Blessid Union of Souls
'Walking Off the Buzz: The Blessid Union of Souls Story'
Blessid Union of Souls exploded onto the music scene in 1995 with the smash hit 'I Believe,' which hit #1 in the UK, Asia and the USA, where it became the 4th most played song of the year.
The band's hits play like a soundtrack of the last two decades, thanks to numerous hit singles including 'Hey Leonardo (She Likes Me for Me),' 'Let Me Be the One' and 'Oh Virginia.' With gold and platinum records and chart topping singles, the band has toured the world sharing stages and busses with the likes of Goo Goo Dolls, Bon Jovi, Third Eye Blind, Sister Hazel, Vertical Horizon, Edwin McCain and more.
Salvation Road Records released Blessid Union of Soulsí latest album, The Mission Field, on March 1st, with distribution through SONY and Provident-Integrity Distribution. While the band has always woven their faith into their songs, this new release marks the bandís first decidedly Christian album.
Chatting recently with founder and lead singer Eliot Sloan himself, I first noted that as he had just announced a new booking agreement with William Morris Endeavor, what that actually meant for the band/himself for the future? "It really means alot in the sense that so many things had to line up correctly in order for us to be in this position. Signing with WME just continues to confirm that we are on the right path."
Being that you've now made a deliberate wholesale move to the Christian music market, even though you've always woven your faith into your songs, what has been the reaction from your life long fans to this move? All positive or have they given you food for thought? "So far, so good. I think the majority of people are viewing this as a seamless transition, as am I, sensing that the music has always started from a spiritual realm in the first place. But I'm also realistic in that I'm sure there will be those with different, opposing viewpoints. That's just life, you just aren't going to please everyone, it's impossible, so I don't worry too much about it."
Indeed, why choose to make this move into decidedly-all Christian music after all this time? "Well in reality it's not really been all this time, in that I've wanted to make this move for some time now. The actual life experiences had to come into play in order for these songs to be created so as much as I wanted to do this years ago, there were alot of elements that hadn't fallen into place yet to even do this record. For a long time I felt I wasn't worthy to sing about God because I wasn't perfect and then it hit me one day that I'm never going to be pefect so if I were to wait til then, then this CD never would've been recorded."
Your new album is entitled, 'The Mission Field' - please explain why that title? "My manager introduced that title to me and I thought it was perfect. There's a sign at his church that reads 'You are now entering the mission field' and it just hit me really hard in that that's what the world is and we all as Christians have a mission to deliver God's message. That's what this CD is to me, my message to point people in Christ's direction."
Blessid Union of Souls first came to light in 1995, so how has the band (well, you as a whole, Eliot) managed to stay on course within the business some 16 years later? "I've always just concentrated on trying to write meaningful songs, with good lyrics, good melodies and a good message. That's always been my 'formula' for lack of a better term. I think at the end of the day behind the hype, the lights, the fashion trends and all the vain, distractive elements that surround the entertainment business as a whole, people want something that's real, something honest and something sincere. That's the ground I've always stood on. The music business would survive alot longer if people heard with their ears instead of their eyes."
You've toured the world with the likes of Goo Goo Dolls, Bon Jovi, Sister Hazel, etc. but is there one touring moment that still stands out to you today as being your fondest memory - and why? "Yes, that's an easy one. July 21, 1995 in Cincinnati, Ohio at Sawyer Point on the Ohio River at the One Earth Party sponsored by the radio station that started my career, Q102. Though we were expecting a good crowd, we did not expect there to be 30,000 people there!! I was completely blown away and overwhelmed! It was my birthday and I was celebrating it in the city where I grew up and close to the front row there were a group of about 20 people holding up a big sign that read 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELIOT'. Thinking of that moment always brings a tear to my eye. I will never forget that."
In your bio you are quoted as saying, 'You can never get too close to God' - so, my question is this: IF you could sit right down next to God for 10 minutes, what would you first ask him? "First of all I would probably apologize profusely for all the dumb things I did in my lifetime, after that I would thank Him for answering my prayers and blessing me as much as He did. My questions would be what could I have done better to further the Kingdom of God? Where did humanity go wrong, like at what point did we start going in the opposite direction of what you had in store for us? Lastly I would ask how were you able to love us so much when we proved over and over again that we were so unlovable?"
a) Do you have any recurring nightmares - or dreams - that have stayed with you throughout life, perhaps? "I have a phobia of heights, trains and pit bulls so anything revolving around that sceanario is horrifying to me."
b) What is your favorite, late night guilty food snack? "Raisin Nut Bran Cereal and PB & J."
c) Who is the most famous person you currently have listed in your cell phone? "Bronson Arroyo, pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds and Nick Lachey."
d) If you could sum yourself up (as a person) in just five (5) words, which ones would you use? "Humble, Caring, Dreamer, Giving and Clumsy."
Lastly, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, Exclusive Magazine love penguins ... do you, perhaps? "Yes I do, but I have 4 cats and I don't know how they'd get along :)"
Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today, Eliot "Peace and God Bless." - Eliot Sloan
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
If you would like to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of this new BUOS CD, just answer this easy question about the band: Which BUOS song is this lyric taken - "By the second round I was going to town, and she was in her coat..."?!
Send us your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these AUTOGRAPHED new CDs! Just send us an e:mail here before June 1st with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: BUOS SIGNED CDs to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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