10 Questions with ... Know Hope Collective
April 4, 2011
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
- Integrity Label Group
- Know + Hope Collective (2011)
1) Can you describe briefly how the Know Hope Collective came together?
The collective was born out of the need to tell our story. We had a fairly long departure from the music industry and really didn't expect to come back. Our pastor, after months of being in a great small group of men together, encouraged Will and I to go out and tell our stories. We had many ups and downs, mistakes and miracles throughout our career and after a season of rest, we felt we had something to say again.
2) And who is the Know Hope Collective exactly?
Will McGinniss and I (Mark Stuart) are the founders of Know Hope Collective. However many talented people contribute to the album and the live events. The record, which was produced by Josh Heiner, also from the same small group, has many different musicians, voices and writers.
3) Talk a little about the process of writing and recording the album. Where did these songs come from? Was the writing process unique in any way?
Honestly, the process of making the record was tedious. Because we didn't have a clear direction on what the collective was, we experimented a great deal. At times we were frustrated, but we believed we had a special project and we needed to be faithful to complete it.
The writing came from a pretty deep place. I hadn't written anything for about three years and was shut down in a way. My voice was broken, and now as I look back, I was heartbroken as well. But through our time of sabbatical we were given some themes of redemption and hope to sing about.
4) Tell us a little about the story behind the new single "Build Us Back"?
In January 2010, my wife and I were working towards the adoption of two beautiful Haitian children. Little did we know that we were about to be right in the middle of one of history's most devastating natural disasters. The killer earthquake shook all of southern Haiti and killed nearly 250,000 people.
The loss of life around us left us feeling numb, afraid and helpless. Within a few days, we began to feel the Church rise up. We were receiving emails of encouragement from all over the U.S. Within a week, teams of volunteers were on their way to do their part in providing relief for the Haitian people. It was amazing to see the selflessness and faith of so many believers in action.
After we returned home, we finally had some time to process what we had just experienced. All of the images of children suffering, mothers crying and buildings in ruin came flashing back into our hearts and our minds. For me, writing "Build Us Back" was something I had to do to feel whole again. My memories of the tragedy were more than just sad images of broken people; they were of also of the tremendous miracles we experienced. We saw the hands and feet of Christ lift a nation. The Sunday after the quake Haitian believers flooded into the churches to worship the God of restoration. Now, more than ever before, we are expecting our great God and the powerful body of Christ to build the nation of Haiti back from the ashes. I hope "Build Us Back" reminds broken people everywhere that God can turn any tragedy or failure into something beautiful. "Build us back with precious stones!"
5) Is there a favorite song in this collection?
I have a lot of favorites on the record. I guess the most significant for me would be "Build Us Back."
6) How are things with the Hands and Feet Project in Haiti? Any updates?
Hands and Feet is moving ahead with a vision of caring for 1,000 orphaned children by the year 2016. After the earthquake, the need for orphan care is at an all-time high. The nation is still very much broken, but we believe the best hope for Haiti's future is in the children. We remain extremely positive and hopeful as our staff and villages continue to grow. You can learn how to help by visiting our website: www.handsandfeetproject.org.
7) And, Mark, you and your wife are adopting two children from Haiti. How is that going?
In January of this year, my wife and I were blessed beyond words in receiving our two children from the Hands and Feet project in Jacmel, Haiti. I've only been a daddy for about a month, but it has changed my life in a beautiful way. I'm praying and hoping for two great musicians. They're already playing guitar and singing just about every night.
8) Are you guys playing these songs on the road anywhere soon? Is there any place we can catch you?
Honestly, I am so busy that I don't know. Check the website! [Smile] www.knowhopecollective.com.
9) On a lighter note for these last two questions, what song do you wish you had written?
I wish I had the royalties on "Happy Birthday."
10) Do you have much time to check out other artists' music? What are you listening to right now?
I like the old standards. It's a little embarrassing but I'm stuck listening to old Sinatra and Mel Torme tunes.