Getting Lost In Worship With Fusebox

 

By Bobby Morris

 

   

 

Bill Buchanan, Brad Duncan, and Steve Conrad have joined creative forces to generate an electric and compelling musical experience called Fusebox.  Their debut album “Lost In Worship” was released February 26, 2002.  However, this group and the inspiring music it has produced almost didn’t happen. 

 

The members of the group Fusebox also make up the band for Grammy award-winning Christian artist Rebecca St. James.  Bill Buchanan is the most recent to join the group.  Just over a year ago, St. James guitarist Brad Duncan called Buchanan with news that Rebecca’s band needed another guitar player.  At first Bill turned the offer down.  However, after some additional consideration, Buchanan decided to accept.  Almost immediately, the threesome began work on their own musical project with the support and encouragement of St. James.  The result is the group Fusebox and the album “Lost In Worship.”  What almost didn’t happen found a way, and what a result!  Fusebox front man Bill Buchanan sees it all as the ongoing work of God in his life.

 

There was a time when Bill Buchanan had good reason to question God’s presence in his life.  He grew up in Ohio, but had lived in eight different homes by the time he graduated from high school.  His father was abusive and had difficulty holding a job, which created rent problems and kept the family on the move.  When Bill was eleven, his parents divorced.

 

Bill recalls being exposed to many peer pressures and temptations in high school, such as alcohol, drugs, and sexual promiscuity.  Although Bill managed to avoid drugs, he was not as successful resisting other temptations, especially without a full-time father to guide him in the right direction.  However, no matter what each week brought, Bill’s mother made sure he was in church every Sunday.  Looking back on those difficult times now, Bill realizes that even then, God’s hand was on him and beginning to guide and shape his life.

 

“By the age of ten, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life: I wanted to sing.”  Bill was exposed to a wide variety of music as he grew up.  But it was the music he used to hear at his grandma's house that truly changed his life. She would listen to gospel greats like Andrae Crouch, Mahalia Jackson, and James Cleveland. “There was such a conviction in what they were saying, but I wouldn't come to fully understand it until years later.”  

 

After high school, Bill attended Cleveland State University for a year, then moved to Atlanta, Georgia in February of 1989.  He enrolled in the Atlanta Institute of Music, and studied bass and guitar. During this time, he joined a band called Skindeep, serving as the bassist and main songwriter. Skindeep was together from April '89 to March '94, and became one of the biggest local bands inAtlanta, performing with such acts as Extreme and Van Halen.  Although it was exciting to be a part of Skindeep, something was not quite right.  Bill recalls, “Something was missing in my life.”  One night after a show, while sitting alone in his apartment, Bill realized that it had been a very long time since he had been to church or even opened a Bible.  He realized that the part of his life that was missing was God.

 

It was at that point that Bill began to focus on making God an integral part of his life.  It was during this time of searching that Bill would meet his future wife, Heather.  In 1994, Bill left Skindeep and took a year off to write and grow in his faith.  He did not do this in order to find a pot of gold at the end of some rainbow.  “Following the Lord doesn’t mean you’ll be rich, but it does mean you’ll be at peace, and there’s no better life.”  The world tells us that happiness comes from money and possessions.  However, based on his experience, Bill says, “Don’t fall for those lies.  Nothing satisfies without God.”

 

Part of Bill’s faith journey has been for him to get more involved with young people through concerts, church activities, and other functions.  The main thing Bill tries to communicate to people he meets is the importance of focusing on God.  For example, young people often feel intense pressure to follow the crowd and try to please their peers by any means necessary.  Everyone wants to fit in.  This is a natural way to feel.  However, when we think of how our actions will look to someone else, our first consideration should be God.  “As you get older, the Lord helps you understand who you are in His eyes – that you are somebody and you don’t have to fit in.  You might not fit it, but so what?  The Lord loves you for who you are and wants to have a relationship with you and walk with you.”

One thing that Bill has learned over the years is that no one is perfect.  Just because you are a Christian does not mean that you do not have any problems.  Bill and Heather have been married for eleven years now.  They have two children named Troi and Sydney.  However, their time together has not been without troubles.  Thinking of their first years together when he had left Skindeep and was rearranging his life, Bill recalls, “Heather tolerated so much of my nonsense back then.  She was, and still is God's greatest gift to me.  She prayed for me continually.  It worked.”   From this experience, Bill offers that being a Christian is a walk, a process.  It is not something that you get exactly right over night.  You work at it with God’s help and guidance, and you make mistakes, but you still work at it.

 

Fusebox plans to continue touring with Rebecca St. James for another year, after which they will strike out on their own as an independent group.  As Bill considers the future years of the group, he comments, “To look back over the last ten years and see what God has done to change me, I have no choice but to worship and give Him thanks.”

 

This sentiment is shared by Brad and Steve who join Bill in saying about the new album, “Through music we desire to worship God genuinely and to bring others into a sincere worship experience.  Our prayer is that this experience would translate into a daily surrendering toward Jesus, and that worship would not be just an event, but a lifestyle.”  


 

 

Experience something of this prayer is the RealAudio sound clip below from the debut release of Fusebox, Lost in Worship:

 

 

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