John E. Flood

John E. Flood is the lead singer for Slo’ Moses, a local Christian rock band. The Jacksonville band released a new album last month, “Slo’ Moses,” which is available online through iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, Google Music and more. The son of a Baptist minister, Flood owned a music store in Anniston for seven years and still custom-makes guitars through his business, Flash Guitars USA.

When did you first think about melding rock music with Christian ideals?

When I was in elementary school, I went with a friend of mine to see The Monkees perform. The opening act at that show was Jimi Hendrix, and that changed my perspective of music and life from what was available in most churches — piano, organ and choir — to how I could make a guitar like that work in Christian music. That was the starting point for me playing guitar; I started at 10 years old.

Is Slo’ Moses your first band?

My first band, Peniel, was together for 13 years. We were not invited to churches to play, but we played parking lots and festivals and other things like that. That is how I realized that Christian music is not just for Christians; it can be an outreach and ministry tool. We opened for some of the big names of the day. We found that when we played concerts and festivals, we were accepted more outside the church than within.

How did Slo’ Moses come together?

We formed in 2008. We were all fans of many styles of Christian music, but we could not find any Christian music that was the kind of music we liked to listen to. We designed this band to reach people in our age group, but we are constantly surprised by how much the young people like it.

Have you always loved music?

Yes, I started taking piano lessons as a child; my mother made me.

Did you enjoy taking piano?

I did not love it then, but I loved it later on once I learned to play a bit (laughter). I grew up singing in church.

My mom used to listen to a lot of orchestra music, and my Dad, now a retired Baptist minister, was a church hymns-only person. My brother and I were influenced by things we heard at school: The Beatles, Rolling Stones and B.B. King. My brother and I started playing in a bluegrass band, and we convinced my dad that we needed to watch “Hee Haw” to learn some new songs for the bluegrass band. There was a man named Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown who appeared on the show with Roy Clark, and he played a really mean guitar.

How did your “church hymns only” father respond to your bands?

Not well at all at first, but there was a turning point. One day, Peniel was playing at the Lenlock Shopping Center in the parking lot. My parents pulled up and sat on the opposite side of the parking lot with their windows rolled up. At the end of the show, we had an altar call, and three people gave their hearts to the Lord. My dad changed a little bit; he still didn’t like the music, but he said, “The Bible says, ‘If you have fruit, it is good.’” He did not completely support it, but he did not condemn it.

What is the most meaningful song on this album?

“The Things I Do,” a song about my dealings with depression and the basic biblical principle of God’s grace, and “I’ve Been Missing You,” a song based on the story in Genesis where God goes to meet Adam, but Adam is hiding because he has sinned. Another part of the Bible says that we are created in God’s image and likeness; if that is so, then he has the same emotions we have.

Faith Dorn is a freelance writer in Anniston. Contact her at faith.h.dorn@gmail.com.

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