Listen to the new album from ‎Jekalyn Carr!
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Delirious?


Best known for their modern-worship anthems, Delirious? released their 11th studio album Kingdom of Comfort April 1st and JFH's own Dave Taylor caught up with the guys to talk about their new album, drummer Stew Smiths departure, and the future of Delirious?.
This interview took place on: 3/18/08.



  • Jesus freak Hideout (Dave Taylor): On the new album, Kingdom of Comfort, you have talked about most of the inspiration for the album coming from work that youve done in India and some other countries. What specific things inspired you on the album?
    Martin Smith: Mostly, as weve traveled the last few years, weve seen with our own eyes some very horrific things. Thats forced us into making a response. You just cant come home and carry on living life the way you were. It doesnt mean things immediate, but something happens inside that makes you go, "I need to start repositioning myself and what I do to make changes." So thats a slow process but hopefully its a strong, steady, house-building process. And well all react different to that, but I know theres a sense for all of us that it cant ever be the same. Your heartbeat changes a little bit. It beats a little bit faster once youve seen all that stuff, and you cant settle. So we came back into the studio, and I remember us setting up and Stu G turned his amps on, and we got the drums up, and its like all this emotion, worry, pain, confusion, and the smell of India, and it all just sort of came out in the music, and we decided we just needed to go with it. I dont know where this fits but lets just keep going.

    Stew Smith: I think its more than just about social justice and poverty. Those are some of the trickiest, but actually for me, this is about what I believe in, and "does it make sense?" and "how am I making a difference?" And those are the real challenges that we have as individuals. Its not just this small social justice kind of poverty thing, but actually that is being the spearhead to these serious questions about our faith and what we believe. And part of the whole concept of Kingdom of Comfort is: have we made the Gospel which is so potent and can be so radical have we made it something which is so menial and almost like a consumable item, that weve lost the meaning and the potency of what Jesus walked around on the face of this planet talking about? And those are some of the things that go through my mind and in my heart, and thinking ok, what does that mean to me, am I actually making a difference? And hopefully when people listen to the album, they hear that cry of poverty, but actually, it requires something of us to try to change this world that we live in, and thats not just about India or Cambodia, or wherever, but its about where you live. It has to start with you. Those are some of the things that Im still buzzing on, that Im still questioning, and I havent got all the answers, but thats where that confusion and frustration comes out. But you know we really have to be people that make a difference. If our faith actually is that real, what am I doing about it? Its an exciting and challenging album. Musically, its brilliant. I think its the best album weve made.

  • JFH (Dave): One thing thats always impressed me about Delirious? is that you guys are constantly evolving. Every album has its own unique sound thats different than the one before. Is that a conscious decision?
    Stu G: I think that, because we love music so much and we listen to all different types of music, you get those sort of influences coming in and out all the time. And you just dont want to stay in the same place as a musician or a person. Youve just got to keep moving. Otherwise, for me, you feel stuck. When youre in it, it doesnt feel like youre doing it that much, but our aim is to move on with every record.

    Stew: I think its an interesting tension isnt it? Particularly with this new record Kingdom of Comfort I remember in the studio we were talking about ok, weve done this before, lets not do that, were just falling back on what is safe and what we know to do. But the tension is that theres a kind of sound to Delirious?, a link that people want to hear those things at the same time. So theres a bit of a balance, isnt there? If we produce an album thats so diverse and so out there, there probably wouldnt be any connection.

  • JFH (Dave): What are some of your favorite songs on Kingdom of Comfort?
    Delirious? Martin: "My Soul Sings," which is the last song on the record. All Gods Children. They both sit at the end of the record. They kind of carry the gist of it, dont they? But I love Stare the Monster Down. Its quite a personal lyric. I love Eagle Rider. I mean, I enjoy all them.

    Stu G: Its actually hard, but I mean, "Kingdom of Comfort" is probably my favorite song. Stare the Monster Down is very personal to me lyrically, and theres a lot of passion in that. I like the more up-tempo things like "God is Smiling" and "Break The Silence." "My Soul Sings," "Eagle Rider," it just goes on. I mean, we had fun making it, we really had fun. There was some really hard work at the beginning with some of the songs, but with the recording of it, we had really great fun.

  • JFH (Dave): Out of all the songs you guys have written and recorded over the years, what would you say your all time favorite Delirious? song is?
    Martin: Thats really hard.

    Stu G: You could have at least given us a top 5 or something

  • JFH (Dave): OK then, top 5?
    Stu G: Ill go for two. I love Investigate. I love the Psalm that comes from. I love the period of time we were in when we wrote that, and playing that on the stage is a great experience. And then Kingdom of Comfort

    Martin: Ill take the song Its OK, which I think was a great achievement for us because it was pushing that emotional breaking your heart button without doing the Jesus thing, and I thought it was great at the time. It was very holistic. And a song like Did You Feel the Mountains Tremble, not because stylistically I think its great, but because lyrically at the time, it came out of nowhere. It was a little bit bigger. And when you read the lyrics now, its still relevant today.

    Stew: Mine would be Mezzanine Floor, which I think is really interesting because I think its an interesting song for now as well. And for me, I really think it sort of encapsulated a time and space thing for where we were as a band and what were trying to achieve in terms of mainstream and be more poetic in our language to appeal to a wider audience but still have some sort of potency. And probably Investigate, its just a great rock song its just a chance to get lost in the sounds and tones.

  • JFH (Dave): I think its interesting that you brought up Mezzanine Floor, because [Stew] youre kind of in that place of being between change in your life. You recently announced that after 15 years, youre moving onto the next stage in your life. In your announcement you stated that you would continue to be involved in Delirious? after your departure. What will your involvement be?
    Stew: Ill be changing the guitar strings. *laughs* Obviously, Ive been drumming, but behind the scenes, creatively, Ive designed our marketing stuff. Ive been fortunate. Thats what my real job was before the band. Thats where my training was, and Ive been fortunate to do two things that I love. One is drumming, the other is the creative thing and the design, and actually in the last 12-15 years, to balance those things out. And so, Im going to continue to pick up that creative thing. Ill be working two days a week for Delirious? and Furious? and other artists to continue that, so Im really excited about that, and so the rest of the time Ill be doing other opportunities as Smeezer the Designologist. Im excited, its emotional and sad for all of us, because its something I love doing and could easily carry on with for the next 10 years, but its the tension of being away and just feeling like Gods got more for me and requires more of me. And that is a very difficult one, because I love what I do, and when were playing, theres no better place to be, and I still feel that when we play. But the feeling is that I need to take my foot off the gas, and Ill really find myself again and connect with the creative thing, which is something else I really love. Its all those things, its confusing and sad, but Im excited for the future, Im excited for the guys. The guy thats replacing me is a friend of ours, a young guy thats from our church that I helped out years ago to get into drumming. His name is Paul Evans, and I think musically hes going to be a great, great asset to the band. Hes a brilliant drummer. I think in terms of the band, hes going to bring some different dynamics... its going to be an exciting time.

  • JFH (Dave): After all this time, its been hard to picture Delirious? as being anything but the five of you guys. At any point did you guys consider is this the end, or do we keep going on? How did that conversation play out for the rest of you?
    Stu G: Well, its always an option, whatever stage youre at. But I think the thing is, we just didnt feel like were finished. As simple as that.

    Stew: I said to them This is feels right for me, but it doesnt feel right for you

  • JFH (Dave): I have a couple of questions asked by users of Dave Woods Delirious? fan site. The first one is: Whats the story behind Take off My Shoes? How did you write it, and by what inspiration?
    Martin: Its taken from that sort of mad story where the Old Testament priests would go into the holy of holies, and at times the presence of God would be so intense that the guy would die. And so theyd go in to tie a rope around his leg so that if he did die, they could pull him out without someone else having to go in. I mean its a great story, isnt it? But its taken from that thing that this is pretty holy ground we stand on, and savoring that moment, Im taking off my shoes.

  • JFH (Dave): Last question: Whats your favorite gig of all time.
    Stu G: Thats difficult.

    Stew: Probably the Roxy at Sunset Boulevard. Mid 90s, I think that was around 97. There were a few hundred people, Virgin Records and those guys were there, and we were really sweaty and jammed in there, but it was great.

    Martin: One that comes to mind is the Parachute Festival in New Zealand. Its outdoors, its like 30,000 people. The stars were out. And you really are on the other side of the planet. And we were seriously jet-lagged. It was the wrong time to be awake. And yet, we were out on the stage, and it was amazing. It was absolutely amazing. How an outdoor thing can feel like a small little club show. I love that.

    Stu G: For me, Id agree with Stew, Id say the Roxy, but Ill give you another one. It was the first time we played I cant remember which one it was it was either Irvine Meadows or the Greek Theatre in California and its like an outdoor amplitheatre. And I think it was an Investigate moment. When we played Investigate there, that was just the best moment.

    Delirious?' new album, Kingdom Of Comfort, is now available wherever music is sold.




    Left to right: JFH's David Taylor, Delirious: Stu G, Martin Smith, Stew Smith

     

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