Newsboys are known for their high energy shows.

Newsboys launch new United album with Furler, Tait 'joy'

10th May 2019 7:23 PM

THEY have sold 10 million albums, packed out stadiums, featured on billboards across the US and have toured the world.

But Newsboys founder Peter Furler say if there's one feeling that unites the band as it releases its new album, it is gratefulness.

"We can have a meal in Nashville and there are probably 10 musicians serving the food that are way better than we are,'' Furler said.

The award-winning singer and songwriter has teamed up with Newsboys singer Michael Tait, leader guitarist Jody Davis, drummer Duncan Phillips, keyboard player Jeff Frankenstein and bass guitarist Phil Joel for the Newsboy United tour.

Newsboys United's new album United has just come out in the US, hitting the top 10 in iTunes albums.

Contemporary Christian music is huge, particularly around Nashville where the band is based.

And it's getting bigger around the world with Sydney-based Hillsong United currently topping the Billboard charts with its new release People.

Newsboys, which had its early beginnings in a garage in Mooloolaba lined with egg cartons for sound insulation, has been one of the most enduring successes in the music scene, along the likes of Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. The band is currently on tour with Smith.

The new United album features an interview with Furler and Tait, the former frontman of dc Talk.

Furler, who along with the super energetic Phillips, come from the Sunshine Coast, says in the interview his return came after he was asked to produce on a new single.

Newsboys United.
Newsboys United.

He put down a guide vocal and the band really loved it, asking whether they could keep his voice on the track. "We started chatting about what it would look like to have the two eras of the band touring at the same time,'' Furler says.


Newsboys United' Phil Joel, Peter Furler and Duncan Phillips on drums.
Newsboys United' Phil Joel, Peter Furler and Duncan Phillips on drums. Caleb Cook

"We only booked a certain amount of dates,'' Furler said. "If it didn't work we could all escape!" "But it worked really well and we've loved it. Moving forward it's morphed into something completely different.''

"We've done about 120 shows now and we're keeping each other more on stage. "Hey Mike, you sing in on this,'' Furler said.

The Newsboys started out touring the US in the late 1980s in a cheap, white van with vinyl seats before making it big.

Since they have produced about 20 studio albums and more than 30 number one hits in contemporary Christian music.
Furler and Tait go back decades with Newsboys and dc Talk touring together and often describing themselves as 'arch rivals'.


Newsboys drummer Duncan Phillips in action on tour. He originally hails from the Sunshine Coast.
Newsboys drummer Duncan Phillips in action on tour. He originally hails from the Sunshine Coast. Caleb Cook

Tait said they could never have seen them coming together to form the supergroup which produces arguably the highest energy shows in the business with Phillips playing on a drum riser which sees him spinning in the way while strapped into the kit.

Tait said a hallmark of Newsboys had been that their shows were 'always over the top' with huge production and lighting sets. "Now I'm in the band and we still can't afford it but we do it anyway,'' he says.

Furler says the new album captured the 'joy' which has been a signature of the band. "I think they are going to be encouraged and they're going to feel unity,'' he says of fans.

"Right now we're living in a country and a world that is very divided and maybe getting more so. "One thing about Newsboys' music is that… there's always a joy to it.''

Michael Tait with Peter Furler perform in Newsboys United.
Michael Tait with Peter Furler perform in Newsboys United.

Personally, he said he had learnt to enjoy the simple life, rather than chasing riches and more possessions.

Tait said one of the things he had to battle with his own self-doubt. "My humanness makes me doubt that God actually loves me.

He said he spent time reading of God's love for mankind. "I read about a God who loved me so deeply, it's hard to grasp because I have a hard time loving myself sometimes.''


Newsboys United in action.
Newsboys United in action. Caleb Cook