We were joined by Luke, Jess & Joel from VERSES music at the Rhema FM studio recently! Time to get up close & personal!
Now it’s been an exciting journey for you guys over the last couple of years. Can you tell us about how VERSES got started?
Luke – Yeah it has been an exciting 12 months, but there have been many years in the making. We had the idea for VERSES about 4 years ago now. It came as an idea when I was dropping off something to Joel at his youth ministry one night. I looked at the words on the screen and had the idea to create a modern day memory verse. But instead of using kids songs, to maybe use pop music as the medium instead. Originally it was just going to be for their youth, and that’s why there’s that 3 year gap, as I spent time writing and it was just something that I always had in the back of my head and working towards. The songs started sounding better and better, to the point where we thought that we should release this as a thing. So that’s the idea how the three of us as a group came together. We sort of started last year, but really this has been happening in the background for a while now.
We should also point out that Luke & Joel are brothers, and that Jess is married to Luke! Is that a fun dynamic? Do you often feel like you’re third wheeling Jess, or is it sometimes you you Joel?
Joel – It depends what sport is playing! If the sport is on than Jess is the third wheel. But any other time, I’m happy to take that.
Jess – I also feel like I’m on a perpetual boys trip with these guys!
We first got to know you with your song ‘All Things’, can you tell us about the heart behind the song?
Jess – ‘All Things’ was the first song that we released because we thought that it really captured the vision of what we wanted to do. It really strongly said the verse that ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ And so the heart behind all of VERSES music is that we wouldn’t just make Christian songs, which is needed in the world, but to communicate His Word. The heart behind that was that people would hear the message that they can do all things through Christ. And so if you can put that to great music that people want to listen to, sing to and have in their homes, that’s something we were really were passionate about.
Now you are a Newcastle group, and travelling around in the US. But you were actually involved with a touring youth conference over in America. Can you tell us more about that?
Luke – Yeah so that’s how we originally went to America. A friend of ours from Australia, showed a friend of his our music, and he really loved it and it caught their vision straight away. And then he showed it to a lot more people in Nashville, which is where we are based now when we are there. And so that’s how we went America originally.
But we sort of felt that more maybe it was to connect and tour with that youth conference, rather than what he was lining up for us at the time. We travelled around with a youth conference which goes for 8-10 weekends in our autumn and 10 weekends in our spring. We did a lot of festivals, churches and youth events in between that in summer.
So it’s like you had a perpetual summer going from an Aussie Summer and then American Summer?
Luke – Yes we definitely planned it so that we’d come home for December and January! I think we need to plan that forever!
So when you’re writing a song, do you start with a bible verse and then decide to write a song around it, or from inspiration? How does a song come into being?
Luke – Sometimes it happens by starting with a verse, or I’ll be reading and think that if people knew that, it would be awesome. We have a song called ‘Your Love’ based on Romans 8:38, ‘Nothing can separate us from God’s love’.
And so I thought that if people knew that, maybe it would change the way they think about God, as opposed to having to work for his love. Imagine if it was hard to get away from his love…
I feel like your song ‘Be the Light’ sums up what you guys are all about – going out and shining a light in the world. Can you tell us about ‘Be the Light’?
Jess – This one is based on Matthew 5, about being a city on a hill and not hiding your light. This one was not really a song to sing in a situation, but is more of an anthem to remind Christ followers of their purpose. They can sing throughout all of it to ‘be a light’, and ‘shine like a city on a hill’. It also talks about not being ashamed. Especially for young people it’s hard to say that I’m a Christ follower. It doesn’t look cool and you know the way that the media portrays Christians.
So this song is an anthem for young people to say that they are not ashamed of this. What Christ stands for is goodness and love and light – Jesus is nothing to be ashamed of or to shy away from, and in fact we’re going to shine him even brighter. We want it to be an encouragement for people.
Thanks so much for sharing with us, we are so excited to see what else is coming your way!