Platinum-selling artists the Newsboys were forced to cancel their spring tour dates due to the national lockdown and frontman Michael Tait said the unplanned “sabbatical” has been good for him.
Since reuniting two years ago, the history-making, six-member band has played more than 250 concerts and are now bringing their concert to fans with their new EP, United: Live.
The music release arrived in tandem with the premiere of the Christian group's “Friday Spring Concert Series" on YouTube. The concert series kicked off with their timely single, “Love One Another.”
Tait said the single release and video for it coming out during the COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect reminder that love is the way to go right now while in quarantine.
The following is an edited transcript of Tait’s interview with The Christian Post where he talks about what he’s doing while in quarantine, and the message of love he hopes people throughout the world adhere to in these trying times.
CP: Your new single is titled “Love One Another.” How can people love one another during this pandemic?
Tait: We all need each other. This is the time where you can't get things done by yourself. You can't be an island to yourself. If you're a loner or not, if you’re an alpha male or not, if you're an independent woman or not, these moments bring out the best in people. Sometimes the worst, but I think the best because the big factor is that we're all in it together, not just America, not our county, but the whole world.
It came out of nowhere. March 12, I'm going to do a show and all of a sudden I heard over the radio, in Ohio, the governor was saying, “No more than 100 people gathered.” And I thought, OK, maybe it'll go into effect tomorrow, 24 hours from now. But it went into effect that immediate day and our concert was canceled in that moment. Then things started snowballing and this happened, that happened, and then people started dying and this is a real thing.
CP: Talk about the importance of music right now?
Tait: As a songwriter, singer, producer, over the years I've always realized that music can change generations, it changes people's minds, it's powerful. That's why it's attacked so much, because Satan was the chief musician. He was God's worship leader and it got to his head and he got cocky and now we have sex, drugs and rock and roll. You can see why musicians, secular and especially believers, are attacked. Plants love music, animals love music, of course humans do, and it's a very powerful medium.
In this particular time, my gosh, I can't imagine. I bet they've never been more thankful for the medium of music than now because songs can take you to a place where you can kind of forget about things for a while. It can also minister to you. Words are powerful; music can minister to your soul.
CP: How do you think we will love others differently after the pandemic?
Tait: I know we'll want us to love each other after this pandemic. When it first hit I thought, "Man, what a mess, what's going on? Oh my gosh!" But the fact is, it's actually been good for Michael Tait. So when I'll come out of this thing, I'm hoping I'm a bit more thoughtful, slow down a bit in life and smell the roses and take your time. What's all the rush and fuss about?
Spend time with family, dads are home, moms are home, kids are there. Yeah, we have computers and games and movies, but at the same time there's definitely an inescapable truth and that is we have been around family for the last month or so, we can't escape that. So at some point, you're gonna have to start talking, communicating and being real with each other.
My dad taught me as a kid, he grew up in Alabama in the '30s and '40s, and my great-grandpa was killed by the KKK and my dad never once taught us how to hate. He took that and used that negativity, if you will, and turned it around and brought white's into my house as a kid. A lot of white people, a lot of Asian people, a lot of Hispanic people, a lot of Jewish people in D.C. and it change my life.
Love is a big thing, it's important, God made it number one for reason.
CP: How’s it been being back all together with Newsboys United?
Tait: It's been fantastic! People are wondering what is it like having two lead singers. Peter and Phil have been a joy and love being back. I think we all realize how blessed we are to be doing this on this level all these years later, and people still come to the show. We have no complaints. We just say, "Thank you God" and smiling every night, loving the shows, loving what we do.