Interview with Greg X Volz
From early Maranatha bands like The Way to Daniel Amos, Richie Furay, Bob Bennett and Mark Heard, Alex MacDougall has played percussion and drums on countless albums over the years.
One-Way: Greg, before you became a Christian what were you doing musically? Did you have any musical training growing up? When was it apparent that you had a great singing voice?
Greg X. Volz: Playing rock and roll, a recording artist doing shows with Janice Joplin, BB King, Chicago, etc. Self taught. When I was in elementary school, I was singled out by the nuns to sing for all the special events because I could sing perfect harmonies at age 7. I was marked at an early age... isn't God good!
One-Way: You turned down a chance to sing lead for REO Speedwagon. At what point in your life did that occur? Tell us about your decision to not accept that position.
GXV: I had been a Christian for 6 years at that point and it just wasn't in my spirit to sing songs about the world after I had tasted the goodness of God. Oddly enough, that call came 6 weeks before the call came from Petra to work with them on the "Come and Join Us" album.
One-Way: The e band. This group has always been a fascinating footnote in Christian music history. Tell us about the band.
GXV: To my understanding, it was the first Jesus rock group that appeared in 1970, at the beginning of the Jesus Movement. It was a group of musicians that were dedicated to proclaiming the good news about Jesus Christ.
One-Way: Was there ever any attempt for the band to record an album? What about the band's involvement on the Because I Am rock musical?
GXV: We'd been offered several opportunities to record an album, including an offer by Word Records. But after two days of prayer and fasting, the Lord said 'No." God's ways are not our ways. Because I Am was the only project that the Lord allowed us to be apart of.
One-Way: What is like back then performing in the early days? Was there more support or opposition for the type of music you were doing?
GXV: There was much opposition from the religious world, because they didn't understand that God was doing a new thing. But when God calls you, He keeps you and equips you to do the work He called you to do.
One-Way: We always tend to think of California when we think of the Jesus movement but a lot was happening in other parts of the country. What did you see as you traveled?
GXV: I don't think the Jesus movement can be accredited to one place, because God's spirit is everywhere. What we saw was, the Lord pouring out His spirit on ALL flesh: Joel2 "and there were those hearing the call...'all over'."
One-Way: What groups did e perform with in the early days.
GXV: There was a group before Petra that worked with e, that some of the members from Petra were in. I believe the group was called Dove and this was at some park outreaches.
One-Way: When you think of the Petra years, what comes to your mind first?
GXV: Soul winning.
One-Way: You parted ways with Petra after more than 10 years. Obviously, a big change for you. What was that like you for?
GXV: It was a big change... it was different.
One-Way: Your solo career seemed to do pretty well and then you kind of dropped out of site for a while. What happened?
GXV: Moses went to the backside of the desert to prepare for the next course of events for his life... so did I. I'm not in charge of my life. When the cloud blows I want to be with it. Only the Lord knows what He's after in our lives and what it will take to get there.
One-Way: Tell us about what you've been doing in recent years and your new album "The Next Sphere.
GXV: I've been compiling a catalog of a 'new sound' It's the sound of the Spirit.
One-Way: What do you think of the state of CCM these days?
GXV: I don't... it's not mine to think. What I know is... there's a new sound coming and those who have ears to hear will hear!
One-Way: Do you have any personal favorite groups or albums from the Jesus movement days?
GXV: It's been so long, I don't listen to the old... God is doing a NEW thing and it compels me to go on. I do enjoy some of Keith Green's songs.
One-Way: Greg, thanks for your time. Any parting words to our readers?
GXV: Read the book... the HOLY BIBLE... and do what it says. Blessings in Jesus, GXV