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Stephen Christian (Anberlin): Long Term Success, Side Projects & Fan Connection

Our guest this week is singer/songwriter Stephen Christian, former lead vocalist of Anberlin and vocalist of Anchor & Braille. With Anberlin, Stephen has sold over 1 million records and toured North America, the UK and Australia.

Stephen is also the founder of non-profit and humanitarian-oriented band Faceless International, and the founder of Wood Water Records. In this interview we hear about Stephen’s upcoming solo album, what he attributes Anberlin’s long term success to, and the advice he’d offer to his fellow musicians.

Highlights:

  • Marcio shares how he met Stephen after an Anberlin show and really appreciated their conversation
  • Stephen shares why he always tries to use the same type of microphone when performing
  • We hear what Stephen attributes Anberlin’s longterm success to
  • “The worst thing that can happen to a band is to have a huge first record and go downhill from there” – Stephen Christian
  • “When people feel connected, that’s the best place to start from” – Stephen Christian
  • Stephen talks about the importance of playing the smaller shows, and making the connections
  • Stephen shares how he decides what material belongs to which project
  • We hear about Stephen’s upcoming solo record “Wildfires”
  • We hear why Stephen has been writing for other artists – because he wants to keep exercising his writing muscles
  • “Choosing between Star Wars or Star Trek is like choosing between apples or death!” – Stephen Christian
  • Stephen shares some major love for Sean Mackin of Yellowcard <3

Advice:

  • “It’s all about the grass roots, working hard, and staying diligent” – Stephen Christian
  • If you want to completely change genres, start a side project, rather than switching it up completely
  • “Always come back to your fans – you can’t lose those core people” – Stephen Christian
  • “Every day is a hustle and you have to be working everyday” – Stephen Christian
  • “It’s the off-season preparers who are going to win!” – Stephen Christian
  • “At the end of the day, it’s all about the songs” – Stephen Christian
  • “Your identity has to be greater than the music you perform” – Stephen Christian

Recommendations:

  • 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
  • 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

Guest Links:

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