The raw, rootsy, foot-stomping energy of the Irish worshippers, which has been infectious among audiences across the globe, has always been about people and building God's Kingdom here. Beginning as a group of friends collectively wondering how to make sense of the conundrum of life, God and community, Rend Collective is a nod to the places in Scripture where it says to "rend your hearts" and not your garments, a bold call to be genuine.
100 Huntley Street US reporter Tanner Keith caught up with them at the 2014 K-Love Fan Awards and was won over by their humbleness, faith, simplicity, humor and of course, their Irish accent!
Nominated for the Best Live Show category, Rend Collective hails from the small coastal town of Bangor in Northern Ireland, where they developed organically, outside of the influence of the music industry and CCM culture, as a self-described "group of confused twenty-somethings trying to figure out faith, life, God and community."
One of the things they really like to think about themselves, is that they are a ‘celebration band' - inviting people to sing and celebrate the gospel with them.
"We are not cool guys or rock stars. We're just people, getting involved and having a good time."
As for the inspiration for their songs, Gareth Gilkeson states, "Whenever we write a song, we are not writing a song because we have all the ‘I's dotted and the ‘t's crossed. But more that the song is a prayer from our hearts to God. It's part of our journey. And then it's amazing to see that that connects with other people, and that's their journey."
In the heart of it all, Rend Collective wants people to walk away from their music knowing that there is a hope for joy. As Chris Llewellyn puts it, "There is a joy that (you) can grab onto no matter what is going on."