Every building block leading up to who Building 429 is today has prepared them for such a time as this. The many valleys and mountaintops they’ve faced together have molded them-breaking them, making them, and priming them for what looks to be their most rewarding period yet.
In a way, Building 429 acts as a culmination and a beginning for the trio, a stepping stone in a faith journey through the highs and lows of life on the road and the busyness of music, to a place of solace and contentment in who God wants them to be.
If anything, Building 429’s eponymous INO Records debut is a testament that the band is ready to go to the next level-spiritually, musically, and otherwise. You could say they’re starting over: with a clean slate, a reinvigorated sound, and a renewed message.
Not that they haven’t already reached exciting plateaus in their past 10 years together. Having played 200 shows a year as an independent endeavor, Building 429 burst onto the scene in 2004 with their first project on a major label, Space in Between Us. The album’s breakout single, “Glory Defined,” was a record-breaker at radio, a chart-topper that earned the band a wide mantle of accolades and industry recognition. Topping eight separate charts and declared as BMI’s Song of the Year, the band went on to capture the Dove Award for New Artist of the Year. Jason Roy (lead vocalist), Michael Anderson (drums), and Jesse Garcia (keys, lead guitarist, background vocalist) moved forward to release the next two of their studio efforts, 2006’s Rise, and 2007’s Iris to Iris, which were received favorably, making significant appearances on Billboard’s Christian charts and heavily impacting Christian radio.
“This record feels like the beginning of a new season in our career,” says Jason Roy, Building 429’s front man and chief songwriter. “Having recently departed from Word Records, it felt like we are starting everything over for the first time. You don’t always get that opportunity, so it felt like this was the time to do a self-titled record. We understand a little bit more about who we are and what we’re trying to do.”
It was during this new season that Building 429 came in contact with INO Records. Roy recalls vividly the first meeting he had with label president Jeff Moseley. Having been a part of Christian music’s major-label system for three albums, the bandleader wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but the occasion was an eye-opener: Roy knew this is where his band belonged.
“Jeff said to me,” Roy recalls, ‘People aren’t looking for hooky, poppy songs anymore. They’re looking for life. And life can only come out of an overflow of your relationship with Christ.’ ”
“Jeff looked at me and said, ‘Son, you’re about to make a new record. You’re writing songs. You’d better be in the Word,’ ” Roy reminisces. “When he said that, a trigger went off and I said, ‘This is the guy we’re working with, no question.’”
With the INO partnership and a refocused sense of ministry firmly in place, Roy, Anderson and Garcia set out to record Building 429 alongside producer Christopher Stevens, whose recent projects include tobyMac and Sanctus Real.
The band’s new-found methodology is at the forefront of “Overcome,” a no-nonsense power rocker that declares Christ’s triumph over this world-a victory that frees up believers to worship, while allowing them to face up to any challenges life may throw their way.
“Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world,” says Garcia, with resolve when talking about the song, using a quote from 1 John 4:4. “Our Savior has overcome that world and there is nothing for us to fear.”
One of the more buoyant songs Building 429 has ever recorded, is the album’s first single “End of Me.” “All I longed for I found finally, at the end of me,” Roy sings in the chorus, reminding the listener that true fulfillment in life is found in surrendering control to Christ.
“God has continued to work in a real powerful way teaching us to step aside and allow Him to do what He wants to do,” says Roy in regards to the song. “It is my constant reminder these days to live my life by God’s design. It always amazes me how God works through us. Earlier this year my wife and I traveled to Nicaragua with World Vision, and that trip has become a cornerstone in how we watch God move. When we talk about World Vision at our concerts each night, it continues to blow our minds to see the power of God move in people as they respond by sponsoring thousands of children. Once again, a humbling reminder of what He can do through us.”
Building 429 doesn’t just excel at the high-wattage performances. They also have a knack for nuance, as with the heartfelt “Always,” a soaring ballad underscored by piano, guitars, and strings. It doesn’t take long for the song to crescendo and explode into a powerful refrain, with Roy reaching into his upper register.
“Everybody at some point reaches a defining moment in their faith life, a moment with massive questions that we don’t have the answers to, questions you can’t ever really tie a bow around,” Roy says. “‘Always’ is my attempt to answer those questions. God has said that He is before us, He is after us, and He will be with us along every step of the way. All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord. This life is just one piece of the puzzle.”
Realizing that levity and melody are also an integral part of rock ‘n’ roll, Building 429 stretches its wings and goes places once unvisited with “Shoulder,” a bluesy piece that Roy likens to Train’s “Drops of Jupiter.” From top to bottom, the song is a pick-me-up-one of those moments that have become signature in the band’s repertoire.
“Staying alone is definitely not our strength,” Roy says of “Shoulder,” a song inspired by his friendship with Anderson and Garcia. “We’re kind of a brotherhood of sorts. We’ve been through a lot of stuff together. The reality for us is that as long as we stay together, God will continue to mold us for the challenges ahead.”
Of this more lighthearted material, Anderson says, “For a while, our live show was pretty dense and serious. What we’ve realized is that we need those worshipful moments, but we also need moments in our show to let the audience have a little fun.”
But somber or jovial, rocking or inspiring, Building 429 is no longer operating from the perspective of trying to replicate past fortunes. More so than the music or the sound of things, the band wants fans to remember Building 429 as its most meaningful project thus far, a signpost that testifies to how much the group has come along in its ministry.
“I’m more confident than I have ever been in my life when it comes to my calling, when it comes to my brothers, when it comes to my band,” Roy concludes. “That confidence is not in myself. That confidence is in the fact that the Lord is going to do something great with us. We’re just excited to be along for the ride.”