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Twenty-twenty left us with a choice. In the midst of safer-at-home orders, racial and political unrest, and a virus that wreaked havoc around the world, the question remained: Where do you stand? For Platinum group Newsboys, the answer was easy. Recognizing that their season of collaboration with former bandmates Peter Furler and Phil Joel for their nostalgic run as Newsboys UNITED was coming to a close, current band members Michael Tait, Duncan Phillips, Jeff Frankenstein and Jody Davis, began to assemble an album that gave no doubt as to who they are and what they believe. The result is STAND, one of the most thoughtfully-crafted releases of their career and a project that marks the band’s return to their original label home, Capitol CMG.
Since their early beginnings in Australia, Newsboys have propelled countless hits up the charts. With signature songs, including “We Believe,” “Born Again” and Platinum-certified mega hit “God’s Not Dead,” which birthed a film franchise of the same name, Newsboys have sold more than 10 million albums spanning 23 recordings. In addition, they’ve amassed one Platinum and eight Gold certifications, 33 #1 radio hits, four GRAMMY® nominations, two American Music Award nods and multiple Dove Awards. With the transition to Michael Tait as the band’s lead singer in 2009, Newsboys embarked on an unprecedented second act that continues today.
When the global pandemic shuttered live events indefinitely, the award-winning supergroup was given something they’ve never been afforded—time. For the first time in three decades, Newsboys had an uninterrupted season before them to write, record and experiment.
“It really allowed us to immerse ourselves in the studio side of life,” Phillips attests. “There’s kind of this psyche that goes along with being in the studio, which is totally different than the live situation. It’s a whole different head space. So for the first time in our career, we had the opportunity to really immerse ourselves in that. It’s crazy because I never thought it would happen.”
Ironically, although they were restricted in the sense that they couldn’t tour, they had never been more free to create. The uninhibited space allowed Tait to dive deeper into the creative process than ever before with the charismatic frontman co-writing all 10 tracks on the album and co-producing the project alongside Tedd T., Micah Kuiper, Bryan Fowler, Ben Glover and Jeff Sojka.
“It’s fun when you have time to unpack your thoughts and really think about what you want to say on a record. You get real reflective. God showed up and just started putting songs on my heart,” shares Tait, who wrote upwards of 50 songs over the past year. “You’re literally creating something out of nothing, but every song isn’t necessarily a home run. It’s trial and error.”
The unconstrained environment also gave the band free rein to put every song through the wringer, constantly rewriting, reworking and rearranging until every single lyric and sonic embellishment met their high standards of excellence.