Wickham brothers talk family, video games before performance
San Diego natives Phil and Evan Wickham were invited by Associated Students to perform for the Heart of Worship Conference Friday night. Before the brothers took the stage with their crowd-inspiring worship songs, I had the chance to sit down with the duo and ask them a few off-the-wall questions.
LD: What quirks do you guys have?
EW: What quirks? The thing about a quirk is that it’s unbeknownst to you until it’s pointed out by a person.
PW: And if I grew up with someone I feel like it’s normal because he’s been doing it a long time.
EW: We probably have some quirk overlap between the two of us. ... I touch my nose a lot when I’m nervous. I just go like [gesture]. And I still sometimes swipe my hair, but it’s not there anymore. Because it used to be down, so still sometimes I go like that [gesture]. There is no hair there.
PW: I can’t think of any for myself. I’m sure I have many.
EW: You’re pretty put together.
PW: Not true. Um ...
EW: I do eat an apple the same way with the same bite pattern every time ... I eat straight on, up and down, and then from that bite, side, side, and I take the corners off ‘cause it’s a plus sign. And then it’s a square. And then I do the rest of the circle I go around and I bite off the edges on either side and it’s a core by then. Oh and I eat the core.
EW: Always. The only thing that’s left of an apple is the stem.
PW: Is biting your nails a quirk?
EW: You’re a gamer. We’re both pretty much gamers.
PW: We grew up playing video games.
LD: What’s your favorite?
EW: Skyrim Level 54, Wood Elf.
PW: I got really into Battlefield recently. ... I played World of Warcraft for about two months. And then I stopped for about a year and then I played it for another two months. I was a knight elf. That’s pretty quirky. ...
LD: So that being said, how have you guys rubbed off on each other or influenced each other?
EW: Video games. Just kidding.
PW: Evan started playing music long before I did and I thought it was cool that he did, so I wanted to. That was one of the ways he’s rubbed off [on me].
EW: Yeah, about thirty, twenty-five minutes ago, I’m like, ‘Hey Phil, I need one more upbeat, rad, “baddical” song for my next record that’s upbeat and rousing. And he’s like, ‘What about?’ And he just instinctively went to a vibe. ... So that song, if it comes to exist, will be him rubbing off on me. ...
LD: I know you guys are really into video games ... If you couldn’t do music, what would you do?
EW: Video games.
PW: I don’t know. I should really try to think. Evan already kinda does other stuff. He’s a pastor.
EW: I’m a local church guy. I think the analytical side of me that comes from wanting to pick puzzles apart, it transfers over into my quest for biblical theology. So I love, love talking theology.
PW: He’ll take any side, he just wants to talk about a new idea.
EW: Like, devil’s advocate for the sake of sharpening my own opinion — sharpening my own perspective and my grasp of a certain biblical truth. I just got my degree in Bible and Theology from Trinity Seminary [Newburgh, Ind.] back east. That’s cool because I never thought that would happen after having tons of kids, going back to school. But, got it done. I’m taking a worship pastor position up in Portland in the next couple months. ...
PW: I would probably work at a Trader Joe’s.
PW: Not by choice, necessarily. I just think I would probably just do something like that, like managing the produce section.
EW: I feel like you could sell people on anything. You could do realty. Or cars.
PW: I wouldn’t want to do cars. Realtor would be fun. Not right now. ...
LD: [What’s] the most loving thing that your wife has done for you?
EW: Instantly, I will tell you. This made me literally weep. ... My garage was a wreck. But there was studio gear in there. I would write songs and create music in this little corner of my dirty, rat-infested garage ‘cause we live near this wilderness and there’s rats that come in this garage that we had. We still have it but it’s clean now because my wife three Christmas Eves ago, she assembled friends and family, and materials, and paint, and furniture. And while I was at the Christmas Eve services at my church, as soon as I left, she hit the go button and everybody rushed my garage with paint and furniture and racks for holding studio gear and trim and moulding and rugs and awesome mirrors and clocks. She made my garage that was just a garage full of junk with some cables in a knot, she turned it into this vibe-inspiring, creative space. ... [On Christmas morning] I went to the garage and I was like [eyes widened, jaw dropped]. Single tear, hundred tears. It was amazing. I don’t even know how you could plan something like that. But she changed my whole life from then on as far as expressing creativity.
LD: What about you, Phil?
PW: When I really think about it, just the fact that she married me was probably the most loving thing ... She knew everything about me, faults. And she knew that this is a difficult life to be a wife to, when I’m traveling all the time. And she not only said, ‘I’m gonna do it,’ but she has owned it and made it her own. She prays for these nights and we pray through this together, and she’s into the songs and she’s a part of it with me.
EW: That takes a special girl.
PW: That takes a very special girl. And it doesn’t happen as much anymore because there’s more to our family now with a little girl, but those times when I’d be away for two weeks and be home for a couple days and away for two weeks more. It’s not an easy thing, but she’s totally, totally behind what God is doing through me. She’s a part of it and that’s pretty awesome.