By Ben York
Posted: Nov. 7, 2012
It's been a while since Dave Frey, lead singer of Sidewalk Prophets, has seen his couch.
"I'm actually home in Nashville for the first time since October 15," said Frey, who will be in Phoenix this Saturday for Winter Jam 2012. "Just for a day, though."
He can count on one hand the number of times he's been home since the beginning of the year. If you're a fan of the increasingly popular Christian band (a Dove Award winner for Best New Artist in 2010), that probably comes as no surprise.
After all, they're known as one of the hardest-working groups in all of music -- as evidenced by playing over 125 shows around the globe in each of the past four years.
"That's something we are certainly proud of," said Frey of the band's dedication to its fans. "We have a great desire to go where God calls us. It can be tiring, sure, but we are always lifted up when we feel tired or down. I think this year we've been on the road 250 days and to every state except three. When everything is said and done, there's no doubt it is a blessing to be doing what we're doing."
Needless to say, the band is unique.
More poignantly, though, they're comprised of renaissance men. Truthfully, to be labeled as one of the hardest-working bands in all of music, while touring over 250 days a year, having eclectic talents and innate flexibility are both mandatory.
Not only do they meet with fans at each tour stop (including those fans without tickets), they handle their own driving, assist in stage set-up and are involved in virtually all aspects of their brand. Their sound is a melting pot which culminates into an original blend of acoustic rock music. Their shows bring the depth of a singer/songwriter and the energy of a rock & roll band.
Yet, being as outspoken and in "front" of everything as the band is can inadvertantly open them up to naysayers and detractors. They counteract that by living daily through their collective motto: "Image is nothing, love is everything."
"There are people who are averse to what we're doing, sure," said Frey, with an optimistic tone. "But those are part of the trials of life. Everyone will always have opponents; sometimes it might even be yourself. But the key is overcoming those obstacles and that's what we try to do as we tour all over."
More than anything, their songs are meant to inspire people to feel comfortable being themselves. They've noticed while touring over the years that today's society places an inordinate amount of pressure on individuals to "fit in" and have the perfect image.
Frey said he wrote the bands most popular song, "The Words I Would Say," as an homage to his grandfather before he passed. It stemmed from a significant realization that we truly don't know what tomorrow might bring, so use today to spread joy and hope.
But not even he could imagine the wide-ranging influence the song would have. In fact, during every concert, Frey relays the story of a young man named Evan that he met while on the road.
"Evan's story is amazing," Frey said with pride. "Evan was diagnosed with Leukemia as a sophomore in high school and the outlook wasn't very good. He wasn't sure what tomorrow would bring, or if it would even come. He heard 'The Words I Would Say' and was inspired to keep on fighting. I remember meeting his mother at a concert when Evan wasn't feeling well, then getting a chance to meet Evan about a year later. I'm so happy to say that he is now in remission, earned a full-ride scholarship to college and is studying oncology. He is an amazing young man and really is an inspiration to us. He actually is on the cover of our new album [Live Like That] along with many others."
Spending just a few minutes with Frey, it's clear there is nothing fake about him or the band; their genuineness shines through at all times. It's a major reason why they are able to relate to virtually any audience.
Better said, they're just good guys trying to spiritually connect with as many people as they can along the way -- spreading love and hope in the process.
In fact, when the band performs in Phoenix on Saturday, don't be surprised if Frey is wearing a Suns jersey.
"The Suns always put a smile on my face," he said. "I admit, I'm a Pacers fan first, being from Indianapolis, but I've always enjoyed Suns games. It's a blast to go as a fan. When we are in Phoenix, we love walking around downtown; it's a beautiful place and we can't wait to get there and play our songs for everyone."