We caught up with Alex from Hillsong’s Young & Free to talk about everything from cricket, sound bombing, to French accents but most importantly their brand new album ‘III’!
Wayne: A couple of years ago I was talking with JD and I threw this theory out at him and I want to get your perspective so, I referenced that Hillsong is like the Australian test cricket team, United’s like the one day team, and Young and Free are like the T20 team, so what are your thoughts on this?
Alex: Well, I’m American so I don’t really follow much cricket but it seems like a very accurate representation. I actually only really like the T20 so there you go, it makes sense!
Wayne: Now speaking of the states, you guys were at Creation Fest just last week, I was there, and I’ve just got to say this, I was in an RV, I was interviewing Joel from For King and Country, and you guys were sound bombing this interview cause you were on stage doing your sound check. Any kind of remorse there?
Alex: Ooohhh! Do you know what, because Joel’s Australian, I think that was a healthy banter back and forth. I can say this, their stage set up took up most of the stage so they had it coming. Just kidding! Love you Joel!
Wayne: Let’s talk about the new album. How do you feel now that ‘III’ is out?
Alex: Oh my goodness it’s such a relief, you know it’s one of those things that we’ve been working on a lot for six months but really for the better part of two years and it’s such a relief to have it out, people hearing it, so far so good, liking the songs as well. It’s awesome, we’re so stoked!
…I think it’s pretty amazing, we are living in a time where worship music is really on the rise. People are listening to it more and more and we’re honoured when it gets picked up by radio and stuff but ultimately we’re just going to write songs that we hope people are going to want to sing…
Wayne: Is there any pressure? Do you feel like the first two albums just smashed it, it played on radio, played in Churches but when you’re writing do you just feel any pressure or is there freedom knowing that those songs are birthed in you through what God’s doing?
Alex: I can really only speak for myself on this one, but I really felt the pressure for the last record, after we did the first one, because you know what they say, you’ve got your whole life to write your first record and then ten minutes to write your second. So I really felt it to deliver for the second round and I think there was a little bit of consensus like that but I think this one, I just feel like we’ve grown up a lot. There’s a maturity to it and an ease. Yeah, I don’t know what you call it, the Holy Spirit, God, you can call it whatever but there was just such a natural progression on this record, it was so much fun.
Wayne: When you guys sit down to write, is there anything deliberate in terms of writing songs that you know radio will play or is it an organic process?
Alex: I would like to think it’s pretty organic you know, we write for the Church, we write for our youth ministry, we write for our friends. We think, what is the church going to be excited to sing? I think it’s pretty amazing, we are living in a time where worship music is really on the rise. People are listening to it more and more and we’re honoured when it gets picked up by radio and stuff but ultimately we’re just going to write songs that we hope people are going to want to sing and if that means it goes further than what we do in Church that’s awesome and if not, we do what we do.
Wayne: Let’s talk about the song ‘Let go’, a lot of people are talking about this song, for one particular part and that’s the ooh-la-la’s. At what point did you go, I think we’re gonna put the ooh-la-la in at that section of the song?
Alex: You know it’s funny, as I think back to ‘Alive’ as we were writing that and I remember when we demoed it, it did that ‘oh-oh-oh you are alive’ and the whole time I was like, ‘there will be a lyric there’ and then somebody was just like ‘why’ oh’s work. I was like ‘yeah it does’ and I think it was a pretty similar story [with let go], it worked, we like it, it’s fun, it’s energetic so that’s what we do.
Wayne: And just as we finish Alex, I believe the French really love the ‘oh-la-la’ section, do you have a French accent you can do for us?
Alex: *French accent* Ah oui oui thank you for having me and sank you goodbye. Au revoir !
Alex thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us on the Artist Spotlight! We can’t wait to see where God continues to take Young & Free!