|Meet the Artist: NEEDTOBREATHE
|Written by DeWayne Hamby
|Tuesday, 11 March 2014 01:52 PM America/New_York
Needtobreathe, comprised of brothers Bear Rinehart (vocals, guitar, piano) and Bo Rinehart (guitar, backing vocals) as well as Seth Bolt (bass, backing vocals), readies the group’s latest project, Rivers in the Wasteland (Word Records/Atlantic, Word Distribution), which releases April 15. Bear Rinehart recently spoke with Christian Retailing about the album, which represents a return to the group’s roots.
What does it mean that this record is a “turning point” of sorts? The band’s been together for a long time, for 14 years, this being our fifth record, and a lot has happened over the last couple of years. We felt some things had gotten away from us personally and the business—all that’s intertwined. Some ambition had crept in and become too important and our identities had become wrapped up in it. It didn’t start out that way. We saw signs of that and it scared us. It culminated in us fighting a lot, things that are bound to happen when you get priorities messed up. For us, our identity personally in God and the band was more in God’s hands than ours. That took an incredible amount of pressure off of what we were supposed to be. It freed it up to where God could use it and surprised us.
Do you typically write with a particular album in mind or simply write and collect songs for one of your upcoming records? This record took a really long time. I think it was God’s plan for that in the way He gave us the songs. The first track [on the record], “Wasteland”—we’re starting with nothing. There’s a lot of confusion. Then there’s that feeling of hope. There’s a song called “Rise Again,” maybe showing that I’m getting a glimpse of how it will be when it turns around. The song “Multiplied” is about when we let go and give things to God, how He can use those things. I think this record needed to be spread out, so we could have those things happen in our own lives.
Going forward, what does that new focus look like? I think we appreciate each other on another level. … We felt like if we were supposed to walk away from it, we could. Just having that faith and that willingness, I think God met us in that place.
What was the inspiration behind the first radio single, “Difference Maker”? I wrote that song, really struggling with the idea of how important we are in this process that God wants us to be a part of and how important that creativity is and struggling with our role in this thing. Most of the song talks about our neediness. That’s what ties us together with each other. I think God showed us that the way to be “difference makers” is not in the things that you do, but it is in that surrender.