Steve Hindalong, one of the founding members of The Choir and, at 52, one of Christian music's real veterans, says that in the last year, he has grown closer to God than ever and that he's seeing things more clearly than before.

That's what sobriety can do for you.

In a revealing interview with Christianity Today, Hindalong spoke for the first time about his 20-plus years of struggles with alcohol. But he was also elated to report more than a year of sobriety since attending his first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in early 2011.

Hindalong's comments came as we talked to him about The Choir's new album, The Loudest Sound Ever Heard, which releases today. Hindalong, the drummer and lyricist, and co-founder Derri Daugherty (lead singer/guitarist) recorded the album in fits and starts as time allowed. Daugherty would work on his guitar parts while holed up in his condo; Hindalong tracked drum parts in two studios with Daugherty engineering.

It's a new season for The Choir, and a bit freer one at that. Their previous effort, Burning Like the Midnight Sun, was well received by critics, but accolades and a loyal fan base never paid the bills for this band. Now they play for the love of it, and the freedom they're finding is opening up new creative vistas.

The new songs include themes of vulnerability and the idea that life doesn't always make sense. What led to this lyrical approach?

The more I unlearn and "un-know" divinity, the more real God becomes to me. But my perception of him remains faint. I used to think I had a lot figured out about theology; that was arrogant, since our capacity to comprehend invisible realities is limited. Biblical scholars, both devout and cynical, have argued divisively for centuries and will never agree. ...

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