NEEDTOBREATHE is breathing new life into its fan base amid the coronavirus pandemic with the release of “Out of Body.”
Knoxville’s Josh Lovelace, keyboardist and supporting vocalist for the band, and Seth Bolt, who plays bass and also contributes vocals, told Knox News about the upcoming release, their experiences over the past several months and more.
‘A mixture of emotions’
The 11-track album was announced in April and will be released Aug. 28. It follows the Christian rock group’s “Hard Love” from 2016.
Multiple songs from the record have been released, including lead single “Hang On” and the ballad “Seasons.” “Survival” — featuring University of Tennessee, Knoxville alums Drew and Ellie Holcomb — was available to stream in June. Emotion-packed “Who Am I” followed. The fifth and final advance single that dropped during the summer was “Banks.”
Lovelace told Knox News that the band finished the album March 15, before “the world shut down.” Looking back, he said, “It’s so crazy how music transcends moments. … Songs can speak to moments that haven’t happened yet.”
“Out of Body” packs a variety of experiences and feelings — from teen love to first-time fatherhood. Bolt summarized the album as “a mixture of emotions — both hurting and processing, but also the hopefulness that we feel and that we’re leaning into.”
NEEDTOBREATHE, which also features lead vocalist/guitarist Bear Rinehart, hopes that the lyrics help listeners pull through whatever they’re going through and remember what made them fall in love with the band to begin with. The guys have played together for nearly two decades, but Bolt ensured that longtime fans would still find something new to love on “Out of Body.”
“I think they can expect to be surprised a little bit because we did take some bold chances on this record,” he said. “We decided just to have fun, embrace that spirit of freedom and not really feel bound by anything.”
“Out of Body” is available for pre-order on the iTunes Store and Amazon Music and can be streamed on Spotify and Apple Music. Those who pre-order will receive immediate downloads of all five songs the band has already released.
Ready to be on the road
NEEDTOBREATHE scheduled a tour after recording “Out of Body,” but the spread of COVID-19 wiped out its plans right as tickets were about to go on sale.
Yet the band has come up with another way to celebrate the album release and connect with fans from home: The artists will host “Celebrating Out of Body,” a live studio concert where they’ll perform music from “Out of Body” and their favorites for fans on the day of the album’s release. It’s the first time they’ve played together for a crowd since March 2019.
“We’re looking forward to having that sort of exhale and that moment to celebrate the record that we’ve made with our fans digitally since it’s not safe to be in person,” Bolt said.
Lovelace told Knox News that viewers will get a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like for the band to rehearse on tour at the exclusive event.
Concert tickets are $10 per household. Virtual passes and merch bundles are available at needtobreathe.com.
Despite their excitement for the remote concert, Bolt and Lovelace said they are more than ready to be on the road again.
“We’re going to be with fans as soon as it’s safe to do so, and no sooner than that,” Bolt said.
Lovelace is looking forward to playing in his hometown of Knoxville again, too.
“I love this town,” he said. “It’s always fun to bring the guys to my favorite spots in Knoxville and see the town. We’re excited to come back as NEEDTOBREATHE very soon.”
Apart from the pandemic, NEEDTOBREATHE has had an eventful past several months.
Lovelace has spent time with his family in East Tennessee, exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville’s own Lost & Found Records. Bolt celebrated his fourth marriage anniversary with his wife in May. And Rinehart welcomed his third child into the world earlier this month.
They’ve still found time to make music, however.
“A lot of times when you release a record, you immediately pivot to the tour. Since we couldn’t do that, we immediately pivoted to more music,” Lovelace said. “I feel like it’s kind of a watershed moment for us. We’re in this season where we’re just creating more than we ever have.”
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