For more than a decade as the frontman for Memphis May Fire, Matty Mullins is no stranger to the industry. He has been able to share his faith-based positivity with large secular crowds all over the world. He has previously released two CCM-based projects Matty Mullins (2014) and Unstoppable (2017) with much success on both projects. Now today, on this Good Friday, Mullins shares a brand new solo song. “Show You The Cross” is available now to download and stream. In this TCB Exclusive, Mullins shares the heart behind this timely new Easter track. He also opens up about the impactful music video shoot and his hope for the song.
Congratulations on the release of your new single titled “Show You The Cross!” Do you remember when you first had the vision for this track?
It probably wasn’t quite a year ago, but I got together with my buddies Bryan Fowler, Mark Alan, and Micah Kuiper. We were all sitting down and talking about some recent events in the Christian community and trying to wrap our heads around the fact that as soon as you become a believer, you have this newfound understanding of life and mission in life. God wants us to go out and be ministers, but at the same time it is so hard when you are in conversation with someone who has walked away from their faith because they’ve been hurt by someone in church, or you meet someone who has never been in the faith. You want to have all the right things to say, and you want to be able to share you personal experience with God with this person, and you want to use inspirational quotes and big grand statements that will translate as real. But ultimately for anyone to experience Jesus, they need to experience Him on their own and in their own way. That weight and burden that we carry as Christians and human beings that we always have to have the right thing to say in the right moment to lead someone to salvation. God is so much bigger than that, and the Gospel, the cross, is so profound in the simplicity.
You will be releasing the single on Good Friday. Does that hold added significance to you?
Just with the message of this song, we had entered conversations with the label that it was perfect for the song to come out around Easter. It is so heavily focused on the cross, so that’s good for the timeline of the release, but also a real reminder of what Easter, and Good Friday, is really about.
Can you take us back to the day you recorded the music video “Show You The Cross.” Is there a moment during the process that stood out to you most?
Yeah – I mean it’s always crazy being part of a song that you feel like is so much bigger than you. I’m in a band full time, and a lot of the songs we write, and when we get to the end we think it’s going to be great, but getting to the end of songs I write for my solo project, I often feel like I’m not the one that wrote it. God wrote it through me, as if it is a gift that God is entrusting me to take to other people. Recording that music video and singing along with the song, and being there with one of my favorite people in the world, Tim Brown, who shot the music video, there were moments where we both just had goosebumps. There is something so special and so powerful about the message this song is going to bring to the world. I think that he and I just felt we were blessed and lucky to be a part of this. God doesn’t need our help in telling His story, but He allows us to be a part of telling His story. Shooting that music video that day, I think we could both feel that.
Success can mean many things to different people and situations. Have you thought about what success looks like to you for this single?
The thing about this project that I feel really fortunate about is that I’m not a starving artist. A lot of people, especially when it comes to a music career, have one make-it-or-break-it / do-or-die mentality. The ‘I love this song and message, but I need it to go to #1, so I can feed my family’ idea. I’ve been blessed to have a music career outside of this project, with the band I’m in for the last fifteen years, and that really frees me up mentally and spiritually to be 100% focused on what I want for the projects – which is to bless people. Christian radio has always been foundational in my life. I’ll go out and play heavy metal, travel all over the world, and I always come back to Christian radio and the message that it brings – the constant reminder that God is there with us, and wants what is best for us. For me, with this project, success is being able to, having been blessed by Christian radio my whole life, take a song and give it to Christian radio and the listeners, in the hopes that they will be blessed in the same way that I have been. So if it’s one person that hears the song while they’re driving down the road and it impacts their life, or if it’s one million people, it’s all the same to me. The success of this project is the voice of God being heard through this song.
The lyrics of this song are open with how faith plays a role in your life and music. How do you think your faith plays a role in how you engage with others through your interactions and music?
I think a listener can always hear authenticity in a song. And I know that because I’ve written a lot of songs in my life that were not authentic. And I think that’s okay too, you need to write, sometimes, from someone else’s perspective. But I just don’t think it ever comes across quite the same if it’s not something that you’ve experienced yourself. So having this song be so close to him for not only myself, but also for the other guys I wrote this song with, I just feel like you can hear it in the song. This is something that I’m not only singing about, but it’s something that I’m living.
Who, or what, are some of your biggest inspirations, spiritually and musically?
Spiritually, my wife and I moved to Nashville from Seattle seven years ago, and as soon as I arrived in Nashville, it seemed like God started placing men in my life that I could look up to, that I could reach out to, and be honest and authentic with. It is a community unlike anything I’ve ever had. There’s a handful of guys here that I would just not be the same without, guys that just really poured into me, and allowed me to grow in my own pace while being apart of their lives and seeing how they interact with their children, marriages, and friendships. So that’s been a huge impact for me. I’ll say just one name because he deserves it, Davy Baysinger, who used to sing in a band called Bleach. When we got here, he had a men’s bible study specifically for men that were touring because it is really hard when you are on tour to come back to your home church, and feel like you fit right in. There are people that just don’t quite understand your lifestyle and why you are not always around because I travel full-time. So for him to invite me into that space, and for the other guys to welcome me with open arms, and allow me to share my heart in a real way, has been a huge inspiration for me spiritually.
Musically, I would say I grew up on a lot of the same stuff your listeners grew up on – DC talk, Audio Adrenaline, MercyMe. On the more punk rock side it was Relient K and MxPx. I grew up going to festivals like Jesus Northwest and CreationFest. The first band that I ever saw in real life was Jars of Clay headlining a festival. So all of those bands have been a big part in my influence, and still are to this day.
2020 was a year full of emotions for everyone. Can you share, especially being in the music industry, how you were able to keep yourself as balanced about everything as possible?
My wife and I had extreme highs and lows throughout the year, just like it seems like everyone else did. I was fortunate to be working on new music during that time. The band had planned to take some time off to make a new record, but obviously not this much time off. It’s been over a year since we’ve played a show. But it did give us this opportunity, even with my solo stuff, to really focus on writing music that is great and the best possible that we can write. There is something about taking forced time off tour to make a record, but you then see other artists and bands out on the road, and you feel guilty. It’s a whole other thing when you know no one is on tour, no one can play music, and all we can do is write music that is best we can make. Now, more than ever, music is being consumed at a rapid rate, and music is needed more than ever, and so it really is time for artists to step up to the plate and make music that can create a long-lasting impact.
What are you most expectant for in 2021?
If I knew, I would ease a lot of people’s pain. I don’t know though; we have festivals booked in the summer that aren’t cancelled yet. I just don’t know that I believe it yet. I know for sure that I’ll be putting out this song, “Show You The Cross,” and I cannot wait to see the impact that it has. So if nothing else, we’re going to put music out and let God use it however He wants to use it. That will be enough for us this year.