After twenty years as Newsboys lead singer, Peter Furler goes solo with his debut project “On Fire”. CMADDICT Contributor Cara Fisher asks him about his new album and life after Newsboys.
You toured with Newsboys for two decades, was it difficult adjusting to “normal” life?
What’s normal life? [laughs] I don’t think I know what that is? Life to me is so strange. But I’ve adjusted very well. I’m having the greatest time of my life.
When you left the Newsboys, did you still plan on writing songs?
No, I didn’t have any plans. It took quite a while to make the transition. And I was kind of in it for the long haul. So we obviously had plans for me to be behind the scenes for a while, and I was. But Mike came out and road the bus for thirty or so shows, kind of caught the vision, and then we made the switch, and I was behind the scenes for a while. But then it became really apparent to all of us, it’s time for them to walk on their own two feet, without me being some sort of puppet master behind it.
So that kind of set me free and not knowing what I was going to do. One of the biggest misconceptions is that I left the Newsboys to go do a solo record, which is just crazy; I would have never done that. But anyway, after that I didn’t know what I was going to do. So I kind of roamed around the Earth for a bit and slept in my own bed and did a bit of painting and surfing. I stayed busy, but just kept off the road. I didn’t know what I was gonna do.
What inspired you to write and release your solo record, On Fire?
Well, I had Steve Taylor come around my house. As most folks know he’s a guy that I’ve written over a hundred songs with. And I had a bunch of tunes that over the years- every time you make a record you have songs left over or songs that didn’t fit the record or songs that weren’t finished, and so I had a few songs. And Steve came around and said, “What are we gonna do with these tunes?” And I said, “I don’t know; I’m up for anything. The only thing I don’t want to do is a solo record.” And I said, “We’ll work them out; let’s finish them up. I’ll do it if you’ll sing them,” I said to Steve.
So I went into the studio with Steve and we pulled in Jimmy Abegg and John Painter, and we began to make a record, which is coming out sometime maybe late this year or early next year. It got a bit of a hiccup in the middle of it, because of Steve having to do the Blue Like Jazz movie, which was great so we were all for that.
So while he started to take off and do that, I just kept writing. And I think it was really my wife, Summer, she really sort of encouraged me, “You’re a singer; you’re a songwriter; you need to use the gifts that God’s given you, and I really want to hear you sing again.” It was really that. So I just began to kind of work on some songs and chip away at it. And the next minute I’ve made a record, and here it is.
Did you play most of the instruments on the album?
Yeah, it was actually Seth Mosley and myself. I usually played a lot of the instruments on the Newsboys’ records- something most folks don’t know. I played the drums and usually a bit of the bass and a bit of guitar and keyboards and stuff. So that wasn’t a big change. And Seth’s a great musician, so he played a lot of the guitars and keyboards too. It was a lot of fun.
What is your favorite song on the album?
I don’t have a favorite. But the song that comes to mind when you asked that, I guess I’ll go with that one, is probably “Glory To The King.” It’s one of my favorites. Yeah, I’m not sure… it’s when I go and play a few of them live that they become something different. We’ll see what happens.
What do you hope people take away from the album?
I hope they really catch the fire of freedom and encouragement, that’s what songs are meant to be for. Life- just encouragement I think is a big one, especially in the world that we’re living in now and the way things are. It’s easy to get down so, I think they walk away stirred up.
Peter Furler “Reach” Music Video
Do you plan on touring for this album?
Yes I do!
Do you think you’ll cover any Newsboys’ songs?
Yes I will! I’ve already done a couple of shows already and just played the favorites. They’re parts of me, so it’s very natural for me to sing them live.