Building 429 is comprised of Roy, drummer Michael Anderson, guitarist Jesse Garcia and bassist Aaron Branch. The Fuel Music-distributed 3rd Wave Music will be a partnership between the band and Roy’s longtime manager Gabriel Vasquez, owner/president of Vasquez Entertainment. “I’ve always believed that Gabe was more than a manager because I sat in his office with him and helped him develop marketing plans around our records to then go in and pitch to labels and go, ‘Hey, this is what we think we should do,’ just to try to get outside the box. Gabe always kind of viewed me the same way, as more than just an artist. ... We just decided that this needs to be a partnership. The start of this has been nothing but a joy.”
Building 429 first rose to prominence on Word Records in 2004 with the chart-topping hit “Glory Defined” and over the years built a solid career with hit singles such as “Won’t Be Shaken,” “Listen to the Sound” and “Where I Belong,” which became one of Billboard’s longest-charting Christian singles, spending 15 weeks at No. 1 on Hot Christian Songs. Most recently, the band had recorded for Provident Music Group/Sony Music but reached a mutual agreement and exited amicably in December.
Roy says they are actively looking for artists to sign to 3rd Wave Music.“We’re launching with Building 429, but we are actively pursuing other acts as well, so it’s definitely a bigger picture,” he says.
Roy is excited about flexing his muscle on the business side. “I just really felt like I had something to offer on the A&R and marketing, and the big picture side,” he says.
Life experience is an asset Roy plans to capitalize on. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve weathered a bunch of storms and been through some ups and downs,” he says. “I’ve seen sickness. I’ve seen death. I’ve seen marriages dissolve. I’ve seen all those things so it allows me to look at songs from a completely different perspective and I think that’s probably the biggest thing, knowing the song better than I’ve known it before.”
Now 15 years out from his first No. 1 hit, Roy understands the power of a great song and is on a mission with the new single, “Fear No More.” “One of the things I just really felt like was important for us as we turn this new corner was that Building 429 got back to being what we were, which was the anthem band, the band that writes those songs that help people get up, the band that helps you run a marathon when you just can’t take another step,” he says.
Such circumstances inspired the anthemic “Fear No More” as Roy saw those around him struggle: Vasquez battled cancer last year, but is now cancer-free. A member of Roy’s family has separated from their spouse. Another friend was diagnosed with brain cancer. “It just feels like this season of life has all these curve balls that don’t make sense,” he sighs. “So when I wrote the lyric, ‘This isn’t what I’d choose, but it’s where I’m finding you/ When I’m broken and undone, your mercy has just begun’ -- to write a lyric that says I’m not giving up, I’m just giving in to what You’ve planned, that was our prayer for the last year and a half. It still is our prayer. It’s still where we are.”
He admits to taking a few chances with the production, but he’s pleased with the results. “People say slide guitar won’t work on a radio single; well, I put slide guitar all over it,” Roy laughs. “Someone said, ‘You can’t put another choir on it,’ and we worked with this guy who did all the vocals for Glee’ and we tracked 40 people singing all over it and we’re putting a key change in it. I’m breaking loose of all these chains that have held me in a fear mode. Every step of this song has been an exercise of saying, ‘I don’t know where this is going to end, but I’m not going to fear in it.’”
Building 429 will be writing and working on their next album, and will also be on the road this spring with their Live the Journey Tour featuring Blanca, Stars Go Dim, The Color, We Are Vessel and Sanctus Real on select dates.
Roy has high hopes for 3rd Wave Music and says the name was chosen because it is appropriate to where they are on their journey. “We’re in the third wave of our career,” Roy says. “The first wave was me as an independent artist, trying to figure out what would work and what wouldn’t. Then the second wave was signing a big ol’ record deal with a big ol’ company where all your dreams seem to come true. That’s all I ever wanted in life and then coming to the end of it, and beginning to realize that there’s a real possibility that I could do this better and that I could do this in a way that is unique directly to me and unique to the artists that we sign -- I believe that the third wave of my career is where I’m going to yield the greatest results.”