Winter Jam is one of the biggest tours year in and year out- not just in Christian music, but in all of music. With $10 admission at the door, the tour boasts one of the largest lineups in all of music each year with 10 bands making up the bill.
Early on in the evening, some of the newer bands in Christian music are given a chance to shine and this year, About A Mile is one of those bands.
It\’s also one of the most hectic tours each year. With as many bands as there are on the bill, every aspect of the show is strategically and specifically timed and planned, making for a wild experience backstage.
“Winter Jam is crazy,” says About A Mile singer Adam Klute. “It’s like running around and around and around and doing as much as a can and you’ll take a break and be like “what am I doing?”
“We’ll go out and we’ll play, unload all your gear because we’re our own roadies, we don’t pay anybody to unload our gear and we just do all of that ourselves,” continues Klute. “So we’ll unload and set everything up merch-wise and all of our equipment and we’ll go out and play for the lines beforehand acoustic.
That\’s one of Klute\’s favorite parts. They\’ll play for the lines of fans waiting to get into the show. After that, they rush in and, since the stage is finally set up, they can put their gear onstage, put their stuff up and play their actual set shortly after.
“Then a lot of times I’ll get off the stage and find out that Winter Jam sold out because a lot of these arenas get sold out and we get to host the overflow shows, so the band will rush over and host all the bands that come over and play for the sold out crowd,” continues Klute. “because if Winter Jam sells out they’ll set up a stage outside they don’t want to have anybody come and have to leave without seeing a concert.
“So it’s great, it’s like “run here, run here, run here” and by the time that’s over I’m exhausted and have to miss dinner a lot of times,” says Klute. “Usually after that we get like an hour just to kind of take a breath and figure out what’s next. I wouldn’t trade it for the world; it’s been the best opportunity for us.”
So what\’s the tour like for a younger band? With their self-titled debut releasing last July, they\’re by far the youngest band on the bill but Klute says it couldn\’t be a better tour for them to be on.
“We\’ve been able to connect with the crowd really well and every show we tell the crowd…I say, “Everybody asks us why we named our band About A Mile, and we named our band About A Mile because Jesus carried his cross about a mile,” Explains Klute. “You can just hear the crowd go “ohhh” you know, nobody’s heard of us before and people seem to be connected with our songs as much as they can when they’re hearing them for the first time, and a lot of radio stations are playing our single so that helps a lot.
People are singing along if they\’ve heard the songs but the majority of the people, Klute says, are hearing the band for the first time on Winter Jam and they connect well with the band\’s name, message and music.
“It means the world to us, because a lot of these people will add us on social media buy our CD, and we’ll get messages from people saying “Man, I connected with your message a lot and I like your music a lot and I’ve been listening to your album,” so it’s been a good opportunity to get our name out and meet a lot of new people,” he says.
About A Mile\’s self-titled debut, which released last year is more than just an album. It\’s probably the most personal piece of music the band has written yet and it shows through the lyrics.
The two year span of time it took to write the record saw Klute- who\’s band members are his own brothers- Luke and Levi- banding together with his brothers while he overcame one of the most threatening sicknesses you can experience.
“I moved down to Nashville and as soon as we moved down there I figured out that I have this disease called Ulcerative Colitis and it kind of shut me down completely for three and a half years,” explains Klute. “I moved down and immediately we began to write the album and I thought that would be the best time of my life but I didn’t know I was going to be sick the entire time, I wasn’t expecting to have this disease.
Klute was sitting in an emergency room when a doctor told him he was going to struggle with it for the rest of his life.
“It was only last Christmas that I started the medication I’m on now, and it took away all my symptoms, so God provided something for me that would let me go out and tour. I never feel like I’m sick anymore,” explains Klute. “I have to go in and get medication every eight weeks. It’s called Remicade
“Luckily my insurance covers it because it’s kind of expensive,” continues Klute. “But I was extremely sick the entire time writing this album and we wrote over 200 songs but eventually I would break down and I would fall on my knees and I’d be crying a lot of the times and I’d say “God, I don’t understand how I could be going through this. What are you telling me right now?”
It was then that the best songs would come out of Klute. That\’s when “Who You Say You Are” was written as well as what “S.O.S.” was written about, says Klute. That\’s also what “Trembling” was written about.
“Just having something really tug on your heart strings, I feel like that’s where the best songs came for us.”
Stream the entire interview below: