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Forty Days Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and Forty Days lyrics)
Forty Days Biography
The term "forty days" is referenced multiple times in scripture. Noah took refuge in the ark while it rained for 40 days and nights. Moses spent 40 days and nights on Mt. Sinai receiving God's instructions for His people. Jesus spent 40 days and nights fasting and being tested in the desert. Each occurrence was a time of waiting, a time of learning. Perhaps that's why the name Forty Days is so appropriate for a band of musicians who have already walked through some tests of their own, and have come through on the other side with a renewed commitment to share their story through the musical platform they've been given.
Recently signed to Benson Records, Forty Days is launching the release of Everyday, the group's very first label recording. Band members Mark Warren (vocals, harmonica), Joel Warren (vocals, acoustic guitar), Brian Barth (drums), Chris Foster (acoustic/electric guitars) and Drue Phillips (bass, background vocals) have created an acoustic rock blend of songs that maintain an edgy pop sound that is accessible to a wide range of listeners. The project was produced by Third Day front man Mac Powell, and is his first outside production effort to date.
"I had a great time working on this project with Forty Days," Mac shares. "I count it a great privilege that God put us together, not only because I got to be a part of making this record, but more importantly because I got to know these guys and consider them to be really close friends."
Based in Dallas, Texas, Forty Days has quickly built a huge regional following over the span of the last few years since the group's beginnings in 1995. With two independently produced projects under its belt, the band has already become a regular on the touring circuit, performing at youth and college events in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri and Tennessee to name a few.
The band's regional attention has afforded numerous opportunities for Forty Days to appear on stage with such nationally known artists as Caedmon's Call, Sonicflood and Third Day. It was one such concert that introduced Powell to the music of Forty Days. He spoke to the band that evening and formed a friendship that has lasted ever since. A week or two later, a phone call from Powell confirmed his desire to produce a demo for Forty Days, and to pitch the demo to various label contacts he had.
As Forty Days began to see record label attention in Nashville, it continued to grow its ministry at the local level. But it was a tragic event on September 15, 1999 that would thrust these band members into the national spotlight and change their lives forever. While performing that evening for a See You At The Pole event at Wedgwood Baptist church in Fort Worth, a lone gunman entered the building and began a shooting spree that ended in eight deaths, including the gunman's own suicide. It was an experience they will never forget.
"More than anything else, you feel human," Joel says. "Everything else is forgotten-what you look like, what clothes you have on or what kind of car you drive. Everyone's in the same boat, you are all completely scared. You're wondering if this is going to be the last event in your life. There are so many emotions going through you all at the same time."
Mark adds, "The initial eye-opener was the day we went back to the church to get our equipment. There were so many bullet holes behind where we'd been standing. It looked as though there could have been no reason we shouldn't have lost our lives that night. It was a really difficult thing to deal with. It was, and continues to be, something we are always talking about."
And they've certainly talked about it. In the days and weeks that followed, national media attention was non-stop as the band fielded numerous interview questions and saw the story unfold in news outlets including CNN, 48 Hours, Time, Newsweek and Life.
"God has brought something positive from this," Mark says. "There have been numerous lives saved. The gospel has been shared with millions. So many non-Christians are curious about hearing what happened. This is a story about family, community and tragedy. Yet, it is also a story about how God is sovereign."
The band's experiences over the past year have been a big factor in the formation of the new album. It is a challenge to those who believe in Christ to follow Him completely. Songs like "I Don't" and "Long Way Home" deal with the realization that Christ is our stronghold, while other major themes on the record include a message of encouragement and hope. "We all go through hard times in life," Mark explains, "but there is a God who longs to comfort us. There is nothing too great for Him. This theme comes through in the song "I Run" and the title cut, "Everyday."
Brothers Mark and Joel co-write most of the band's music, which has always been drawn from the group's real-life experiences. "We really have a lot to say, and people want to hear about our experience," Mark continues. "We talk about how we really don't know what tomorrow holds, and we are perfect living examples of that. We encourage kids to take advantage of their youth, to go and share Christ with whomever they come across, whether it's their friends at school or their parents. You don't ever know what's going to happen tomorrow."
Benson Records President John Mays says, "This band has demonstrated a faithfulness that I wish so many others would discover. They've been so committed to stay at it, through all the hardships, with or without support from a record company or anyone else. They've been committed to serving people with the music they were making and leaving the results up to God. I believe that whether or not they were signed, they would continue right along, making the best music they can to the glory of God. That sort of attitude, spirit and work ethic is so appealing to me, and we're thrilled to be in partnership with them."
As Forty Days continues to move into Christian music's center stage, the band's mission remains the same: to reach across cultural religious boundaries with a timeless message for a generation of youth. "Our ministry to kids matters more than our music does," Joel explains. "Too many people get caught up in the music, but we do this to be able to relate to kids and to share with them. If we were doing it for any other reason than that, we would have quit a long time ago."
Mark adds, "Kids are so impressionable, and they seem to have an open heart to music. Music reaches people like almost nothing else, and if God can use us in this stage in their lives, maybe we can be an encouragement to keep living for Him."