Don catches up with Gareth from the Rend Collective

Don: today I’m chatting to Gareth from Irish.. can we call you a super group yet, or are you just a band, or worship team? How are we introducing you?

Gareth: You know, you’re not a super group until you’ve like taken over a few different bands, and then you’ve amalgamated them, and then you become this supergroup… I think we’re just the perfectly average group!

Don: the perfectly average group, the Rend Collective, it’s great to be chatting with you today. You’re on your way to Brazil, but at the moment hanging out in the US.. you’ve just finished touring there, is that right?

Gareth: Yeah, that’s right, we just finished a Nashville tour.. we were supporting a guy called Chris Tomlin

Don: I haven’t heard of him! 😉

Gareth: haha, yeah, I hadn’t heard of him either.

Don: So, you’re not a supergroup, and you haven’t eaten up other bands to become a band.. so how did you actually form together as a band?

Gareth: sure, we grew out of a college movement, that was started in 2002, and I pastored it, and Chris, who is the singer in the band, he led worship.

So we did that for about 5 or 6 years while we were at university, and that sort of thing, then we just started realizing that a lot of the songs we were singing weren’t making sense for the kind of people we were. So we started writing our own songs and Rend Collective was born.

Don: ok, so given that’s where you started… at the moment, even just at my own church, we’re singing a stack of your songs.. I’m hearing them on radio.. you’re touring the states; do you categorise your band? Are you a worship band, are you a regular band, are you a touring band? Are you a ministry? How do you think about it?

Gareth: You know, we just call ourselves a worship band, plain and simple, because, we write songs for church, so to hear that your church is singing our songs it’s so encouraging for us, because, we just want anybody to be able to walk off the street, walk into church, and feel at home when they hear the songs that are being sung. And that’s our approach. We try and write music that’s current, we try and write lyrics that make sense… and even people who aren’t religious.. we want people to enter into the presence of God, and know that they’re welcome… so that’s encouraging – that people are singing it, and I hope that we keep accomplishing that!

Don: yeah! Me too! There kind of, seems to be at least, a kind of lack of celebratory songs that you can sing at church… and perhaps that’s why we’re singing so many of your songs, because there just aren’t heaps out there.

Do you have any idea:

  1. Why that might be, and
  2. How come you guys are so good at it?

Gareth: haha! I don’t know if it’s that we’re good at that, or just bad at everything else. It seems that every time we try to write a slower song, it’s never that good! But, our last album was called the art of celebration, and the whole heart behind that was – I guess that people do look at joyful music and celebration stuff, maybe as a little bit trite, or a little bit shallow.. but we really believe, and it’s what the Bible says, that the joy of the Lord is our strength. And it’s not that we glaze over troubles or sorrow, or anything like that. But that through all those difficult times, when we proclaim who God is, and we celebrate who He is, that’s when we find the strength, and that’s when we find the freedom to be able to journey through those things.

So, that’s a big part of our heart, and I don’t know why not that many worship leaders write songs that are joyful… except that it’s easier to connect to a slower song, and easier to connect with something that feels more meaningful – just as people we do find joy and celebration a difficult part of our humanity. But we find it much easier to be sad and somber. So, maybe it’s got something to do with that… maybe just nobody else is good at it.. I don’t know!

Don: yeah, absolutely. Hey, I told a few guys on the internet that we were going to be chatting today, and said ‘what would you like to ask Gareth from the Rend Collective’, so maybe if I could just shoot some rapid fire questions at you…

Gareth: Absolutely, Go for it!


more to come…

Here’s the interview


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