Ask Jeff Takes Off; Win a Pre-Release of The Struggle; “Losing” Chart Results, POTW, and more!

Hi everyone! We have our weekly poll of the week on Thursday this week, not Wednesday – be sure to view results from two weeks ago below, and vote in this week’s poll:

Which is your favorite Tenth Avenue North tour partner?

Casting Crowns – 57%
Third Day – 36%
Audrey Assad – 7% 

What is your favorite feature of the new Tenth Avenue North website?

  • Ask Jeff (47%, 9 Votes)
  • The New Pages (32%, 6 Votes)
  • The Cleaner Look (21%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 19

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If you missed our previous update, we’re taking your letters, messages, and thank-you’s to Tenth Avenue North and compiling them into a book as a gift for the band! We’re delivering them on August 7, so all submissions must be in no later than midnight on July 20. The sooner, the better! Click the title below for more info.

New chartings for “Losing” have been posted! The song is #12 on Billboard Christian AC (+3 from last week), #4 on Billboard Christian CHR (+1 from last week), and #10 on Billboard National Christian (+0 from last week). Awesome!


Videos! Check out a few new concert recordings from this week:


Want to win a special pre-release of The Struggle? (That means you’ll get the album BEFORE anyone else!) Head over to Jesus Freak Hideout HERE and come up with a caption for their contest – the winning caption will be crowned the winner and will be given the pre-release free of charge!

As we announced when the new site opened a few days ago, Jeff has opened an account on Formspring set up to answer your questions. Your questions can be anonymous or you can log in, and Jeff will try to answer them when he gets a chance! Submit your question HERE and view his recent responses below:

(Click here to jump ahead of this section)

Q: What is your opinion of calvinism– that god chose us not we choose him and that jesus died for the elect not for the whole world?
A: I love this question. I’m sure whatever I say next will yield the most stimulating responses from people, but I’ll proceed as though it’s a conversation just between you and I.
The 5 points of Calvinism are quite lofty. Some points I have dwelt much longer on than others. Particularly the first point- Total depravity. I feel like this is the starting point for most conversations regarding salvation. My personal stance is that I agree with most of Mr. Calvin’s doctrine. But, I hold no aligience to Mr. Calvin himself. For the sake of keeping my fingers from cramping up on this little iPhone I’m typing on, I’ll condense my following points.
First off in regard to total depravity you have to consider what a corpse can do. If we were dead to our transgressions (Eph 2:1), if we are blind and incapable of seeing Christ (2 Cor 4:4-6), if we believe that no good dwells in us (Rom 7:18, Psalm 16:2), we are D-E-A-D. Spiritually Dead.
Lazarus didn’t revive himself. Election is the realization that we are indeed called like Lazarus. You can’t perform CPR on yourself if you die. So much so, you can’t perform spiritual CPR on soul by yourself. Jesus must call you out of the tomb.
I can continue for quite sometime on this subject, but your question was a cursory inquiry to the topic. Here’s a solid link to a full explanation to the issue:

God chose me. My heart is forever grateful for this fact.

Q: Do you like kpop?(: and how did you know your wife was “the one”?
A: I still don’t know what kpop is.
As far as my wife, we only dated for 2 1/2 months before we were engaged. While we dated I had a spirit of pursuing her unlike any I had had before. I wouldn’t take no for an answer and finally convinced her to go out with me. After that I couldn’t see life without her. I hadn’t met anyone else like her and I knew I didn’t need anymore time to learn that so I asked her to marry me.
As far as your reference to “the one.” I don’t believe that exists. I believe God had someone for me but ultimately that person isn’t going to replace God himself. We have some really really difficult days. If I believed in “the one” shouldn’t my ground be shaken on those days? I would begin to doubt and keep searching for the one. Marriage is a symbol toward a greater ending. Not the end itself.

Q: Was it hard growing up in the mid-west being Asian? From what I understand, the Asian population there is scarce compared to here on the west coast. Did you face a lot of prejudices because of your Korean background?
A: Growing up in Indiana, yes, there were not that many asians. Starting in middle school until about my senior year of high school I would get the occasional slander or comment in the hallways. As I got older the comments seemed to stop. I’m not sure if this is simply because people grow up and out of their youthful minds or people simply see more and more asians in their lifetime that they eventually get used to it. In either case, I think I always knew that people don’t get out much in the rural parts of the country. I also know without parents that lead them in a direction of racial acceptance or that their house was an overall place of teaching how to make peace, they were going to provoke what would easily make them feel better. I remember making fun of a kid named Ronny in 2nd grade because he was overweight and had a speach impediment. He seemed like an easy target for a little asian kid to make himself feel better. I eventually realized that just as much as I didn’t like getting made fun of, he must not like it either. So I stopped. I guess this realization must come later for some people…and others not at all.

Now that I’m older I realize that most of these prejudices stem from insecurity. I wanted to feel important and in a place of power so I called Ronny a fatso. The Lord helped me see that it brought him further down than it lifted me up. This prejudice can manifest itself in so many ways though! Why do some people exploit others financially? Why do some people talk bad about another behind their back? All in an attempt to exalt themselves I suppose…

Q: What is your favorite version of the Bible? you are awesome at guitar by the way!
A: Thanks!
I’ve always liked the NIV. I feel it’s more poetic than, say, the ESV which I mostly use for studying because of it’s “correct” translation. Honestly, use as a lexicon to look up the greek and hebrew words and gain insight.

Q: How often do you guys get celebrity spotted outside of each other?
A: Jason was recently spotted at the Coldplay concert in Philly. I got spotted at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter last month. It’s not that common, but always a great chance to meet friends!

Q: Hey man, sorry for asking so many questions but this is my last one for sure: Eventide Timefactor or Strymon Timeline?
A: Sorry but I’ve never tried the Timeline. The Timefactor has a clumsy computer program that lets you organize and save your presets that I really don’t care for, but as far as options, sound, and live application it’s awesome. Very easy 1,2 click to bring up saved presets. The internal user utility setup is complicated to set up preferences. I always have to keep my manual nearby. This is me going from a Boss DD-20 to the Eventide. The DD-20 was so straight forward and easy to use.

Q: Favorite Bible verse?
A: John 9:2-3
This verse is seriously challenging and puts everything I could ever doubt into perspective.

Q: Theoretically, if a fan (who was experienced at guitar) asked to play one song on stage with you guys. Would you say yes? :)
A: We recently discussed this. It’s not too crazy of an idea that would warrant an absolute “no.”
There’s a possibility.

Q: Two questions: What is your favorite Star Wars movie? The more serious question: there are a lot of difficult things in this life: miscarriages, eating disorders, cancer, etc. While there is future hope, how do you keep from despairing in the present?
A: Thank you for both excellent questions. The first one is easy: Star Wars VI Return of the Jedi.

The second, not so easy:
My first initial thought only comes to mind because last night I watched Lord of the Rings, the Two Towers. At two points in the movie I got pumped up. The first was when Sam and Frodo had a close call with a Nazgul. After Sam put himself between Frodo and the Nazgul, Frodo almost killed Sam in the heat of the moment. After traveling for so long only to be captured and held prisoner of the brother of someone they trusted and ultimately gave his life to protect them the following conversation happens:

“Frodo: I can’t do this, Sam.

Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.”

Mike has made me aware of a few things. One being a David Wilcox song which lyrics basically say: If someone wrote a play just to glorify something stronger than hate, would they not arrange the stage to look as if the hero came too late? The scene is set in shadows, for in this darkness love can show us the way.
It really puts this enormous picture into perspective. Once Adam and Eve’s eyes were opened we began the path of believing we know what’s best for us; That we are in charge of ourselves. God removed himself from the garden and so we are here on the earth seemingly alone. If God kept man aware of himself and we remained convenced that we can be a god like him but he kept hate and pain from making an appearance…how would we know we can’t do this on our own? If life were full of good things at all times, wouldn’t our trust be in those good things?
There’s where the two-fold story lies.
When we do get what we want, don’t we always want more? Isn’t there always some need for something greater? In our lows, we know we’re meant for more. In our highs, we feel the same way.
All this to say, as Switchfoot puts it: the shadow proves the sunshine.

So how do you keep from despairing in the present?

We have a song on this new record called Where Life Will Never Die. It’s based out of Hebrews 11. Faith is confidence that God is making us a city where life will never die. Moses considered disgrace better than all the wealth of Egypt because he was looking ahead to his reward. One day all that is wrong will be made right. This promise, this grand play that we are in will have an ending. That ending is eternal life where there will be no more tears, and no more pain. So know that God is ever present making himself known so that we may depend on Him until He comes.

The second place where I got pumped up in the movie was toward the end of The Two Towers. The Uruk-hai had overrun the castle and were breaking down the interior door to where the women and children were. King Theoden had reached a point of despair and said:

…So much death. What can men do against such reckless hate?

Aragorn replied with:

Ride out with me. Ride out to meet them.

Hope with me. The lyrics to How Great Thou Art often grace my mind. Particularly the last verse. It certainly stirs my soul.

When Christ shall come,
With shouts of acclamation,
And take me home,
What joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow
In humble adoration
And there proclaim,
“My God, how great Thou art!”

Q: Favorite pedals on your board?
A: This is a fun one…
My JHS Pulp’n Peel compressor has been a game changer in my tone. I love the sustain and almost smacky tone of a compressor, but find with those two things you often get an unwanted coloration to the guitar’s natural EQ. This compressor has a blend knob so you can really hit the compressor but also blend in the natural characteristics of your guitar. The best of both worlds.
Also, I have a Strymon Reverb pedal. It’s stereo and has a preset you can recall for a favorite setting. I used this on the Struggle album and the DSP is so phenomenal on the pedal it really sounded like we mic’d the room the amp was in.

Q: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
A: I don’t feel like this question is worth meriting with an answer, but rather, I’ll use is as an example of what not to ask on this forum.

Q: Who shot JR?
A: I’m unfamiliar with JR. Did someone photograph him, or murder him?

Q: Hi Jeff. Favorite thing to do when you’re not well doing anything related to music? (: P.S. I was wondering what happened to the song meaning stuff on the Tenth Avenue North’s music page? (:
A: Favorite thing to do that’s not related to music….
That’s a good one. Outside of spending time with my family, Ruben and I have been known to take a martial arts class and go to the shooting range together. Heather just got me a recurve bow and some arrows. I look forward to shooting those in my back yard.
As for the song meaning stuff on our music page…We’ll always keep Mike’s teaching journals on our YouTube page (more to come), and our website recently got a facelift. Look for more unique insights in the near future!

Q: Jeff Owen. I kinda got in trouble… no facebook for me… Do you have a fan email. Or I could just tell you mine… whatever works? Thanks, Cari – Or I can put it on here if you will show other guys?
A: Sorry to hear that. You can hit us up on Facebook. Also our first works too!

Q: Who is your favorite band? Or if you can’t choose… top three? (And you can’t say Tenth Avenue North :) )
A: As a collective I’d say we enjoy Coldplay, Adele, and the Jackson 5.

Q: why are you asian?
A: My mother is from South Korea.

Q: Why don’t you come to Tampa? haha
A: We’ll be there this fall!

Q: Will tenth avenue north ever play some older songs in the future captivate and god with us are my favorites
A: Sorry, probably not. Looking toward the future a little too much;)

Q: how many years ago did you join the band? And if I want to write you guys how do I do that. I have enjoyed your band for a couple of years now and I am 11! Will you please do a show in tucson?
A: I joined the band 5 years ago in november. Glad you like our music! Tucson… We’ll try to make it out there sometime soon:)

Q: hi, I have a question ;D who has painted the cover of your new album “the struggle”? i like it very much and it’s very well drawn
A: That would be the famous Rendbrandt.

Q: Do you like kpop?(: and how can a person actually know what God’s purpose is for them?
A: I’m unfamiliar with “kpop.” …as for a persons purpose in life…
Oswald Chambers once put it kinda like this- God doesn’t make his purpose known to you in a burning bush, so much as what you do in life becomes your purpose. You aren’t “called” to be a grade school teacher or electrician so much as you are simply called to make disciples. There are some people who are plainly called, lead, and placed in their ministry profession. There are also people who are gifted at something but never called. If you had a gifting at something you have to choose how you will use that gift. For money? For God? For fame? The idea of becoming what ever you wanted is a new idea. Not too long ago you simply grew up learning a trade, probably from your parents and you always knew you would one day be in that trade for the rest of your life. Today, we are graced with exploring and trying out things until we find our place.
Wherever you end up- serve. Whatever you enjoy doing- serve. Go and make disciples. They will know we are Christians by our love- not our trade.

Q: How long have you been playing guitar?
A: About 12 years… I need lessons though;)

Q: What is a “hidden talent” that not many people know about you?
A: Hidden talent…I think I have an uncanny ability to notice the smallest details in things. Like, when in one scene in a movie the stains on the guy’s shirt are different front he next scene. I think I’d probably be good as an on set guy and spot continuity errors. I’d probably be a good witness to a crime too.

Q: When you sing, does it come naturally? Or did you have to practice everyday? If so, when did you start and how did you start out?
A: Hmmm… I suppose I just started singing one day. In high school I was in choir and learned a lot about proper form and technique. I’m by no means the best singer! I love melody and making music. A friend once told me “everyone can sing and it’s the only instrument you can take anywhere.”

Q: Jeff, is there a good way to get in touch to share my testimony? I feel this is important!!! Thanks!
A: Please send your testimony to our Facebook!

Q: What tuning is your PRS SE in?
A: My red PRS is from low to high:
E G# B E G# E.
I took it from a Third Eye Blind tuning and brought it all down a half step. I used it on All the Pretty Things, Losing, and Shadows. Thanks!


That’s the end of today’s update – make sure to get your letter in and enjoy your Friday!
  • Rachel

    So much to ask, but for now the most pressing…. Even though fall tour dates are set, it’s rumored that TAN may still add a date in Huntsville, AL. Is there truth to this, when will inquiring minds know? :)

    • Alex

      The main dates for the fall tour have been announced, but there is still a possibility of added shows. Dates after the tour ends on November 18 will most likely be without Audrey Assad and Rend Collective Experiment. I can’t say anything, but new shows will be announced in the near future. Keep your eyes peeled!

  • Annah Z

    do you know when they will announce the winner for the caption contest and also who won the text thing from air1?

    • Alex

      For the caption contest, I’m not sure, but the Air 1 contest ended three days ago. I believe they sent a text out to the winner.