TCB Exclusive: Randall Goodgame Talks “Slugs & Bugs”

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The fifth installment in acclaimed singer/songwriter Randall Goodgame’s immensely popular Slugs & Bugs series, Sing the Bible, Volume 2 was produced by Ben Shive (Rend Collective, MercyMe) and is the second release to feature word-for-word Scripture songs. Throughout the album’s 14 tracks,Sing the Bible, Volume 2incorporates 43 Scripture verses from 12 Books of the Bible, taking listeners on a journey through celebration, struggle and repentance, culminating in forgiveness. A singer and sought-after songwriter, Goodgame has penned selections for Caedmon’s Call, VeggieTales, Jason Gray and Ginny Owens, among others. Along with award-winning singer/songwriter Andrew Peterson, Goodgame created Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies in 2007 to an overwhelming response from parents. His popular Slugs & Bugs LIVE concert for families makes numerous tour stops across the U.S. and the U.K. each year. Goodgame recently shared with us some insight into the series and previewed the new release.

How did the idea for Slugs & Bugs come about? 
I made the first Slugs & Bugs CD before there ever was an official S&B. My buddy Andrew Peterson and I made a record of kids songs, and we called it Slugs & Bugs & Lullabies because it was a mix of silly songs and lullabies. The words “Slugs & Bugs” came from a song lyric. VeggieTales got hold of the CD and asked us to start writing silly songs for them. That experience helped me realize how much I enjoyed the challenge of making something for the whole family. Not just for kids, and not just for parents. I call it the PIXAR challenge. With humor and world-class storytelling and animation, PIXAR brings the height of excellence to family movies. Slugs & Bugs provides the same challenge for me with music, with the additional challenge of illuminating the Gospel. 

What is your main hope and purpose for the Slugs & Bugs projects?
To Gospel-influence the family culture. We use humor, music and artistry to help families grow more joyful, more patient with themselves and with each other, and more convinced of the love of Jesus. Families that really grasp the Gospel can change the world!

You just recently released Sing The Bible Volume 2.” Tell us a little bit more about the process that goes into creating a Slugs & Bugs album.
It starts with a whole lot of thinking and praying and writing. I need a fairly clear vision before I jump in the studio. We start with my batch of songs – for the last three CDs, Ben Shive has been the producer – and talk about what we want it to sound like. Then we call some of Nashville’s finest musicians and get them on the schedule. Thankfully, a lot of them are our friends!  

What are some of the main themes off of Sing The Bible Vol. 2?
The theme for Volume 2 is “A Musical Handbook for the Christian Home,” and that means two things. First, the songs are rich in practical instruction for Christians, specifically about how to act in the world… (Do not worry; value others; honor your parents; give generously; don’t grumble, etc.) Second, the songs are chock full of bedrock truths of the Christian faith. (It is by grace you have been saved, through faith; The Lord is the everlasting God; You are the light of the world; by His wounds we are healed, etc.). By combining practical instruction with bedrock truths, the CD can be a profound tool for families desiring to grow in faith together.

How have you seen lives impacted through Slugs & Bugs?
Often I find out what the Lord is doing through Slugs & Bugs at our live concerts. Parents will share stories about questions their kids ask after listening to the music, or how a song helped a child be more forgiving or less selfish. Other times I’ll receive notes on Facebook or through email. Sometimes they are cute, like funny lyrics that have turned into a running family joke, but more often they are deep and sweet. I recently heard how an atheist nanny was brought to tears hearing a child sing “We Are God’s Masterpiece,” or about a little boy who came to Christ after a concert. There are so many stories and I’m so grateful to hear all I can.

I see that your wife and children are also involved with Slugs & Bugs. Tell us a little bit more about how Slugs & Bugs has impacted your family and also more about their involvement.
That’s a huge question. Of course, it has been a big blessing just providing for our food and shelter and toilet paper, but it has also been such a sweet way for me to connect with my kids over the years. They’ve all come out on tours with me, and my daughter even did virtual school for a season so she could tour with me full time. It took us to England and Wales last year, and this summer the whole family will visit Northern Ireland because of Slugs & Bugs. When they are not in school they all pitch in, setting up the stage, helping sell CDs or singing and leading hand motions during the concert. Also, because of Slugs & Bugs concerts, they have heard me articulate the Gospel so many times. I don’t worry that they’ll leave the home and not understand the depth of God’s love for them. My wife is an excellent singer and has performed on many of the S&B albums, but on this latest CD I got to showcase her more hidden talents. She is very funny playing a self-centered Shark-bug reporter alongside Andrew Peterson’s Chauncey the Raccoon on a song from 2 Corinthians.

What has been the most rewarding part of doing Slugs & Bugs?
It is hard to pick, honestly. Getting to have fun and be silly while also using my musical gifts and teaching about the Gospel seems almost too good to be true. But I guess the most rewarding thing is seeing and hearing about the impact on the families who listen to the music.

What can fans expect to see and hear at a Slugs & Bugs live event?
It’s so much fun! I switch around on at least four different instruments, there are animated videos playing behind me and there’s tons of interactivity. A bunny gets lost and then found again, and parents and kids interact and build memories — both silly and sincere. They hear about God’s endless love for them and what Jesus did for them. Families leave with a fresh sense of the completeness of the work of Christ and the reminder that Jesus is with them in the midst of everything… even the really silly stuff.

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