Six albums after the band’s first pieces interlocked, Third Day has become the leader in its genre. The Atlanta-based rockers have accrued four gold albums, a platinum album, a Grammy and 21 of the Gospel Music Association's Dove Awards. Backing up the band's ascent, Billboard magazine noted the act is "not only one of the best Christian bands of the '90s but one of the best rock bands, period.”
Third Day has clearly weathered the difficult climb from obscurity to success, but the band is hardly suffering from over-confidence or complacency. In fact, the band’s seventh album, Wire, addresses that very issue head-on. Rather than lean back in a figurative easy chair, Third Day challenged tself immensely, shaking up its direction and reasserting its place as a rock band of enormous depth and passion.
After establishing a comfortable working relationship with Monroe Jones over several albums, the group brought in a new producer who had no history with the band members. They left a stylistic
vein which had formed the basis for two of their last three albums. And they dug deep into their psyches while writing material for the project, yielding the most introspective album of their still-building career.
“This album is a lot more personal than anything that we’ve done,” vocalist Mac Powell reflects. “ Yet also it’s universal enough in a sense that it’s going to reach out to different people in many different situations.” As a result, Third Day returns to the entertainment culture in 2004 with a renewed energy and attitude that makes them “a brand new band that just happens to have 10 years experience,” bass player Tai Anderson observes.
Wire plays off the excitement and sense of risk that that attitude represents. The title track hinges on the image of a circus acrobat, positioned above an audience spellbound by the unpredictability
of the stunt.
“Everybody comes from miles around to see the spectacle of the guy on the tightrope,” notes guitarist Mark Lee, the song’s primary writer, “but in the back of their minds, if there’s not a chance that the guy’s gonna fall off the tightrope, then people aren’t gonna come. A lot of times with people placed in a position like we are, there’s some of that going on. In the newspaper on any given day, there are articles about these new artists or celebrities that are up and coming, and people love that story—they love the underdog. But once they get there, people also like to see them fall.”