We had the chance to talk with Warr Acres about their latest album. Be sure to check out our review too!
TCC: So you guys are all together on a Thursday morning, what do you guys do?
Chris: We all work for Victory Church in the greater area of Oklahoma City. We have three campuses in the metro that we’re all split between during the week. We eat donuts, drink coffee, and basically do all of the cliché worship leader things.
Lael: We also use that time to catch up with each other personally and hear what’s going on at each of our campuses. We discuss new songs we’re writing and want to introduce to our church, plan for upcoming projects and events, etc.
TCC: Tell us about your musical influences. Your latest album covers so much musical ground.
Kristy: I think we all draw from different genres and styles.
Chris: For me, CCM has not been a big influence. Not because I don’t really like it, I just don’t spend much time listening to it. I’d say that of our three producers, I’m more influenced by pop. My brother, Joe Crow, is much more influenced by dance music. Jaron Nix, our other producer, is much more influenced by singer-songwriters. Even among us, our musical influences span a lot. I think a lot of times our records can hit maybe too many different genres.
Kristy: I think that describes all of us. We all listen to different types of music. Individually and as a whole we’re all eclectic.
Lael: I admit I am a huge Brooke Fraser fan and draw a lot of my inspiration from her, both lyrically and musically.
TCC: How do you go about songwriting?
Chris: Some of us have to be intentional about writing and some of us (pointing at Lael) just write in their sleep.
Kristy: She can write in her car on the way to Starbucks.
Chris: She was born to be a songwriter, whether it was with us or not. I’ll write on my own, but we’ll often get together to write with each other. We introduce two new songs at our church every month, so that motivates us to keep up a steady pace of songwriting.
Kristy: Sometimes our pastor will be speaking on a specific issue or series and will ask us to write a song that goes along with it or we’ll naturally be inspired to write one on our own. It’s a good challenge for us.
TCC: What does your name “Warr Acres” mean?
Chris: Originally, we were just thinking of a name. “Victory Worship Team” wouldn’t work very well. Hillsong was already taken. Our original campus is in Warr Acres, Oklahoma. It’s a tiny municipality in the greater area. We went with it because it has a very “active” feel to it. We aren’t a passive church or people. We’re very much about attacking any sort of stronghold or addiction in people’s lives. We’re active in helping and reaching people. There are two “r’s” in the Warr, but you still get that feel of “going to war”.
Kristy: It has a nice ring to it.
Chris: The jury’s out on whether it will end up working for us or not. The big thing we’re about is reaching our city.
Oscar: We love our city.
TCC: What are all of your ministry roles at the church?
Chris: We’re all full time. I oversee the whole department but most of my time is focused on Warr Acres’ external reach.
Lael: I primarily lead worship for our Oklahoma City campus. We have a mid-week worship experience and on Sunday’s we have four worship experiences (we have 10-11 worship experiences total on Sundays spanning across our three metro campuses). I oversee set lists and administrative details for these services. I also help get resources like chord charts in to the hands of people outside of our church that ask for them.
Kristy: I pretty much sing.
Chris: She’s pretty much the best singer in the world.
Kristy: My husband is also a pastor on staff here at Victory. We’re at the Norman campus. I do scheduling and recruiting for that campus. All of our campuses rely on volunteer musicians, so we try to be very pro-active in recruitment.
Oscar: I work primarily at the OKC campus. On Wednesdays and Sundays I mainly work with our volunteers and bands. I make sure all of our resources and training videos are available to them. We also have a school of leadership here, and I get to work with students that are in the worship track.
TCC: Do you have any tips for people that try to manage three campuses worth of worship leaders?
Chris: Planning center is huge! We divide and conquer with a point person on every campus.
Oscar: We try to do our best to not burn out our volunteers. It helps that everyone that plays has a heart for our church and the vision of the church.
Leal: We really try to emphasize that we consider our volunteers to be part of Warr Acres, which really helps build unity. We have some amazing team members with great attitudes.
TCC: Were any of the volunteers used in your latest album?
Chris: A lot of them were involved in the project. Especially our vocalists, we brought many of them in to help with background vocals for the album. Everyone we used in general is a part or has been a part of our church in some capacity.
Kristy: We did a couple album release concerts and several of our regular volunteer musicians were apart of those. Our heart is to grow up worship leaders and musicians. Chris started in ministry here when he was really young, and now he’s in charge of all of it. We have full worship teams for our kids ministry and can’t wait to see them lead our ministry in the future.
Chris: You’ll see 16 and 17-year-olds on our teams at any given worship experience.
Leal: I’m a byproduct of this vision as well. I’ve been on staff for about four years, and almost five years connected to the church in general. I started coming to the church on my own and immediately caught the vision of the church and the worship ministry. I joined the choir because I simply wanted to be a part of the big picture. It’s been cool to see how God has ordered my steps since then. I’m so grateful for our passion to raise up leaders in worship ministry.
TCC: What is the vision for Warr Acres outside of the church?
Chris: We feel our biggest ministry is sharing our songs, whether we’re playing them or another team is playing them. I wouldn’t say that our goal is to be a touring band. If we’re invited, we do our best to come. We’ve not yet tried to book a tour. Our primary calling is to serve our church and community.
Lael: I got a text just this morning about a local Christian university that was singing one of our songs during their chapel service. It’s so cool to see how God uses our songs in a variety of places. We also try to do our part to resource anyone who needs chord charts, backing tracks or loops, completely free of charge, through our website, www.warracres.tv.
TCC: Thanks so much for your time!