the true him.
Canadian quartet Hawk Nelson is riding high, fresh off the release of their new studio album, Diamonds, and chart-topping debut single, “Drops in the Ocean.” The album is, if you’ll pardon the expression, a well-polished gem. Front man Jon Steingard took some time to answer 10 questions — each one based on the title of each of the album’s 10 songs. Some are silly; some are serious; but all offer a unique glimpse into the album and the band.
How is a diamond a metaphor for the way God uses trials in our lives?
Diamonds are formed underground over long periods of time through intense pressure and heat. I think that is a great metaphor for how God uses the trials and pressures of life to shape us into something stronger and more beautiful. Also, diamonds have no light of their own but reflect light that is shone on them. In so many ways, [it’s] a beautiful image of our reflection of God.
2. Drops In the Ocean
Will you admit that you wrote this song just because “Oceans” was such a big hit, and you wanted to get on the bandwagon? (Just kidding!) Real question: Who in the band would be the most likely to correctly guess the number of drops in the ocean? (Just so you know, there are 20 septillion drops in the world’s oceans. I Googled it, so it must be true.)
I will certainly not admit anything of the sort! Haha. If anything, most songwriters flee from similarities to other songs — really, I think the idea was strong enough for me that it was worth any criticism that might be levied on that point. And really, the concept of the song is so completely different. I don’t know if any of us could guess the number of drops in the ocean though!
3. Just Getting Started
Your debut release was in 2004. Does it ever feel like you’re just getting started, even after all these years?
Man, sometimes it really does. We are really doing some new stuff on this record, and sometimes it feels like we’re breaking new ground even after all these years!
4. Live Like You’re Loved
Who is that certain support person in your life who reminds you that you are loved, when you most need to hear it?
Actually, growing up it was my parents. They were such a great example of unconditional love for me. They had a rule for me that said no matter where I was, or what I was getting myself into, I could always call home for help, and I would never be in trouble. I think that had a lasting impact on me…reminding me that they always have my back. I know that’s the way God loves us, too. That kind of love can be a source of confidence, [allowing us to go] out into our lives with boldness, knowing we are unconditionally loved and supported.
5. Sold Out
You’re on tour. It’s late at night. You’ve got the munchies. What single item at the convenience store would most upset you if it was sold out?
6. Thank God for Something
Right this moment, as you hear this question, name the first thing that comes to mind (big or little, significant or not) that you are thankful for?
I’m thankful for technology that allows me to keep in touch with my wife and loved ones even when we are on the road!
7. Count on You
Describe a time in your life when you’ve felt that supernatural assurance that you can count on God, that everything will be okay.
Man, when I moved over into the role of singer, I was pretty unsure of myself. I really knew that God was prompting that move, though…and that gave me a boost of confidence knowing that I could (and should) rely on Him.
8. Made to Live
“Made” can have a couple of meanings — compelling someone to do something, or creating and crafting something new. Thinking of the latter, name a way God “made” you to do what you’re doing now.
I think we were created to be in relationship with our Creator and to invite others into that relationship. No matter what our career is, that is our call as believers. For me, God has used music in my life to help with both of those things.
9. Straight Line
There’s another song — you might have heard it — called “Blurred Lines.” Why is it important to make music that brings light into a world that’s so often dark?
For me this song is about stepping into life with confidence, knowing what truly matters and what you’re here to do. As Bob Goff says, “Find that thing that makes you come alive and do lots and lots of that.” I think that is one of the most powerful ways we can be a witness to others…by walking in boldness and confidence knowing who we are in Christ.
10. Only You
We know that God is omnipotent and can do all things, but for you right now, in your specific circumstance, how would you finish the prayer: “God, only You can ______”
God, only You can work all things out for good. (He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not to harm us.)
For more info on Hawk Nelson and their new album, Diamonds, visit www.hawknelson.com.
Mark D. Geil is a freelance Christian music writer and photographer. Mark has written bios for over 40 artists and industry leaders, and he’s a regular music critic and contributor for multiple media outlets. His work has appeared in CCM Magazine, ChristianityToday.com, Relevant, and more. Mark also has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering and works by day as a professor at Georgia State University. He lives near Atlanta with his wife and three daughters. www.markdgeil.com