In the two years since Abandon’s
Forefront Records debut Searchlights
, the San Antonio-based band scored a Dove nomination, throngs of critical acclaim and tours alongside Fireflight, Building 429, Remedy Drive, Teen Mania’s Acquire the Fire
, plus a plethora of major faith-based festivals. Amongst all the activity, the modern rockers crafted its sophomore CD Control
, which finds the five-some taking the next natural evolutionary musical step, while also turning inward for their greatest lyrical depth to date.
“It’s been a lot of hard work, and when you’re in the audience looking at a band on stage, it’s easy to take for granted how they got there,” notes front man Josh Engler. “There’s a lot of leg work that makes it all possible. From the very beginning, we set out to stay real and stay at the audience’s level, even if we are literally three feet above them on stage…”
The 13 tracks that comprise Control
are oozing with examples of the group’s instant reliability and heart on sleeve vulnerability, despite all the interactions with success over the past six years.
NRT’s Bill Lurwick spoke with Josh Engler about the new album, the band’s namesake, and the miracle of the Aurora Borealis.
Hey Josh, so tell us about the new album. It released in April, right?
Yeah. It’s called Control. The concept of Control is more of a question of who has control in your life. We want to encourage and challenge people through the music and lyrics on the new record to let God have control.
The way we paint the picture usually is on the front of the CD cover. All the new artwork for this, for the new record, focuses on the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights. What we’re trying to say through that is, “Look how beautiful this is. It’s a natural phenomenon. Totally God-made and not orchestrated by man.” The concept is for us to look at how beautiful life can be if you let God have control and get your hands off it. Just contrast your life to this awesome natural wonder of the Northern Lights and just see what God can do with your life.
Josh, Abandon is a rather unique group name. There’s another group out there named Abandon Kansas right now--but you guys are Abandon. Talk about where you got that group name.
Really, it’s from the dictionary definition. We’re kind of into definitions in our band. Inside the new CD cover we’ve put the definition of control in there, but the meaning of Abandon comes from the definition, which is to leave something without the intent of ever returning. So, we just take that approach to our lives with Christ, constantly being molded to be more like Christ. We must die so that Christ can live and we must decrease so He can increase. So, it’s that idea of constantly chasing after God without the intent of turning around.
Talk about "Feel It In Your Heart," which has made a huge impact at radio recently.
It’s a challenge not to be a part of the noise that’s going on in the world around us, but to really be true artists. We don’t want to be people who play music to make money off of it, but to be true artists and true voices.
The song goes out to anyone who wants to change their world--not being another noise, another voice in the chaos. Tune into Heaven and know that God has inspired those ideas and those individual talents, and feel it in your heart.
Your use of the Northern Lights is an interesting concept, being as you guys pretty much hail from San Antonio, Texas.
We were brainstorming about what to do with the new record and what we wanted to say something different from the last one. We’re always wanting to do something fresh and new. We believe God wants us to sing a new song and to speak a new revelation. His mercies are new every morning. God is a creator and He’s constantly creating. So, we want to be plugged into that flow of fresh and new ideas and new creativity.
We were brainstorming and the Northern Lights just kept coming back to us--the beauty of it and the way that it happens all on its own.
What’s one of your favorite cuts from Control that we won’t be hearing on the radio?
We got an interesting opportunity, a unique opportunity, to record a song. It was produced by the former lead singer Edison Glass, Josh Silverberg. He’s an up-and-coming producer and it was just a treat to be able to experiment on a song in a new way. The song is called “Why Does It Take So Long,” and it’s sort of a reflection from me personally, and the rest of the band totally relates to it. It’s about how sometimes it feels like it takes forever to get a break or to really find out what you want to do in life and who you want to be--just that journey to find who God’s made you to be.
It’s one of our favorite tracks on the record, but that was just a real treat and that probably won’t go to radio, but it’ll show up in our live sets.
I appreciate you spending a few minutes with us, Josh. Blessings to you guys.
Thanks for calling me up. I really appreciate it.
Bill Lurwick, the voice of NewReleaseTuesday.com's weekly New Christian Music Podcast, has been in radio since 1989 and is currently heard on KJIL in Dodge City, KS.