Bassist Reflects On Time In MercyMe


It isn’t very often that the top of the genre gets together and hit sthe road. It is even rarer when those artists kick the tour off in Buffalo. That is exactly what’s going to happen today when MercyMe and Crowder start their tour at the KeyBank Arena in Buffalo with Micah Tyler.

It’s been 25 years of highs and lows, trials and celebrations for MercyMe. Bassist, Nathan Cochran has been a part of the trip for 22 of those years.

He said this new tour is a continuation of the tour that took place this spring.

“We had so much fun out on the road that we just turned around and said ‘Let’s do it again!'” he said. “You know, we enjoy this so much, and love the guys we are with to the point where we just want to go out and just be together.”

MercyMe has enjoyed a large amount of success due to its 2017 release, “Lifer,” and the movie based on singer, Bart Millard, and the title song, “I Can Only Imagine”. Cochran said the band is still enjoying a pretty big push from that movie.

Cochran took some time to reflect on his joining the band in 1998 and the unorthodox way it took place.

“I was 19 when I joined MercyMe,” he said. “I had met the guys in Oklahoma and not too long after that, the bass player announced he was leaving. I got a call asking if I wanted to come down to try out.”

All of that seems pretty normal for the replacement of a member, but that’s where that regular trip ended.

“I came down for the tryout and we didn’t play any music at all,” Cochran said. “It was a church camp. We played volleyball and kind of hung out a bit. That’s how I found myself here.”

Becoming the bass player in one of the most recognized Christian bands was something that Cochran said was not here he expected he’d be.

“I kind of stumbled into the music,” he said. “I was influenced by my mom and dad. I eventually came to a point where I set out thinking that I really love music. I think I’ll take a shot at it. I started writing about what I know and found that it was my relationship with Christ that was the driver for me. It’s really similar for all of us in MercyMe.”

Recently, high-profile worship leaders and pastors have been in the news for taking a stance of leaving Christianity and some even committing suicide.

The impact has been big for Christians as discussions take place. Cochran said it is really an example of where people put their faith.

“People are going to disappoint us all the time. It’s dangerous to put someone, anyone, on a pedestal,” he said. “In a way, I think some of this has been good as some people in those positions have talked about mental illnesses. We have a habit of seeing these things as a weakness. The point is that Christ has come to redeem us and allow us to say, ‘I need help.’ It’s about the sufficiency of Christ and what He has done for us. If it shakes your faith when these things happen, you have to ask what, or who, it was that you had placed your faith into.”

Cochran said that he and the guys in MercyMe all have their wives to be accountable to as well as God.

“We are accountable to each other, like brothers,” he said. “But we are also accountable to our wives. The only reason we still do this is because our wives say it’s OK.”