by Matt Conner
Over 20 years have passed since Mike Weaver started leading worship with Jay Weaver, Jeremy Redmon, Jeff Jones and Joe Shirk at the University of Mobile. Even after numerous chart-topping christian music songs, a Dove Award win and coast to coast tours, the Big Daddy Weave front man says the band is still waiting for the other shoe to drop.
“We just celebrated 20 years and I think we’ve all felt the same way, believing at some point that someone was going to tell us we had to get a real job,” he says with a laugh.
Weaver says the band took the time last year, on their official 20th anniversary, to reflect on the incredible journey, but the lesson learned between everyone (including drummer Brian Beihl who replaced Jones in 2013) was a sense that God has been the sole driving force behind any perceived success.
“Time has just flown by. We’ve all married way out of our league. We’ve seen each other become dads, and we’ve watched the Lord move in incredible ways, all without being the ‘cool’ thing or whatever,” says Weaver. “We’ve always said that cool has never really been in our repertoire. We’ve got lots of heart and we’re real. That’s what we’ve got.”
Weaver’s line about avoiding the ‘cool’ label isn’t a frustrating observation. Instead, it’s a matter of fact statement tempered by watching the latest buzz bands come and go while they’ve remained on course. Weaver actually said he is glad the band was never hyped up to be anything more than what they are.
“If you get caught up in the fact that people are loving on you in this moment or that you are ‘the thing,’ then when you’re no longer the thing, where does it go? Where do you go from there? I think for us that’s never really been the issue anyway,” he says. “It can still be about whatever God wants from this.
“This last decade has really been about us sharing whatever junk we’re going through. As we’re sharing our own set of broken stuff and how the Lord is seeing us through it, somehow that’s resonating with people.”
With a spring calendar filled with long tour runs, Big Daddy Weave shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, Weaver says a new album is on the way later this year anchored in hopeful messages the band has found in trials over the last few years. For Weaver, the ability to share inspiration with those who need it most is what will drive him to stay in Big Daddy Weave as long as God will allow.
“A while ago, Greg Laurie, a pastor, told me at an event that if you have a heart for the broken-hearted, you will never lack an audience,” he says. “That really struck me. That’s exactly what’s going on here. It’s not so much that we’re the most compassionate people but it’s that we’ve been broken-hearted people and also people who have experienced the goodness of God in the midst of it. As we share about that, it becomes hope for people because if you’re in it, you need to hear from someone. That’s what we love to do.”