When describing his band's history from hard rock heroes to a softer, more Christian-based outfit, the first thing drummer Chad Gracey noticed was how the overall song writing process within group had changed.

"When Live started, it was about playing music together," Chad said. "It sort of became not that. It became one guy doing everything or trying to do everything"

That "one guy" was former lead singer Ed Kowalcyk who has now broken off on his own to pursue his solo career. The rest of the band meanwhile has moved on as well, bringing in former Unified Theory front man Chris Shinn to take over for Ed as lead singer.

amNewYork spoke with Chad about Chris, his contribution to the group and the next phase of Live's musical journey.

 

Were you guys nervous to be releasing new material without Ed?

[There was] trepidation, I think, before we were writing stuff, because we didn't know what was going to come out. But once we got some songs under our belt and decided that we felt they were good, we thought our fans were going to like them.

 

How did Chris Shinn first get involved with the band?

[When] we decided at the end of 2011 that maybe we should try being a band again, Chris was our first call. We'd known Chris a long time. He came in and we played "I Alone" together and the rest was history.

 

Was he intimidated filling Ed's shoes?

It's been a transition for him to really get confident with the material. I think by the time he played that Atlantic City show [where the band performed "Throwing Copper" start to finish] he really got it down.

 

How is the song writing process different with Chris than with Ed?

Everyone's bringing in their ideas in at this point, especially Chris. Even that first rehearsal where we played "I Alone", we immediately went into working one of his ideas. It was refreshing. We went back and studied ourselves to see how we wrote songs while [recording] "Throwing Copper" and "Secret Samadhi," and we really wanted to convey that in the new songs. But then we have such a fresh perspective of Chris and what he does, [too].

 

If you go: Live is at the Gramercy Theatre Wednesday night at 6:30, 127 E. 23rd St., 212-777-6800, $25.