Matthew Johnson Interview

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00:00:00 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: -Hi there, I’m Anthony Alvarez. Nice to meet you.


-Can you please introduce yourself to the voice recording?

-Yes I can. I am Matthew E. Johnson and I’m a freshman here at U of R. And I play with the InterVarsity Worship Team band.

00:00:22 - Individual Group Role

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Partial Transcript: -Okay, so first off just really open, what is your role within the group, stuff like that?

-Well, I play piano and, well, we play every week at InterVarsity Ignite. So, we’re there every week and we also practice every Tuesday. Well usually unless there are scheduling issues. I also sometimes help pick out the songs that we play, and just, being there and trying to not hit the wrong chords I guess.

00:00:59 - Size of Group

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Partial Transcript: -How many people are in this group?

-There are four people in this group. I’m the piano player, the sort of leader person I would say is Jonathan Knabe, who is on guitar and is usually the lead singer. There is also Olivia Haynes who is either on bass guitar or ukulele, and she’s also a singer. She brings in sort of the female vocals and she can lead when Jonathan is not there. And there is also David Link who is our second guitarist who is not really that much of a good singer, kind of like me. (Laughs) Sorry.

-(Interjects) It’s fine. It’s all on the record.

-He also plays a large role in picking out songs and that stuff.

00:01:46 - Origin of Worship Team Introduction

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Partial Transcript: -So I assume you’re all part of a bigger InterVarsity group, yes?

-Yes, we are.

-And, how did you get into this worship team?

-I think it was towards the beginning of the year. I must’ve been talking to new people, as like a freshman. And they were asking, ‘Oh, what do you like to do?’ ‘What’s your name?’ and stuff. And I must’ve mentioned, ‘Oh, I play piano’ to someone. And then they must’ve mentioned, ‘Oh, you should talk to so and so person’ which must have been Jonathan, but I didn’t know that at the beginning of the year. So I talked to them and a couple of weeks later, they were like, ‘Hey, you want to join us for worship team practice?’ And I was like, ‘Sure!’ So, that just happened and next week they were like, ‘You wanna do it again?’ I said yes, and from there it kind of just became a regular thing.

00:02:38 - The music

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Partial Transcript: -Okay that’s nice. So, you said you guys just practice music and you play music, do you guys do anything else besides, pretty much, just practice and play? Do you guys engage in any extra-group activities? Things like that.


-Is it strictly music? What type of music do you guys play?

-It’s worship music. We can play contemporary, we usually try to make it a mix of four songs a week. Two contemporary and two, sort of, older hymn style sort of songs. So that there’s a balance. Also David Link kind of likes the hymns so we kind of make sure that we don’t leave them out.


-Old fashioned.

00:03:23 - Role of the Music

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Partial Transcript: -How do you feel, what role does music play in this group? Just in general, like, what’s the—obviously it’s worship team, but what does that mean? What does it mean to do worship through music and these hymns and this contemporary Christian music?

-Well we have to try to inspire others in InterVarsity in Ignite, which is our weekly meeting Wednesday night. We try to just, worship God the best we can, and make sure the experience is pleasant and good for other InterVarsity members as well. The whole group is just basically built around that. Just using music to worship God.

00:04:08 - Group's function on campus

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Partial Transcript: -And do you think, uhm, how do you feel about, like, music to you? And like, how. So cut that out.

-(Laughs) Wow!

-Laugh laugh laugh. Yeah, just to remind myself. But anyway, yeah so. Music, InterVarsity, things like that. How do, uhm, and so. You guys perform for InterVarsity.


-What about the larger campus? How do you think your group functions within the larger university?

-Within the larger university? I really don’t think the larger university knows we exist unless you’re in InterVarsity. We kind of just found, we operate in our own little niche that is InterVarsity. And our purpose isn’t really to go out beyond that. We are just operating within those constraints and that’s what we’re supposed to do I guess.

00:05:09 - Size of InterVarsity

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Partial Transcript: -How many people are in InterVarsity, do you think?

-On average.

-I mean, that regularly come to Ignite. On average we might have 15 a night that are swapping between 25 people. On a larger scale, people who say they’re in InterVarsity, that’s maybe more around 50 people? But they don’t always come to stuff like Ignite or small group.

00:05:43 - Goals for the Group

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Partial Transcript: -Okay. So earlier you were talking about being within this constraint that you are in InterVarsity and kind of tucked away in your little corner. Would you like to maybe expand your group? Maybe reach more people, more promotion, more advertising on campus? Or do you prefer, do you think it’s better to have your little—Because, don’t you also have—what’s that one night you guys have a full concert of music? What’s that called? Unity, right?

-Praise and prayer night.

-Oh, okay. But yeah, back to the—do you think you would like that? How do you think it would happen?

-I mean, I guess we don’t have any goals to expand beyond InterVarsity, but we certainly would like to expand InterVarsity, get more people to come to InterVarsity, to be there. But no, expanding beyond that, I don’t really think that’s our purpose.

00:06:53 - Campus perception of Group

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Partial Transcript: -Okay. So how do you think the university perceives your group then?

-Uhh! I guess sort of like people usually perceive dust-mites. You don’t know that they’re there but when you do, you’re just kind of like, ‘Huh, okay.’

-Can you say that again? You said what, us-might?


-Dustmites! Oh, okay.

-Yeah I don’t think the larger university really quite knows who we are. I mean like, if they come to InterVarsity Ignite and they’d be like, ‘Oh! There’s people playing music.’ But beyond that, we’re really not on the up-and-up music scene.

-Would you like to change that?

-No, I think, we’re doing alright. We don’t exactly want to be like some front row band. That’s not a term. Like some, popular band or anything. Just not what we do, I guess.

00:07:53 - Purpose of Group

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Partial Transcript: -So what is it that you do then? Even though I kind of asked that earlier but, now we’ve like, almost like we’re wrapping up or coming full circle. What is the purpose of worship team? What is, if there was one thing you could say that you guys do, and you guys do efficiently and effectively and, if one thing is to come out of your group, what would that one thing be?

-Help others in InterVarsity worship God?


-Yeah, that’s pretty much it.

00:08:28 - Leader's role and Future of Group

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Partial Transcript: -Sounds good. Okay. So, I know Jonathan is a senior. And Jonathan, you say, is the leader of the group, you would say?


-So what do you say, think, about him graduating? What do you think will happen to the group? I know that you are obviously going to be looking for more people, but do you—what do you think?

-I think it will be different. We would have to find a different place to practice because right now we do usually practice in Jonathan’s room. But, our lead singer, that role, would probably be handed down to Olivia, who is now a junior.

-And she’ll be a senior next year.

-Yep. So will David. And then I’ll be a sophomore. Maybe we’ll try to find someone to replace Jonathan. It’s not clear right now. We don’t have any prime candidates or anything. But I think the group essentially will function the same. Just swapping a little around in leadership.

-How much of a role did Jonathan really have within the group? Like with, I guess, going to practice. Kind of like that team captain type of thing. Did he have a big role?

-Oh yeah, Jonathan would have a big role. He would make slides, he would organize practices, we would practice in his room. He’s one who really loves music, and he wants to keep the group together, keep it going, all nice and dandy so. Yeah, Jonathan plays a pretty large role, and he’s our leader, I’d say.

-Do you think you’d ever, because obviously you’re the sophomore, and then David and Olivia would graduate the year after that. Do you think that you would be able to take up, would you ever want to, lead the group maybe.

-I mean, if I were to lead the group it would be more of a behind the scenes sort of leader like doing stuff to organize it. Or make slides, or choose songs. Because, I can’t really lead it during worship because I’m not a singer. So, yes and no.

-Singing is a big part of it?
-Yeah you kind of have to be a singer. Which Jonathan is, and Olivia is. So, yeah.

-Okay, and so, I assume next year you’ll be one of the one promoting for the new freshmen, yes? How do you feel about that?

-Sure? I mean, I guess I don’t really have to search them out super hard. If they play instruments, then we’ll say like, ‘Are you interested in being part of the worship team. We might be looking for a guitarist or vocalist after Olivia and David pass on. (Laughs)

-(Laughs in background)

-But, yeah but, I’m sure someone will come along. Hopefully. Yes?

00:11:33 - Conclusion

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Partial Transcript: -Okay, so I think we’re ready to wrap this interview up. Is there any last comments you want to make, anything you want to let your fans know?

-(Incompressible sound effect)

-(Laughs) For real though.

-No. (Laughs)

-Okay, thank you Matthew! Thank you, nice to have you in.

-Thank you Mr. Alvarez

-Mr. Alvarez? Thank you.