You may have heard their powerful new single on the radio recently- Chasen’s song “On And On” is a stirring anthem apparently penned in just two hours. Frontman, Chasen Callahan, was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina and had a gift that was honed during nearly a decade as a worship pastor. He built a following one person at a time, playing youth camps and conferences. Each summer, he’d recruit students to play alongside him, but each fall Callahan’s makeshift band would inevitably head back to school while the demand for his unique brand of worship continued to grow. Enter: Evan Silver and Aaron Lord. With a full-time band in place, Chasen began recording and selling their music and a career grew naturally as Callahan did what God had asked of him. Bassist Jared Barber joined the threesome in May 2009 to round out their sound.
Through it all, Callahan continued to lead worship for his home congregation, Marathon Church, which attracted about 5,000 each Sunday. “I was content to lead worship on Sunday mornings,” Callahan says, “but I felt God saying, ‘I want you to get beyond these four walls and reach people for me.’” Chasen experienced solid radio success with two songs, “Crazy/Beautiful” and “Drown.”
There were others who helped along the way as well. Fellow artist and Greenville native Edwin McCain is a good friend – “he helped me get started when it came to labels” – and there’s a growing music scene nearby that includes acts like Needtobreathe. Other inspiration came from outside of South Carolina. Callahan looked to Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman as an example of lyrical excellence and David Crowder’s worship leading style and personal approach made a mark as well. Then there’s Hillsong, the Australian church and worship powerhouse. The draw was so strong that Callahan almost headed Down Under for college to experience the movement close-up. Instead, he took online courses from Berklee College, devoting himself to studying melody among other things.
All of this preparation led Callahan and the band that bears his name to where they are today: on the eve of their major label debut, That Was Then This Is Now.
Many of the tracks have a very personal story behind them. A talented songwriter himself (having penned tunes with Stellar Kart and Addison Road), Callahan teamed up with some other great writers on this album. One song, in particular, called “On and On” really hits home for a lot of people, and Chasen gave us his thoughts on it: “The nation was reacting to the recession and weighty political issues as well as all the negativity in the media,” he recalls. “We’d lost that joy, but when all else fails, God’s love never does. I serve a God that is much bigger than the economy or who our president is. His grace goes on forever so I’m not going to worry about tomorrow.”
The band gave us an update from the studio while recording their new album “That Was Then, This Is Now,” so check it out below! They’re currently on the road with The Afters and Jeremy Camp on the “Speaking Louder Than Before” Tour. Click here to see if they’re coming to your town.
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Watch their music video for “Always” below, and check out more music, tour dates, and videos from the band at building429.com