Christian pop duo for King and Country visits The Gathering

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for King and Country, comprised of Australian brothers Luke and Joel Smallbone, made an appearance Sept. 25 at the Gathering, Lipscomb University’s weekly community worship. The duo and their band performed five songs for the students including fan-favorites, “Priceless” and “Fix My Eyes.”

“To see folks like you and to see how music impacts you, that kind of drives us to make music and hopefully make music that connects with people,” said Luke Smallbone, one half of the Christian pop musical duo, For King and Country.

Steve Taylor, assistant professor of film and creative media and director of the School of Theatre and Cinematic Arts at Lipscomb, interviewed the brothers in-between performances about working together as siblings, their mission as musicians and their new album.

Claiming to be “arch-enemies” growing up, Joel confessed that music is what brought the brothers closer.

“Somehow in the collaboration of For King and Country there’s a lot of respect,” said Joel Smallbone. “We’ve actually become best friends through it.”

Both brothers told stories of their wives. Moriah, Joel’s spouse, is also a musician and a student at Lipscomb University.

Luke shared a story about his wife, Courtney,  that influenced the name of the new for King and Country album, “Burn the Ships” coming out Oct. 5.

While pregnant with their son, Courtney took anti-nausea pills to combat morning sickness. She became so reliant on the medication that she went to two weeks of therapy at a mental facility. When Courtney was relieved of her dependence on the medication, she decided to completely dispose of the pills saying, “I need to go flush these pills because these pills represent so much shame and hurt and embarrassment in my life and I don’t want to be consumed by my past anymore.” FCK_bros

Luke paired her story with one of an explorer who, after sailing to a new land, could not get his crew to leave the safety of their ships. According to the story the explorer said, “Burn the ships, I want to have all of our people watch them burn so that they know that there’s no retreat," he said. "We have forced them to move into a new day and a new life.”

“When my wife flushed those pills she was burning her past,” said Luke Smallbone. 

With their stories and music, the brothers encouraged students to move on from their pasts and to fully embrace the freedom of God’s love.

“God only knows what we’ve all been through,” said Joel Smallbone. “But the beauty of it is He knows it all, knows the hairs on your head, but He still has this superhuman, superhero kind of love for you and accepts you as you are.”