Gospel and Christian music duo Angelo and Veronica are back with a brand new album Back to the Gospel. The album finds the couple returning to what is at the core of their ministry: the Gospel of our Lord Jesus. They have previewed their new album with the release of new re-imagined take of their hit "Knocking on Your Door (Remix)." "Knockin on Your Door", written by Angelo & Veronica, is originally from their 1992 Higher Place debut.
We are honoured to be able to catch up with Veronica Petrucci for this exclusive interview.
Q: Veronica, thanks so much for doing this interview with us. I believe you and your husband planted a new church not too long ago. How's the church doing?
Higher Place Church is an online ministry we started in 2015. It has absolutely changed our lives. It has caused us to really look at our own lives and has challenged on what we believe and why. It has caused us to search the Word like never before. We discovered there were some cracks in our foundation. We believed certain erroneous things because we just believed what we were told. Now we tell everyone who listens, don't take the preachers word for it, read the Bible yourself!
Q: Congratulations on your new album, how and when was this album conceived?
This album was a continuation of the last album, The Truth. Angelo had already produced "Knockin on Your Door" (remix). But we had too many songs already. So we decided to leave it for this album. Back to the Gospel album was inspired by Higher Place Church. Because of this ministry, we found that certain things we believed were not right. And we had to make some adjustments in our lives. Because receiving the truth does just that. Because of searching God's word for ourselves, it's been like discovering the gospel of Jesus Christ for the first time. God is really planting our feet on solid rock and foundation. So we don't feel so insecure and fearful in this world anymore. We now have the full assurance of our hope and faith. It's life changing and we must share it with the world.
Q: Why did you decide to call the album "Back to the Gospel"?
The first song on the album is called "Back to the Gospel". My aim was to present the gospel in 2 choruses! We live in a world where men have tried to create a world without God. The song talks about how far away we are, in this world, from the gospel. All the problems and chaos are because we have thrown away the gospel. And the gospel is the only solution for the world and man's condition. Every song presents an aspect of the gospel, so it seemed the perfect title.
Q: Many of these songs are very personal to you and I have read that they came during a period of illness. Can you share with us what you went through and how these songs came about?
I wrote lyrics for 'The Same God', 'Praise You Now 'and 'Your Love Heals Me 'during a difficult battle with auto-immune disease. There's something about illness that makes you feel especially vulnerable and afraid. And when you fear, it further weakens your immune system and keep you in constant state of illness. So that experience has definitely drawn me closer to God, my Father and His love. I also translated' Your Love Heals Me 'in Spanish called 'Tu Amor Me Sanar'á. Besides the struggle with autoimmune disease, I had allergies and hay fever so bad, I could not finish one of the songs for about a year and half! I finally got through it. Thank goodness for vocal technique!
Q: You have also re-visited a track "Knockin on Your door," which was originally from your debut 1992 album. Why did you decide to do a remix of it?
We had little creative control on our first album. Which was frustrating because Angelo had already done a great job producing our songs. So there were songs we wrote that we wanted to hear differently. So we've re-recorded "Higher Place" (remix) from The Truth album and now "Knockin on Your Door" (remix). Angelo has brought these songs back to life.
Q: What were some of the highlights for you in the making of this new record?
The highlight for me was making this record stress-free. I told Angelo if this is going to be stressful or full of strife, I don't want to do it. So much of the album process in the past was being under pressure from the labels and putting ourselves under tremendous pressure to perform. This process was none of that. We prayed before every session and made it our goal to remain in the Spirit at all times. And most of all, enjoy ourselves and what God was creating through us!
Q: What message do you want your listeners to take away after listening to this album?
Yes, there is a clear message we want people to take away. And that is the gospel of Jesus Christ! The gospel, is simply this, that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again on the third day according to the scriptures (1 For 15:3-4). And this is the plan that God created from the beginning of the world to save us (Jn 3:16). Men have long tried to change this gospel. Unbeknownst to us, we even believed another gospel for some time. Unfortunately, and especially in America, a different gospel is preached because it sells better. We did not witness that any clearer than in the Christian and Gospel music industry. Where many times, they repackage it to make more sales. Foundations of the faith such as the cross, sin, repentance and the blood of Jesus, often get left out. This changes it into different gospel. And another gospel cannot save your soul!
We want listeners to experience more than the songs or music, but a presentation of the gospel with an opportunity for them to respond. We lead people into a prayer of salvation at the end of the album. That's why this album is so important. I feel like after all these years, we finally got it right.
Q: Next year will be the 30th year since the release of your debut album Higher Place. How will be you be celebrating the 30th Anniversary of your debut record?
I did not realize that! Looking back, Higher Place was truly a ground breaking album. People did not know whether we were black, white, Gospel, CCM or secular! The record label honestly had no idea what to do with us. It would be great to re-release it. But God willing, we'll just be enjoying the fruit our labor from this album.
To purchase/stream the album:
For CD & Digital: http://angeloandveronica.com Digital & Streaming: https://distrokid.com/.../angeloandver.../back-to-the-gospel