If you’re a Christian music fan, Zach Williams is a name that you’ll likely be hearing a lot more of. I’ve turned on my local radio station, 91.3 WFIX and heard his song several times. I reached out to him on Twitter and let him know how excited I was about his song and asked If I could do an interview with him for my blog. He graciously accepted my request. I won’t waste anymore time, let’s get into the interview. Remember, at the bottom you’ll find links to his music and social media. Make sure to pick up his music and stop by his Twitter or Facebook and let him know that I sent you over!
I found you on my Spotify discovery playlist. When I heard the song, “Chain Breaker” I put it on repeat automatically. I was so moved by it. What inspired this song?
My wife and I had been doing prison ministry through our church for about a year and every time I would go I would just come home torn up about the people we would come in contact with. We would hear their stories and receive their letters and it just would remind me how close I could have come to ending up in a prison or a jail somewhere.
I met Mia Fieldes on the last day of a songwriting week and began sharing her and Jonathan Smith my testimony and the title was thrown out as we were talking. As soon as I was mentioned we all loved it and the song came pretty fast after that. The idea to just fill a song with who God is became the theme to Chain Breaker.
Do you write all your own music?
Yes, up until a year ago I had never written with anyone else. But being able to co write with others has really opened me up as a writer. It really helps you to not get stuck on a song when you have another person writing it with you.
What is it that you want people to come away with when listening to your music?
I want people who are struggling with normal day to day stuff or serious addictions to all come away with the same thing. JESUS!!!!! I want people to hear my song and stop and think about where their life is and what they have overcome or need to overcome. And I want people to know that the only way that they have or will overcome anything is because of the love that Jesus Christ has poured out on us. And that he is the only way.
What singers/songwriters inspire you?
I really like the songs that Matt Maher and Ed Cash have written and would love to be a part of a song with those guys someday.
I assume you’re currently working on an album, if so, when will it be available?
We are about to start working on a 5 song EP that hopefully will be out early this fall.
What would you tell others out there who are running from what God has called them to do?
Don’t waste another second! If you feel God is calling you to do something then stop what you are doing and do it. I remember when I quit my Rock band and how scared I was about the unknown and how uncomfortable I was with this new direction in Christian music. But God had a plan and he made everything feel normal and gave me a piece I’d never had. Now when I start to doubt things he shows up and does something huge in my life. Almost as if to say how dare you, I’ve brought you this far.
What does a relationship with Jesus look like to you?
A relationship with Jesus is all about communication and prayer time with the Lord. I spend a lot of time driving in my car and talking to Jesus like he is there riding with me. I ask him to show me things at certain times when I need to see them and he reminds me that sometime I have to be patient and wait. For me a relationship is all about communication.
Trusting in the Lord that he will provide a way for you even when you cant see or understand how it will works has been the hardest thing for me to do. But when I was finally able to give it over to God and let him work through me, I experienced a freedom like I had never known before.
So I guess I’m saying communication and trust are big parts of a relationship with Jesus as well as anyone. Hope this answers your question.
Is there a particular bible passage that comfort/encourages you?
This next portion is extremely important. I asked Zach for his testimony and he poured his heart out here.
Zach Williams Testimony
By Zach Williams
I’m sure everybody has that friend that doesn’t go to church and every time you ask him or her to go to church they tell you they don’t need to go because “they have a personal relationship with Jesus.” Well that, my friends, was me. Even though I grew up going to church every Sunday and though I knew right from wrong and I said I was a Christian, there was absolutely nothing about my life or the way I lived that reflected these things. Not only was I lost and living in sin, but I certainly did not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I was consumed with my music and everything that goes along with the so-called lifestyle of a rock & roll band.
I was totally living a lie. I put myself and my priorities before my wife and my children, and honestly tried to justify all of what I was doing with my music. I can remember saying things to my wife like, “You knew who I was when you met me and now you expect me to change” or “I’m not doing this for myself, I’m trying to make a living for our family.” It wasn’t until truly coming to Christ that I realized or could even admit that what I had been doing was wrong. I am who I am from the experiences I’ve had, and I can only learn and grow stronger from the mistakes I’ve made. That’s also the beauty of God’s amazing grace – you can ask for forgiveness of your sins and He holds nothing against you.
Until March of 2012, I toured in a band for four years. We had two major tours in Europe and one USO tour in Japan, all the while touring the U.S. as much as possible and living like the true rock star I thought I was. You can imagine how hard that was on my marriage and my relationship with my family. Without going into details, let just say I partied way too hard and everyone else had to deal with it.
All of that changed though around Easter of that same year. We were playing two shows somewhere in Missouri and a band mate and I were going back to the hotel and get some rest. But, as usual, I didn’t want to miss a good time so I ended up going to a bar with the rest of the band. I was surprised when I got back to the hotel that night and find that my band mate was still awake. We ended up talking until morning about why we were still doing the band thing, how we were both just completely tired, but at the same time, torn with the decisions we knew we needed to make to change things.
I think for me it was around that time when God really started to work on my heart. We were not going to church anywhere at the time, but my wife had been trying to get me to commit and go for quite some time, so I decided to give it a shot. The first time we came to Central I remember thinking that it was way too big for me, but I also remember thinking ‘I feel totally at home,’ which, for someone like me, had really never felt at church. I didn’t feel judged or looked down on for the way I dressed or looked, and that spoke volumes to me. I knew right then that this was where my family was going to go to church. We started attending Central and I immediately felt something changing inside, but I was still struggling to let go of some of my old ways. I knew we had a month long tour of Spain coming up and I was not looking forward to it. I was still going out after shows but I always ended up staying up late like before, talking about God and going to church.
Little did I know that after a week or so into the Spain tour, all the while still struggling with my own vices, God had different plans for me. I called my wife after about a week and a half and I told her that after I got home from the tour that I was done with the band. She was shocked because just two nights before, I had called her in the middle of partying the same as I always did on tour. But she knew this time I was serious. After I got home, we talked and I just broke down and cried. I felt so guilty for all the things I had done and all the things I had sacrificed to get to where I was. Nothing I had done made me happy, and I was still searching. I remember listening to Big Daddy Weave’s “Redeemed” the last couple of weeks on the tour and that really helped me with where I was at the time. I also remember hearing it almost as soon as I got back, which really sealed the deal for me with my decision to quit the band (later in the story, it was also the first song I sang at church as a Worship Leader). I asked my wife to forgive me and told her I would try my best to change, something I would have never even considered before. I also asked God to forgive me, and my wife and I got baptized together on September 9, 2012, the day before our daughter Delilah Blue was born. It was at that time that I knew that I had to be an example for the rest of our children – Gavin, Julia, and Zephyn.
After we joined the church, we joined a life group and started taking growth groups at church every Wednesday night, but not playing music anymore was really starting to affect me. I remember thinking how much the lyrics to the Christian songs I had been listening to played such a part in where I had been and where I was going, and I started thinking about this new avenue of life and where God was going to use my gifts and my music. He reminded me it wasn’t about me anymore, and that was where most of my mistakes had been made in the past.
God gave me these gifts, and I felt I had a strong testimony that it would be a shame not to tell everyone what the Lord had done in my life. I am currently writing and recording songs that I am very excited about and believe they represent my journey to this point. It’s amazing what GOD can do in your life when you give everything over to Him. He truly will reveal things to you that you never thought were possible.
If you’d like to follow Zach on Twitter you can do that @ZWilliamslive
His Facebook Page is Here: Zach Williams
You can also find him at zachwilliamsmusic.com
Make sure to stop by and show him some love, let him know that Jase Rosenburg sent you over!
You can pick up the new Chain Breaker Album on Itunes HERE!
UPDATE: Zach has been nominated for a Grammy for his song Chain Breaker!