Hawk Nelson released their new album Diamonds March 17th. Just after the album’s release, JesusWired’s then teenage contributor Maddy Agers had the chance to connect with Hawk Nelson’s bassist Dan Biro via email to chat everything Diamonds and Hawk Nelson related. Check it out below…
Additional note: We apologize for the delay in posting this interview, it got lost in the website redesign chaos!
Your new album, Diamonds, just released the 17th. How has the fan response been so far?
I’m blown away by the response – overwhelmingly positive. It’s always a bit nerve racking to put something out there and see how it connects. I feel like Jon really hit the nail on the head on this one, really our entire team did.
How did you decide after your last album, Made, which came out in 2013, what you wanted to write about?
We talked about Joy and Gratitude, that no matter what, we have so many reasons to be thankful. MADE was a season of change for us, with Jon stepping into the lead singer role. DIAMONDS was an opportunity to create something uplifting and full of energy and hope – I think it’s just that.
There’s a song on Diamonds called “Live Like You’re Loved” that talks about freely living with the knowledge and confidence of God’s love. How did that song come about?
Jon wrote that song with David Garcia and Ben Glover, so I can’t speak into that. But what I can say is that it’s quickly becoming my favorite track on the album. SUCH a killer song to place live with Lyrics that get me every time.
“Live Like You’re Loved – Walk Like You’re Free – Stand Like You Know Who He Made You To Be”
Another great song on this project, called “Just Getting Started”, was put out on several American Idol promos. How did you find out about that?
What’s truly amazing about that is how I found out. Literally friends blowing up my phone with text messages etc. Haha – at first I didn’t believe them, but soon it was confirmed that it was for real. Such a cool thing to get your music in front of a whole new audience. Again, just blown away and grateful.
The band has evolved in many different ways since your start almost 15 years ago. What change in the band’s history has been the most exciting?
Wow, time really does fly. In all the years 2 moments stand out as the most exciting. Firstly, when we first started. There was a greenness and eagerness behind us that was pushing us forward. A momentum that we couldn’t stop. That was a wild ride. Secondly, when we decided to keep the band and reinvent Hawk Nelson 3 years ago when our former singer left the group. What started out as the End, turned into a whole new Beginning. What a great metaphor for other areas of our lives. That out of pain and confusion and questioning God where He was… came new life for hawk Nelson. This new season for us brings that fresh excitement all over again.
You guys are on the “Here For You” tour right now with The Afters and Dan Bremnes. Has there been a favorite part of this tour for you guys so far?
The Afters are solid guys. We first toured together 10 years ago on Toby’s Winter Wonder Slam. Since then it’s been fun to see how we’ve each grown as bands alongside one another. Jordan their drummer is busy at home producing the next Afters album, so a neat thing about this tour is that our drummer David is filling in. It’s fun to see these kinds of collaborations and it’s nice to know we’ve got each others backs (or sticks in this case J.)
You’ve been promoting this album on the tour, so is there a favorite song to perform yet?
Hands down, Drops In The Ocean is connecting live and over the radio. I think the two go hand in hand somewhat. I’m still shocked each night when the song comes up – people know it! And its message of God’s Grace in its infinite limitlessness is what’s striking a chord. That God is For Us – that’s a message I could sing for 1000 years!
If you could go back to the early years of Hawk Nelson and tell yourselves one thing, what would you say?
I definitely wouldn’t change a thing. So many good friends and memories I wouldn’t trade. But I don’t think I understood the significance of “whom” you link yourself together with when you create a band / group. Of just how entwined you become, and how your beliefs can complement or clash with one another’s. It’s really similar to a marriage in so many ways, I’m serious. So it needs to be taken as seriously, while retaining that fresh relationship spirit.
Now, looking way ahead in time, what are your hopes, as the band, for the future of Hawk Nelson?
One thing God has taught me is that He has NO limits! This is His band, therefore we have no limits! I am pumped to share this journey with these guys and know that God is at work helping to influence and change peoples lives, including my own.
Read our review of Diamonds here.