Jamie Rowe of Guardian Gets Real

Guardian in Concert

Jamie Rowe singing with Guardian in Argentina

Christian rocker, Jamie Rowe, the lead singer for the Christian rock band Guardian, has a melodic voice that is unmistakable.  His down to earth personality and his big heart are just as prevalent.  I have had the opportunity to work with him on many occasions, and I’ve seen him in action.  He not only lives his faith, he readily shares it each chance he gets.  I’m honored that one of my heroes in rock music is also my friend whom I talk to quite regularly.

He is one of those guys that just has a natural magnetism to kids and adults alike.  When he plays his guitar and begins to sing, people stop and listen.  His discography contains 26 collections of songs.  He has been a part of several bands including Guardian, Tempest, London Calling, Crunch, and The Ruled.

Below is an interview that he has given just for us.  I have no doubt that you will thoroughly enjoy as you read.

1.     You and I are almost the same age… only three days different.  What have you learned as you’ve gotten older about the music industry?  What do you wish you knew then that you know now?

What I’ve learned is that it’s a different industry all together. I honestly don’t know how a new artist or band can make a living other than touring/merchandise. The pot of gold from recording, which the music industry was based on, is gone. That being said, a handful of those willing to play the pop radio game can have a decent run. I think we’re going to fast come into an era of “rockstars with day jobs”. 🙂 What I wish I knew now? Not really sure, If anything maybe I would have changed my focus with London Calling (the band I had for a while in the mid 2000’s)..I was far more focused on getting a record deal than making amazing music for the love of music. I still think we were a great band..but think we may have been even better if we just didn’t think so much about record deals and focused more on writing music that would blow our own minds.

The cover of the Guardian CD, Miracle Mile

2.     A new Guardian CD is on the way!!!  What can we expect it to sound like?  Any influences or styles that we can look forward to?

Too early to tell where it will land, but the songs we’ve thrown around so far seem to mix the right amount of Miracle Mile and Buzz…enough where it’s undoubtedly Guardian. A few things I do want- I’ll be singing with some raspy vocals and Tony and Jamey will be play some downright explosive guitars. Guardian has always been about the songs, but those two elements are as much of a part of the guardian sound. Our fans want that.

3.     Coke or Pepsi?  As if I didn’t already know…

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER drink Pepsi…EVER! I actually stopped drinking Diet Coke from a can/bottle and now only occasionally have it from a fountain.

4.     I know from trying for hours to get you on a roller coaster that you are not impressed by them.  What is it that totally and completely exhilarates you?

Wow…I don’t know exactly. I don’t really have an adrenaline junky side. I do get amped from a good show or recording session. I also can get on 10 when I learn some new tech/nerd type stuff. 
 
5.     Your thoughts on American Idol, The Voice, X-factor and the like…
 
I enjoy them but I’m not sure they create music stars. They certainly create television stars. Too many uneventful recordings follow up their run on the show. I think the winners of The Voice are actually the judges. They get the most visibility
6.     What is your favorite secular band?  Christian band?
Non-Believers: Cheap Trick, Van Halen, Motley Crue and most 80’s glam rock. I also like Breathe Carolina a lot these days.

Jamie Rowe hanging out with Nikki Sixx or Motley Crue

 




Believers: Stryper (for life), Owl City, HILLSONG, Paul Baloche, Newsboys. Too many to name actually.
7.     Have you ever felt like a misfit in the Christian community?
That’s an interesting question. I would need to say the only place I’ve ever felt that way was in the area where I live in Indiana. It has an abundance of what I call “Church People” and I simply don’t relate. Fortunately, I get to travel and see that it’s a bubble and not indicative of the rest of the world. Locally, it seems there is usually a camp of 4-5 people who think it’s their calling to sow seeds of dissension…but they end up running out of steam eventually. That’s a full-time job. I need to clarify though; I’m also blessed to have a home church that rebels against the status quo of “Church People”. There may be only one other church in our county I think I could attend and not feel like I was surrounded by people wearing costumes. But 30 minutes down the road, it’s a different story there too. I’m an artist by nature and everyone knows artists are usually jacked up haha! Fortunately, I have never felt like a misfit in the eyes of Christ. A failure sometimes, but never a misfit.
8.     Share one of your favorite funny things that happened to you while travelling on the road during your Guardian touring days? (video inset is the 1990 release Power of Love by Guardian featuring Jamie on vocals)
 
Oh man…way too many stories..and a lot of them are “you had to be there” type stories. I think the best road prank I ever played was convincing Steve Taylor that I had turret’s syndrome for 3 weeks when we toured with him. EVERYONE on that tour was in on it except for Steve…We had a thing going that the Dr’s were sending medicine out but to wrong addresses on the tour and I could have a verbal explosion at anytime. This went on for 3 weeks! Imagine that scenario and you get a good idea.
9.     What is your favorite tattoo? (video inset here is me filming Jamie being tattooed at Squench’s Tattoos in Byram, MS by Curtdog.)
My Jesus tat and also my Galatians 6:9 tat…that’s always a good reminder when I feel like giving up.
10.    What is something about Jamie Rowe that we don’t know?
I come off as really outgoing to people, but the fact is, I am pretty shy. My wife knows this…and now others will too!

Jamie and Heather Rowe… back in the day

11.    I know from spending time with you and your family that they are very important to you.  How do the kids and Heather feel about your “fame” and being somewhat of a public figure?
It never really comes up. Most of the “big things” happened either before they were born or when they were babies. I’ve never been anything other than Dad to them. Christian got a taste of it when he went to Argentina with me a few years ago. The Latin America Guardian fans are REALLY into the band. Heather has been with me through it all. She basically put her musical career on hold to focus on being my wife. It’s so cool that she gets to use her passion for music and worship years later when she thought she never would again.
12.    If there were one thing that you could really inject into the lives of our readers, what would it be?
One thing?!! I dunno…for me..maybe just that I believe God is for us and not against us. If anyone reading this thinks they aren’t loved, I would say that is a total lie. Christ dies for YOU. Why? Love.
13.    Favorite iPhone app?  (other than Instagram which we already know you LOVE)
Instagram..mos def. I like the Kindle app, RDIO, Tweet Speaker, Movie Look and Noir. I hate the facebook app. 
14.    What’s your top 5 most played songs in your iPhone?
Ha! I just looked and they are all my own songwriting demos for guardian Next in line is Holy Touch by Foxy Shazam..
15.    Here is your chance to plug your website, blog, any upcoming projects, anything you wanna throw at us and say as a wrap up…
As I’m writing this, It’s the end of my work day at Visual Sound..a guitar pedal effects company that hired me as marketing director. I love this place and people. If you are a guitarist, check out their pedals.
 I had to ask him 2 more things that I thought you’d be interested in too…
Favorite Guardian song of all time: Never Say Goodbye. Because no matter where we go, people always want to hear it. I submitted it in demo form with my audition tape so it’s been with me a long time. a simple song that just connects!

 Video inset Guardian – Never Say Goodbye



Thoughts on ministry being on staff at a church: I believe that I was indeed supposed to serve as youth leader, although for a small 
amount of time. But it’s not a calling I feel. I loved those kids. They were a great crew. I believe God used me. I didn’t like the church politics that go on behind the scenes (see the above mentioned 4-5 people who like to stir things up). I saw first hand and still see it with others, church staff tend to get way more beat up by a vocal minority in the church body than by the world. I was actually relieved to resign when I did. Here’s what I said the day they hired someone else: I touched his back and said “keep your eyes open at all times, some people like to stick knives back there”. Again, my only grief was with the vocal minority. Most folks were great. But if you are not called to do church work, it’s not going to work. Beware of the parent who abdicates their role in discipleship and thinks it’s solely the youth pastors job to show their children Christ..they will be a thorn in your side.
 Jamie Rowe and his family
I have great respect for you, Scott and am glad that you are my friend.
Jamie, I appreciate your friendship more than you will ever know.
Of all my friends, I can count on one hand the ones that I seem to connect with on every level.  He’s been there for me on several occasions with advice and encouragement that truly lifted me.  Jamie is one of the guys that when we are together, we even finish each others sentences.  I’m still ragging on him to let me sing on stage with him sometime! Until the next time we hang out, keep walkin’ that miracle mile!
One last video… Jamie Rowe solo singing Valentine
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~ by Scott Herrin on May 11, 2012.

3 Responses to “Jamie Rowe of Guardian Gets Real”

  1. Great Interview! Loved it! 🙂

  2. It was a blast reading this interview and watching him rock out in the videos. I knew him personally back in the day. We were not close but I was friends with his wife back in high school and I knew him around. I was a bridesmaid for Heather in their wedding. I havn’t seen them since then, but it is good to know he is still rocking with Jesus!

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