Say it ain't so... Pete
After more than two decades, longtime Newsboys frontman Peter Furler is hanging up his road shoes.
We should have seen it coming.
Christianity Today did an interview with Peter in February, mainly about the band's new Reach ministry. In that interview he said:
"...I feel like as a songwriter there's a little bit of the traveling salesman in me where I go out and sing my songs to people. But as a Christian, I feel like there needs to be a moment there where I stop, pause and share briefly what Christ has done for me."
When asked if the band has lost it's "fun side," he replied:
"Sometimes. You're probably right. Looking back, seeing the things we did, it's like looking at old high school photos!"
According to the Newsboys website, Peter is not leaving the band completely. He's just not going to tour with them. If I'm reading things right, that means that he will be still writing for the band, still in the studio with them, just not out on the road, being the "traveling salesman." That job will be going to former dcTalk singer Michael Tait.
"Peter will continue with the band and his trademark songwriting and production will remain as he focuses his professional career toward future newsboys recordings."
The band recently completed a new studio album, called In the Hands of God. The album will street on May 5th. Furler sang on lead vocalist on the entire album. However, Tait has already started fronting Newsboys shows.
While I understand the pressures that 22 years on the road can have on a man's life, I am personally disappointed at this move. I've seen the Newsboys several times, and of course, own several of their records. Peter has his own brand of energy and personality that will be sorely missed from the live shows. He has a charisma and flair that I think will be hard to replace. We often kid our lead singer at worship rehearsal that he needs to sound more like Peter when he sings. (Blaesed be you noyme!)
Not only that, but to hear one singer on the records and see another live will be a strange experience. While live versions of songs are generally very different than studio cuts, to have a different lead singer will be a change that I wonder if many fans will accept.
I'll let you know. I'll be seeing the 'boys at the upcoming Rock the Sound event in New York City in July/August. Until then, I'll just have to buy the record.