... features: articles :::
back to selection

feature article - hm magazine (in English)

from: hm magazine Issue 59 (May/June 1996)
author: Brian Vincent McGovern
website: http://www.hmmagazine.com

»» Newsboys

by Brian Vincent McGovern

The Newsboys have become again the kind of entity that got them started -- a rock & roll band. With their new album, Take Me to Your Leader, the boys have returned to a more raw, live approach, instead of the electronics and sequencers that dominated the last two albums. Yes, that means there's more guitar. drummer/co-founder (and composer of most of the music on this album) Peter Furler explains that he wrote most of the songs with a guitar instead of the keyboard simply because he was sick of doing it with machines. "On this album we didn't use any sequencers or loops or anything. I didn't want to rely on a computer to make it sound good. I was sick of keyboards. I'd just had enough, and I didn't really find any inspiration from the keyboard with this record. With the last two records, I really hadn't found any inspiration on guitar. But with this one I did. I would sit down at the drum kit and record a drum groove for about three or four minutes, then I'd pick up the guitar and come up with a riff. That's really how it came about; it was just a new love for the guitar that came back on me. I don't know how long it'll last; I may do it for another couple records, and then go back to keys!" As for the "alternative" label that people have placed on them, Furler responds, "I like pretty simple pop, and I always have. That's who the Newsboys are. I think if the Newsboys tried to be Pearl Jam, we'd be idiots. We're not really alternative sort of guys anyway," he continues, "we're pretty cheesy. I mean, we're not a cool band. But we love what we do, and that comes out in the music. On the record, you hear 6 guys in the studio, and we're cracking up every now and then. It makes it fun, and that's what you've got to do it for. People get too serious a lot. That's why we had the silver suit and all that stuff. Grunge was big at the time, so we tried to go opposite -- to be alternative to the alternative. We don't take ourselves too seriously." And as far as pop music is concerned, Furler reveals, "To be honest, I'm not a great writer when it comes to Christian radio," states Furler. "We get our fair share of airplay, that's for sure, but I can't just sit down and say, 'Okay, we need an AC hit,' and then whack one out. That's not my style. Really, I write for the fans, but I also write for myself and the band." Many have written off the Newsboys as just a band Steve Taylor rescued from mediocrity. Furler explains that while Taylor has helped out in the lyrical and production areas, the band is still a real band in the truest sense -- and even more so with Take Me to Your Leader. A big change in the band occurred with Not Ashamed, about the same time Taylor began producing and co-writing with the band. "We did a record, Boys Will Be Boyz," says Furler, "and then we did Not Ashamed, when Steve came on board and suddenly, that record took off. So, I can see how people think that way. But there were other factors. I had sat down one day and decided I hated Boys Will Be Boyz. I had most of the music written for Not Ashamed before I'd even met Steve Taylor." Furler also states that inviting Taylor to write lyrics with the band was a wise decision. "When we got to the lyrics, I knew our weakness. I had written most of the music for Not Ashamed, and recorded a lot of it. I had titles and choruses for most of the songs, but it was the verses I couldn't get. No one ever praises you for going out and finding a great lyricist. Most bands say, 'We can do it ourselves,' and then go and put out a crappy album. No one ever said, 'Hey, that was smart to get Steve Taylor, because he's what they needed in the lyrical department.'" Furler says that another reason for the improvement during the Not Ashamed era is because of money. "You've got to remember that the budget on Not Ashamed was twelve times that of Boys Will Be Boyz. In fact, we spent more money just getting the drum sound on Take Me to Your Leader than we did on recording the whole Boys Will Be Boyz album. That makes a big difference. Anybody that prints magazines or makes records knows that. But you can pick up a CD, and listen to it, and it doesn't tell you how much they made it for." One thing Furler stressed, is that the band is content wherever God happens to have them, and that they strive for artistic consistency, rather than getting rich or making it big. "Where I think the whole band stands at the moment is that we like where we are at the moment," he says. "The band could get pushed and become a big band, and then a year later we're forgotten. And that would annoy me, because we're a band that has yet to do our best record. We sell enough records as it is; we do fine and I've got no complaints. I'd prefer to have 10 gold records than one or two that sell 11 million, like Hootie & the Blowfish or something, where you don't know where they'll be in a year. That might be cool for them financially, but as an artist, it would have to eat you alive. But I think, for us, the best is yet to come."

--Brian Vincent McGovern ««

band :: disco :: songs :: web :: features :: guests :: board :: grace :: fun :: shop :: news

© 2001-2007 by shineMedia  :::  site-info  :::  home.