"A Motley Crew with Jesus as the Why:" An Exclusive Interview with WE ARE ONE


WE ARE ONE have just released their spectacularly-shot cell phone split-screen video of their song WILD from their previous released album titled SEVEN. This six-men band is preparing to release their brand new acoustic EP on May 29.

Born in the pastures of a town you've never heard of, WE ARE ONE emerged on the scene as small town boys with a big sound. A music and worship ministry based out of Gateway Assembly in Imlay City, MI, their vision has always been to use music, media, and creative elements to equip and encourage the local church to reclaim its voice in an increasingly loud culture. A group of not simply musicians but pastors, artists, filmmakers, writers, Super Smash Bros. experts and wannabe stand-up comedians-WE ARE ONE is the sound of a group of nobodies from nowhere refusing to be told that nothing good comes from Nazareth. 

Q: Thank you for doing this interview with us. Let's start with yourselves: who is WE ARE ONE?

Thanks so much for having us! We're excited to connect with the team at Hallels. The last line of our bio sums us up fairly well: WE ARE ONE is a group of nobodies from nowhere refusing to be told that nothing good comes from Nazareth. We're 6 six guys from a small town, all in full-time ministry one way or another, who love to show Jesus through creative expression. That happens through music, preaching and teaching the Word, art and design, short films and music videos and even feature films. We're a bit of a motley crew, but Jesus has always been the why.

Q: Tell us a little about your journey, how did all of you come together as a band?

Three of the six are brothers with the last name Krist, two are brothers with the last name Kreiner, and the 6th is a straggler we met over a decade ago. Haha All of us ended up at the same youth group well over 10 years ago and became friends who just loved to worship and play music together. Now, we're all on staff at that same church in various capacities and WE ARE ONE became a natural outgrowing of that.

Q:  How would you describe your style of music?

We all like different styles of music and we want that to show. There's an underlying tone of pop through everything but you'll definitely feel some rock at times. Our producer/mixer/keys player is an EDM kind of guy and our guitarist loves to shred. So, it all comes together into something fun. I think you'll especially see that blend in our next album late this year or next.

Q:  I believe "Seven" was your first record as a band together.  How did this album come about?

We spent the first 5-6 years being a band in separate states. Half of us were home in Michigan and half were still at college in Minnesota. That record was written over voice memos and texts and really bad demos going back and forth, slowly getting worked out piece by piece. Haha The heart of SEVEN was two-fold: 1) When it released, we had been a band (and youth & young adult ministry by the same name) for seven years to the day and 2) We're nothing without Jesus - our seventh. Seven is a number with extreme biblical significance, often representing "completion." Jesus is what makes the six of us complete. We wanted the first thing our music said to the world to be Jesus. That's why the album even starts with scripture and ends with a salvation invitation by our 89-year-old Papa Krist. :)

Q:  You have just released a brand new single "WILD." What's the song about and what's the story behind it?

WILD is a song off of SEVEN that we felt was really appropriate for the day we're living in. The Chorus says "I was made to live WILD in the pride where the weak survive. I was born to roam free. No cage can contain, can contain me." We felt like many people could relate to the lyrics, being pent up in their homes but still wanting to do things for the Kingdom. The song came from a sermon Dave preached a while back on being Willing, Intentional, Loving, Devoted (W.I.L.D.) followers of Christ. It was intended to be a bit ironic, singing from quarantine about being made to roam free. Haha It's a reminder that we're still capable of being willing, intentional, loving and devoted even while in lockdown. Perhaps we even need to be so more than ever right now.

Q:  Tell us about the making of the video for "WILD."

We had the idea to try and make something early on in quarantine and wanted it to be played live and done primarily with things around the house. Each guy took his iPhone and a selfie stick or tripod and did his thing, playing or singing into the phone. We each had the original background track from the album with metronome playing off of another device into a bluetooth headphone we wore so we could stay in sync with one another. Normally, making a music video you can just blast the music as loud as you want, but with this we needed the audio off of each phone as that was our actual recording. Luke (our keys player/producer/mix engineer) mixed it all together and we came out with a fun product. We were actually pretty shocked it sounded so good and in sync with one another considering everyone did it through AirPods and iPhones. Haha

Q:  What are some of the highlights of your new acoustic EP?

We're really excited about this EP because of how it came to be. We decided to do a live recording of acoustic versions of four of our songs for our church's online service. That was all it was initially going to be. But when we got there, we all hadn't played music together for a while so we just started playing and writing new parts and something really cool came out of it. It ended up really blessing our church and they kept requesting to have those versions to listen to. After that, we felt like it would be worth sharing with the world.

Q:  In this age of anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, what words of encouragement would you like to share with our readers?

We like to tell our youth and young adults that we're separate, not separated. We're many parts, but one heart. God desires that whether we are in Jerusalem together or exiled on Patmos, we stay connected to Him and to each other. So, 1) No matter what you see out there, just abide in the Vine. God is worthy of our trust and our adoration no matter the moment we face. He desires to be connected with you in this season and His intentions are never for you to fear and doubt. He crushed all of that at the cross. Anxiety doesn't have to master us. We can lay it down. And 2) Connect with your local church however is possible in this season. The body of Christ is God's greatest treasure and it should be ours too. God desires that in moments like this we, "Carry each other's burdens and in this way fulfill the law of Christ." - Galatians 6:2. When we do those things, we can say with sincerity what Christ desired for us in John 17:11: "...we are one."

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