Interview: Jump5 - Bittersweet Farewell

|PIC1|Jump5 hit the music scene in 2001, renowned for their family-friendly music and Disney-featured songs. Siblings Brandon and Brittany Hargest, along with childhood friends Lesley Moore, Chris Fedun and Libby Hodges (who left the group in 2004) quickly became a teen phenomenon, touring worldwide and releasing nine albums on EMI-owned Sparrow Records, which collectively have sold over 1.2 million copies.

But now the group is ready to move on; they're no longer teenagers. Following the announcement of a farewell tour, Jump5 sat down with Christian Today to talk about their experience with Jump5 and their plans after parting ways - which involves the formation of a new band, acting, schooling... and marriage.

What's the greatest lesson you've learned from being in Jump5?

Chris: The thing I learned most from being here - because we've done a lot of interviews and met with a lot of fans - is learning how to interact with people. We've met with a lot of people so we've had the opportunity to learn. I am glad we were able to experience that.

Lesley: I agree with Chris - [being in Jump5] definitely made our people skills better, and you can interact with people and I'm more confident in myself. Also, I learned to not just take anything for granted. We've had so many fun times, we travel, and sometimes bad things happen on the road and you're discouraged about it and you get frustrated. But just the fact that you're doing something cool and that you have the opportunity to do this is something to be grateful for.

Brittany: For me, just learning how to deal with sacrifices. We're very family-oriented people, we love being with our families and friends and spending time with them. But being on the road, you don't really get to see your family as much. I guess for the past eight years, I was learning how to deal with that - learning how to be away from home.

Brandon: I think one thing I learned personally - especially being in Jump5 - is experiencing first-hand how God can work in mysterious ways. He's shown people His ways through us. We're getting older, but we're still young and we still have questions and we're learning. It's cool how after our shows, fans come up and tell us how our music has helped them. It's crazy because we're still learning too, and these people are looking up to us. It's really shown that God can speak through us.

So now that Jump5 is parting ways, what will all of you be doing?

Chris: I'm moving to Burbank, California in June from Nashville - we all live in Nashville - and I'm going to study acting and continue dancing and creating music.

Wow, you'll be a great actor. I can imagine you in sitcoms.

(Laughter)

Leslie: For me, I'm in school right now. I don't really know what I'm going to major in or where I'm really going now, I have a lot of interests that I have - but I'm also engaged, so I'm going to get married.

You're engaged?!

Yeah!

How old are you?

20... I guess it all depends on where you are. Some people want to get married when they're 30, some people want to get married when they're younger.

So school and getting married are my main interests at the moment.

Who is your to-be husband?

His name is Daniel, and I've been with him for four years... I met him when I was younger.

Chris: It's not one of us!

Lesley: Yeah, everyone asks that. 'Is it someone from Jump5'?

Brittany: It's funny because everyone still thinks we are 12 and 13 years old. So every time they hear [Lesley] is getting married, they're like, "What?"

(Laughter)

Brittany: Brandon and I are actually putting our little band together.

That would be cute.

Brittany: I know, right?

(Laughter)

Brittany: If you think about it, I have never spent more than a day without him. So thinking of moving on, I'm not ready to be away from him yet.

Brandon: Yeah, so we're writing and recording songs. It's kind of going to be a departure from Jump5 in a sense that we're doing our own music...

Brittany: We're actually playing instruments.

Brandon: I'll be playing a piano, and she'll be singing. We'll have a band behind us. We'll be out there rocking out, so it'll be cool. In the meantime, we're also doing school, too. We're trying to finish college at the same time, while writing and recording. It's going to be fun.

Is there a name for the band yet?

Brittany: There is!

Brandon: It's called GUEST.

So are you signed with a certain label?

Brandon: No, we're independent now and trying to do our own thing.

Brittany: We're still in the early, early, early stages.

Brandon: Yeah, so once we have some material, we'll shop it around and see how it goes. We're very excited about it.

I'm excited about it, too.

Chris: One thing I would like to say is that we're doing a farewell tour this fall... so get us to London!

Sure, they'd love you guys there. As long as you don't sing "God Bless the USA".

(Laughter)

Chris: We can sing "God Bless the UK!" (sings)

Lesley: We can make it work, God bless the U - ooh - K.

(Laughter)

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