Popular Christian-rock singer-songwriter Jeremy Camp released Reckless, his latest album, last week. The album coincides with the launch of the Rock & Worship Road Show, an annual multi-act contemporary Christian music tour.
Camp gets second billing behind MercyMe, the praise and worship band that’s sold more than six million CDs and DVDs, released Christian and mainstream radio hits and made many high-profile TV appearances.
“The great thing about it is this thing’s been going for five years now,” Camp said last week from snowy Madison, Wis., first stop on the Rock & Worship Road Show tour.
“People know now that this is a great night, with different styles of music and lots of musicians who all have the same heart to minister. If you like music, you’re going to like something that happens in the night.”
With nine acts on the Rock & Worship Road Show roster, Camp, despite being a major star of the genre, gets just 35 minutes on stage. That means he can perform only a six-song set.
“I want people to hear the new record,” he said. “For me it’s important to say, ‘Hey, this is what’s going on, these are a lot of the new songs and some of the old songs. Being able to share my heart and songs and my new songs, too, with 10,000 to 15,000 a night, it’s very exciting.”
“Reckless,” Camp’s title song for his new album, was among the first compositions he wrote for the project. It helped set the album’s tone.
“The song, ‘Reckless,’ and the theme of the record, says, ‘All right, God. I want to really understand what it means to live my life for you. It’s not like my other records aren’t passionate. I’m passionate about every record I do, but there’s something about this record that says, ‘OK, the Lord’s doing something to Jeremy’s heart.’ ”
A native of Lafayette, Ind., the 35-year-old Camp learned to play guitar from his father, a pastor. Camp’s musical influences also include such secular rock acts as U2 and Creed and Christian-rock band Jars of Clay.
The latter influences are still evident in Camp’s music.
“I definitely have that pop-rock feel, but, without going overboard, I try to put as much variety and creativity as possible in the music,” Camp said. “It’s like, ‘Hey, this is what came out, this is my heart behind it.’ ”
Camp had opportunities to be a mainstream performer and even did a showcase for a major label. He ultimately decided to do Christian music.
“I’m not going to compromise,” he said. “I’m going to keep sharing what I’m sharing. And I’m bold in what I say, so that doesn’t really work in a mainstream market. I’m going to keep talking about Jesus. That’s what it’s all about.”