The stories behind the album are of healing, faith and incredible breakthrough. Key members of the team experienced cancer, manic depression, a car crash, a botched operation and other hardships. This is their story of walking through the fire.
T: As soon as we released our first album, we started working on songs for our new album straight away. The creative juices were flowing.
N: The first process is getting all the songs and then asking, what is the theme that is running through all these songs that we’ve got? And how can we put this together?
T: About 3 years ago, started working on songs and then refining them. And then hit a few speed bumps on the journey. I had an operation on my voice and unfortunately they botched it and I lost my voice completely. I sounded like chewbacca so my singing career was over. Not long after that Rhiannon was diagnosed with cancer. So her and I were at the hospital at the same time. But we still had this plan to do an album, which is crazy cause I couldn’t talk and she couldn’t walk.
D: So while there was a lot of excitement and a lot of enthusiasm about the album, there was also this kind of tension we sat in of we want it to happen but it’s not happening.
G: Jono and I had been married for a year and it was the start of 2013 and Jono was very busy with work. He really just kind of pushed himself to the limit.
D: It just became increasingly obvious that some things he was saying and things that he was doing weren’t part of his character. And it became very obvious that it had moved from being simply eccentric Jono to being unwell Jono.
G: He wasn’t eating or sleeping properly and those kind of things and then he ended up having a full blown manic episode.
D: I’m looking him right in the eyes and and he’s my brother but he was not my brother. He was like there was someone else inside of him. It was the most strangest, heartbreaking, weirdest thing i’ve ever had in my life.
J: I thought I was invincible. I thought I was untouchable. Because I I felt that, it’s hard to not feel that or un-feel that.
D: I went away from that going actually God, no. You are powerful. There is no one like you. None can compare how great you are. And actually one day I sat down with my guitar and I sung it to him. It was quite a moving moment in my life.
T: Literally this was a couple of days after we had just talked to the boss and said hey look, let’s do it. Let’s do this album. I still had a lot of question marks for myself personally. We were writing stuff, but what to do with it? I couldn’t sing, he couldn’t play, Rhiannon was still recovering from cancer, Geneva was supporting her husband; and it was like everything had gone on hold.
N: Everyone around me that I knew of, that was close to me was going through some pretty huge stuff and for me, I wasn’t. So I found it really hard to actually write because I knew what they had been through was actually so significant.
T: Later that year we were getting serious about talking about ok. Let’s do it again, let’s actually do it. We’re coming right now. We’d all kind of improved a lot more. And then Jono had his car crash.
G: We were probably only about 10 minutes out from leaving Waihi when we were involved in a high speed head on car crash. And the driver had crossed over the centre line and crashed into us.
D: After the gym I I saw about 5 missed calls from my mum and I was like oh this must be something bad. She’s like yeah Jono’s been in an accident and it’s pretty bad. We don’t know how bad it is yet but we know he got helicoptered out of his car.
T: I screamed and shouted and I was just frustrated.
D: After two days it was very apparent that Jono actually had a brain injury. Firstly it was unknown why and secondly to us, that not even the doctors could tell us how this would affect his life.
G: We were sitting in the meeting room and they were finding it hard to wake Jono up. And the guy basically delivered the news that like, it could be one of three options. He could die or he could stay like he is and live but not ever do anything again or he would slowly wake out of his coma. But they said that they didnt have much hope for him.
N: I remember one night just lying there crying and just being like, I’m gonna lose my best mate and just going, why? Why God why has this happened? You know? Like, why has he had to go through this?
T: What is the song you sing when your heart is smashed? What is the song you sing when you feel confused and your doubting? You sing the song of faith.
G: Rather than not believing it’s true, are we more writing it in faith, you know. We are writing in faith that we would believe it becomes true to us.
D: The car accident was the catalyst to say, actually this album’s going to be our journey about battlescars. You know about our journey through the fire. What what does it mean to walk through the fire?
G: I’m gonna dance through the fire but is the fire really a place to dance, you know? But i’m singing it in faith that I will dance through it.