An Interview with John Waller - ChristianMusic.com

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The turning point for singer, guitarist and composer John Waller came, as it often does,
when he was at the low point of his life. Seven years devoted to the Christian rock band
According to John, “and we had almost signed a big record deal. I had almost achieved
my lifelong goal,” John tells ChristianMusic. “Then, it all fell apart. It just didn’t happen.
So, we decided to go our separate ways. We had been trying for so long. We were all just
spent trying to make it happen.

“I was diagnosed with chemical depression when I was twelve,” John explains. “My
mom suffered from it and she saw signs of it in me.” When they heard about his record
deal crashing, John’s church family came to the rescue. “People came and they prayed for
my healing. Something supernatural happened in my life. They prayed for me in a way
that I had never before experienced. I felt the presence of the Lord in such a tangible way,
a way that I had never felt before.”

Shortly after that, John received a call from a friend who wanted him to be a worship
leader at a church in Colorado. “That was one thing I had decided never to do. I had
bigger aspirations than that.” The record experience, though, had left John wondering
whose glory he had been composing and singing for. So, he decided to stop writing
for awhile and moved the family to Colorado. “It turned out to be one of the biggest
blessings of my life,” John says.

And the chemical depression? “For three or four months, I kept taking the medication.
I wasn’t sure I was healed. Then, when the medicine ran out, I stopped. I didn’t tell my
wife,” John reveals. “About six months later, I told her I had been off the meds for all
that time. God healed me. That was nine years ago.”

John didn’t write any songs for the first year he was in Colorado. “I don’t record until
I have God-inspired things to say,” John maintains. But God did inspire him, and he
brought in Mark Hall, a fellow member of According to John, to record a song. Mark
was so taken by the songs that he shopped them around to major record labels. That led
to John’s major-label debut, “Blessings,” and a national platform. “When I wasn’t trying
anymore, when I wasn’t striving, the Lord opened that door,” John says.

John keeps up with the members of According to John, and has worked with them on
all three albums. His second, “While I’m Waiting,” had its title track featured in the
independent film “Fireproof,” and the title track of his most recent album, “As For Me
and My House,” is on the soundtrack of the film “Courageous.” The video of the song,
based on Joshua 24:15, was also nominated for a Dove Award.

The family has moved back home to Georgia to be close to relatives, especially when
John has to leave wife Josee and the five kids behind to tour. “My favorite part is coming
home,” he says. Clearly the family man, John rejoices in his family’s accomplishments.
Josee sings a duet with him on the “My House” album, and his son has started up a band
of his own.

“My son and my sister’s son have started a band and they’ve taken the name ‘According to John,’” says John. “My son is 14 and he’s doing stuff I never could do at his age. He can play everything. He has a studio in the basement.” John reveals that even though his parents were musical, too, he was something of a late bloomer. “I didn’t start playing until after high school. I started writing in college and didn’t stop. From the get go I was writing Christian songs. All I knew was four chords. You can get a lot done with four chords.” Indeed.

-- Nate Lee

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