TAMPA — For King & Country will perform Sunday, Oct. 13, 6 p.m., at Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa.
The two-time Grammy Award winning duo is back on the road, touring in support of their 2018 release “Burn the Ships.” The tour will take the 2019 Billboard Music Award nominees to arenas in major markets across the United States. The Christian pop duo is composed of Australian brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone.
“For the first time since we started the band, we’re going to be able to share the music and the heart behind it in the most inspirational and theatrical way we’ve been able to date,” said Joel and Luke in a press release. “We cannot wait to embark on this voyage with you.”
The Smallbones have enjoyed great success stemming from the release of their third studio album, “Burn the Ships.” For King & Country secured their fourth and fifth career No. 1 hits with the massively successful “Joy” and “God Only Knows,” with the latter marking the group’s fastest rise to No. 1 to date. They have sold out 22 shows on their current world tour, including a concert at the famed Sydney Opera House in their homeland of Australia.
The North American tour sees For King & Country giving fans more music to sing along to than ever before — including every song from the “Burn the Ships” album. For more information, including all tour dates, visit www.forkingandcountry.com.
“Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong.,” the duo’s previous album, debuted at No. 1 on iTunes, and produced two Grammys, four Dove Awards, and a hugely successful 60-date arena tour. They have garnered five No. 1 hits, nine Top 10 hits, and had songs featured on the Emmys, Super Bowl, Sunday Night Football and other high-profile events, including performances on “The Tonight Show,” “Today Show” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” In October 2016, the Smallbone brothers released the indie film inspired by their No. 1 hit of the same name, “Priceless,” about human trafficking.
With “Burn the Ships,” the duo wrote every song on the album, which they also co-produced with longtime collaborators Aqualung, Tedd T. and Seth Mosely.
“It isn’t perfect — far from it — but there is a sense of truthfulness and a heart and a personality and an ideology behind this record,” Joel says. “It feels like the most mature version of for King & Country.”
The title track was inspired by a 1500s Spanish explorer who boldly landed his ships on enemy shores without any knowledge of what awaited his arrival. To ensure that the men were committed to their mission, he proclaimed, “Burn the ships!” The only way to go was onward; retreat was not an option.
“That is the big statement that this collection of songs is making,” said Luke. “We don’t want to live in the past; we want to move forward. There are things in everybody’s pasts that you have to get rid of — in some cases physically burn and in other cases you just need to get rid of them however you can emotionally. For us, that is the name that represents this collection of art and works best.”
The songs on the new album fit in perfectly with today’s pop music arena, where artists ranging from Kesha to Drake are exploring themes of religion, prayer and God.
“People are hungry for truth and hope,” Luke said. “I don’t think they want something that is false. So when it comes to people seeking out God, they are receptive, because they are trying to figure out what is true and real. I think that is a good thing. I hope our music can play a role in that, but ultimately people have to figure it out for themselves.”
They began writing and recording songs about hope and love several years ago for “Burn the Ships.” “We never want to be a voice of critique or criticism, but a voice of, ‘Maybe if we shifted our perspective, what would we see?’ That is the beauty of music,” Joel said. “We ask the questions of ourselves: ‘I want to have joy. I want to find a way. When I am faced with despair, struggle or hardship, what can I do?’”
“The thing I am most proud of with this album is that when I look at all 10 songs, they all have a special place in my heart and there is a real significant story with each one,” Luke added. “This album is about those songs in our hearts being exposed to others, and hopefully others will expose their hearts, too.”