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Interview with Dustin Kensrue (of Mars Hill Music) + CD Giveaway

Interview with Dustin Kensrue (of Mars Hill Music) + CD Giveaway

By Admin on November 06, 2013

We recently had the opportunity to interview Dustin Kensrue of Mars Hill Music.

All About Worship: Thanks Dustin for taking some time to sit down and answer some questions for our readers. This album (The Water & The Blood) is your first release on Mars Hill Music and your first worship album.  How did you come to do a worship album?

I was bothered by a lot of what I saw in corporate worship music. Much of it housed poor and harmful theology in cheesy and tired artistry. But my heart was proud and bitter and I did not lift a finger to help fix what I saw was broken. God changed my heart in this and gave me a desire to dig in and write the songs I wanted to sing and to work to bring about change in the worship music culture. I ended up helping to plant Mars Hill Orange County, and then moved to Bellevue to lead worship at the Mars Hill there and take a leadership role over Mars Hill Music. (more info)

All About Worship: How did being a worship leader affect the songwriting process and what songs you chose to include on this album?

I think this is great question. At Mars Hill Music, we want everything we do to be coming out of the local church setting, and to be focused on pouring back into the local church as well. Touring is a very different situation serving week in and out in a local church, and it definitely gives you a sense of the people you are writing for and guides the way you craft songs. I feel like I am still learning a ton in this area and have a long way to go.

All About Worship: Can you tell us about the song “Suffering Servant”? What is the story behind the song?

The song is based on Isaiah 52:13-53:12. It's one of the most comprehensive descriptions of the atonement of Jesus, written prophetically over 700 years before he was born. The song is basically just rearranged scripture, encompassing pretty much that entire chunk of Isaiah, and does not pull even titles from anywhere else. (more info)

All About Worship: How do you see the trends of worship music evolving over the last few years?  Do you see Mars Hill Music leading some of the trends and changes?

We are just getting started so I'm not sure how much effect of our efforts could be observed at this point. I also am not the best person to ask about worship music's evolution since I don't listen to pretty much any. I think Stuart Townend is a great songwriter and am thankful for his work, and the chance to get to co-write with him for “Rejoice”. 

All About Worship: You are the lead singer of the rock band Thrice – how do go from writing songs with a “fan” in mind to a “congregation”?

The main difference is that I write Thrice songs to sound good, pushing my range to its limits, layering meanings, etc. I write corporate worship music to be able to be sung by a congregation of people, consistent in meter, reserved in range but emotive in melody, and clear but compelling lyrically.

All About Worship: What is the takeaway from this album for the listener?  What is your hope and goal for the listener to walk away with after listening to this album?

I want people to experience the love of Christ in his saving work for ill-deserving sinners, and to see that He is their only satisfaction. I hope the record is a blast to listen to and sing along with so that those truths will be heard and reinforced over and over again. 

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