For King & Country Uses Experience to Tap into New Album ‘What Are We Waiting For?’


When does the method of constructing a document start? Is it when the engineer within the studio says ‘Rolling?’ Is it when the primary little bit of ink sinks into an another way clean sheet of paper? Is it when a band first will get in combination and guarantees kinship via an inevitably up and down handful of years, or longer?

For the preferred duo-brother band For King & Nation, the daybreak in their impending LP (their 5th), What Are We Ready For? flickered at 3 within the morning one evening on a excursion bus. The gang had launched a observe or two that will to find their approach onto the brand new LP by way of that point, but it surely used to be then that complete ideas started to take form.

That document is about to drop on Friday, March 11 and what it manner for the band and for its lovers will quickly be observed, heard and felt in real-time because the brothers hit the street on a long spring excursion.

“I used to be laying in my bunk at the bus at 3 AM,” For King & Nation’s co-founder Joel Smallbone tells American Songwriter. “It used to be December twenty second, or thereabouts. And I simply felt like—you don’t in point of fact know while you’re going to have this second or epiphany. However it used to be an excessively transparent: it’s time.”

It used to be in that overdue hour that Joel knew he’d observed sufficient from existence during the last 12 months, or 3, {that a} document with one thing to mention, a viewpoint, may just veritably coalesce. He felt it in his fibers. The protests over the homicide of George Floyd, the COVID-19 fallout, and extra—with those circling in his psyche, a brand new album would come forth. So, he took his inspiration to his brother and band co-founder, Luke, and so they sat down with their excursion supervisor and started to devise. As a result of their then-tour had simply concluded (a drive-in revel in with dozens of dates) and as the pandemic precluded them from extra dates, Joel and Luke had time to paintings at the album regionally at house, versus at the street.

“You by no means relatively know what the topics are going to be,” says Joel. “However there are 3 subject matters that experience risen.”

Joel says that the brand new album explores a way of universality that made itself transparent right through the pandemic, together with a collective thought of struggling. Additionally baked into the album are at times-subtle subject matters of non secular religion and extra overt subject matters of circle of relatives. After all, how may just circle of relatives no longer be a part of the brand new LP. Each Joel and Luke had been born right into a musical circle of relatives. Their father used to be a live performance promoter in Australia, and so they’d assist publish flyers and recreation band products. Actually, their father is the central explanation why the 2 brothers—who’re two of 7 kids within the circle of relatives—were given in combination.

“I didn’t wish to paintings with my brother to start with,” Joel says, with a snort.

However their father, who additionally managers the brothers’ gifted musical sister, Rebecca St. James, driven the 2 to operating in combination. On the time, Joel used to be operating on a solo challenge and he balked on the thought of operating along with his more youthful brother, who’d already grown taller than Joel and used to be “a greater sportsman” than he used to be, too.

“That’s a recipe for a pissed off older brother,” Joel says, once more with amusing.

However the athletic Luke had blown out his knee and his promising basketball profession used to be achieved. Along with his existence moving and with the urging in their father, the 2 were given in combination and started to make tune. They haven’t stopped since. On the time, Joel already had some manufacturing revel in on methods like Professional Gear. He’d apprenticed beneath a neighborhood engineer in Australia. So, with extra good-natured drive from papa, the brothers started to take off. Alongside the best way, the circle of relatives moved to Nashville and, rapidly, the circle of relatives used to be within the heart of Tune Town. However that wasn’t essentially a boon in an instant.

“The ones first years,” Joel says, “once we set to work in combination within the overdue 2000s, the ones first years we simply were given became down. By way of each primary label in The us.”

Listening to the phrase “no” again and again could make artists query their function, if someone cares. To not point out, dwelling in a town the place persons are signing document offers on a daily basis can distract. However the brothers continued. They launched their first EP in 2008 and their first (double) album as For King & Nation in 2012, 10 years in the past on February 28, 2012. When that document did smartly, the brothers may just in any case breathe a sigh of reduction. Later, they discovered themselves on a excursion with a “conglomerate” of bands, taking part in stadiums. They occupied the hole 10-minute slot as other people had been strolling in. From then on, they’ve stored humility as a big asset, in spite of now garnering thousands and thousands of lovers and fans. They’ve even collaborated with large names like Timbaland and Dolly Parton.

“I don’t know if it’s being certainly one of seven [kids],” says Joel, “if it’s being the center kid, being immigrants, being rejected so incessantly—however I do have this sense of ‘when’s the penny going to drop?’ With each track, with each excursion, there’s this feeling of significance and a concern on it since you by no means know this may well be the closing alternative.”

Every other software the brothers use to stay their careers on the right track is religion. It’s no longer that For King & Nation units out to write down about God and their dating to the deity. Slightly, if the topic crosses their desks, to be able to discuss, they gained’t shy clear of it. They grew up with faith and prefer many, together with their Christian rock sister, to find it part of their lives. But, in addition they stay the indie sensibilities they got here up with shut handy. And as For King & Nation glance forward, to the excursion, to the discharge, there may be a lot to be occupied with. Now not least of which is a few new movie initiatives, together with one who their brother Ben, who’s a filmmaker, will likely be making about their folks (Joel will celebrity because the dad). It’s all a part of the revel in of an artist’s way of life.

“Should you return,” says Joel, “regardless of how a long way again into human historical past, each tradition there’s ceremonies, celebrations, commemorations which are at all times constructed round rhythm and tune. I feel we, greater than ever, want it. This magical miraculous factor that we get to faucet into.”

Photograph courtesy Rogers & Cowan PMK