Jake Luhrs of August Burns Red
Talks Ministry, Touring, and Temptation
Jake Luhrs is the lead vocalist of my favorite metalcore band August Burns Red. I recently had the awesome experience of seeing them perform in Nashville at the Vans Warped Tour on the Shark Stage. Of all the bands I saw that day, August Burns Red was the best, not because I am biased, but because it is the truth. They held the attention of a massive audience — an audience of mud and rain-soaked people of many diverse backgrounds. They had everyone hopping, singing, and having a blast.
And this might be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen at a show. There was a circle pit in which I saw (truth, no joke) a 6’6″ mountain of a young man run through the mud, slip and fall, and then slide through the mud; and, at the same time while he was sliding through the mud after his fall, a very small, petite young woman jumped on and attempted to surf on his back. She did for several yards, and, from my view, it hysterically reminded me of Piglet trying to ride Winnie The Pooh.
Where was a camera when I needed one.
And then, thanks to Heather at Fearless Records — a sweet lady working in L.A. but from Texas — I got to speak with Jake and discuss his very awesome heartsupport.com, August Burns Red, being a Christian touring with many secular bands, his work out regiment (he’s built like a NFL middle linebacker), and what keeps him motivated in his faith and music career:
I love what you are doing with heartsupport.com and would like to make people more aware of it. Could you give us some more detail about it?
Heartsupport.com started five years ago basically because I go to the merch table and talk to my fans after every show. They will tell me about their struggles and just things that they were able to overcome through listening to my music.
For example, a guy told me he was a heroin addict for a few years and has been clean seven months because the songs I compose are really helpful. I hear stories about drug addiction, being sexually assaulted, cutting, depression, suicide, so one day I was thinking, talking out loud and praying and I was asking God basically you know you have given me this life and you have given me all of these things and have me touring the world and I am so thankful and blessed that I get to live out my dream as a career — how and what can I do to give back?
And then that is when Heart Support was started — all of these ideas of what heart support was going to be and trying to structure it how to build it. So I wrote it all down and sent the ideas to one of my buddies, gave him $1,500 bucks. and he made the site for me. Initially it wasn’t called heart support, it was called “your life ministries,” and then I met a phenomenal guy named Craig Gross who runs XXX Church, which is a non-profit fighting against pornography and helping people in the porn industry through Jesus. And he had taken me under his wing and said if you don’t mind I really like your vision with heart support and I could teach you how to build it into a non-profit with the vision that you have. So that is how it came together. It has been on Warped Tour three years now — just this year I think we have handed out 800 Bibles and books on sexual assault for free.
kids and the band. Every band on Warped Tour knows I am a Christian, that’s not a secret of my faith and my message within my band. That’s why I like to share my beliefs through heart support. A woman came to our merch tent and said aren’t you a Christian? I said yes I am. She said are you a Christian band? And I said, well, no not really because I don’t preach the gospel on stage. I don’t use my stage as a pedestal to preach the Gospel necessarily. But I am a man of faith and my lyrics are definitely faith-based. She said well can’t you preach in another way like these guys in heart support? And I said yes [laughs] that’s mine — I founded that. I think there are several ways that we can deliver the Gospel. For me it is more actions and not words. It is easy for us to talk about Jesus, but it is a lot harder to live like Him.