Building 429 Biography
Last updated: 06/14/2012 12:00:00 PM
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. ~ Ephesians 4:29 – NIV
Ask frontman Jason Roy to describe his band Building 429 and its mission and you’ll probably get an answer that sounds something like this:
“We’re just four average guys from North Carolina, but we are sold out to God on this mission to reach the world. We’re here to show everyone that nobodies like us can make a difference. We’re here because God can use small people with faith like a mustard seed to move a mountain. We are willing to put aside our fears and feelings of inadequacy in order to step up to the platform God has placed in front of us and let Him speak through us. Little people dreaming big dreams and daring to believe that they could come true… that’s us!”
In North Carolina in 2000, Jason (lead vocals, guitar) and Scotty Beshears (bass) wanted to be in a band that had purpose. They are musicians and love to play, but they wanted their band to be more than that…they wanted to take advantage of the platform they had been given. Brainstorming possible ideas for names, the pair heard about a youth group that had instated a “429 Challenge”, based on Ephesians 4:29. Anytime a group member spoke negatively toward another, a cautionary “429” was given, and the offending party had to say something nice about the “injured party”. Jason and Scotty felt this would make the perfect band name; building each other up, as stated in Ephesians 4:29…condensed to Building 429.
“We heard about what this youth group was doing and then dubbed ourselves Building 429, based on the challenge to build others up in the love of Christ,” says Jason. “Simply put… it challenges us to lift others up according to their needs, and it challenges anyone who dares to ask the question ‘What does your name mean’.”
Rounded out by Paul Bowden (guitar) and Michael Anderson (drums), Building 429 gained quite a following as an independent band. In the past three years, the foursome has played well over 400 concerts and sold more than 6,000 copies of their self-titled indie project. The band has toured extensively throughout the South and the Eastern Seaboard, as well as regularly performing in New York City and even doing a tour through Alaska.
“It’s been a long, but good, road to this point,” Scotty says. “We’ve always made it a priority to only go where God leads, and He’s taken us some pretty awesome places! It hasn’t been easy…many of us did this band thing as a part time gig and had real jobs when we weren’t on the road, but it’s really great to see how far He will take you when you trust God!”
As its momentum was growing, the band started receiving phone calls from record labels. All four guys questioned whether this was the direction they should go, but all agreed that this seemed to be a “God thing” and decided to move forward, settling on Word Records as their label home.
“It took many months in prayer, deliberating on what the Lord would have us do with His ministry,” explains Jason. “But we truly feel blessed that we’ve been afforded this opportunity. We are extremely excited to be a part of the Word family!”
It has been a whirlwind for Building 429 since inking the deal in December 2003. The band went straight into the studio, with producer Jim Cooper (Across The Sky, Superchick) at the helm, to record their debut EP, Glory Defined. They came out three weeks later with six songs that are sure to make an impact in Christian music.
“We’re pretty excited about the final product,” says Michael. “Relating to and connecting with people is a focus of ours and I think we’ve accomplished that on this EP. Everything we do is about the listeners and meeting them where they are in life.”
Paul agrees, “The songs on this disc are full of honest, life situations…grace, forgiveness and hope in a life worth living. Our desire is that the folks who listen to this CD hear us saying that God is worthy of our lives devoted to Him. We hope they feel a calling to get to know God and seek Him out.”
“Glory Defined”, the first single from the EP, is a strong pop/rock song that is really hitting home with listeners. With its driving guitars and introspective, yet anthemic approach, the song has already been embraced by Christian radio, with many top stations adding it to their play lists the day they heard it.
“We’re pretty amazed and excited by the response to the song,” says Jason. “I believe listeners can really connect with it. The song is based around the concept that Glory is a word that can’t be comprehended when used in the context of our God. I realized that this life has many things to throw at me, but the overwhelming truth of my life is that I, as a believer in Christ, am guaranteed that I will one day know what His glory looks like!!”
“’Show Me Love’ has a solid rock groove and searching chorus,” says Michael. “The song really speaks to me personally. It talks about how, in spite of the dumb things we do on a daily basis and the mistakes we make, we still want to shine and show people God’s love. But, in order for us to do that, we need God to show us His love and mercy.”
“Free” is the EP’s most aggressive moment. Jason sings with rare conviction as the hard-hitting guitars pound home the song’s message of hope after being freed from the bondage of sin. The song brings a hard edge to the EP that makes you stand up and take notice of the fact that this is not a one-dimensional band.
“’Space In Between Us’ is a song that I absolutely love,” says Jason, Building 429’s primary songwriter. “I feel like a lot of people are going to hear that song and really get what it’s all about. The space in between us and God is a divide that, in our own strength, we can’t cross. But, I want to give all that I have to eliminate any extra space I can so that when God reaches out, He will find me striving to meet Him.” The song explores the universal feelings that all Christians have felt at one time or another. Its acoustic based, roots-rock approach only enhances the important message of the song and it is sure to become a fan favorite.
With its contemporary rock sound and infectious chorus, “All You Ask Of Me” is a ballad reminding that, if we’re faithful in the small things, God will carry us through the ups and downs in life.
Scotty, Jason, Michael and Paul have each learned some tough lessons in life, but have come out shining on the other end. They’ve each been through ups and downs and feel they can help people who may be going through the same type of things.
“Life is tough,” says Scotty. “And, when you’re in high school and college there are so many things weighing you down. You feel disconnected, unwanted, unloved and many times you feel like you don’t have a clear path to go down. It’s something we’ve all been through and we feel we can lend an ear and a bit of compassion to help people get through this time.”
“I think one area we feel most passionately about is helping people, especially guys, realize that it is possible to live a Godly life,” Michael adds. “Somewhere in the midst of modern society the lines of right and wrong have been getting blurred and we would love to help guys learn to see clearly again, reminding them about accountability and the standards God has set for them to live by. But mainly, we want our lives and our ministry to be an example.”
The men in Building 429 recognize that they not only minister through their music, but also through their everyday lives.
“From our name to our show to our record, you’re going to continually be inundated with the message of Christ,” says Paul. “We are honestly going to give all we can to build others up in Christ. That means going the extra mile in the studio, going the extra mile on tour, even going the extra mile in the check-out line at Walmart. We’re going to screw up sometimes and we know it, but we are going to live what we believe every step of the way.”
“We’re just a bunch of average guys from North Carolina,” Michael reiterates. “But God has chosen to use us and that blows us away! We are living proof that you are never so small God doesn’t see you in the place you’re in… You are not so small that you cannot make a difference… You are not so small that God has overlooked you. God sees you and loves you where you are.”
“This ride we’re on has been pretty exciting…and we’re only at the beginning!” concludes Jason. “Building 429 has made it over the first hill of the roller coaster and we’re gearing up to hit the big hill with all we’ve got!”