We got a chance to speak to Garrett Hornbuckle, lead singer of All Things New, today, while the band was making a gas stop on their way to Savannah, Tennessee for a performance that they will be doing on tomorrow (June 14), at the Hardin County Fairgrounds alongside Rhett Walker Band and For King & Country. Hornbuckle spoke about the band's self-titled debut album that was released on April 9 and gave some additional information about himself and the band.
1) What was the main inspiration behind the new album?
"The message we wanted to declare was kind of like the message of redemption, you know, that no matter how far you go away from God that you'r never too far, like you're always in his reach and no matter what you're going through and no matter what you've been through that He can redeem you from that and He can continue to restore your life daily. So, definitely just the message of redemption and the message of no matter how far you feel like your are from God that you are always within the reach of Him."
2) What is your personal favorite song on the new album and why?
"That is tough, wow that is so hard, they're all so good and I love each and every one for like a different reason but I guess, actually I really think 'New Man' would honestly probably be my favorite one just because of what it talks about and it's kind of my life in a song, you know, if my life could be sang in a 3 and a half minute set, it would be that song right there. And really, it talks about what I've gone through and how God has brought me through my struggle with self-worth and my struggle with identity and never feeling good enough, but I realized who I was in Jesus Christ and because of Him I am a new creation and I have been made new and He's taken my brokenness and turned it into something beautiful. And I love that song, just the message that that declares and it's a message that we continually as Christians need to hear every day to know that you are beautiful that you are worthy and that you have been made new because of the cross. And it's been awesome to play it live too, we just got off the All Things New tour and, just the stories that people have heard from the song, from radio, and just the impact that it's had on the listeners, its been super encouraging and just unbelievable when we hear the impact that that song has had."
3) Would you mind explaining the story behind your song 'New Man?'
"When I was a young kid my biological father left me and my mom, she was pregnant at the time with my youngest sister, and I was so young that I didn't really understand what was going on, I was just kind of really confused, but I knew that something was broken and I knew that something wasn't right. And kind of growing up I couldn't be around my biological father. I remember calling him and he would never answer, I remember asking to hang out and he wouldn't be there to pick us up. And so, I kind of started just thinking that may there was something wrong with me that my dad didn't want to be with us, maybe there was something wrong with myself that I couldn't be loved by him. So I just started to believe these lies and, when I was nine years old, my mom ended up marrying my step dad at the time who was verbally abusive, emotionally vacant my entire life while they were married and home was just a chaotic place. Home was somewhere I never wanted to be. On top of that, my older sister was heavily addicted to drugs, so I can just remember coming home and cops being at my house and I just continued to walk because I just didn't want to be there. When my stepdad ended up leaving my freshman year of High School I kind of just moved out for a while and I sort of went a little crazy and I searched for acceptance and love in everything but Jesus Christ. I searched for acceptance in sports and friends and girls and music. And I thought that if I was good enough in one of those things, if I could make someone laugh or I could make a girl like me then I would feel accepted and I would feel loved but what I realized was that the more I searched for acceptance in those thing, the emptier and the lonelier I felt. But I had a youth pastor my sophomore year/ freshman year of High School that really started impacting my life. He really started helping me and he really started to show me and tell me who Jesus Christ was. So I realized that, if I'm in Jesus Christ then I'm a new creation. If I'm in Jesus Christ then I am whole and I am worthy and I am accepted because of what He's done for us on the cross. And that was finished there and that He's taken our ashes and turned them into life and it's been a cool, just this song of redemption and this song about God's grace and His mercy and how he makes us new no matter what we've been through. Just to see the healing process with this song, and it's been incredible because now, me and my step dad have a great relationship, and now, my sister just called me a few months ago and she's been clean over a year of drugs. So it's been incredible just to see what the power of God can do."
4) Your website bio talks about how it was your childhood dream to write your own music and get a record deal. What was it like to see that dream become a reality?
"Yea, you know, my biological father has been in the country industry for about 35 years, so I really just grew up around the country music in Nashville, and I told my dad at 10 years old, I was like 'hey this is what I want to do for my life,' and I remember he kind of giggle and I laughed and who would have thought a ten-year-old kid, his dream would have came true. But, I can just remember, like it was yesterday, coming down the elevator from our record label and getting off the elevator right after our A & R, Conor Farley, said 'hey man, we want to offer you guys a record deal' and I just dropped my guitar and I kind of just started to weep a little because I was just like, 'man this is just incredible.' It's just a surreal feeling, it's a surreal moment and it's just, I don't even think it's hit me yet, you know. And it's just crazy every time our song comes on the radio and I just realize that this is because of God and this is because of Him and how powerful and how big our God is, not because of anything that we do, but we just serve that is greater than anything that we will every do."
5) What is the main message that you, and the band as a whole, want the listeners to take away from this album?
"I think it's mainly kind of the message of just declaring God's love and that no matter how far you feel that you are from God, that you are never too far from his reach, that you're always in is reach. That because of God, that you're loved, it's just the message of redemption, that God make you new, no matter what you've been through, and that you have been created by God, so if you are created by God you are exactly the way that he has created you to be."
6) What do you think the future has in store for 'All Things New?'
"I think the future is bright. We've got a lot of touring coming up. We're going out with Rhett Walker in the fall, we're really excited about that, and I think it's gonna be great. We're just looking to continue to do what we're already doing right now, and that's just making music that glorifies God, and if we can do that we can wake up every day and say, 'hey, what we're doing is glorifying God,' and that is bigger than being on the radio, that's bigger than being on charts, that's bigger than record sales to us. That's what we want to do, that's what we want to accomplish every day as a band, is just to glorify Him in everything we say and we do. So, if we can continue to do that in our future, then that's what we're going to do."
7) What would you say is your biggest musical influence?
"Wow, well I grew up kind of in country music, so anything country was good, I grew up loving Southern rock. But now I'd say my musical influences are, I love NEEDTOBREATHE, I love Tenth Avenue North, Sanctus Real, those guys are just, bands that I really just look up to and I respect who they are as individuals and I respect who they are as musicians and as a band. I would say those are kind of our influences, they'd be like NEEDTOBREATHE, the Passion Movement was huge for us, like Chris Tomlin, Kristian Stanfill , Matt Redman, Sanctus Real and Tenth Avenue North."
8) What is your favorite Bible Verse?
"I would say, right now, I love Romans 5: 8, and it's actually what our last song on the record, 'You Came For Me,' is written from and it says, 'But God demonstrates his love for us by sending his son, Jesus Christ, to die for us while we were still sinners.' And I think there is just so much power and so much hope in that statement and just to know that, in the midst of my sin, that God loves me so much that he would send his only son to die for me so that I could have everlasting life, and I think that's incredible."
9) What kind of long-term goals do you guys have as a band?
"Long term goals would say would just be to continue what we're doing here now and just hopefully be able to reach a broader audience and be able to reach as many people as we can. So, the more records we can put out, the songs that keep going on radio, just to reach as much people as we are able to reach in a long-term goal, that's kind of what we're able. And we'd love to just continue what we're doing, just continue touring with different bands, just continuing to just travel the world and to just spread the word of Jesus Christ."
10) What are your favorite things to do in your free time?
"I love sports, I love fishing, I love anything outside, I love being by the water. We're from Florida, so we all love the beach and the ocean, and I love being on the water and just fishing with my dad and that kind of thing. And, anything sports-related, we all love football and basketball and baseball and we're pretty competitive individuals. So, when we start playing basketball the band gets a little crazy, be we always like to find a the court wherever we are to play some ball."
11) What are your plans in Savannah?
"We have a show with Rhett Walker and For King & Country, it's at a Fairground tomorrow and we're going to be playing there, so we're just driving today because I think it's like a 12 or 13 hour drive from home for us so we had to make it a full-day drive."
Thank you Garrett for taking some time to speak to me after Chick-fil-A on your way to Savannah. Best of luck on your performance!