Jonathan Rundman is a Midwest-based songwriter, performer
and recording artist whose music has been called “a welcome return to the
simple essence of rock and roll.” His songs have been acclaimed in the pages of
BILLBOARD magazine, and heard on radio stations from coast to coast. One of
Jonathan’s new songs entitled “The Serious Kind” has been selected as a program
song for the 2003 ELCA Youth Gathering…listen for it if your youth group plans
on going to Atlanta for the gathering! Jonathan also has a long history in youth
ministry. He has toured nationally and overseas with Youth Encounter’s Captive
Free teams, worked as Outreach Director at Fortune Lake Lutheran Camp in
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and spent four years as youth director at Emmaus
Lutheran Church in Eugene, Oregon. Jonathan lives in Minneapolis with his wife
Dawn who is an editor at Augsburg Fortress publishers.
Jonathan was kind enough to take some time to share some of
his current adventures in music and ministry:
you enjoy most about being an independent artist?
like the freedom I have to play any kind of event or venue that I want. I
perform everywhere and anywhere: churches, conventions, colleges, bars, nursing
homes, theaters, camps, hockey arenas, basements, and flatbed trucks. Nobody
bosses me around and tells me where I should and should not play. Also...being
independent is the only way I can afford to do this full time. If I had a
record deal, or manager, or agent, or booker, or lawyer, or anyone else who
demanded a percentage of my income, I probably couldn't survive.
your team experiences with Youth Encounter (Captive Free North Central ‘89-90,
Captive Free to the West Coast and Germany, 90-91) impact your current ministry?
with Youth Encounter teams was very helpful for practical/technical reasons
like overcoming stagefright, learning about sound equipment, developing stage
presence, and learning how to live out of a suitcase. BUT the greatest thing my
Youth Encounter years gave to me was a whole world (literally!) of friendships
and connections throughout the Lutheran Church Community. I still play many
many gigs booked by folks who knew me from my days with the Captive Free teams.
been your favorite project so far? Why?
question. The most satisfying project I've ever worked on has been my 52-song
double-CD album SOUND THEOLOGY. It features one song for each week of the
church's liturgical calendar, and many many folks have really responded well to
it. I feel like it was a musical and thematic risk to make that music, but the
risk paid off, and my audience appreciated a more nerdy and liturgical take on
faith-based rock & roll.
songwriter, what inspires you?
movies, cars, politics and romance.
next for you?
been executive producing a Tribute Album for the classic rock band STYX. STYX
was my favorite band in elementary school, so I asked a bunch of musical
friends of mine to record a Styx song and submit it to me...the CD should be
out by June of 2003. It features Styx covers by myself, and other Youth
Encounter bands like Echelon and Lost And Found, plus a lot of other great
indie rock bands.
For information about Jonathan’s music, tours, booking info,
and more, log on to www.saltlady.com/jonathan.htm
Or check out Jonathan and other artists at www.churchnoise.com