The gentlemen of Tenth Avenue North are fresh off the release of brand new music with their E.P. “The Things We’ve Been Afraid to Say”. It’s a release with a consistent undercurrent – the tension between telling the truth & popularity. Thoughtful & big-hearted lead singer Mike Donehey introduces us to that confounding intersection.

“When you make popular music, part of the deal is you have to make music that people want to buy or listen to – or you can’t do it as a job! That’s a tension point, right? Because we’re always going to want to talk about what’s on our hearts, but we need it to have a commercial value.”

“I was going through Luke 6, and I was actually reading in The Message. And Eugene Peterson sums up what Jesus is saying to the Pharisees: hey, you guys thought your job was to be popular. It’s not. Your job is to tell the truth.”

The bracingly direct words brought Mike to a fresh realization.

“I realized there were some songs that we had already written, or wanted to write, that we were afraid to put out because we thought people weren’t going to want to buy this. This is  content that was awkward, or weird, or maybe just sort of taboo.”

“I realized if we only release music that we know people like – if we only release parts of the truth that we know people want to buy – then maybe we’re not completely telling the truth. Maybe we’re just selling the truth. And I wanted to not just worry about selling it. I wanted to tell even maybe some of the hard truths.”


Mike Donehey is the lead singer of the perennially chart-topping band Tenth Avenue North. They’re getting ready to head out on their one of a kind Christmas tour, Decade the Halls, fresh off the release of their latest E.P., The Things We’ve Been Afraid to Say.

On the Road with Tenth Avenue North's Mike Donehey

Leave a comment

Have someting to add? Login or quickly create an account to leave a comment.