Geoff Moore
 

by Mike Parker

Geoff Moore is about to be single again. Not maritally, but professionally.

For the past 12 years, the musical entity known as Geoff Moore and the Distance has steadily built a solid, enthusiastic base of fans by touring constantly, performing passionately, and relating honestly to their audiences. They have also generated some pretty cool rock ‘n’ roll along the way. Tunes such as “Home Run,” “A Friend Like U,” and the band’s signature song, “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?” Have become staples on Christian radio.

Geoff says he felt a very real prompting to form the band 12 years ago. “And every day of those 12 years, up until the last few months, I felt like it was absolutely what I should be doing,” he explains. “But as the organization, its influence, the personnel, and the overhead grew, it just became a very big operation. With more people’s lives and vocations in my care, there was more at stake.”

It was a restlessness in his spirit that got Geoff thinking about a future apart from the Distance. He says the same prompting that encouraged him to form the band played a similar role in its dissolution.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve sensed that prompting,” he says. “But that’s what I feel now. It isn’t that I don’t love the band or playing with them. I do. But through the years, there have been other things that I have wanted to do – that I have been intrigued by – whether it was writing a book, playing with other musicians, or creating an album with other people. None of those things were feasible because of the schedule I kept – and needed to keep – to support this machine.”

Coming off of the highly successful “Threads” tour with Smalltown Poets and Out of Eden, and with the band enjoying greater popularity than ever before, one might question Moore’s timing. But Geoff shrugs it off with a grin.

“I feel like this was the time,” he says. “The band had always asked for a little notice – and to not do it when we were in a nose dive. Recently, we’ve had more success than ever. I was able to tell them about six months in advance. They’ve got a lot of neat stuff happening in their lives, and I’m excited about what lies ahead for them, and for me.”

While admitting to a certain amount of uncertainty about the future, the suddenly solo Geoff Moore does plan to release a new album next year. To prepare for it, he intends to spend the next several months experimenting with new instruments and new arrangements. “I still feel very inspired by the music,” he says. “It’s kind of a new frontier, and I feel pretty comfortable saying I don’t have a clue what the next record will sound like.”

In addition to writing and recording, he plans to do four or five concert appearances per month, which will include both singing and speaking engagements. And there is the possibility of a book deal, but he’s unsure if that is a direction he wants to pursue.

He has also been inspired by the power of the theater and wonders aloud how to bring that power into the church. “There was a time when theater grew out of the church, and artisans were cared for by the church,” he says. “Obviously, there has been a change. It seems that Christians often hold onto something until it has become secularized, and then we just let it go. We don’t fight to get it back or be involved in it.

“Contemporary music was certainly that way until Larry Norman, Keith Green, and others started taking it back. And there seems to be a bit of a renaissance in fiction. Christians have suddenly decided it is all right to write novels about love and adventure and such.

“But theater and fashion – the two things that really shape our culture – Christians seem to run from them. And interestingly enough, they are the two areas where the homosexual community has thrived. I know there are people who would be flabbergasted that I would say we could learn something from the homosexual community, but I’m telling you we can. They were a very small minority that developed great influence through their art. We, as Christians, need to be involved in those industries, sharing the love of Christ along the way.”

Whether he chooses to pursue music, drama, or the written word, Geoff says he will continue to apply a single standard to his work. “Great art,” he says, “flows out of good living. And great Christian art comes out of a life that has been entrusted to Christ, that has been shaped and molded by the Holy Spirit.”

Reprinted by permission, Christian Single Magazine.