Steve Taylor Interview - The Drew Marshall Show

The Drew Marshall Show
Ontario, Canada
© 2007 The Drew Marshall Show
October 13th, 2007
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Drew Marshall: Many of you will remember Steve Taylor from his I Want To Be A Clone days, and some might remember him for those songs which spoke out against such things as the mindless Christian subculture, Bob Jones University and its anti-interracial dating policy, televangelists like Jimmy Swaggart or Robert Tilton, anyone also who claimed to be a pro-life activist that went around blowing up abortion clinics and killing doctors. It kinda makes your head turn to one side, doesn't it?

This guy's worked with countless over the years: Sixpence None the Richer, Newsboys, Michael W. Smith, just to name a few, and certainly joining us today on the show is one of my all-time heroes, Steve Taylor. You know, the word "iconoclast" is used all the time with you, isn't it?

Steve Taylor: [laughter] I have heard that a few times, yes.

DM: Where did it come from? I was asked that one time on a big God TV show up here--one which I was sort of kicked off--and I didn't have an answer, I couldn't figure out.

ST: I don't know. I grew up in a Christian home, my dad is a pastor--

DM: Oh, that's it there.

ST: But I wasn't really a rebellious kid, though, you know? It's one thing when you hear your dad say one thing and do another during the week, but my parents were very consistent. I really had nothing to rebel against it when I got to be a teenager. I'm not sure where it comes from.

DM: Well, we'll figure it out one of these days after the trumpets blow, I guess. Here's my flashback: Yellow suit, new wave haircut, Knotsberry Farm New Year's Eve, some New Year's Christian-fest back when I was seventeen. That was a wild night.

ST: Yeah, the mind gets fuzzy. [laughter] But back then, you know, we all--I guess there's photos of me dressed like that following me around, but my excuse is, you know, a lot of us dressed that way back then.

DM: Yeah. A lot of hair gel int hat day.

ST: Yeah, there was. [laughter]

DM: I remember a lot of energy. Things like accidentally kicking off the tuning head of a bass while doing a cartwheel kind of energy.

ST: Yeah, that's right, good memory.

DM: That's funny.

ST: I broke my ankle once. I jumped off stage at Cornerstone Festival.

DM: Flat out broke it.

ST: Yeah, the jump was planned, but some kid had snuck under the ropes, so I avoided landing on the kid, but I could actually hear it snap when I landed. Still had three songs left, so I just did the rest of the set on one foot.

DM: You invented the Christian pogo.

ST: Oh yeah? That's very nice to say, and I really hope that's somewhere on my tombstone.

DM: Yeah, that's a thing to hand on to. Put that on your resume. Well I'm sure places like Hillsong in Australia are very thankful you invented that.

ST: [laughter]

DM: BIOLA University, California--I've got a few BIOLA connections.

ST: Yeah! You've done your homework. I went to BIOLA for a year. I actually went on an academic scholarship and I managed to lose that after the first year. I returned home, tail between my legs, to Colorado University in Boulder, and that's where I finished school.

DM: I lived at a place called Hume Lake Christian Camps up on King's Canyon.

ST: Of course! Very good!

DM: ...for a number of years, and we had a lot of BIOL-ites, if you call them that. John Davidson's summer camp--you were one of one hundred chosen from 20,000 hopefuls to spend a month learning from Tony Orlando, Florence Henderson, and John Davidson. That gives me a bit of a chill, actually, hearing that.

ST: [laughter] Man, this is where I think you did too much homework. Yeah, that's true. I was still trying to figure out what my musical mojo was going to be. I just sent an application, and I got selected, and you can't really tell John Davidson "no." It went well. One of the things it taught me is how to make for an interesting concert so people wouldn't get bored.

DM: Yeah, that never happened at one of your concerts, let me tell you.

ST: That's good to know.

DM: I had Tony Orlando on, gee, a few months ago, can't remember when it was.

ST: Did you really?

DM: Oh we had a great chat. He gave us about an hour. The stories that came out of him! His Jackie Gleason story is hilarious! Back in the days of racism before Archie Bunker came on the set, you know what I mean? Oh, unbelievable. Dawn, the black girls, you know--anyway, so many stories came out of him. Did you get much of a chance to learn from Tony Orlando?

ST: We did. We had probably about an hour and half with Tony including a Q&A. He was very good, very articulate, had a lot of good stories to tell, a lot of good advice to impart. He was good.

DM: You're known for being one of the most intelligent, energetic, humorous, and outspoken artists in the music scene. Looking back with the benefit of a bit of hindsight now, what are the ingredients in your formative year that made you that way? Again, we've talked about you grew up in a Jesus family, your father was a pastor, but there's so much more to you, there's so much--I don't want to sound like I'm sucking up, but--there's so much more depth to you that is rarely seen in the Christian music scene.

ST: Well, I went to BIOLA for a year, and I took a lot of Bible courses, and I really enjoyed that and appreciated the time, but then I went back to Colorado University in Boulder and finished school there.

At the same time I was doing that I was actually working as a youth pastor, so my kids were asking a lot of questions, and at the same time I was being confronted with a very radical campus environment, so the kind-of stock answers wouldn't cut it, and I was getting challenged myself, so it forced me to deep digger into why I believe Jesus is the son of God, and the rationale for Christian beliefs.

It also struck me that--at least at the time--my generation, we didn't particularly listen to sports figure that much anymore, or movie stars, we were listening primarily to music and musicians. I had some measure of musical gifts. I wasn't a particularly good singer, but I could write music and record it and arrange it, things like that.

Around the same time I heard this thing called The Clash, an English punk band from England, and I just loved them. They were really great, they were engaged, they wrote great lyrics, and when they formed, none of them could play their instruments, so I thought, "Well this is perfect, I can't really play any instruments, but I have some musical abilities, so I'll be like The Clash."

DM: But it was their lyrical content, too, that hooked into your passion as well.

ST: Yeah, it was really good because it was--they were very politically engaged--a lot of their politics I didn't agree with, but man, they really knew how to turn a phrase in their lyrics. Christian music, at the time, seemed, you know, pretty bland outside of some notable exceptions like maybe Resurrection Band, some people like that.

DM: Mark Heard.

ST: Mark Heard, yeah. And Larry Norman of course. Otherwise it seemed pretty bland, and it kinda felt like it didn't really have a clue what was going on in the rest of the world. So it just seemed like a very wide-open field. I didn't set out to be in Christian music, I set out to write punk new-wave music that was informed by my Christian worldview. When I took the songs out to L.A., the pop labels said, "We like your music, but your lyrics would offend our listeners." So I went to the Christian labels and they said, "We don't like your music, and your lyrics would offend our listeners." That pretty much defined where I've lived the rest of my professional life, kind of stuck between those two worlds.

DM: I resonate with that a fair bit myself. [laughter] Would you say as Steve--and folks, again, just to remind you, we're on the phone with Steve Taylor--would you say the album I Predict 1990 was maybe your most misunderstood work? People have said that, is that accurate?

ST: I think that's true, yet. You know, the single biggest thing that informed that album, and some of your readers may not even remember this--

DM: The Wittenburg Door?

ST: Well, the Wittenburg Door was a big influence, but during this time there were these congressional hearing going on with, I think it was marine colonel, Oliver North, and he claimed to be a Christian, and I wouldn't say that he wasn't, but he was giving the reasons why he lied to congress, and essentially saying it was okay, because, you know--

DM: "The end justifies the means."

ST: --Right, the end justifies the means. Not only did that attitude infuriate me, because I don't see how you can be a Christian and believe that the end justifies the means--how you can have your faith put in God Almighty and think that somehow we know better--but what really infuriated me was how many American Christians were nodding their heads and saying, "Oh yeah, that guy's right."

DM: Amen, preach it brother.

ST: It wasn't a particularly political album, it was just saying, "Where did we get off track like this? How did this happen?" I think it was a fairly angry album that was informed by that, as much as anything, that particular kind of state of mind. That's where songs like "I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good" came from--how can you claim to be pro-life, as I claim to be pro-life, and believe that blowing up an abortion clinic is okay? The list went on.

DM: What happened in those seven years between I Predict 1990 and Squint? I mean, seven years--were you just hiding in a cave?

ST: [laughter] Actually, I moved to England with my wife for a while, and then the opportunity came up to form a band with some fellow believers, but the goal was--we all felt like there was a glass ceiling built-in to anything that was labeled "Christian" music. So we formed a band called "Chagall Guevara." That was probably our first mistake. [laughter]

Two of us were living in L.A. at the time, and we moved to Nashville where the other two guys were living, and started writing songs, playing at clubs, and fairly quickly got signed to a label called MCA Records, and it turns out that was our second mistake, that that probably wasn't the best label to sign to, but we didn't know any better. We made one, I think, quite good album, but the process took a while.

DM: This is the album that Rolling Stone compared to The Clash. You must have been over the moon with that comparison!

ST: Honestly, that was probably my favorite moment in a difficult and tortured time. [laughter] We all were very happy with that Rolling Stone review.

DM: Oh yeah, I guess so. I remember asking Larry Norman--you know, you keep saying a year ago, but then another year goes by, you keep saying "a year ago", it doesn't work, right? I gotta do the math here. I facetiously sort of asked him when he would be releasing his worship CD.

ST: [laughter] Oh, nice.

DM: We had a lovely little discourse about that. What's your take on the whole worship phenomenon? What's going on in your head?

ST: You know, in some ways I'm compromised. I've worked with this band Newsboys for a while, and in fact, I started working with them right around the time that our band Chagall Guevara was trying to get out of our label, and we were stuck, so in the meantime a friend of mine asked me if I'd be interested in writing a song with this band Newsboys. They were pretty new, and they were from Australia, and I heard some of their past albums, and wasn't very impressed. But I heard this melody for a song called "Not Ashamed", and it said "I'm not ashamed to speak the name of Jesus Christ." I really liked that sentiment, especially after what I'd been through being in a band on a secular label, always feeling like we were having to couch things so we didn't get tagged as a Christian band. I started a collaboration that's gone for a long time.

About four years ago, Newsboys decided to do a worship album. They wanted me to produce it with them, and write the lyrics to the songs like I'd done on most of their previous albums, and I said, "Man, I'm sorry, I sing songs at church, but I really don't know anything about worship music as far as how to write those kinds of songs." You know, I hope I'm not offending anybody, but most of those songs seem almost illiterate when you compare them to great hymns and the theology that you find in great hymns in the past, some of them are very moving but a lot of them felt very simple-minded to me.

DM: Yeah, it's like Vinnie Barbarino and the Sweathogs wrote them.

ST: [laughter] Right. So that's why I'm compromised, because I ended up doing this record and kind of struggling my way through, and trying to help them create something that seemed good and seemed worshipful without necessarily knowing exactly what I was doing. I can't very well completely critique it because out of that came some songs that now get sung in Sunday morning worship.

DM: Well you changed, boy. [laughter]

ST: Yeah, I know. Actually, I'm kind of a sellout. [laughter]

DM: What happened with Sixpence None the Richer?

ST: Well, they're all doing well, and most of them still live in Nashville, but the band is no longer together. They broke up a couple years ago.

DM: One thing I just run by here, and this is a bit of an odd thing, I like to do this with our guests once in a while, but it's unfortunate most of my goofy stuff is on Youtube and this is radio. But I just want to--

[Lisa Whelchel's introductory speech in the Meltdown music video begins playing.]

ST: [laughter]

DM: The lovely Lisa Whelchel from back in the day.

ST: I know where this is going.

DM: Well there's another guest I had on the show a little while ago, Lisa. Loving her stuff and where she was at. I had Stormie Omartian on last week and Lisa Whelchel came up again in the conversation because Stormie had those horrendous exercise videos where people wore pink and baby blue and--

ST: Was Lisa exercising in those?

DM: Oh yeah!

ST: I forgot that!

DM: Oh yeah! That was fairly disturbing, but this video here, "Meltdown at Madame Tussaud's", starring Lisa Whelchel, that was your first concept video I understand.

ST: It was, yeah. When I was at Colorado University I was studying music, but I had a minor in film. I always wanted to keep one foot in. Music opportunities came calling first, but when it came time to do a music video, the label said, "We really don't have any money for a music video, but we'd love to see a music video for this song." I said, "Well I can maybe do it." They said, "Here's $5,000, go knock yourself out." So that was my first opportunity to put something together and direct it. I know Lisa well at the time. She very graciously took a break from her "Facts of Life" duties--

DM: Did you write a song about her?

ST: She had an album that came out a year later, and she asked if I could write a song. How could I say no since she had so graciously been in the music video?

DM: Listen, back in the day there weren't a whole lot of guys saying no to Lisa Whelchel, let me tell you.

ST: [laughter] So yeah, there is a song on her album that I wrote.

DM: Did you and her ever have a little, you know...

ST: You know, we went out, a few times. She was very, very nice.

DM: Say no more?

ST: She's a lovely, lovely person. I haven't talked to her in a while. I think we emailed back a while ago. I think she's living in Texas, is that right?

DM: She sounds like she's living in Texas, from the interview.

ST: [laughter] She was from Texas originally.

DM: Daddy had a ranch out there or something. Where did you think I was going with that, by the way? Did I go where you thought I was going?

ST: When I started the record label, for whatever reason, all the staff members found out that I had dated Lisa Whelchel, and they just would not let it go. I would find little shots of Lisa in "Facts of Life" and they'd slip it under the door, they'd post it different places, they just were relentless.

DM: Well, I was fishing. I didn't know if there was a real thing there, and I caught a big one. [laughter] These days, though, it's all about making movies. Pardon my honesty here, Steve, but two things: Every time someone tells me they're a Christian making movies, the movies inevitably turn out to be some culturally-irrelevant, cinematic-awkward, "end times we're all going to hell" kind of dud. And number two, Bruce Willis and the Bacon brothers haven't exactly impressed me with their secondary vocational choices. [laughter] So please tell me you're better.

ST: That was a lot of my original concern. I thought, "If people are going to look at me the way I look at the Bacon brothers, and Russell Crowe having a band, and I think Keanu Reeves has a band, then I gotta big perception problem." That's one of the reasons I really kinda burned musical bridges behind me, so that they would know that I was serious about this. I'm sure I'll come crawling back in years future, but now, that's pretty much all I do, working on movies.

DM: You're finally able to put to use that film-making course you enrolled in back in '79 in Colorado U?

ST: That's right. [laughter] Obviously that had kinda been the idea from back in college, it's just that music opportunities came first. I thought, "Well it's probably better while I'm young to get involved in music, and hopefully have some life experience by the time it's time, Lord willing, to make movies." I kept one foot in and directed a lot of music videos and documentaries, a couple of longer-form pieces, to hopefully get ready for whenever the opportunity would come.

DM: And you're a huge movie junkie.

ST: I am, yeah. I watch a lot of movies and take the art form very seriously, which doesn't mean that I've mastered the art form by any means, but at least I knew going into the first one I was reasonably sure it was going to be difficult thing, so I didn't go in with any misconceptions this was going to be easy.

DM: But you're still a walking anomaly. I don't know anyone who likes Lord of the Rings and Tootsie.

ST: [laughter] Part of the thing is, you're always trying to find, when you make a movie you're trying to find whatever is appropriate for the story, and in Lord of the Rings, it's like, who could have done a better job than Peter Jackson did? But then Tootsie, it's almost like the perfect comedy, you know?

DM: Have you ever seen Shakes Hands With the Devil?

ST: I have not seen Shakes Hands With the Devil, although my wife read the book, and she's told me a lot about it, and I'm really impressed with that guy. Of course that leads us to a whole 'nother discussion about Africa.

DM: Well we'll touch on that in just a couple of minutes, but I had Senator Romeo Dallaire on the show a little while ago and we talked about his journey and just the grief and the depression and what he saw and the frustration with his hands being tied and the wimpy U.N., just all these issues going on there. So of course there's the documentary out, Shakes Hands With the Devil, of him going back to the tenth anniversary, but now there's been a motion picture released as well. I haven't seen it. I was just done in Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket last week and I was looking through the papers and I didn't see any release down in that neck of the woods. Have you heard of it?

ST: No, I didn't know it was a feature. I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

DM: For sure. Folks, again on the phone with the one and only Steve Taylor. Your wife is a painter--

ST: Yes.

DM: And you met how? Was it sort of staring across a crowded room, your eyes met and...

ST: No, we met at the record labels. At the time I was recording for Sparrow Records. She just happened to be there with a friend who was a recording artist, and her friend had asked her to take the day off work because she had a good artistic eye and her friend wanted Debbie's opinion on some cover shots for an album. So we just happened to meet that day, and this may be more than you want to know, but the publicist at Sparrow, I'd been dating his assistant, and she had recently dropped me, and so the publicist for whatever reason felt like it was his job to find--

DM: Find a new replacement! [laughter]

ST: --find me a new girlfriend, yes. So when he saw Debbie, he thought, "Oh, she'd be good." So he made sure we met.

DM: That's taking the gift of mercy a little too far.

ST: That is. But I'm eternally in his debt. And then, get this. We met, we shake hands, "nice to meet you." They leave and he goes running out to the parking lot with a Meltdown cassette in his hand and he gets her to roll down the window and he says, "You know that guy you just met? Well here's one of his--

DM: He's kind of a big thing.

ST: Right. She'd never heard of me. She heard me on the radio, funny enough, but she thought I was Cliff Richards.

DM: [laughter] How did you get that?

ST: I don't know! I don't know! She heard that song "Hero" on the radio. So then he comes back in, unbeknownst to me, and he says, "Steve, you remember that girl you met thirty minutes ago with Michelle?" I said, "Yeah." He said, "She really likes you, she'd like to go out with you." So I guess he thought, "Well I'm a publicist, I'm paid to make up things." So that was what got things going.

DM: Children. I know a little bit about Sarah.

ST: Yes, we have one daughter, Sarah. Speaking of Africa, we had gotten pretty involved with the One Campaign and--


ST: Yes, and DATA. Man, it's probably been five years now--and took a trip to Africa in 2001. We sponsored a child through Compassion, which is a Christian aid organization.

DM: My listeners know it well.

ST: Oh, fantastic. So anyway, we got to meet our sponsor child there, and loved the trip so much, and loved Africa so much, and were so impressed that we ended up sponsoring more kids. Well in the meantime I'm doing a lot of work with DATA and the crisis in Africa with AIDS, so Compassion really wanted us to go back and see these other kids that we were sponsoring and really wanted us to see what they were doing in response to the AIDS crisis.

They took us an orphanage they just opened in Uganda. We're hanging around--of course we'd done this a number of times before, so this wasn't like a new experience--but for whatever reason my wife and this little girl just hit it off. A couple days later in Kenya my wife kinda pops the question, "What if that little girl Sarah, we tried to adopt her?" I was both shocked and kind of delighted at the thought.

We got home and--at that point, this was before Angelina Jolie or Madonna, and they weren't doing international adoptions in Africa, particularly in Uganda--but we met some people, and we really felt that it was God's hand kind of directing things. It turned out a congressional coalition had just gone to Uganda with the purpose of opening the continent up for international adoption. We ended up being kind of their test case. Nine months later we were in Uganda getting ready to bring our daughter home.

DM: That is tremendous. How old is Sarah now?

ST: She just turned eleven.

DM: And how many years has she been in your family?

ST: We've had her for two-and-a-half years.

DM: Two-and-a-half years.

ST: Yeah. She's a really delightful kid. She spoke no English when we first got her, but of course she picked it up really quickly.

DM: Wow. You know, Geoff Moore and I had a lot of good conversations over a few choice beverages, and he's done the whole adoption thing, and through his buddy there with the three names, what's his name, David Clayton--

ST: That's right. Very good. Yes. [laughter]

DM: What's his buddy's name?

ST: Steven Curtis Chapman. [laughter]

DM: That's it! That's it. Can never remember that guy. There just seems to be more and more. Naomi Judd's assistant just recently adopted an international child. We had her on the show, sharing her journey. It's quite a moving scenario, it really is.

ST: Yeah. Well, it's a great thing to see my fellow Christians so involved in this, because we believe that God has a particular place in his heart for widows and orphans, and the Christian community has really lead the way, I think, in international adoption, at least in the United States and I'm assuming Canada as well.

DM: Let's talk about a couple of issues real quickly, kinda bing-bang-boom. Steve Taylor on the show with us, folks. I was disturbed with the fact that Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize. That's disturbing to me. My reaction was almost as disturbing--I'm glad no one was anywhere near earshot of me.

ST: [laughter]

DM: Global warming, Al Gore, gimme a couple of sentences on that.

ST: Again, I'm compromised. I got called up--get this--called up like four or five months ago, and I don't do these things anyway, but someone said, "We need you to film this PSA with Al Gore." I said, "Well what's it for?" They said, "It's just a birthday greeting for somebody." So I'm like, "Yeah, why not?"

DM: A public service announcement was a birthday greeting?

ST: Actually, the first one was a public service announcement with his wife, about literacy, and then the second one, because they liked me, they let me film this birthday greeting. So I'm not the person to ask. He lives in my state--I mean, I certainly don't agree with a lot of his politics--but I will say, when I was at their house, they had a lot of fluorescent energy-saving bulbs, so they got that going. [laughter]

DM: That's your commentary on this? [laughter]

ST: And he was a very nice guy, so sorry. You're going to be really upset with me, I don't have a whole lot of--

DM: How do you spell "sellout" again?

ST: [laughter] I will say this. I think Mister Bono should be being looked at for one of these things.

DM: Ya think? A tad more than Gore?

ST: Yeah, when I think of the Peace Prize, I think of someone who is--I think global warming is real, I'm not sure how big of an issue it is, but I believe it's happening--but it was strange to me that [Gore] was picked for the Nobel Peace Prize.

DM: Yeah. Thanks. Thanks for that. [laughter]

ST: [laughter]

DM: Time article on Mother Teresa.

ST: I missed that article. This was about her book where she talked about having doubts?

DM: Yeah, like not feeling any intimacy with God and doubting his existence many times for much of fifty years!

ST: Yeah, but doubt is something that we live with as Christians often, you know? I didn't read it, but I would think Mother Teresa would say the same thing. You know, "faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen", and that's the soil where we plant ourselves.

DM: Well, doubt is certainly, in my opinion, more compatible with faith than certainty.

ST: That's absolutely right.

DM: Just in my opinion.

ST: Well put.

DM: George Bush, Republican, Bible wrapped in an American flag, Iraq, Afghanistan.

ST: We just get in all kinds of trouble when we directly align our politics with our Christian faith, because Christian faith is above politics. I've got friends in government, I've got friends who are very active in issues, particularly when it comes to something like pro-life issues, I appreciated that they're on the front lines, but I'm not sure how it happened--the fact that the Republican party and evangelical Christians became synonymous has been a disaster. It's not doing the perception of Christianity any good. We've got a lot of people to apologize to.

DM: Yeah. You know, one of the books that has written quite accurately and quite helpfully on this issue has been Tony Campolo's "Letters To a Young Evangelical."

ST: I haven't read that. I like Tony a lot.

DM: He has nailed it in this book. Absolutely nailed it. Bono, Africa, AIDS, starvation, DATA, One?

ST: I gotta say this. Bono had the idea early on, this was like five years ago, he felt like the church in America was a great, sort of untapped resource. He really made the decision, "I want to speak directly to the church, to my fellow Christians, about this issue." I was one of the people that got recruited early on, and was able to be some help in that effort.

In the space of two years--they did a poll early on, only 3% of evangelicals would be willing to help someone in Africa with AIDS--and that's totally turned around in the space of just a few years. I think Bono's efforts had a lot to do with it, but what was amazing, two years later the New York Times was talking about how the movement of Americans engaged in Africa is a serious movement, and it's totally because of the Christian church. So that was a remarkable turnaround, and I think Bono rightfully gets a lot of the credit.

DM: Rick and Kay Warren have joined us a few times here to talk about things that have gone on through Saddleback and other organizations, and they really have been movers and shakers, they're just not megachurch pastors, or gigachurch pastors.

ST: [laughter] Right. No, I have great admiration for what they're doing, and realizing that if things are going to change in Africa, it's gotta be a holistic approach.

DM: Yeah, and we do need to mobilize the world's largest untapped resource of volunteers, which is the church.

ST: That's right.

DM: Postmodernity and emerging church. I had dinner with Brian McLaren couple of weeks ago, and boy there's a lot of cussing going on in that scene. There's the good old boys like MacArthur who's always got someone in his scopes, and it happens to be, in his latest book, Mister McLaren. What's your take on--'cause you were like, dude--"dude", I just called you "dude"--you were emerging before emerging was emerging.

ST: [laughter] I am a staunch defender of Christian orthodoxy, and I think to the degree that the emergent church continues to recognize that there is a point where you're not Christian anymore, I think a lot of what's coming out of that is good. But I'm always really hesitant to align myself with--certainly, I don't align myself with a political party--and so I'm also hesitant to align myself with any kind of movement, I guess, in some ways.

DM: Wise move.

ST: Thanks. [laughter] I might as well be running for office. I sound like a politician in every one of these answers.

DM: When you listen back on this, just let me know how it goes. Well, looking back--we're just about done with our time here with Steve Taylor, and certainly have appreciated it very much, thank you for what you've done and how you've done it over the years, Steve, it's been good--

ST: This has been a lot of fun.

DM: Looking back, is there anything about your theology you sort of pushed on people back then and now you sort of cringe about it?

ST: The one thing that I cringe on is [from] when I was youth pastor. I did that for five years, and I was reasonably good at it, I would say, I certainly loved my kids. But I look at what a lot of youth groups these days are doing--taking trips to Mexico and building houses and taking missions trips--and I just wish I would've done more of that back in the day. Then it was like, we'd have serious Bible studies, but there was also a sense that we got to keep these kids entertained. I still go back to that church often, and it's gratifying to meet kids who were in the youth group that now have families of their own and are strong Christian believers, but one of my regrets is not taking more service opportunities with my youth group kids. It's something I'm trying to make sure doesn't happen as we raise our daughter.

DM: Speaking with Ian Morgan Cron the other week. He has written a book called "Chasing Francis."

ST: Yes, I've read some of that book, that was really fascinating.

DM: Yeah, very, very good read. I said to him, "You're pastoring in a church in the richest area of the richest state in the richest country in the entire world in the entire history of the world. How do you not get chucked out as a pastor when you keep coming at them with, 'Give your money, gotta give, gotta give.'" He said, "I find that I don't need to do that. All I do is take them out to the field. I take them out to where they can see into the eyes of the least of these, finally, and God does the rest."

ST: Well that's absolutely right and that's certainly been the case with our family.

DM: Thank you. It's been tremendous. You're on holidays with your family. I think I've just disturbed your family time.

ST: No, we're fine, we're at the Peabody Hotel where they have ducks in the lobby, so we gotta go see the ducks in a few minutes.

DM: Tremendous. The song "Kiss Me", what did you have to do with that song?

ST: I produced the song.

DM: I thought you did. Can I just say my son and his crowd, his eighteen, nineteen year old crowd, they still love that tune. That permeated something fierce. So well done, another big hit by the one and only Steve Taylor. Thanks mate, and come back and join us again.

ST: I look forward to it, Drew. Thanks.

DM: Take care. Bye. Steve Taylor on the Drew Marshall show.