New Jersey Stage 2015 - Issue 10 - Page 22

presidential campaign upside down and Pope Francis emerged as a breath of fresh air for the Church, the message and themes of the songs largely sound as if they were written as a response to these developments. As someone who has toured across the world, Mike’s songs have not only struck a chord with people but show that people everywhere are facing the same problems. “What I see is that people are starting to look within and realize that these material things are not as important as we used to make them out to be,” said June. “I think people are turning inward and saying to themselves, ‘I need to be a better person and we need to be better people. This world is too big not to share.’” “When I started writing the songs on Poor Man’s Bible two or three years ago, I was going through my own personal spiriNewJerseyStage.com tual inventory,” he continued. “Then when I started singing these songs out loud, I thought nobody is going to give a crap about them because I was singing about myself. But the more people you talk to, the more you get a sense that you’re on the same page. I was surprised when I started doing these songs in the South. I thought I’d get run out of town, but people were like, ‘I feel the same way.’ And I got a lot of the same responses over in Europe. It was surprising.” Ironically, while June has scathing lyrics about religion in songs like the new record’s title track, the emergence of Pope Francis has helped to renew June’s faith in the Catholic Church. He was raised a Catholic, but says he’s been almost anti-Catholic since turning 17. He sees Pope Francis as less of a revolutionary figure as one that simply speaks 2015 - ISSUE 10 22