Newsboys Chat About Uniting With Danny Gokey and Mac Powell for the “STAND Together Tour” in 21 Questions

Posted on Monday, March 14, 2022 by Lindsay Williams

21 Questions

Newsboys is currently headlining this spring’s “STAND Together Tour,” alongside friends Danny Gokey and Mac Powell. The 38-city outing will be on the road through April.

Gokey will be hopping from city to city on his brand new tour bus — an answer to prayer for the father of four. “Last year I asked God for something big,” the singer recently revealed on TikTok. “I asked Him for a tour bus so that I could reach more people for the Gospel without the massive expenses attached to it.” The four-time K-LOVE Fan Award winner, who up until now had always leased a bus, goes on to explain that he received a call from someone who ended up helping him afford a permanent bus while he was writing his hit song, “Stand In Faith.”

RELATED CONTENT: K-LOVE Cover Story: Danny Gokey 

“I share this with you because I want you to know God not only hears your prayers, but He answers your prayers of faith,” Gokey encouraged fans. “Read His Word, believe it, and ask for big things in faith so you can accomplish His will.”

Since the aptly titled “STAND Together Tour” began in early February, Gokey says he’s enjoyed the camaraderie shared amongst the artists both on and off the stage. “I’ve got to say, it’s pretty great being out here on the road with this amazing group of musicians,” he shares. “But what’s even better is seeing people [with their] hearts on fire, ready to go out and ‘Make A Difference’ like we’re called to do!”

Powell equally appreciates the family atmosphere a multi-artist trek like the “STAND Together Tour” offers. “I love artists and being able to hang out with them and talk life with them and talk music with them. It’s great to go out with like minded brothers and sisters,” asserts the “River of Life” singer whose son, Cash, plays guitar for him during his set. “As a fan of Christian music, I love being able to get a free ticket to the show and to stand side stage.”

Each concert on the “STAND Together Tour” will undoubtedly be a treat for all Christian music fans, giving them the opportunity to see three of their favorite artists in one night. Right as the tour bussed out of Nashville, caught up with Newsboys to reminisce about their extraordinary career and to get the low down on their current run that unites them with the “Love God Love People” singer and the former Third Day frontman.

RELATED CONTENT: K-LOVE Cover Story: Mac Powell Long-held band tradition?

Newsboys: We travel a LOT together, and when we’re on the road, we usually pick one night a week to turn the Newsboys bus into a full-on dance party. We pick a DJ who plays today’s hits mixed with all of our favorite throwbacks, and we just dance and have a fun time with our crew and friends before the bus leaves for the next city. It’s a tradition that stays the same on every tour, but adding in new friends from each tour we’re on is so fun. Depending on the tour, you never know who’s going to join the party! Artist you’d most like to collaborate with?

Newsboys: We’d love to collaborate with some of our heroes one day. U2, Coldplay, OneRepublic — those are the dream artists. Ryan Tedder from OneRepublic was actually very helpful and influential when it came to some of the songs on our new album. It would be a dream to get into the studio with him. Something people might not know about Newsboys?

Newsboys: Newsboys originated in a garage in Australia. When we first got to LA, we stayed in a hotel near LAX for a few days, and we could only afford to eat one meal a day, so we would go down to the local gas station and buy a burger that you could load up with as many toppings as you could for $2. A stranger we met there who heard our story donated a van to us, which we were able to drive to Atlanta for our first “show” before the engine blew out! Back in those early days, we all lived on peanuts — literally — and oftentimes slept on the stages at the venues we played at. Favorite aspect of the “STAND Together Tour”?

Newsboys: We’re coming out of a season where more than ever before, we’ve all been asked the question over and over again: “What do you stand for?” Politically, medically, socially — we’ve all been faced with that question in recent years. The name of the tour really says it all, but coming together with some of our closest friends to create an experience where we can worship with other believers and declare who and what we all stand for is something really special. Best part of being in a band for so long?

Michael Tait: I’ve been a “Newsboy” for longer than I was in DC Talk at this point. The longevity of being in a band for so long really comes down to the brotherhood and friendships that have deepened over the years. The bond we all have together transcends a lot of things. First time you realized music was your calling?

Duncan Phillips: I was really young. Back in primary school, we used to march into school (back in the 1800s, ha!), which made me fall in love with a cadence, and that began my love of drums. 

Michael Tait: I remember singing with my family all the time in church when I was a kid growing up in DC. That carried on to college where I sang on my own and in vocal groups, before meeting Toby [McKeehan, aka TobyMac] and Kevin [Max] and starting DC Talk in college. I’m blessed to have found my calling in this life and am so grateful for all the people these songs have impacted as a result of God using them. Favorite Bible verse?

Michael Tait: 1 John 1:9: “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

Jody Davis: 1 Corinthians 8:6: “But for us, there is one God, the Father, by whom all things were created, and for whom we live. And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created, and through whom we live.”

Jeff Frankenstein: Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

Duncan Phillips: Matthew 6:33: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Most memorable show of your career to date?

Newsboys: We’ve had the opportunity to travel ALL over the world to play shows, which is just incredible. Now, at a time where international travel is a little harder, it’s crazy to think we’ve been to the places we’ve been. Playing for the Pope in Italy was incredible; and China, Russia and Morocco all stand out as some of our favorite shows of our career. One of Jody’s favorites is when we played a festival once in Trnava, Slovakia. A few songs into the set, the show was rained out. Later that evening, the festival was holding a midnight mass in the beautiful ancient cathedral downtown. Since our show was rained out, they asked us to come say something to the people there. We told them to find an acoustic guitar and we’d play for them. It turned out to be one of the most transcendent moments of our career. Worst thing about bus life?

Michael Tait: It is ALWAYS noisy! Sharing a space with that many people makes things like naps or reading a good book really hard. It’s always loud. Best advice you’ve ever been given?

Michael Tait: In the 6th grade, I had a teacher who said to me, “If a task has once begun, never leave it til it’s done. Be it great or be it small, do it well or not at all.” That has stuck with me ever since! New artist every Christian music fan needs to check out?

Newsboys: We are loving CAIN right now! We played a festival with them last August and got to watch their set. Their song, “The Commission,” is really special. 

RELATED CONTENT: CAIN Unveils “The Commission” One thing you hope people take away from a night at the “STAND Together Tour”?

Michael Tait: I hope they take away the Joy of Christ and are inspired by the reality that our God is alive and not dead. This tour is giving us a new outlook on what it means to stand together with other believers, and I hope that people in the crowd take that away as well… It’s about love and unity. If we aren’t loving, we aren’t living. Moment you knew Newsboys was headed for success?

Michael Tait: When we filmed our scenes for the God’s Not Dead movie, we didn’t really have a clue what we were getting into. We were excited to be a part of the movie, of course, but we didn’t know then that it would turn into what it was. It wasn’t until the weekend that the movie came out, when we started receiving texts from our friends and family that just said one simple thing — GOD’S NOT DEAD — when we started to realize how huge this could really be.

Duncan Phillips: Back in the early days, right after we released Not Ashamed, we really started to feel momentum build for the first time. Since then, we’ve experienced more success than we could have dreamed of, but when I think back on the first moment that I could feel it, that’s what comes to mind. Favorite lyric you’ve ever written?

Michael Tait: I really feel like “STAND” is one of the most important songs I’ve written. It’s hard to call one song more important than another, but when it came to writing “STAND,” I just had a feeling that it would be special. I wrote the song in early 2020, right after watching my best friend lose his son at the beginning of the pandemic and in the middle of a lot of political unrest. The lyrics I wrote that day quickly became favorites of mine: “What will I do in the moment that everything falls? I’m gonna stand, in a world that’s breaking, for a truth unchanging. I’m not ashamed, I’ve considered the cost. I’ll stand right here at the foot of the cross.” 

RELATED CONTENT: Newsboys Sing About the Force Field of God’s Love on “Magnetic” Song you wish you’d written?

Newsboys: Obviously, we’re big U2 fans. “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” or “One” by U2 are songs that we would have killed to write. Newsboys song that means the most to you?

Newsboys: “He Reigns” is a special one, for sure. It talks about worshiping with every tribe, every tongue, and every nation, which we feel is a great representation of what the church is supposed to look like. One professional achievement or goal you haven’t crossed off your list yet?

Newsboys: Man, that’s a hard one… We have more than 30 years of things that we’ve been blessed to have crossed off the list. Ha! Maybe playing for a presidential inauguration or the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The secret to longevity in the music business?

Duncan Phillips: Keep it fresh and always be grateful.

Michael Tait: A big part of it is passion from the Father above. The closer I am to the Creator, the more creative and inspired I feel. Your best piece of advice for a new artist?

Newsboys: In music and life, every choice you make will have a consequence, so make decisions wisely. If you don’t mean it, don’t sing it. Number of times you think you’ve performed “God’s Not Dead”?

Newsboys: At least 5,000 times! Legacy you hope your band leaves? 

Newsboys: While there’s been a few changes to our band over the years, the heart behind this band has stayed the same through it all. We desire to connect people to the truth of the Gospel through song. That was the reason we came to the United States all those years ago, and it’s why more than 30 years later, we are still doing that same thing. We want our legacy to be one of loving God and loving people. At the end of the day, that’s our greatest desire — to leave a legacy of hope and unity and standing together.

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