Plumb, who released her comeback album Need You Now in 2012, unveils the extended edition of her latest album, Need You Now: Deluxe Edition on September 16th. I had the privilege of interviewing her via email, as we discussed the upcoming album, what she hopes listeners will experience when hearing both the standard edition of the album and her new songs together, and how her experience was writing her first book titled Need You Now: A Story of Hope releasing the very same day. Check out the interview below.
1. Thanks for this email interview, Plumb. You recently did an email interview with me when I was working at IndieVisionMusic.com (http://www.indievisionmusic.com/2013/02/12/tiffany-arbuckle-lee-plumb/). How has life been for you since our last interview (the last 1½ years)?
Busy, fantastic. Lots of touring.
2. What has God been showing you about Himself, or yourself, during that time?
His faithfulness, His protection, His provision. That He’s enough, and that I don’t want selfish agendas anymore. They’re a toxin in my faith.
3. You have been within the music industry since the late 1990s. How have you decided to keep your music fresh, unique, different and current, while also keeping the element of vulnerability and honesty in the music you write and record? What has stayed the same throughout all your albums and what has changed?
I think, at least for me, I just try to be authentic. True, real, raw. And that’s how I have always defined relevant. There isn’t anything timeless to me sonically about trying to sound ‘current’, but rather just constantly trying new things and sounds. My rule in the studio musically is that there isn’t one- so staying ‘fresh’ isn’t anything I’m intentional about. I just think being true and at the same time adventurous makes for a welcomed sound in art. I hope.
4. I’ve recently started reading your book, which releases in September 2014. Wow, it’s a very confronting, emotional, heartfelt and inspiring read. What I have received from it, so far, is the message of hope; that even in the dire of situations, you can always hope and trust in God, that He’ll be with You in the darkest moments, and even pull you out and make something beautiful of what you thought wasn’t going to be. How was the process of writing the book, and what do you hope for readers to gain from reading it?
It was long and exciting and a release. All at the same time. What you’ve already received from the book is exactly what I hope a reader to get. That there is always hope. It looks different for each of us, but at its core, it’s knowing He is present no matter what and that He can and will use all things for His good and glory. Nothing gets wasted.
5. I know that this book is about your marriage, yet I feel when reading it that the message can be applied to anyone who is in a difficult situation. I especially feel that this passage in the introduction of your book, is applicable for anyone who feels like their situation is too big for them to overcome- ‘…hope is the brightest word in the universe. It is the expectation that life, even though it’s crazy or dark at the moment, can shift. That one tiny pinpoint of light can pierce the overwhelming sadness and break everything open with its joy. It’s what we all want when we are hurting or full of doubt or heartbroken. We want some hope…’ What has God shown you through your own personal journey, and how do you hope to inspire others who may be going through a similar situation to what your family had to endure these last few years?
The book was incredibly informed by the crumble and rebuild of my marriage, however it’s not limited to just that and I hope a vast demographic of readers can be inspired by it for many different reasons. But at the end of the day, the book was written in response to a God so faithful to me in the darkest time of my life that the most faithful thing I could think to do was to share not just my marriage story, but my whole story. That He’s been with me through some other hard times as well and in the hardest one of all, He was still there. Holding me. I want the book to challenge the reader to take the road less travelled. To not just give up or walk away or back down and stop when things get hard, or messy or painful. Rather to welcome those opportunities to know Jesus deeper. Not seeing conflict as such a bad thing, or a burden, but a blessing you’re entrusted with, and an opportunity to be used.
6. You have had quite a lot of success of late- Dove Award Nominations, as well as universal acclaim for your last studio album Need You Now. What prompted you to unveil a deluxe version of the album, instead of another full length album (which I assume is coming later on, maybe 2015?) and what do you hope for listeners to gain from hearing these 4 new songs (and 2 unique renditions of your fan favourites ‘Need You Now’ and ‘Don’t Deserve You’)?
Well, the current original album was written before my ‘winter’ as I call it, and although relevant to my circumstance, in all the touring I’ve had the honor of doing this past year, didn’t allow for as much story telling for where I am now. I didn’t want to wait til next year to be able to tell where I am now. And share more of the story. So as we decided on writing and releasing a book, I felt like at least adding to the existing record was the best thing to do so they could complement one another and release at the same time. Another full length project would take too long and honestly, I just can’t wait to share what God has done and wanted them to both release together. So…a deluxe idea was born, so thankful it worked out.
7. Need You Now was sort of your comeback album into music ministry, and an album that has possibly been one of your most well received albums ever throughout your career. What has God been teaching you, and your fans and people who have come to see you and your live shows, through these songs (even now after 1 and a half years)?
Same answer as above, ha…His faithful, providing, protecting, loving and forgiving character. That there is always hope.
8. There is a real vulnerability, honesty and heartfelt openness to both your book and the new tracks on your deluxe edition of the album. What were the chapters of the book (and songs) that you felt were the hardest/easiest to write? What has God used to speak to you more- the chapters of the book (and songs) that were easiest to write or the hardest?
Honestly, I am so thankful at this point in my life. I was eager to share it all, because I know who wins in the end.
9. Loving the new rendition of “Need You Now” (worship mix). What prompted you to write a different bridge?
Again, where I am spiritually is thankful. And this song in particular was a source of strength in my darkest hours, and He came through. So it was a way to honor Him for what He did and is still doing in my life.
10. Do you think after writing the book and revisiting the songs again, you can listen to them in a different light?
I hear them differently often. They have at least 3 lives- their beginning, during our marriage crisis, and now. And I expect them to continue to take shape. That’s the beauty in art.
11. What has God shown you through writing your book that you used when writing and recording the four additional songs on the deluxe edition?
12. Who do you look up to in the music industry, either as a spiritual mentor, or someone you ask advice from? If anyone reading this interview is wanting to move into the music industry, what would you say to them as advice?
Too many to name, ha. I have a vast range of influences and its always changing. One of my biggest mentors is my co-writer of ‘Need You Now’, Christa Wells. In regards to moving into the industry- it’s not easy. Don’t force it, let the doors open by simply being willing to go wherever God asks you to go, big or small. I think He’s much more concerned with where your heart is and its willingness to serve more than anything else.
13. Other than your own album, is there any album released this year (or last year) that has impacted your walk with God?
The Young Oceans record, the song ‘Great is our God’ more specifically. I am doing a cover of it, I love it so much. God is much greater than we give Him credit for, or even allow Him to be.
14. Any new album (that hasn’t released yet) that you are excited to listen to in the near future?
Audrey Assad’s new album- not released yet.
15. Any artist that you haven’t toured with yet that you would love to tour with in the near future?
16. Any other touring plans for the remainder of 2014?
Fall tour starts in a few weeks- The Stories of Hope Tour. Then I am doing the K-Love Christmas Tour in December, then I am headlining the Up Tour starting late January into the spring.
17. Has there ever been a song that you have sung in concerts that you didn’t think would have the impact that it currently does? Or has there been a song where you thought should’ve had the impact that it currently doesn’t? What has God shown you through both/either circumstance?
Damaged. Really surprised the continued impact that it has every show. God knows things I don’t, that’s for sure.
18. You have been in the music industry for a few years. What keeps you grounded and places things in perspective as you travel and create music? What book (other than the Bible) are you reading currently that is reminding you of the faithfulness of God in your life?
Good community holds me accountable. I have a loving and loyal and committed group that keeps me grounded. And service. Serving, I think, helps keep your perspective in the right place. My husband and I own a school, so there’s a lot of service that happens there as well as helping lead worship at our church amongst other things.
19. What do you do during your downtime- any music that is on your iTunes playlist currently?
I love to watch films, read, try new restaurants, drink hot tea and coffee with girlfriends, thrift store shop, paint, garden (new at that)…and do most if not all of it with my hubby and kids. I’m nuts about them!
20. Any TV shows you are currently binge-watching?
American Ninja Warrior baby!
21. Any parting words, encouragements or anything else you want to share to listeners of your music that you haven’t discussed in this interview yet?
Nope! Thanks!!!!! PLUMB
Be sure to check out Plumb’s new album and book both releasing September 16th. Til then, check out the music video of the title track ‘Need You Now’, and her current single ‘Don’t Deserve You’ below.