Exclusive Interview With For King & Country About K-Love Award, New Album, 'Crave' And More

Luke of for KING & COUNTRY spoke to us today about what is was like to receive the award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the first annual K-Love Fan Awards.  In addition, he spoke about the duo's most recent album, 'Crave,' and gave us some insight into the his background and future plans.

1) What was it like to win the award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year at the K-Love Fan awards?

"It was a pretty cool experience for us because the thing about that award is that it's voted by the fans and, for us, the reason why we do music is that we hope that we can write songs and things that impact people's lives.  And I think when you have fans being able to say, 'hey, you know, this song moved me or this song impacted me,' and they vote for you, that means a lot to us because it's the reason why we do music, you know, we want to impact people's lives through music.  So it was a real honor for us just to be us there with a bunch of other artists that we really respect and it was just a real special night for us."

2) What would you say was the highlight of those awards for you?
"I really enjoyed, you know, my wife and I got to attend it together and we were just one of the attendees for the night and just to be able to sit back and watch kind of your peers that you seemingly work with do their thing on stage.  And then later on at the show, we actually had to await several hours, we got to play our song, 'The Proof Of Your Love,' and it was at the Ryman Auditorium, which is a pretty famous venue and one that, we live in Nashville, Tennessee, and one that we've frequented, seeing other shows.  So to be able to play on that stage and be able to attend it was really a terrific and sweet night, and one that I'll look back with very fond memories."

3) What is the main inspiration behind your album 'Crave'?
"It's funny, with me, when Joel and I write music, our goal to be able to be real and authentic in all of the songs that we write.  I always tell people it's like, if you were to take a year our of somebody's life, you know you have the ups and downs, you have the highs and lows, and those are the things that we write about.  It's funny, I think that when we wrote the album, you know you're never really sure how it's going to connect with people, and one of the things that we hear the most of is, you know, 'hey, thank you for begin so honest through your lyrics and the songs on the album,' because we've got break-up songs on there, we've got songs that you could say define my wife, and then we finished dabbling with  the song called 'Crave,' which is actually going to be our next single, which just simply says, 'hope is what we crave, and that will never ever change.'  So, it's really kind of a diverse group of themes that go along with it, but I think that the actual heartbeat of it is that there is hope out in the world and that we all crave it as individuals."

4) What is your favorite song on that new album and why?
"It's actually the song that I just mentioned before, 'Crave,' and that is just a song that, I wrote it probably about 4 years ago and it was a pretty seemingly dark day that day and I went into the studio and I just kind of wrote the things that were on my heart.  And I'm guessing that that day really felt like a hopeless day, and to be able to write about that and to be able to have a lot of people resonate with that has been a special thing.  But yea, that song was a real heart cry for me."

5) Do you tend to write songs with Joel or do you both write separately?
"You know, we, most of the time, always write together and 'Crave' was one of the unique ones that I wrote separate.  Usually, him and I write pretty much all of the songs together with usually someone else in the room as well."

6) Do you have a story behind one of the songs on the album that you would like to share?
"Yeah, there's a song on the album called 'Light It Up,' actually, the we wrote for a good friend of ours that struggled with depression, and when we wrote the song we actually took the opportunity to play it for him a couple of weeks later and we weren't sure how he was really going to take it, and we played it for him and it was his favorite song on the album.  He was just like, 'yeah, I just love this song, I feel so connected to it.'  And we knew that, because we wrote the song about him and for him, that we were eventually going to have to tell him that it was written for him.  So, a little time went by and eventually we kind of got the courage up to tell him and when we did he actually just kind of was shocked and walked out of the room.  And we kind of just, Joel and I looked at each other like, 'oh, wow, that didn't go exactly how we expected it to go.'  And about 45 minutes later he called us and he said, 'Guys, I just wanted to say thank you so much for writing that song for me, you have no idea how much it helps me and how much it encourages me.'  And I think it was at that time for both Joel and I that we realized the absolute power that music has and when you use the power of music and melody and lyrics with the power of the Gospel, something incredibly dynamic and powerful takes place."

7) What is it like to create music and perform alongside your brother?
"For Joel and I, you know, we are family and we've kind of been around music our whole life and so it kind of feels like it's the only thing that I know, to be quite honest with you.  We've been officially kind of working together in music for about 8 years and so when you work together with somebody for that long it almost just becomes so normal that you don't really think much about it.  And honestly, I think it's a special thing that we have just because we can be so honest and real with each other and, you know, when he makes a mistake or says something that I might not quite agree with I can just say, 'Hey, man why don't we change this,' or 'what do you think about this,' and vise versa, and he does the same for me, and there's not really any hurt feelings or difficulty that comes from that.  So, I absolutely love working with my brother and we really have complete opposite talents and are very different individuals.  So, it really has worked out to be quite a special little thing that we have going."

8) Does the fact that you know each other so well ever cause problems when you're working together?
"I think it probably honestly helps because in music it's very honest and you've got to be kind of direct and if you're afraid of hurting somebody's feelings, that's when things can get you into a lot of trouble.  But when you're with brothers, you know, we have our moments, we have our times when we disagree and we have discussions and get better and work at things.  But the truth is, even if I disagree with something that he has done or an idea that he has, or he doesn't with me, the truth is we're brothers and we have to love each other at the end of it anyway.  And then, when you're just buddies, I guess you could just break up at that point."

9) Do you have a testimony that you would be interested in sharing about how you came to Christ?
"I was actually 8 years old and apparently my parents said I went through a real rough patch in my life where I was quite a lier and different things and wasn't being a very good little boy.  And, at one particular time, I apparently had lied to my mother and I had gone and spoken with my dad and my dad said, 'Hey you need to go apologize to your mom,' and this, that and the other and, when I was a kid, I went to my mom and I just said, 'Hey mom, I'm so sorry,' and you know I apologized and I kind of paused there for a second and I just said, 'You know what, I know I need Jesus in my life.'  And that was the pinnacle moment for me, it was, I say what sin does to people in their lives and what it had done in my life and I just realized that I have to absolutely have Jesus to be able to forgive those sins.  So, after that we got my parents together and then prayed together.  And I'll never forget walking in to go to sleep that night, it was totally the best night sleep I'd ever had because the load was off my shoulders.  I was sleeping deeply but very lightly at the same time because my soul felt free."

10) What was the inspiration behind the music video for 'The Proof Of Your Love?'
"I have another brother, Ben, who works in film and does music videos and different things, and people came to us and said, 'Hey, we want to do a music video for this.'  We had kind of been waiting for that moment in a way, just to be able to work together.  So we kind of pooled our means and kind of struck up some ideas.  And, really, the heartbeat of the music video and the illustration behind it is just, our culture is so incredibly powerful these days and it kind of locks us up, to kind of where our mouths our covered and our hands are tied together.  And sometimes it takes an act of goodness to kind of break down those walls and the film is kind of about one person realizing, "Hey you know what, I don't have to live life like they're telling me to,' you know, 'I don't have to live life the same way everybody else that goes before me lives it.'  We really wanted it to be a song that we attached with a music video that had a message of something significant.  We hope that people have been able to understand that through the individuals in the music video."

11) What do you think the future has in store for 'for KING & COUNTRY ' as a group?
"I always think when you talk about the future, I mean, we don't know.  I think sometimes Joel and I look at each other and think of the things that have happened  and probably kind of go, 'How did this happen' and 'How did this work out.'  So, when it comes to the future, we want to be people that continue to write songs that matter to us in our lives and that we hope that other people attach to and that they can be encouraged by, and I think we want to be real and authentic and honest and true to ourselves and whatever happens from that is out of our control really.  And we just try to walk out and be faithful with opportunities that we're given and honestly it's kind of cool because I kind of feel like we're along for the ride."

12) Do you have a favorite Bible Verse that you would like to share?
"Right now it's Psalm 20: 7, it says, 'Some will trust in chariots, some will trust in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.'"

13)  What are some of your favorite things to do in your free time?
"When I'm home and I can, I absolutely love to be able to play some sports or, I grew up playing a lot of tennis or basketball, and I love doing those kinds of things when I'm home.  I come home a very happy boy."

14) What are your future tour plans?
"We're going to be doing festivals all this summer and then in the Fall we'll go out with Newsboys and it looks like we're going out on a Christmas tour with Big Daddy Weave and Meredith Andrews as well, so it should be a real fun next to months."

15) What has been the highlight for you as far as other artists you've been able to meet on your journey so far?
"My family kind of grew up in the industry a bit, so most of them I've kind of known most of my life and most of it is, 'Man, I never knew that you sang as a little boy,' and that kind of stuff.  But, the other day, we ran into Amy Grant and Steven Curtis Chapman at an event, and you know those people have been around and we've heard their music for a long time, and Switchfoot was also at the festival, and those are some artists that I've always looked up to."

16) What made your family decide to come to the United States from Australia?
"My father was actually in Christian concert runner in Australia and on one particular tour he lost pretty much everything, lost the house, lost the savings and they were looking for a fresh start in life and he got a job offer in Nashville, Tennessee and he thought, 'Hey, you know what, I need a fresh start, why don't we move to Nashville, Tennessee.'  And so it all kind of came out of a place of looking for a fresh start really.  And so we moved to Nashville and the rest is kind of history for us."


Thanks for spending some time talking with me today Luke!  It was really great being able to get some insight into the award, your new album and even a little bit of your the backstory.  Keep up the great work in your music and everything that you do!


Tags : For King & Country Luke Smallbone K-Love Fan Awards Breakthrough Artist of the Year 'Crave'

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