Christian rockers Newsboys haven’t been wanting for headlines during the past year.
Shortly after recording the group’s latest studio albums, “In the Hands of God,” singer Peter Furler decided to leave the group after nearly 20 years in the band to spend more time with his family. Newsboys replaced him with former dc Talk frontman Michael Tait and also welcomed guitarist Jody Davis back into the group after a six-year hiatus he took to tend to a daughter with Cerebral Palsy.
“It’s kind of hitting its stride now,” says keyboardist Jeff Frankenstein, who hails from metro Detroit. “It’s just been one of those sort of years. I’ll admit it’s difficult when you go through a lead singer change, but now it’s starting to get fun and we’re realizing the potential this band’s got.”
Tait, in fact, brought a win-win situation into the group given dc Talk’s Grammy Award-winning pre-eminence in the Christian rock world. There was some discussion about dubbing his vocals instead of Fuller’s onto “In the Hands of God,” but Frankenstein, who co-produced the album, says they ultimately decided it was best to leave things as they were — although the group did record a version of the song “Glorious” with Tait’s lead vocals in order to give radio stations something current.
“We kicked the idea (of re-cutting the album) around a little,” he says. “But having been one of the producers on the record and working on it with Pete for two-and-a-half years, we kinda decided not to do that.
“And a lot of songs on the record are sort of autobiographical for Pete; even though he didn’t know he was retiring at the time, now it’s kind of eerie to listen to them and hear what he was saying and what happened afterwards. It probably wouldn’t have made a lot of sense to re-cut it and have Mike sing them. We’re writing new songs now, so hopefully we’ll have something out next year to start Mike’s era on record with the band.”
Newsboys, Superchick and Sevenglory perform at 7 p.m. Friday (Aug. 7) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $35.50 pavilion, $10 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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