Now Toby I’ve been doing some numbers, I’m a bit of a numbers guy. You’re approaching 30 years since heaven bound came out. Are you just, kind of amazed at the doors that are opened for you in that time frame? I mean, almost from the start of DC Talk onwards doors have just opened for you.
Yeah. That’s how I’ve put it, usually doors open. God opens doors, and I just say yep, God I’ll step through it. You open it – I’ll step through it. But it’s been time after time, and even beyond how long I thought I’d be doing it. I have an unbelievable team, family, my band, my management, my booking agent and my record label – it just seems like family. We all look at each other and go, let’s do it again, and it keeps on happening! We keep recognising God in it all and trying to turn eyes to him through this art.
Has there been one moment, in those three decades, where you’ve had to pinch yourself and go, ‘is this real? Is this kinda happening to me?’
Many times! Including this past February when I won a Grammy for ‘This Is Not A Test’. I just thought, ‘Well you know, we’ll go out there’ the last few times I went I didn’t win, and it was cool you know. You kind of think, ‘Have we already seen the crescendo?’
My wife and I will leave the Grammys or the Dove Awards, even the K-love Awards and we go home going, ‘Surely this has topped out already’ so I’ve pinched myself many times, but mostly I pinch myself – not because of those things, but because if you could stay on this tour for a week you would realise the love we have back stage with the team that we have. So much joy – it’s like a church, a church on the road, and then we get to play a show every night. I have always looked at the show as the overspill of what’s going on backstage. Backstage, we’re loving each other well and we love God with all of our hearts and the overspill pours out.
So the song ‘Beyond Me’, is it Toby Mac writing to himself and saying ‘Look no matter what happens, no matter the Grammy awards, the sold out arenas, all that kind of stuff – God is still in control? Is it kind of just a reminder to yourself?
I think that’s not a bad perspective, but the perspective really is that I have no idea what I’m doing out here – this is literally beyond me! From the songs I’m writing, to the band that we have on the road, to this tour being ultra successful. It’s literally beyond me.
God said ‘I’ve got this’, and He surprises me constantly with how amazing it ends up.
Toby I need some advice from you, like you I’ve got five kids and I just don’t know how you do it all! How do you record, how do you write, how do you tour, how do you run a record label and all that kind of stuff – AND still maintain a healthy marriage and healthy family?
It’s funny man, I just have amazing people around me, honestly that’s what it is. I don’t know how much of it you do on your own or by yourself, but I don’t do much by myself. I rely on collaborating. I rely on my wife running the show at 20 below, and on just great people like my road manager. I’ve got to just keep pointing it out, it’s definitely not all me – it’s an amazing team. It’s also staying focused on what I need to focus on, when I’m making a record, I push things out and I make a record. There’s just a lot that I love to do so I try to do it but you know, I’m also the Dad that’s home every night at 6 o’clock eating dinner with my family. I wouldn’t miss it – it’s too important. Every night I’m in town I leave the studio at 6, and by 6:30 I’m sitting down with my family eating dinner around the table asking everybody about their day. I don’t want to be that Dad that wasn’t there, I want to be that dad that was involved and knew everything that was going on.
Now what’s it like when Toby Mac finishes the tour? You’re a couple of days away from finishing this tour. So you head home, you walk into the door, is it, ‘Hey Toby, the lawns need mowing, the trash needs to be put out, I need help with my homework!’ What is it like once you get off stage and back home?
I’m thankful for a wife that is literally is unimpressed by all this, I mean unimpressed. It’s actually probably even beyond that, she’s like ‘whatever’. So I’m doing the dishes every night, doing the laundry, taking kids to practice piano lesson, to the theatre – I’m driving my kids everywhere! I become very much a Dad. It’s just how we do it because I want to be a Daddy who’s in the mix.