Last week, Delirious? announced that, after completing its currently scheduled performances, it will officially disband. Before the news hit, we sat down with lead guitarist Stuart Garrard, better known as Stu G., for a few final inquiries.
Patrol: With Audio Lessonover, a lot of your fans were left confused as to the future direction of your music. Since then, it seems that you’ve been trying to regain the trust of a wary market. How did that pressure affect the overall writing/recording process for Kingdom of Comfort?
Stu G: I think Audio Lessonover is a brilliant piece of work. When we write and record we have to get out what’s inside and what we’re experiencing at the time. Maybe our mistake is to carve up what we do and categorize it by “rock or worship,” “sacred or secular,” “congregational or performance.” It’s all one thing to us…or should be.
The pressure is to be true to ourselves and not to what people expect from us. Kingdom of Comfort was written from our experiences over the last two years. It’s an honest documentation of our journey.
Patrol: Do you feel like this return to explicitly defined “worship music” has limited the band’s scope, not so much in terms of the quality of musicianship (which is obviously spot-on), but at least when it comes to talking about life, love, politics, and other issues that are obviously important to the band?
Stu G: We’ve broadened our horizons by allowing ourselves to hear the cry of the poor, the oppressed and the undervalued—it messes you up!
Patrol: Worship music often deals in clichéd imagery. In over fifteen years of writing music for the church, how have you kept exploring fresh nuances?
Stu G: Good question! We know we have to work harder when we cringe ourselves; sometimes we play it to our friends and watch their reactions.
Patrol: Concurrent themes throughout Kingdom of Comfort are poverty, obesity, the relationship between faith and fear, and the beauty of the human experience despite gross hardships. What inspired Delirious? to tackle these topics?
Stu G: The last two years or so has seen us travel to countries such as India, Africa, and Cambodia, where the extremes of poverty and wealth are just crazy. At the same time, listening to teachings by Rob Bell and N.T. Wright has inspired us to put flesh on the bones of our gut feelings.
Patrol: From the perspective of an “outsider,” how do you feel about the current state of the American church, particularly its willingness to turn away from troubling issues across the globe and its reckless commercialization of Christianity?
Stu G: There’s always a positive! In this world that is fixated by super-sizing there are always nuggets of infectious, subtle Christianity that inspire us.
Patrol: Do you have any regrets after all this time? Things you would’ve done differently? How does your family deal with such repeated, continuous success album after album?
Stu G: I regret missing the Zoo TV tour, and the fact I might miss Radiohead live this year bothers me.
My family deals with this great! We have lots of time together that even a 9-to-5 job can’t allow. We enjoy being on this journey together. We’ve done it for so long that sometimes my girls don’t really know I’m gone! My wife and my dog always know when I’m gone, though; they really miss me! Buddy, our dog, hates suitcases, because he associates them with me leaving?
Patrol: Does the near future hold anything surprising for Delirious?
Stu G: We intend to keep pushing, to keep creating for a long time to come. There will be all those things, but even if I knew the future I probably wouldn’t tell you. I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.
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Related on Patrol: Our review of Delirious? final studio album, Kingdom of Comfort. Our interviews with LIGHTS, Derek Webb, New London Fire, Andy Zipf, The Bell, Tereu Tereu, Monarch, and Jukebox the Ghost.
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John Wofford is a Patrol contributor.
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