The Christian Independent band known as Renevus is releasing their new EP “We Will Rise” next week on May 3rd. They released a single under the same name last year and now, after a successful kickstarter, are ready to release the full project.
Renevus (meaning “rebirthed” or “remarked) has a big vision, “to change lives.” One could easily notice that they have already been successful in that vision many times; especially given the evidence of the people they have reached through online social mediums. Even more proof could be found in their recent Kickstarter that raised over $5,000 with only 63 backers.
The Anchor Music News team recently met with lead singer Gideon Roberts to discuss this news further:
AMN: “So tell me a little bit about you guys, tell me something ridiculous.”
Gideon Roberts: “Well James the drummer has hilarious Russian accents. We all have our crazy quirks, like Jack will fall asleep anywhere. This one time he fell asleep on a bus; he’ll just fall asleep somewhere and we won’t know where he is. We just did a youth retreat a couple of weeks ago in Spicewood, Texas and almost every time before we played we would be like “Where is Jack?” It became a common phrase because we didn’t know. Christian is working on instrumental stuff, he just released a single called “Cosmic Travel” and he’s trying to get that into films and scores. He’s really good at that and he’s classically trained. He’s finishing up his bachelors at Texas State. James Fulmer can not just do Russian accents, but right after our single release he was asked to set up a drum set at George Straits house. He sent an email to George asking him to listen to our song “We Will Rise” and he listened to it and read the story behind it and replied to James. Mitch used to be in motocross and God drastically reshaped his life. He got in this really bad accident and almost died. He was in rehab for almost a year. He has a huge scar from it. Me, I’m crazy. I’m a nerd, I was a chess champion in high school. I grew up on the Final Fantasy RPG’s, I’m currently playing other JRPGs. I’m growing out my hair, I’ve never had it this long.
AMN: “Is the new EP just a re-recording of the original record or is it new?”
Gideon Roberts: “Yeah it’s a lot of new stuff. There are two songs that were on that record, and then there’s “We Will Rise” which is the single we released independently in July. (We originally planned to be a lot faster with the EP.) There will be four new tracks; but even the arrangements of the older songs are new.”
AMN: “What’s the bands vision?”
Gideon Roberts: “We want to share God’s love with people. We have gone through a huge amount of changes over the years. Literally, we’re in like Renevus 4.0. It started acoustically, then there was a full-band for a few months, then that fell apart. Christian and I played acoustically for a year or year and a half, then we had two guys come and made a full band then those guys went to college. So finally we had a full band that came along side that actually stayed there and was committed toward the vision. There were plenty of times we wanted to give up and had dozens of doubts. We felt like we had a unique name that we could work under and it was really cool when the guys (Mitch, James and later Jack) came together. We really enjoy playing together. It’s so refreshing to play with people that you enjoy being around. So that’s been a really fun process to see it evolve so drastically and so constantly to be more professional. I have a really good and wise friend who said he was really proud of us and how he saw us evolve. We started out doing the coffee shop thing and now we’re playing in front of a lot more people and a lot of those times it’s worship and some times it’s concerts. Whatever venue or thing it is it’s all about connecting with people and sharing heart for what God’s showing us. It’s cool to see our music evolving, I think it’s still has a lot of room to grow.”
AMN: “What’s behind the EP? Is there a centralized theme or is there multiple?“
Gideon Roberts: “Well the theme is “We Will Rise”. The single was written about two years ago and was released exactly a year after it was written or a year after the event that inspired it happened. The writing of the song happened after finding about the Aurora, Colorado shooting at the batman premier movie. I was drawn to that article when I found out that a girl that I was friends with for about a year named Jessica Ghawi was killed in that shooting among the other victims. When I found out that it was her, I bawled, I was so distraught. I had just gotten back from helping with a youth camp, but I woke up the next morning after getting home and saw it on the news. I checked out other articles and was drawn to that article after seeing her name. I was so upset and angry; I was crying out to God asking how this could happen. So I started eventually journaling down my thoughts, but was angry and upset. The first line of these thoughts “Why is there tragedy when love could abound. Surrounded by our sorrow can we turn around.” Wanting to rewind the clock and get back to a place where love is bounding but also recognizing that tragedy surrounds us. The theme of We Will Rise came when God just started ministering to me and my heart reminding me that this life isn’t what it’s about. This life is a tool to things that are much deeper and much greater. So I started getting encouraged as I continued to write out. I was reminded that one day we will rise to a God who loves us and we’ll be free from death and sorrow and the chains of yesterday. So that came to me that morning and we played it that night. We had been playing it for about a year and released it a year later. For the song we partnered with an organization called “Feed My Starving Children” and half of the sales of that song goes to that organization. It’s an amazing organization that goes and gets what kids need to survive in so many countries all around the world. Three of us volunteered at their big packing event and we’ll be doing that again this year. Last year they packed 4,000 meals and this year they’re going for 2 million meals. It’s going to be crazy dude, it’s going over six days.
AMN: “What are the tracks on the EP?“
Gideon Roberts: “It opens with Freedoms Road, War Song, Spirit Awake, and Break. Then Break is going to outro instrumentally into Death Has Lost Its Sting which is written in stanzas rather than a verse/chorus arrangement, it’s more like a bunch of verses. It’s got a different feel, it’s more introspective and reflective. Then it will transition into We Will Rise, and then the last song is called Still. It’s kind of like a worship song. We do a lot of different kinds of music. Half of our songs are worship songs and half are story songs or rock songs. That last song is that cry coming out of We Will Rise knowing that whatever happens, God is God and He is faithful. We have a promise in Him that is secure. This is kind of the closing of that single and that project; our story and the scene that surrounds it knowing that we have a hope and a promise in Christ.”
AMN: Anything else you want to mention?
Gideon Roberts: “Yes, to us it’s not just about having fans, it’s about investing in people and knowing that they’re more than fans, they’re friends. It’s really nice that we enjoy music together but if that’s all there is then it’s kind of worthless. So we want to actually be a part of people’s lives as much as possible. We feel like that’s the genuine way to do music.