Minnesota-based rock band Boiling Point has a new album dropping on Sept. 16 called “More” and it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that the band, consisting of front man Eric Bjorklund, guitarist Jon Canfield, bass man Taylor Wilson and drummer Scott Bjorklund, is asking for more or proclaiming that they’re giving more. In a way both of those assumptions are true, but the reference is a spiritual one.
The band has strong Christian beliefs, and while they don’t beat anyone over the head with those notions, songs like “When You’ve Lost it All” and “Brand New Day” have a clear message for those listening for it: There’s more out there for you if you want it, and the man upstairs has it. But with lots of melodic electric guitar wrapping around Eric’s energetic vocals, the members of Boiling Point don’t mind if all you hear is great rock ‘n’ roll.
Eric phoned in from Minnesota to tell us a little about the making of “More” and how the band manages to rock hard and keep the faith at the same time.
Boiling Point just played the Minnesota State Fair. How did that go?
It was a really long day but it was a fantastic opportunity. We got to play for a promotion that Channel 45 is doing up here; they’re a Twin Cities station and they’ve used some of our songs to promote prep sports here in Minnesota. You know how "Monday Night Football" has a theme song they use as an introduction to games? Channel 45 has kind of done a similar thing with some of our songs. So we played eight shows. As you can imagine that turned into quite a long day, but it wasn’t terrible!
So did that leave any time for you to indulge in the fair? Did you ride any rides or play games or eat fair food?
No. We got up at 4:30 in the morning and arrived at the fair at 6:00 to set everything up then played concerts all day. By the time we were through with it we were all ready to go home.
Are you good at fair games though, like throwing darts at balloons?
I don’t think so. There’s this football thing where you’re trying to throw the football through the little circles and I missed every time. That’s basically why I ended up playing defense in high school football. I’m better at tackling people than throwing the ball.
Boiling Point also plays at youth retreats. What’s that like?
Our philosophy for those kinds of things has always been that it’s more about meeting people rather than showing up and being the rock stars. Meeting people that are on various points on their journey has always been very exciting and encouraging to us. It’s always an interesting point where you interact with kids who look up to you; you have this ability then to speak to their lives about things they might not otherwise hear so loud and clear from people like their parents. We talk about issues they might have had with depression or cutting; really serious stuff … I don’t know. I feel like when I was a kid this stuff wasn’t as prevalent but there are some really big issues that kids are dealing with these days and a lot of them just need someone to talk to. So it’s a good opportunity to be a sounding board for people who maybe enjoy music but who are also looking for an outlet.
So when you play at these things are you just doing acoustic shows?
It’s more the big rock show; high energy stuff. That’s what they’re looking for; a band that’s going to add energy to the environment. Sometimes there are acoustic sessions for more quiet times but mostly it’s a rock concert.
What’s it like to have your brother in the band?
It’s such a blessing to have my brother in the band. I don’t think a lot of people can say that because my brother’s the kind of person who would do just about anything for you, if it’s within his ability. If there’s something that I need done for the band, band business, I can ask him and he’s always one to follow through. We very seldom get into arguments or fights, which is something that siblings often deal with in bands. We’ve got friends who the reason they broke up was because the brothers were fighting all the time. He and I have never had that issue.
Your faith is on display in the lyrics of many of your songs but as your bio states, you take a “less literal” approach to songwriting. How do you manage to strike that balance?
I think we interact with a lot of people who aren’t necessarily people of faith. We’ve never been people to kind of jam our beliefs or views down other people’s throats. The approach we always take, and it’s a good one from the fact that it’s not abrasive, is that we can kind of present songs that are high energy but at the same time offer some message of hope or grace. All the guys in the band are definitely Christian guys but we don’t feel our call is to be preachers, so to speak. But we recognize that there is a need, no matter who you are, at some point in your life, for a little pick-me-up. A little hope. So that’s what Boiling Point tries to do and hopefully in the long run it causes people to think a little more about who they are and who they want to be.
Your video for “Brand New Day” raises awareness for the fight against human trafficking. How did you get involved with that cause?
We recognized an opportunity to kind of address an issue with that song. The song had already gotten a lot of coverage because of the prep sports tie-in but we wanted to give the song another layer, or another dimension. We picked the issue of human trafficking after my wife and I were sitting down one night brainstorming, thinking about what issue we could bring light to that really needs more attention. I think there are a lot of people who are blind to the fact that human trafficking, slavery, still exists in the world. And there are people who turn a blind eye to the topic because it ruins their own worldview because they have to start thinking about other people. But that’s exactly what we wanted to do. We wanted to present an issue that was backed up statistically but that was also done in an artistic way. And at the end of the video we mention the non-profit organization Project Stay Gold so that people who want to act could have an avenue to do that.
“When You’ve Lost it All” has a killer hook and is very uplifting. Could you tell when you were writing and recording the song that it was going to be so powerful?
It kind of felt like it could be but until you have the whole record you really have no concept as to what the best song is gonna be. But from the get-go it was definitely in the top three songs that were coming off the album. We were thinking about what was going to reach people the most and that was the song that stuck out as a song that could lift people up in a positive way no matter what they’re going through. I tell ya, it was a hard song to record because about 15-months ago my brother and I lost our mom to cancer. And then two weeks later we lost one of two aunts to cancer and then three days later my wife’s last-living grandparent died. The whole month of June 2013 disappeared into going to funerals and travelling to funerals. I personally thought at that time that I had lost everything. I think a lot of the songs on the album deal with doubt and trying to remain faithful.
You’re having a CD release party for “More” on Sept. 12. Anything special planned for that night?
We’re actually bringing in a band we’re friends with called Remedy Drive and they’ve got a pretty solid fan base. We’re gonna partner with those guys and do a big concert at a church in Roseville. David from Remedy Drive just got back from I think South Korea where he was working with an agency that’s fighting human trafficking. So we’ll be sharing some of his stories. The night’s going to be one huge celebration for the CD release but it’s also going to be another opportunity to raise awareness about human trafficking. It’s going to be a really cool concert.