By Mariah Secrest
I find it ironic that Dan Meyers has a song titled Lost for Words. Though I understand the sentiment, singer-songwriter Dan Meyers is clearly gifted as a master of word craft. I first heard him speak at Gospel Music Association Weeks Artist Symposium, in which he shared with the likes of Steven Curtis Chapman, Phil Stacey, Alvin Slaughter, and Rebecca St. James of various ways that artists are involved in reaching out to their communities.
Dans community is made up of military families stationed throughout the world. Without defining a political agenda, he simply recognizes the unique challenges of those who are serving within the military and loves to spend time visiting and encouraging them with his music, time, and words.
His latest music project was created specifically with the troops in mind, a hand-picked selection of both previously-recorded and new songs and stories called the Acoustic MRE (which is military lingo for Meal Ready to Eata prepackaged staple of nourishment for traveling military). Dan considers this project an effort to provide for the spiritual and emotional nourishment of those who are facing the struggles of the military journey. He also created a non-military version of the project called Acoustic Graffiti.
The peculiar thing about this dual-named project is that half of the content is not actual music but rather elaborate stories that set up each song. When I had a chance later to chat with him about his life and music, I asked him about the role of these stories.
He told me that the idea for recording stories came slowly, after sharing them live during concerts and eventually being requested for his stories specifically. Since we here at Wrecked for the Ordinary are so enamored with the power of stories ourselves, I pressed him on this issue.
WRECKED : Why do you think storytelling is such an effective way to connect with people?
DAN MEYERS : I believe its effective because everyone has their own story. But not everyone knows what their story is. I have a quote that was on my desk at college. Its Oswald Chambers, and it says,
The author who benefits you the most is not the one who says something youve never thought about before, but the one who gives expression to the words that have been dumbly struggling within forever.
I sincerely believe thatWhen you can weave (the Word of God) into life and peoples experiences, they go, Yeah. Yeah!As I became more cognizant of this I began to take more of an assertive effort to really look at the effect and at what people were hungry and craving for without knowing they were hungry and craving for it, which I think is the key
People dont crave the things they dont know about, even their own stories, because theyre not aware of it. One of my favorite topics is that were made in the image of GodPeople know were significant as humans, usually for some reason. Why do we think that?
To be able to weave those things without getting too deep into theology at first, (then you) get very deep with theology because its getting deep with reality of life and reality of truth. And those are inseparable
I want people the next time they take a step out their front door to go Ah-ha! and to begin to see Gods nature that they might have been blind to.
It turns out to be rare that Dan Meyers is lost for words. His abundant enthusiasm blends his penchant for words with a philosophical abstraction that becomes immediately accessible through his engaging speaking style. All these serve as the ample backdrop for his musica feel-good combination of soothing vocals and warm acoustic guitar in a manner reminiscent of Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, and Chris Rice.
He is currently working with producer John Mark Painter of Fleming and John, whose previous clients include the likes of John Mayer and Ben Folds. They are working together to produce the fifth album of his career, due out in autumn of this year. Visit http://www.danmeyers.com/ for more information.
If you enjoyed this article, check out some of our other band interviews:
Voices in Culture: Ever Stays Red Interview
Voices in Culture: downhere Interview
Voices in Culture: 7eventh Time Down interview
Mariah has currently landed herself in Tucson, Arizona, where she just finished a philosophy degree. She enjoys writing almost as much as she enjoys making music. Almost. You can visit her on Myspace at www.myspace.com/mariahsecrestmusic.