Source: Louder than the Music Website
One of the most exciting bands in worship music at the moment have to be Northern Ireland’s Rend Collective Experiment, who have just released their debut album ‘Organic Family Hymnal’ to a vast array of plaudits. LTTM spoke to the band of the moment to find out the story behind this fresh approach to worship.
For those who haven’t heard of you before, can you give us the background story on how the band got formed?
We were all part of a movement of people in their 20s and 30s. Maybe a bit lost in the madness of life and faith. So we started something called Rend which wanted honest connection with God and sacrificial Kingdom living.
How did you come up with the name of the band, and what’s the meaning behind it?
Rend – Rend means to tear apart. In Isaiah 64 v1 it’s a prayer that God would Rend the heavens and come down. Be near us and real to us. Joel 2v13 is a call from God for us to Rend our hearts and not our garments which means to us don’t put on an outward show but be real and authentic. We call that Organic!!
Collective – We are a group of people much more than a band but family. We don’t believe worship is about one person singing but about a movement of people together. It’s not just about being on a stage!
Experiment – Does anybody in life have the answers? No! That’s why we are an experiment. Not being afraid to take a few risks in life and step out into the unknown and experiment with life in the boldness that Christ has given us.
You’ve described yourselves as ‘like a family and not just a band’, what impact does that have?
It’s great to work with a mindset of family rather than being a rock band. Our approach is that of cooperation and friendship which is exactly what Christ has called us to. We want to show other people that we are a collective of people all journeying with each other and God and not that we are “special people on a stage”.
Tell us a little bit about your debut album and what the inspiration behind it was?
Organic worship is our heart. Something which is 100% natural and not processed for what can sometimes turn into a worship industry rather than a worship ministry. Our songs come from a place of connection with God and not what is a slick pop tune.
Which is your favourite track off your new album and why?
Gosh everybody in the collective’s opinion is different and even that changes everyday. Sometimes when we play a song live there seems to be a lot of God’s presence on it – then we love that. Then when you’re going for a walk you connect with something else. We are going to give a politician’s answer and say we love them all for different reasons. Ha!!! Sorry!
Which do you prefer, playing live or recording albums?
Good question. We love the excitement of new creative ideas, new lyrics and the fresh move of God that comes with recording. But when you see other people respond to what God has given you in a quiet place that’s much more powerful.
What’s your song writing process?
There are four song writers in the collective so each one varies but songs always come from a connection and realisation of God. Then we bring it to the others and dream together.
If you could work with any song writer, who would it be and why?
Martin Smith or Matt Redman probably. They both inspired all of us growing up with songs which took us to the feet of Jesus. Plus they seem pretty interesting chaps.
You’re stuck on an island, it’s hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your mp3 player. What track is it?
Transatlanticism by Death Cab for Cutie
What does the next year hold for Rend Collective Experiment?
Who knows… perhaps world take over and perhaps a big BBQ with all our friends. Or perhaps both! We hope meeting new people, touring and oh we shot a new music video last weekend for ‘You Bled’ with a primary school. It was a fantastic experience.