Third Day, the Grammy-winning Christian rock band tabbed by Billboard magazine as “one of the best rock bands, period,” performs at U.S. Airways Center this week as part of the sixth annual Roadshow Tour, along with an impressive line-up of Christian bands and singers. Third Day bassist Tai Anderson chatted with GetOut about working with rock producer Brendan O’Brian, why they re-recorded a Cat Stevens song, and why they’re looking forward to coming to the Valley.
Q: You experimented with some different sounds on your new album, “Miracle.” What drove that change?
TA: The biggest factor that comes into play is the producer. We had the opportunity to work with Brendan O’Brian, a Grammy-winning rock producer (whose resume includes Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Train and The Killers). We just gave him the sonic reins to steer it. We started with the feeling that it needed to be fresh and invigorating. That usually means less of the band, but it’s more us than ever. You hear the drum, the bass, the guitar and the vocal.
Q: You recorded a cover of the hymn “Morning Has Broken.” Why did you pick that one?
TA: When we first started as a band, we would get people saying Mac’s voiced sounded like Cat Stevens. (We thought) it would be cool to do a Cat Stevens song. It was great way to tip our hats to an incredible singer-songwriter.
Q: The theme of the record is holding fast to faith in the midst of doubt. Did you base that off current events or your personal lives?
TA: It was more from our personal lives and the life of the band. For us, as we were starting the process, we felt very daunted. We didn’t really have the material, and we didn’t know what to do. We went to God in prayer. The Word talks about God putting a lamp to our feet. Brendan O’Brian agreeing to work with us was a lamp.
There’s always the question is the next song going to be (a hit). You’d think that the more success you’ve had the more confidence you have, but it doesn’t (mean that). Making this record restored faith in what this band can be.
Q: Tell us about the Roadshow tour — how much of your new music will fans hear?
TA: Probably about a third (of the music will be) from “Miracle.” We’re doing the songs that have been radio singles — “Your Love is Like a River,” “I Need a Miracle,” “Kicking and Screaming.”
We’re excited to come back to Phoenix. Mark (Lee) and I just got our degrees online with Grand Canyon University. Our moms are finally off our back. ’Lopes up!
IF YOU GO
What: The Roadshow 2014 Tour
When: 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18.
Where: U.S. Airwarys Center, 201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix.
Cost: $20 online or $10 at the box office
Information: (602) 379-7800 or TicketMaster.com
Contact writer: (480) 898-5629 or firstname.lastname@example.org