Hawk Nelson celebrated their ten year anniversary as a band on May 30, just before the K-Love Fan Awards.
On May 31, Jonathan Steingard, of Hawk Nelson, told K-Love's, Amanda Carroll, "We've been a band, as of yesterday, it's ten years." Steingard took over the position of leading vocalist about a year and a half ago after performing as the band's guitar player for the majority of their career together. He said that while they were on tour with MercyMe, "Bart hauled me into his dressing room one day and was like, 'I think you need to be the singer.'"
Steingard told K-Love that he didn't originally think that he could be a frontman. But he says that now, "it just feels like this is sort of the direction that God had planned for us and the sort of crazy third way nature of it in the sense that it wasn't what we had ever expected just felt like it was God."
In their ten years together as a band, Hawk Nelson has released six albums, including their most recent album, 'Made,' which was released in April. The band has been through a lot of change over the years and recently transitioned from quartet to trio after their old lead singer, Jason Dunn, left the band to pursue a solo career. "This time around, we're going through all of this emotional change, physical change, and God breathed some new songs that channeled all those feelings and doubts and emotions into these lyrics," said Daniel Biro, bassist and founder of the band, according to the Hawk Nelson website.
Steingard agrees, but says that the band has also remained the same in many ways despite all of the change. "We're still that high energy band that a church or youth group would book if they want to have a fun youth night," he said. "We want to take what we've been and not leave it behind, but grow it a little bit and hopefully be a lot more intentional about what we're saying."
The two most popular songs on the new album, 'Words' and 'Made' echo the theme of intentionality through and through. 'Words' speaks of intentionally aiming for our mouths to speak truth that points to God, while 'Made' relays a message about the intentionality of our Creator in the creation of each and every person. "So 'Made' tells us we are on purpose, and 'Words' encourages us to live life purposefully," Hawk Nelson writes on their website.
Other songs on the album, such as 'Elevator' and 'Anyone But You,' aim to be fun and exciting while still relaying important messages about God's love and presence in our lives.
The new album required a great deal of fan involvement, raising funds through the Kickstarter project, an online fundraising aid for musical albums and other creative projects. Some songs on the album were the product of artistis collaberation, such 'Words,' which was co-written by Steingard, Matt Hammitt of Sanctus Real, and Seth Mosley. 'Words,' also features vocals by Bart Miller, of MercyMe.
"When you're in those valleys, those are the times you grow," Biro says according to the band website. "I'm really proud of the guys for sticking around because it is a brand new thing. It's a new identity, and I'm excited about it." Steingard added, "From the get-go, this has felt like something God's been sorting out for a while. It feels like there's something going on that's bigger than any of us."