Tony Cummings talked to Gareth Gilkeson and Patrick Thompson of celebration band REND COLLECTIVE
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Gareth: I think they were trying to give a hipster terminology for 'Greatest Hits' because we've never had any great hits! It's not a Matt Redman album! (Laughs)
Tony: I would have to disagree, that seems to be my thing disagreeing with you guys. Surely, "My Lighthouse" and "Build Your Kingdom Here" were hits?
Patrick: Yeah, I'd say in the UK especially. Wherever we play it in the world Chris and I don't even need to bother singing the chorus to "My Lighthouse": He stops singing because everybody knows it.
Tony: So it's not really true to say you've not had a hit?
Gareth: It's all about how you define a hit. With American Christian radio none of our songs have ever been in the top ten. But something like "My Lighthouse" actually seems to have more longevity, it just is bit of a slower burn. Churches start playing it and that's all we care about. We really care about churches playing our songs, that's what we write them for.
Tony: Looking forward to the forthcoming album are you fairly convinced you've got it right?
Gareth: It's nearly all set to go, we are going to release it in January, we will probably have it finished in the next couple of months. We are bringing out a new song in a few weeks' time which will be good, it's called "Rescuer" with the sub title of "Good News". The preliminary title of the album is 'Good News' as well, mostly because there is so much bad news out at the minute and we just thought it was time to just go - You know what? Almost give a polite Christian two fingers to the bad news and to say "No, in the gospel and in Jesus there is 'Good News'"
Tony: Do you have a sense that the modern worship movement is spearheading something like revival?
Gareth: Yeah, I think whenever you remember how the children of Israel went out to war and even something that's continued through the centuries, the musicians went first. When you think about the 'Walls of Jericho' and off they went and then the walls came down, as a matter of fact they didn't even need the soldiers, coz of the shout of 'God's People' and the 'Praise', so we like to think so. For us we're about, we've just released our UK Tour for next year, we're doing over twenty dates, half of them are in clubs, which is intentional because it's not that we're trying to be cool or do something that isn't family friendly, we're hoping that it will be family friendly, because that is a big part of our message, but also we want people to be able to bring their friends who aren't Christians, we think that 'Worship and Mission' go hand in hand and that yeah, we're trying to usher in 'Revival' and be a part of that and be a part of God's Kingdom.
Tony: You've got albums, you've got tours. What has impressed everybody who knows your story is how hard working you guys are. You seem to be continually on an extended worldwide tour and go as a whole family. That's effectively held you all together, hasn't it?
Gareth: Yeah, definitely. I guess that was part of where the 'As Family We Go' idea came from. We have always said from the beginning that we are more like a family than a band. That is very true now that we have our wives and a handful of kids on the road with us as well.
Patrick: Handful of wives. (Laughs)
Gareth: Handful of wives, handful of kids and it just makes for a great experience and allows us to travel and do more events and lead worship in more places. Otherwise we wouldn't be able to be away from home as often and I think out of that as well is where a different type of song comes from, a different type of worship because we're not leaving our normal lives to go and lead worship, but we're actually writing and leading from our normal lives. That feels much more authentic for us.
Tony: Well when you're sitting in a very nice environment like this hotel the rock and roll lifestyle and gigging all over the place can seem very attractive.