Derek Mount of FF5 was chatted with All Access Music Group... Check it out!
Give me a brief history….birthplace, childhood, schools, jobs, current hometown
St. Louis , MO (affectionately known as “the S-T-L” by natives)
University of Georgia (public relations major with religion minor and Spanish
Jobs: Land surveyor (5 summers in a row), guitar teacher (I still do this…online), persona l trainer (I also still do this), film composer (I also still do this), church guitarist (yet again, I still do this), baseball pitching coach (unfortunately, I do not do this anymore),
What does a normal day at home look like for you? Morning to Night.
I’ve spent over 75% of this year on the road or in the studio in Nashville or Los Angeles…so there’s nothing normal about a day at home. But today is a rare day at home, so here it goes:
I got up at 5:45am and learned some songs for Blanca’s set (I’m playing guitar with her on our Christmas Tour)! Then, I rehearsed some of our FF5 Christmas tunes. After that, I practiced for my Sunday morning church gig. Then, I recorded guitars for a friend’s album. Now, I’m writing this interview. Next, I’ll do my workout at the park down the street. Then, I’ll write some music. Then, I’ll help cook Thanksgiving dinner, and I’ll celebrate with my family and watch some football!
What’s the song that you just can’t get out of your head right now (from another artist or band). Why do you like it so much?
I saw Ra Ra Riot open for Postal Service awhile ago, and ever since then, I’ve become a huge fan of that band. Their song “Beta Love” will not stop playing in my head, and I’m not exactly bummed about it!
How much do you travel, what are the challenges? How do you juggle life on the road with wanting to be home?
It usually depends on the year…during the early stages of FF5, we traveled about 250-300 days a year. We’ve had a couple low-key years during which we only traveled about 120 days. By the end of 2015, I will have traveled about 271 days out of the year for work…and a few additional ones for vacation and weddings!
To answer the second part of your question, juggling life on the road with home life is by far the most difficult part about being in a band (assuming one care’s about one’s family)! My wife and I are big fans of the lyric, “Home is wherever I’m with you” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. We established a three-week-rule, so we are often flying, renting cars, riding Mega Bus, or going to ridiculous extremes to try to see one another.
The first item on my daily to-do list is to make Sarah (my wife) feel loved. When she had a regular morning commute, I tried to call her every morning while she was driving to work, even if it meant waking up at 3:00am while we were in different timezones. Fortunately, she has a new job that’s way more flexible, so I’m sleeping a few more hours now! We try to skype or facetime on a consistent basis, and to focus on being present when talking on the phone…I’m guilty of multi-tasking, so this part can prove to be challenging. Ultimately, it boils down to respecting, supporting, and loving each other, and having a solid foundation in the marriage.
What Artist or Pastor has had the greatest impact on you, and why?
There have been a lot of great influences over the years, but I think the most profound impact came from a combination of my youth pastor James and a friend named Jason. They both came into my life at a pivotal, adolescent age, and truly invested time, energy, and love into me in a sincere way. A lot of people had taught me that God cared about me, and these two demonstrated it by conveying and passing that love onto my awkward, uncomfortable teenage self. They both continue to play important roles in my life. Fun side-note: James was my old guitar teacher (and he’s still probably the greatest guitarist I know).
What’s the last book you read? Give me a short summation. How did it impact you?
I know it sounds ironic, but just a few days ago, I finished an amazing journey through the Bible. Giving a short summation of it is slightly challenging, but I’ll try: God loves us.
Funniest or most embarrassing moment on the road? (details, please).
In 2008, I believe, I was eating lunch at Warped Tour, and I sat next to a guy I’d never met. We had a pleasant conversation and afterward, I asked if this was his first Warped Tour. He replied, “No, I’ve actually done it before.” I wished him good luck and told him I’d try to come watch his band sometime.
After he left, a few kids came up to me COMPLETELY losing their minds, and they asked how I got the privilege of sitting with Tom Delonge. Due to the fact that I grew up listening to Iron Maiden and Van Halen, I had no clue who Tom Delonge was. But apparently, he had headlined Warped Tour about 5 times when he was in Blink-182…and he was also headlining that particular year with his new band Angels and Airwaves. Unbeknownst to me, he was by far the most well-known person in the Warped Tour world…probably in the history of the scene.
Take me thru a couple songs on your latest project. What’s the title of the CD, the “story
behind the song”, how is it impacting audiences, etc.
Our last record is entitled “Time Stands Still,” although we also just released a remix album with a remixed title called “Time Still Stands.” It is a collection of super fun party jams, and people seem to be loving it. Our fans have told us some amazing stories about it helping them overcome depression, get over their fear of flying, and restore relationships after 5-year family grudges. These are all legitimate, honest responses that blow our minds every time we hear them!
What organization/service group are you affiliated with? (world vision, compassion, Hope
International, etc). Tell me a little about them, and why you are passionate about being involved with them.
Because we’ve been around for awhile, we’ve had the honor of working with countless organizations throughout the years (Heart Support, Invisible Children, Blood: Water Mission, etc.) and we have most recently been in a partnership with Cure International, a group that provides surgeries and healthcare to children who would not otherwise be able to receive medical attention. It is a beautiful organization, and we are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work alongside them. Truly, there is nothing more life-changing than learning of a child who gets a new lease on life.
Person you’d most like to have a discussion with, living or dead…..Deities are excused from
Because you zapped the fun out of the question with the whole “no-deity” thing, I’m going to say Bach. I would absolutely love to discuss the electric guitar with him, although I may need a translator.
Favorite Bible Verse….life verse. Why?
Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. It’s all about shattering our man-made boundaries and limitations. Jesus liberated us from ourselves!
How & When did you become a believer?
I am very thankful for my amazing family. I was raised with a very spiritual upbringing, and always felt comfortable discussing and exploring my faith (particularly with my sister, who continues to challenge and inspire me). Immediately following a stirring conversation with a camp counselor, I was baptized at our church’s summer camp as a teenager, but I certainly don’t view that one particular commitment as the sole zenith of my experience with God. It has always been and always will be an evolving, growing relationship that continues to expand and develop with time.
What’s the biggest “God moment” you’ve ever experienced? Personally or professionally, when has God shown up in a powerful way?
A few years ago, my life and identity fell apart. We moved away from Los Angeles (my favorite city in the world), our band was in the midst of a giant transition, my father was battling severe health issues, my wife was changing careers, our financial picture was shifting drastically, my 20-year-old car was stolen, and so was my hope. Fortunately, through friends, books, movies, music, scripture, conversations, and everyday life, one constant message presented itself repeatedly: “Do not let your circumstances determine who you are.” I am a firm believer that tribulation brings about perseverance, and perseverance builds character…and character builds hope. In a strange way, I am thankful for that challenging chapter of life, and I wholeheartedly believe that it has strengthened and enhanced my relationship with God.
*PS: Atlanta is awesome. The band’s doing wonderfully. My father is healthy. My wife’s new job is amazing. And the old pink civic was recovered!!!!