Starfield : 2004-04-27I had never heard of Starfield until I saw them play at a showcase luncheon during GMA week. I found out who was handling their public relations and managed to line up an informal interview with Tim Neufeld, acoustic guitar, lead vocals; Jon Neufeld, electric guitar; Shaun Huberts, bass; and Johnny Andrews, drums.
Note: Read my review of their CD, Starfield.
Randy: Tell me how you met the guys--the Neufeld brothers.
Johnny: Well, basically I met these lovely fellows when I was recording in the same studio that they were recording one of their albums.
Randy: Was that out west?
Johnny: That was actually in Alberta.
Randy: Kind of met in the middle.
Johnny: Yeah, we met in the middle. Anyways, we kept in contact and later on they needed a drummer and they flew me out for that. That's pretty much the history for me.
Tim: It's been about a year that Johnny's been with us.
Randy: And you, slightly less?
Shaun: Then, I slid through the back door because I was good friends with Johnny from back in Victoria. So, that's how I got involved.
Randy: Does Johnny remind you that you rode in on his coattails?
Shaun: He doesn't actually. He hasn't used that one on me. He's really good about that. Quite humble about that.
Randy: How long you guys been singing, playing together? Pretty much since you were born?
Tim: Well, we've been not really officially singing together. We've been belting out kids praise tunes in the back seat of the car for a long time, longer than we've been officially playing together. It was about six years ago and we were both doing our own respective music things. I was leading a lot of worship and Jon had done some stuff in another band. And we just did a coffee house thing together that I was actually going to do by myself, and then last minute Jon joined in. We did a bunch of covers: just different Christian top 40 stuff. People really responded to it so we formed a band soon after and started writing our own songs. It was a long process of discovering ourselves musically.
Randy: did you play a lot of the Canadian festivals? I know there's one, I think the Dauphin fest.
Jon: Dauphin fest, yeah.
Tim: In fact, that was one of our first real gigs. A band dropped out that was basically the opening act, the headliner, and we filled in the day before and it was great.
Jon: Except for the mosquitoes.
Tim: Out of that came another gig.
Jon: We got involved with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. They do things called YC. There's one in Edmonton and one in Winnipeg. All over Canada, basically. That was a great hookup for us.
Randy: So you did a series of events for them?
Tim: No, we actually did one, and then they...
Jon: No, we've done them all over the place.
Tim: They've been big for us. They've been really great.
Randy: So much for the background. Of course all I've heard is what I saw at the showcase. Did you do three songs? I can't remember.
Tim: Which one did you see of the two? Lunch?
Randy: Yeah, the lunch showcase on Monday. Filled With Your Glory was great. I've heard like six thousand songs since then.
Shaun: Yeah, that's great.
Randy: Anyway, I remember that one was cool. So is most of your stuff kind of worship oriented, like rock worship, modern worship?
Jon: Yeah, that's the backbone..
Tim: It's not all really corporate. It's not all church friendly.
Randy: right, but still more focused on God?
Tim: Pretty vertical and singing to God kind of a thing.
Randy: Is that just something that naturally you enjoy writing?
Tim: it's hard not to write about that actually.
Jon: It just seems to make the most sense for us. Most comfortable.
Jon: And we grew up in worship bands and just being mentored by people at our church. Tim loves Brian Doerkson and other songwriters of the day.
Randy: Is he out of Vancouver?
Shaun: Yeah, yeah.
Tim: He's actually... well, I don't know if he's actually from Manitoba as well. His wife's from Steinbach.
Randy: My dad graduated from Steinbach Bible College. I lived there when I was two years old. I've got relatives out in that area-Landmark.
Randy: So, where are you guys living now?
Tim: Next time we live somewhere it's gonna be in Nashville.
Randy: Other than a bus?
Tim: Well, van. Let's not flatter ourselves. It's definitely a van.
Randy: So you've been on the road for a while?
Tim: Yes. We've been on the road, touring, and doing this full time for about almost four years. So, we've done like 500 shows in that time. If not more…600.
Randy: So no real home base. It's been on the road...
Tim: Winnipeg has been our home base and it still is. All our family and friends are there.
Randy: So they pick up your mail?
Jon: Exactly. literally.
Shaun: Or get it sent somewhere.
Jon: Our parents are always calling us "Okay, what address are we sending your mail to?" But, Canada definitely feels like home anyway. We have built such a following and amazing support base in Canada.
Tim: We love the way they support us.
Jon: We have different families that we feel like our own families in different parts of the country all over the place.
Randy: So have been touring quite a bit in Canada or mostly in the States down here?
Tim: Yeah, all in Canada.
Jon: We will be touring in the states a lot. We really want to be a part of what's happening here in the church.
Randy: Is this kind of your American debut here?
Shaun: Yeah, this is kind of the beginning of our American leg pretty much.
Randy: Would you say beginning of American domination?
Shaun: Exactly. And world domination!
Randy: European tour next year, huh?
At this point the interview degenerated into an enjoyable discussion about hockey.