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MP3 Derek Richard's PS150 - Keep Your Eyes On Christ

Christian Rock / Pop. Uplifting "classic rock" sound with encouraging praise and worship lyrics.

11 MP3 Songs
GOSPEL: Contemporary Gospel, ROCK: Classic Rock

An interview conducted by Trevor Ray from;

Can you please introduce yourself and your band:

My name is Derek Richard. PS150 is my vision of rock music, dedicated to praise and worship of our Lord Jesus Christ. Currently, there isn’t a formal line up for the band. PS150 is really just me writing and recording my music. I have a group of hot studio musicians I prefer to work with. Their names are Perry Coleman & Britt Savage (Vocals), Tim Calhoun (Lead Guitar), Danny Borgers & Dennis Wage (Vocals, Piano & Keyboard), Dow Tomlin (Bass), Bob Mater & Chris Brown (Drums), Derek Richard (that’s me on Rhythm Guitar) and George McClure (Producer). I’ll certainly be looking these guys up to play on my next CD. I hope they accept the offer!!

How did your project PS150 get started?

Well, I received Christ and started to play the guitar about the same time in my life. I quickly realized, just as the bible said, that each are given certain spiritual gifts. Music was the gift God gave to me. Looking back, the circumstances surrounding my introduction to music were too powerful to be mere chance. The world calls these things “coincidence”. But, I know better! God was working, planning and molding, even when I was “hell bent” on playing Metallica and Black Sabbath. He quickly showed me, I was supposed to use the gifts He gave me, for His glory. So that’s when I started writing Christian rock songs and playing on the Praise Team at church.

Why the name PS150?

Psalms 150 is one of my favorite Bible verses. It is one of the passages God used to show me His will for my music. I’m not going to tell you what the verse says. Look it up for yourself. Maybe He will show you something too!

How well has your music been received? What feedback do you get?

My music has been received very well. I’ve had some great feedback from a few record company people, other producers and some journalist. Exposure to the public has been challenging as a new artist. I funded this project totally out of my own pocket. I don’t have big record company contacts or advertising budgets. It’s sometimes is frustrating because I know this stuff is good and I want people to hear it. I think my music helps people look towards Jesus. Some of the most rewarding feedback I’ve received has been like….
“The family listened to your CD when Uncle George was in the intensive care unit. We all were comforted and enjoyed the music very much”
“We played your CD while our grandmother was in her last few hours of life. It helped.”
“My husband and I really needed that at this point in our life. Thank-you”
That’s the kind of feedback that inspires me to keep making music. Dollars can’t buy this kind of reward. I’m storing up treasures in heaven where moth and rust can’t consume and thieves can’t break in and steal.
Oh yeah… there’s a little Cajun restaurant in Nashville that seems to like to spin the record a lot! Thanks guys!!

Who else has your sound engineer worked for?

The record was produced by George McClure and Joey Turner / John Kunz were our sound engineers. George, Joey, John and I did the mixing and then Randy Leroy mastered the project. These guys have worked with some of Nashville’s top artist like Lucy Mongrel, Gretchen Wilson, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, Kenny Rogers, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Lorie Morgan, Suzy Boggus, Band of Writers Series, Jacqui Watson and myself of course! Randy Leroy of Final Stage Mastering has worked with numerous big name artist like Michael W. Smith, Out of Eden, and Rachal Lampa, just to name a few.

What musical progress have you achieved since beginning with the release of your music?

I’ve learned to play a little drums and some bass guitar. It’s kind of like an athlete cross training. It helps me become a better overall musician and it helps me better communicate musical ideas to other musicians in the band. Also, I’ve been playing a couple times a week live. Mostly covering other Christian rock songs with the Praise Team at church. There’s no better learning experience than playing live with a band. You got to be ready for the unexpected, improvise, and learn to stay focused with lots of distractions!

Any struggles with making your recordings?

Well, cash is always a problem… But other than that, recording the CD was totally amazing. I made rough demos with a drum machine, a couple tracks of me on guitar, pieces of solos I wanted and a simple bass line my weak little guitar fingers could play. I added some scratch vocals and that’s what went to my producer and studio musicians. When we got in the studio, we listened once, practiced once, and cut most of the tracks on take three. Yeah, that’s really what happened. These guys are pro’s. The funniest quote of the week came from Tim Calhoun in his stereotypical Nashville accent….. “This ain’t rocket surgery”

What sound does PS150 have that makes it unique?

It’s just rock-n-roll dude. Straight forward rock with lyrics that inspire and lift you up rather than piss you off and make you want to fight.

What purpose does the band see that it has to undertake to reach USA young people?

Young people like rock-n-roll. That’s why I write Christian Rocks songs and not your grandfather’s Hymns. I do like to sing classic hymns in church. But, there has to be something for everyone. A little more rock-n-roll in church just might bring in some of the younger generation. I know God will show them there’s more to it than just the music. I think God wants me to get young people in the door any way I can. From there, He will do His work in their lives and their hearts.

What state are many of the USA young people like today? Are they any different from say the X generation in the 90s?

Today’s young people aren’t any different than past generations. We all wanted to be different than our parents, forge our own path, be a little bit wilder than the last generation. In the end nothing really satisfies other than following God’s path for your life and having a close personal relationship with Christ Jesus. I don’t know man… We all liked sex drugs and rock & roll, until we had to face the consequences of those decisions. After that lifestyle chewed me up and spit me out, I went crawling back to Christ. I’m happier now than ever… with Jesus in my life. My only regret is the time I wasted without Him.

What issues confront many of the American youth today that are different from say 10 years ago?

I think kids today are getting a lot of pressure to party. Like as in drinking, smoking pot or even snorting some crank. MAN, DON’T DO IT!! Yeah, you’re not going to get hooked after one drink or one line, and it might even feel good temporarily. You will even think you can control it. But the fact is, twenty years later, you’ll be SCREWED! Still drinking, snorting and partying. Your body, your family and your life will all pay the price for your decisions made as a young person. Just don’t go there……..

How would you approach someone who is feeling demoralized and delusional with their life?

You got to have goals in life. The best goals are those that God would have you pursue. Are you talented in a certain area? Sports? Business management? Nursing? Compassionate for others? Just find something you have a passion for. You don’t even have to be good at it. Don’t listen to “people”, Just pray and do it as if God Himself appointed you. He WILL prosper you!!!

What have you been reading in the bible this week that has impacted your life with God?

I have been reading about David and Goliath. We all have a Goliath in our lives, myself included. Just meditating on how David must have been afraid, but then, he stepped out in faith and went to battle in the name of the Lord. Somehow knowing the battle belonged to God. How did he get such confidence? How can I apply the lesson to my life? We all need to believe like David did. Just do it!
How did you come to know Christ?

As a small child, my family raised me within the Methodist Church. I went to Sunday school, sang in the choir, and various other church social activities. Life was good, even though my family experience significant trials and tribulations. At some point, I became "educated", and I was taught all the theories of the world…. Evolution, Darwin, The Big Bang, Aliens, etc…. I bought in to the "science" and seriously doubted if there was a God. Deep down, I wanted to believe in God, but the "science" was taught as fact. Anyone believing otherwise, was poked fun of and made to feel stupid. So, I gave up on God. If there was a God, he didn''t have anything to do with what was going on down here. I had just made my first BIG mistake. I proceeded to live life with no thoughts of God. I forged my own path through life. If it felt good, I did it, and a lot of it! If it made me money, I did more of that too! Yes, I had some success, but….. I also had some huge disappointments. The down times were low. Very low. During one of the lowest of low periods, I just decided I wanted to start living life as a "good person". So I prayed, "God if you''re real, please help me". Simple as that, and God started His slow and steady process of drawing me to Himself. I started watching a little church on TV. Seriously…. I didn''t want to go to church alone or let anyone know I might believe in God. That would be embarrassing. So I started watching Dr. Charles Stanley on In-Touch Ministries television broadcasts Sunday mornings. WOW!! This guy was speaking directly to me about real life issues that I was experiencing. It was like the sermon was written just for me and included practical, real world advice with supporting examples from the bible!! I felt very encouraged. I tuned in again the next week, and then the week after that. The messages were speaking so directly into my life, it could not be, just a coincidence. God was trying to get my attention and He wanted to save me. Over the next few years, I listened and followed scriptural principals taught by Dr. Stanley. Whenever I put these principals into practice, God kept his word and all things, good or bad, worked for my benefit. Yes… looking back, even the bad things turned out to be blessings in the end. Sometimes, you have to get through some tuff stuff before you find yourself at the better place.
So then, when did I get "saved"? In the beginning of my spiritual journey, I didn''t fully understand what it meant to be "saved". I just kept listening to the Word of God through the In Touch Ministries television and radio broadcasts. Also, another "bad" situation forced me to commute nearly 3 hrs a day. Once again, God used something "bad" (the brutal commute), to benefit me by building my faith through the hearing of His Word. I found many wonderful Christian radio broadcasts during those long commute hours. At some point during one of those long commutes, some guy on the radio (I don''t even know who it was) asked his listeners to;

1. Admit we are all sinners and repent of those sins…
2. Thank the Lord Jesus for dying on the cross as payment for all our sins….
3. Believe Jesus arose from the dead, ascended into heaven, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father….
4. Invite the Lord Jesus into your heart….
5. Receive God''s free gift of salvation and forgiveness of your sins!

It was that simple. I went home that night and wrote the date in my bible. I had been a "Christian" for quite some time before that day. But on that day, I really knew I was "saved". I finally understood the, who, what, when, where and why, of God''s redemptive plan. It made sense to me and my eyes were opened wide! No… I didn''t change right away and miraculously give up all my bad habits and behaviors. Some things were easy to change, and other things I''m still struggling with today. Becoming "saved" is not a license to do what ever you want. It''s a freedom and the responsibility, to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. He knows we will fail from time to time. In the Bible, Paul asked God three times to remove some problem area from his life. Paul called it his "thorn in the flesh" . But God said "No… My Grace is sufficient for you". Paul knew God had allowed this problem area in his life. It kept him from becoming too proud and made him depend on Jesus as his savior. So… we shouldn''t worry about becoming perfect. Just do the best we can. And when we fail, thank Jesus for what He did for us, and allow God to show you His Grace and Mercy.

What are some recreational places that you like to hang out in your free time? any outdoor locations?

I enjoy hiking in Yosemite National Park, riding my YZF-R1 down coastal highway 1 or through the mountain Santa Cruz Mountain twisties! Um, erh…Of course… all within the speed limits 
What work else do you do apart from working in the band?
Well, first… I’m a follower of Jesus Christ, then I’m a father, then I’m a Laser / Electro-optical engineer, and finally I’m a musician / songwriter. I think God gave me the Engineering skills to pay for the music He wants me to make for Him!

What demands are placed on you by having a band?

Making records is really time consuming. I put a lot of effort into making just five songs on my first CD. Working full time and being a single parent is demanding. There isn’t much time left for friends and making music. Also, I’m the only financial contributor in making PS150 records and it’s really expensive! Maybe, it’s a good thing I don’t have a wife or girlfriend… She probably wouldn’t allow it!! It would be really cool to be able to make music for a living. However, I can’t go the starving musician route. I got a family God made me responsible for. For now, engineering pays the bills!

Is it hard to balance family life and band commitments?

Yes, but I’ve managed to get my family into music. Both of my boys play drums and guitar. We jam together as much as we can. It helps me stay tight with my kids AND I get to ROCK OUT! There isn’t anything cooler than jammin’ with my boys!

Any parting comments?

I would really like to thank the Praise Team at the First United Methodist Church of Tracy. Kristy Wells and the entire Praise Team helped write a couple of the songs on the CD. These guys have helped me grow spiritually and musically over the past few years. I love those guys! Also, I would like to thank my friend Jeff Alcock. He’s a great drummer and we jammed a number of the riffs that ended up on the CD.
Very BIG Thanks to everyone who has supported me and my music. Don’t forget to keep God first place in your life!

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