SUBSCRIBE NOW
As low as $49 for one year. Save 59%.
SUBSCRIBE NOW
As low as $49 for one year. Save 59%.

Q&A with Christian band Big Daddy Weave on returning for Destin performance

Savannah Evanoff
Northwest Florida Daily News

DESTIN – Gather your lawn chair or blanket for an “Evening Under the Stars.”

The Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Village in Destin will host a concert Sunday featuring Grammy Award winner Zach Williams and contemporary Christian band from Mobile, Alabama, Big Daddy Weave. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the show begins at 7 at 4323 Commons Drive. General admission is $27.50 a person If sold individually and $24.75 a person for a group of more than four.

To purchase tickets or find more information, visit MKAF.org.

We interviewed Mike Weaver, the lead singer of Big Daddy Weave, about the band’s experience in Northwest Florida, how the coronavirus has impacted the band and how their faith always wins.

Big Daddy Weave, a contemporary Christian band from Mobile, Alabama, will perform an "Evening Under the Stars" on Sunday at the Cultural Arts Village in Destin.

Can you tell me a little bit about how the band formed? 

We got together in college. My brother Jay, who plays bass for the group, and I grew up on the Gulf Coast, around Gulf Breeze. Seeing that we’re coming to Destin is a really special thing. The band got together at a little Baptist school called the University of Mobile in Saraland, Alabama. Most of us all grew up in the greater Gulf Coast area. Then, we were leading worship on campus as music students there, and that literally has continued for the next 20 years. We got together in college, and then signed a record deal in Nashville right after early in 2001. We’ve just been doing it ever since.

More:25 ways to celebrate ‘Art for Life’ for MKAF’s silver anniversary

Have you all performed in Destin before? If so, what do you like about this area?

I just love that it’s going to feel like home. We’ve performed in Destin many times over the years, and we just love that Gulf Coast thing. It’s impressively hot, but the closer you are to the water, there’s that breeze, and it just feels like home. It’ll be that way for all of us. We’ll be excited to see familiar faces, even if it’s at a distance. Just to feel family around will be a special thing.

Many musicians have indicated that they were treated as non-essential workers, but feel as if music is more essential now than ever. Do you agree? How has COVID-19 affected the band? How has your faith played a role?

I do see that. Literally in the span of a couple days, our entire industry was shut down. We heard it coming over a matter of a couple hours. It was crazy. It was like, “Hey this is going to be the last show in a few days.” Then it was like, “Nope, tomorrow is going to be the last show.” Then, “Nope, tonight is the last show.” And then we were literally all off the road. The statistic I heard was that 97% of our industry currently has lost 100% of their income. So the fact that we’re out playing these drive-in shows is a huge blessing. That puts us in 3% of our entire industry — not just Christian, but all live music. I think that it is essential in the same way for us because we’re playing faith-based music. It really is in the same essential role that church is in. People’s faith is important to them. Faith is so important in this hour in this crisis, because we find so much hope in our faith. It has played the biggest role in my outlook in this entire season, because I believe in God and I believe in the provision of God in my life. I believe in what Jesus has done for me, in who that makes me as a child of God. All of that has everything to do with how I look at everything in this season. It’s scary and it’s weird, but in the middle of that, faith has called me to a place of peace and to trusting in God and trusting that He’s working all this out. This includes when we got the call to go and play these drive-in shows and to have this Evening Under the Stars. In that same kind of way, playing in Destin, which means so much to us, is a really special thing. We’re so excited that people of faith will come out and join us and that we’ll just get to worship under the stars. It’s going to be really beautiful.

I saw you recently released the music video for your single "This is What We Live For." What does the song mean to you all? What was it like shooting the video?

The fact that a music video can convey the message of the song and be a vehicle for the song is why we do it. “This is What We Live For,” including the rest of this entire record, was written from a really hard season of our life. Before we ever even heard of something called COVID-19, my family personally, the Weaver Family, had just been through a really rough few years. Our bass player, my brother Jay, has dealt with diabetes for years, was given a medication to help, but the medication caused harm to him, and he ended up having both of his feet amputated. Piggyback on that, my dad went to be with the Lord the very next year — this was 2016 and 2017. Then, my mom got a cancer diagnosis the very next year.

It was just a really difficult season for my family. In the meantime, we’re writing for a record. For a song to sound as joyful as this — this song was really born out of a moment of just being reminded that even though my family was going through a really rough season, the greater purpose for my life was right there, and that’s to share a message of hope with the entire world. That’s a thing that gives us purpose beyond our pain, beyond even the season of COVID-19, that there’s still that message to bring. Whether it’s over the internet, whether it’s at a drive-in-theater, whether it’s at Destin under the stars, with some other friends, it’s the passion that we have in our life that God loves the entire world in such a way that He would give his life for us. That’s what we live for. That’s our mission and that’s our hope, and that’s where this song came from.

I saw on your Instagram that the song "Fly" had a particularly personal message. What are the lyrics about?

“Fly” is a really significant song in my life. We’ve hurt so much in the last season with losing my dad and seeing my brother go through the difficulties he’s been through with his health. But then realizing the hope that we have in Jesus goes beyond the confines of this life, and our hope is the fact that even when this temporary life is over, we’ll be in eternity forever, and that’s a place with no more sorrow or suffering any longer. I penned this song sitting in our room one night. It was over the span of about a year that it all kind of finished this one night as we were about to record it. I was sitting with my wife Kandice, and she said you need to write a verse in this song about your dad. The whole song is sort of a modern “I’ll Fly Away” kind of thing. “In the morning when this life is over, I’ll fly away.” This version is, “One of these mornings, I’m gonna kiss this world goodbye.” When we get to the third verse of this song, it all just came pouring out. “One of these mornings, I’m going to stare right at the Son. One of these mornings, I’ll breathe brand new air with brand new lungs.” My dad struggled with pulmonary fibrosis — a battle of several years. Just to know that the moment he took his last breath here, he was breathing new air in Heaven, not struggling anymore. Now with COVID-19 and the impact it has on the respiratory system, we want to sing these words over this entire season — that this life is not the end. This life is a struggle, and there is an uphill battle. Jesus said in this life you will have trouble, but don’t be afraid because I’ve overcome the world. We believe in that hope, and that’s why we do what we do. That’s why we get to sing that song. We get to share this song at the show in Destin, too. 

Tell me a little about the new album. What do you hope listeners will take away from it?

The whole record was written from a place of pain, but it’s dealing with finding hope in the middle of pain. I think what we would love people to see is that in Jesus and in a relationship with Him, even though there is pain and uncertainty that we deal with because of this life, pain and joy don’t have to be mutually exclusive. You can still find joy every single day that’s greater than the pain, that is beyond our pain — a sense of purpose beyond our pain. The Bible says Jesus endured the cross even for the joy that was set before Him. He had His eye on the prize. Even in this season, we’ve been through a lot, but that’s the idea: that we’re going through it. We’re not going to stay there. This part of the story is not the last part of the story. That’s the kind of stuff we want to share with people, and maybe they’re going through the same kind of stuff.

What are you most looking forward to at your Concert Under the Stars?

I am so looking forward to being in Destin. My mom is coming to the show that night. She’s bringing a carload of friends with her. It’s going to be so awesome to see her and just know that she’s out there. We have so much history on the Gulf Coast. There are so many of our friends who have messaged us telling us they’re coming and can’t wait to see us and have this time together. Even though it’s distanced and playing it safe, it’s still going to be together and that’s pretty awesome. That’s what I’m looking forward to the most.