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Mar 10, 2018
Transparent Christian Magazine
T Culler Interview – Songwriting, Shield Ministries and a New EP – “End of the Day”
T Culler is a unique and fast moving Christian artist that knows how to rock and write smooth and catchy hooks. He has a contageous smile and a genuine passion for God. Transparent Christian Magazine caught up with him recently when he came to Nashville to record some new songs.
Transparent: You were in Nashville recently to record “End of the Day”. Tell me (and the readers) about that experience.
T Culler: I went to Nashville needing to record some new rock songs that I would be using in our concert set. I called my friends,Tom, Brett and Todd at The Zod Lounge, and asked them if they had a spot in the next few weeks for me to come up there. We started writing and some amazing songs came out of that week. They were excited. I was excited, and the energy and fun that came from recording with those guys just makes for great music. We had another day left before I was to fly out, and I told the guys that I wanted to do one more song. At that point, nothing had been written at all. I told them I would go back to the hotel, pray about it, and if God wanted it, we would do the song that next day. I woke up the next morning and the whole song was in my head. I began writing lyrics and singing sounds and beats into my recorder. When I got to The Zod Lounge, I sung it to the guys, and they loved the idea. Together, we improved on it, and it turned out to be one of our favorite songs that we did while there. It really rocks!
Transparent: How did you get involved with Shield Ministries and helping the homeless?
T Culler: Shield Ministries is a ministry that a friend of mine had been praying about and wanting to start for some time. He wanted to have a place for guys who were struggling in recovery from addictions, and he wanted to do more than just house them. The plan was to get them back on their feet, with paying jobs and to re-introduce them as a part of our working society. I had a home that was available, and it could easily be made to house several guys. I had always wanted to help the homeless get off the street and find a good place to live. We both wanted to reach those that sometimes get overlooked, and I felt like if I had the place that wasn’t being used, that it was part of God’s plan for it to be given in this ministry. It was a perfect fit. The Rutledge House ministry came in as a part of Shield Ministries, and we began to disciple daily to the guys, their families and any others who wished to come. I played and sang for them on Friday nights, and that worship time with them became some of the most sincere, pure and selfless time I had ever experienced. The Spirit moved every time we got together, whether it is at the house or at an outside function. We had 52 salvations last year, and we definitely are making progress in taking the less out of homelessness.
Transparent: The lyrics on “Dreamer” and “Rain Your Love” seem deeply personal! Talk to me about your songwriting process.
T Culler: Dreamer is a song I co-wrote with Scotty Faircloff, who is one of the most incredible song writers and producers in Nashville. It was actually the first song we wrote for the Maybe Next Sunday record. It speaks of all the people who say to us that we cannot do something, or they tell you that you’re not good enough. That attitude can sometimes crush your dreams. The song says “hold on to your dreams cause they don’t know you like I do”, and that is so true. God knows us best.
We hopefully know ourselves, and we cannot let the negativity of some to be destructive of the things we know we are capable of doing in our lives. I wrote the song Rain Your Love one afternoon while I was waiting for my wife and family to come home from school. I sat down at the piano, and a lot of times, when I get quiet there, God seems to speak so loud to me. That day, I was just in awe of His greatness, and I wanted to write a love song to Him. I also wanted to express my desire to give all of who I am to Him completely. I have learned that everyday I have to get myself out of the way and let Him do the work He wants to do in and through me. I can really mess things up when I get in the way. I need Him to rain His love on me and renew me daily.
Transparent: You were nominated for several Momentum Awards this year, tell us about your experience at the CIA Summit?
T Culler: I was humbled and honored to have been nominated for Song of the Year with Maybe Next Sunday, and then was nominated for Male Artist of the Year. Keith asked me to come and sing at the Momentum Award show and it was quite an experience. We actually had a tornado warning cause us to evacuate the building right before our sound check. Several of us gathered in a room with around a thousand high school kids who were at a hotel for a conference. We got in a circle, prayed together and when we finished, God parted the skies and it looked as if there had never been a storm there. When we got back to the Foundry, we had to scrap the drums that we had planned for the song, because the set had been taken apart and the drum mics would take too long to recheck due to time constraints. I had my two guitarists, Tyler and Jonathan with me, and we did an acoustic style version of the song. We had a blast. God gave me that song, and we sang it for Him and praised Him for letting us play it after all that. Prayer breaks the back of the enemy, and I believe it did in that night.
Transparent: How is God blowing your mind lately?
T Culler: God is blowing my mind daily! There have not been many days in the last few months where He has not given me some kind of confirmation that I am doing the right thing. Incredible things that can only happen through His hand moving, and I am truly on my face before Him in thankfulness. After we opened for DecembeRadio, we have been asked to play more than I could have expected. We have had meetings with promoters and publicists, radio personalities who all are excited about the songs, and what we are doing. I have a wonderful manager, Sue Ross, who works feverishly on my behalf, and has taught me so much. Another thing that is so important to me is that I have wanted to make sure we connect with our audience during our shows. God has allowed us to really minister in this regard.
People remain after we finish playing, and we pray with them, get to know them, and in some instances, we get to change the path of their life through letting them know who our incredible Savior is. Without a doubt, I am most excited about this fact, that we are not just singing and playing, but we are actually connecting and reaching the audience. We seem to be making a difference. It has to be about Him and Him alone.
Transparent: December Radio was one of the unique bands that grabbed my attention last year. What was it like to open for them?
T Culler: Those guys are great. All of them have awesome hearts and can really perform. They love what they do. I was able to speak with them before we started and told them that we would have the crowd on their feet, ready for them to put on their show. We did, and we played our tails off, not knowing that they were behind us watching our entire show. They were extremely complementary, and we are going to work on doing some more dates with them. They are really getting it done, are very hard workers, and are sincere about why they are there. Playing with them will always be a highlight for me.
Transparent: You have a tour schedule up – when are you bringing the band back to perform in Nashville?
T Culler: I guess we will be coming back to Nashville when someone asks us to come. We don’t have anything booked there yet, but God has His plan, and He’ll have us there if it is right. Maybe someone who reads this will ask us to come.
Transparent: You have a website, and a MySpace site, a site, a WordPress blog, and you’re on VolumMonster, IndieHeaven… tell our readers about your experience with social networking, and what advice would you give to other artists about using the web to get your message out to your audience?
T Culler: All of these sites are so important today. It is an integral part of today’s music industry, and it is important to have as many sites as you can, so that you are seen out there. I have to give props to Reverbnation because they are kind of a one stop area where you can do your work, promotion, sales etc. It all takes lots of work, lots of time, but it is essential. The audience and fan base that gets to know you at some point, wants to hear and know what you are up to. I think that they can lose interest in what you are doing if you don’t continually speak with them. In today’s high tech society, and with the way that the youth of today communicate, these widgets and tools are current and effective. They can find out what you are working on, listen to your music while being ministered by it. All of this at the click of a button. This then allows them to be a part of the plans God is giving you, such as “taking the less out of homelessness”. Many people want to help in causes like these, and this allows them to be a part of where God is working!
Transparent: What’s next for T Culler?
T Culler: Right now, we are working hard to be the best band we can be, keeping in mind the reason why we are doing it. Our band is filled with such wonderful spirits that are not only talented, but have servants hearts. We want to get better musically, but continue to look for ways to spread the message through this vehicle God has given us. We are excited about the release of the single, End of the Day, and look forward to seeing what happens with that whole record. We are looking for opportunities to do a tour in Europe and possibly a Christmas tour with another band. We open for several other major artists in the next few months, so we will be eager to learn from those experiences and see where that all leads us.
Transparent: Do you have anything else to declare?
T Culler: I don’t have any agricultural good or foods in my possession while re-entering this country! (Laughs) Seriously though, I love all that has happened so far, but none of it was of my doing. I give all glory to the only One who is deserving and worthy of praise, Jesus Christ. —
Check out T Culler on his websites, and pick up a copy of his new EP!
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