You’re a brand new artist in the Come&Live! Community. Can you introduce yourself to us and tell us what you do?
My name is Alex and I’m from Brazil. I play guitar in a band called Medulla, and I’m also the guitarist in another band, Life to Live. I used to be Medulla’s tour manager and we’ve been friends for a long time - which is really important. Four years ago, they invited me to play two shows with them because their guitarist had left the band. So, I did the shows and I was like, “Let's do more!” After that, I started playing with them more and more, and then I became a member of the band.
What’s it like being a Christian and playing in a secular band?
It’s not easy. That’s the first thing that comes to my mind. It’s not easy. For a long time, I was ashamed of who I really was and what I believed, so I was always quiet about how I felt. But in the last three or four years, I’ve begun to speak out and share about Jesus. It’s funny because right now in the scene, I’m not the guy they talk about like, “Oh, I know Alex, the guitar player that plays like this.” Instead, they say, “I know Alex - he’s the guitarist from Medulla who’s also a Christian.” People really respect that. I’ve been touring with bands that do drugs and everything, and they try not to do them in front of me, but at the same time, they know I will still be friends with them - that I don’t judge them - and we have talks all the time about this.
What do you think is the most challenging aspect of being a follower of Jesus and playing in the secular scene?
For me, the biggest challenge is that I now understand why my friends do drugs and why they commit suicide. It’s just like what Jesus did: when you start to walk with these people, you understand them and learn how to communicate with them. I suffer from the same things they are suffering from. When you’re on tour, and there are a lot of people that come to talk to you, it gets hard. In Brazil, Medulla fans like to go deeper and talk about political stuff and gender issues and all these really hard questions. They even want to talk about religion.
When you’re not getting much sleep on tour, and you’re having these conversations all the time, it’s hard to turn off. I struggle with this. I was just telling Chad [founder of Come&Live!] that it would be good to have someone who I can just talk to after the shows and say, “Hey, this is happening right now. Can you pray for me, or can we pray together?” I understand why people do so many stupid things. The difference between us, though, is I can lean on God who helps me through and the next morning, I’m ready for another day.
The people I talk to never have a next morning. They go days without sleeping just because of drugs. Then when they go back home, it’s horrible because they have families and stuff. This is the biggest challenge for me. I understand why they live like this and I find ways to show them that I deal with the same things. But it’s Jesus who really helps me to stay strong and He gives me the ability to answer all the questions people ask.
Do you think your individual ministry is more to the crowds you play for, or your bandmates and those you’re on tour with?
I think it’s both, actually. I’m the kind of musician that doesn't just play and then go off on his own. I like to do things before and after the show, so I go out and talk to people in the crowd a lot. But last year, I felt like it was more about the connections with the bands. 2017 was a very good year because a lot of really big artists in Brazil came to me and said, “I heard that you go to this place [church] and you work with this organization [Steiger/Come&Live!] and I’m going through a lot of things. Can we talk?” That happened so much last year. Bands just came to me and they wanted to talk. I would say most of the time, my ministry is to bands and artists, but I feel called to both them and the fans.
How do you use your platform to share the Gospel? Are you only able to do this after the shows when you’re talking with people, or do you preach from stage, as well?
This is what happened with Medulla: the two frontmen are twins and they used to be worship leaders in church. Then they had a problem with the church, but still called themselves Christians, and we still wrote lyrics based on what we believe. Most of the time, we write about Jesus, you know? That’s why other artists and people in the crowd come up to us so much, asking if we’re a Christian band. The answer to that question is always no, but everyone in the band says they are Christian.
I preach the Gospel from stage. I started doing this after I came back from tour with NLM (No Longer Music) last summer. Just yesterday, I had a talk with one of the guys in Medulla and he said, “We have a big show coming up. What should we do?” I said, “We should keep sharing from stage!” and he agreed but asked if I wanted to do it or if I wanted him to. He’s the frontman, so I said, “Man, if you want to do it, I would be happy.” He started preaching in January when we were on the NLM tour in Brazil. It was a life-changing tour.
Last month, I interviewed Ben Pierce from No Longer Music about their tour with you guys in Brazil. Tell us about what God did through it.
I was actually playing guitar for Medulla AND No Longer Music on that tour. I was playing two shows a night. It was amazing. The guys from Medulla were really touched by the NLM show from the first night. Every single day and every single prayer time, they were praying and crying, and it was such a genuine change that was happening in their lives. I think it was the fourth show, during our last song, one of the twins said to the crowd, “I want you to hear something. I want you to listen to our friends. They’ve been changing our lives every day. I want to invite them to come up here and talk to you.” So Kippy [Isaac Hurst, NLM drummer] went up to translate for Valery [Steiger Ukraine leader who was on the tour] and they preached the Gospel. The day after that, the frontmen of Medulla were preaching from the stage. It was amazing.
Did the twins in Medulla rededicate their lives to Jesus during that tour?
Yeah, they did! It was something that was so genuine. During the last show, they asked me, “How are we going to do this? We want to keep doing this at our shows. We want to be like this, like No Longer Music.” I was like, “We just have to invite the Holy Spirit to be with us all the time.” They’re really excited, and I’m working with David, Ben and Luke to bring the guys to Revolutionary Week during the Steiger Missions School (SMS) in Germany this summer. Maybe we’ll do some shows with NLM in Europe and some shows in Europe by ourselves. But my goal, my hope, is that they all go to the SMS. I don’t know if it will be possible, but we will work on it.
How can we, as a community be praying for you and praying for the bands you’re involved in?
First, pray for all the guys that are involved in both my bands, that they will all give their lives to Jesus at the right time, and that they would all be involved in Come&Live! I became a Come&Live! artist just as Alex, myself, but I feel like in September/October, Medulla could become a Come&Live! artist. So pray for that! Pray for our tours that we are planning in Brazil and Europe this year. Also pray for when NLM comes back to tour in Brazil. We are planning to film a DVD and I want it to be so much more than just music.