Artist Interviews
Delirious - Stu G - June 23, 2008

This is a phone interview w/ Stu G of Delirious on their new album "Kingdom of Comfort". The interview was done by Scott McClellan. Scott McClellan is the Editor of COLLIDE, a magazine about media and technology for church leaders, and he blogs at http://www.collidemagazine.com/c. Scott lives north of Dallas with his wife and dog. The bold text is Scott...enjoy.

Wimpy Player


All right, well, I’m here with Stu G of Delirious?, and we’ll be talking about the new album, Kingdom of Comfort. Stu, I read about how the experiences you guys had as a band, kinda traveling the world, India and places like that, third-world countries, kinda influenced the new record. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Yeah, sure. I think, you know, the last couple a years has been an interesting time for us with going more of the countries that kinda have an obvious kinda wealth and poverty split, to places like India, places like Africa, and a lot of places in Asia, like Cambodia and what have you, Indonesia. So – and seeing those things firsthand have really affected us, both individually and as a band. And we’re not saying we’ve got like great answers, or anything like that, but what we know is that we come from a spoiled culture, and that somehow as followers of Jesus, it’s our responsibility to do something about it. And so we’re just kinda wrestlin’ with what does that mean for us? You know, what does it mean for us individually? What does it mean for us as a band. And so we’re writin’ about it, and that’s why – that’s how Kingdom of Comfort came about, and listening to some teaching from author Rob Bell in Mars Hill in Grand Rapids, Michigan. That’s kinda where the title came from. He was talkin’ about how King Solomon kinda forgot to tell the story of freedom from slavery and stopped hearing the cry of the oppressed, and basically built his kingdom of comfort, and so the question is, “What are we building? Are we building a kingdom of comfort, or the kingdom of Heaven here?” So that’s kinda the background to it.

Yeah, yeah, in fact that’s the first line of the album is, “Save me from the Kingdom of Comfort, where I am king.”

Yes

And that kinda – just kinda establishes that theme right from the beginning

Yeah, that’s right.

And it feels like, kind of, if you want to call that a kind of a social justice theme, or a more kind of aware of what’s going on in the – across the world kind of idea, it seems like those ideas are becoming more and more prevalent in Christian writing and Christian music as people are kinda waking up to those things.

Yeah

Why do you think those ideas were kind of dormant for a long time?

Gosh, I don’t know because we’re 20-odd years behind Band-Aid. (Laughter)

Right

I guess it’s like you come on Church and all wake up to what’s actually happening here. But that’s cooling, I think. I think that’s it, and I think we’re just catching up, and waking up, and realizing that. And the message of Jesus is to look out for the poor, and to hear the cry of the oppressed, and stand with them, have them around you. So I think we’re just catching up with that.

Yeah, that’s great. Now that we’ve talked a little bit about the inspiration for the album, can you tell us a little bit about the writing process, and do you guys write as a band, or do you bring kind of almost completed ideas to the table, or how does that work?

We write – well, we begin writing individually, and we collect stuff throughout the year, just notepads and dictaphones, that sort of thing. And then we’ll put some time aside, probably at the end of this year we’ll put some time aside to start writing again. And so we’ll do that separately, John, and Martin, and I, and then we’ll kinda get together and start passing some of the ideas together, things that we like, and then we’ll take them to the studio and start writin’ demos then.

Great, great. You guys have tour plans set up already?

Yeah, we’re touring all of this year. We’ll be in America over the summer at times, and we’re starting to go a single outfit radio called We Give You Praise, which is a good song, and hope people enjoy that.So, yeah, we’re gonna be tourin’ in Australia in a couple weeks time, and then on and off throughout the year, just getting’ everywhere we can. So it’s all booked up, all ready to go, and if anyone wants to check out where we’re coming, it’s delirious.co.uk.

Yeah, delirious.co.uk, and all the dates are up there.

Yeah…

Great, great. Well, you guys have been a band for something like 15 years now, is that right?

That’s right. We’ve actually been together for 16 years, I think, and for 12 years we’ve been on the road full time.

Yeah, and this is – Kingdom of Comfort is your 11th studio album as well.

That’s right.

If my math is right. What more do you guys want to kind of accomplish as a band. You know, you’ve toured the world, you’ve done a lot of music, what more do you have to do? What goals are left for your guys?

I think that we want to – you know, I still believe that there’s a lot more music in us to come out. I think that a song like Kingdom of Comfort points to somewhere that we haven’t been before. I think we want to press in and get more creative and broaden our territory a little bit. You know, we’re known in the Christian scene, and we’ve got a history of kinda getting’ out a bit and doin’ some support tours, and releasing the singles, and that kind of thing into the High Street, but I think we’d like to broaden our horizons a little bit, make sure that we’re actually part of this big world rather than just in a small part of the world.

Yeah, that’s great, that’s great. Well, this interview is for christianguitar.org, so talk a little bit about what influenced kinda the more guitar-driven sound of the record.

Well, in terms of gear, I mean, a huge influence on the sound has been I’ve just bought a ’73 JMP?50 head, old British head. And that kinda – well, what happened was last year I got into Jimmy Page, and Led Zeppelin, and I was listenin’ to that all year, and so I was kinda after – I mean, I’m a Les Paul player anyway, but I was just after that big Marshall sound, and so I got the JMP?50 head and it’s absolutely fantastic, and so that is all over the album. And I’ve got – I mean, guitar playing’s my passion, so in terms of gear, I’ve just got a – I say just, this is last year – I got a Tele Deluxe with the strat neck, but I wasn’t really happy with the pickups in it, and Bill Lawrence made some P-90s, and I put the P?90s in there, and it is absolutely killer. It’s one of my favorite guitars now. So that’s been note – that’s all over the album, and whenever I’m doin’ sessions, that guitar absolutely kills. So that’s brilliant. I bought a Duesenberg last year. It’s a German guitar, it’s kinda a cross between a Gretsch and a Les Paul which has been great, it’s been great, and I think it’s how, influence wise, I’ve always been a – I come from the rock kind of background, Brian May has always been a big influence, and Edge, and the Radio Head guys, love that stuff, and Dave Gilmour's a big infuence as well actually. It's a lot of fun.

Yeah, that’s –

Actually, something that’s worth saying is that something that’s revolutionized my sound has been a little box called a Humdinger, and that all that is is a little one-to-one ratio buffer circuit. And the guy that made that is an absolute genius. A guy called Dan Steinhardt, and it basically means that you’ll run 100 foot of cable with no losses.

Okay

And it sounds incredible. You know, it just cleans up the sound and makes it really pure, and it helps things like running through pedals and tuners and stuff like that. He makes something called the GigRig as well. So in terms of my gear, which the people can check out on our Web site, I think, that’s made a massive difference to me, both live and in the studio.

Yeah, that’s great, that’s great. Well, Stu, thanks for taking the time today. That’s all we’ve got.

No problem.

We wish you guys the best, the album’s great, and we’ll look for you this summer.

Great. All right then, we’ll see.

All right, thanks, Stu.

Thanks a lot, bye-bye.

.


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