Formed in Portland, Oregon as a Worship band called Call Box in 2000, Kutless changed their name before releasing their first three track EP in 2002 Kutless chose their name in response to Romans 6:23 which says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (NRSV). Because of this, Kutless says, "He took our cuts for us... leaving us 'Kutless'."
In 2004, after releasing their second full-length album,Sea of Faces, Kutless would go on their first headlining tour. In 2005, Kutless released their first worship album, Strong Tower. Later in 2005, Kutless began recording their fourth full-length album, Hearts of the Innocent, which was released onMarch 21, 2006. Kutless followed up with a tour, also featuring Stellar Kart, Disciple and Falling Up.
Sometimes the most ambitious artistic breakthroughs are birthed out of the most unexpected circumstances, or more accurately in the case of Kutless’ To Know That You’re Alive, a painfully annoying accident. Having front man Jon Micah Sumrall tear his shoulder might seem like an unlikely muse for songwriting and sonic sculpting- especially considering the band’s sold over 1.5 million CDs, performed in front of nearly two million fans and conquered Christian radio with numerous singles since its debut in 2002- but it results in one of the band’s most immediate, expressive and aggressive discs to date.
“I have a tendency to be accident prone because I’m really active in sports,” says the leader of the BEC Recordings-based alternative rockers. “I’ve had a handful of pretty serious accidents that involved surgeries and broken bones, and most recently, had a skiing accident that tore my shoulder to pieces. It required two operations and a lot of physical therapy that just ended as the writing for this record started. But in between I spent a lot of time lying around bandaged on my back going ‘okay God, why are you allowing this to happen again?’ It felt like such a bummer deal!”
But the more time Sumrall had to think about his situation, the more he realized God’s perfect plan for even the most precarious situations. In fact, a piece of advice from his earthly father (who’s been afflicted with back pain all his life) helped steer the singer/songwriter in a much more positive direction.
“One thing my dad told me, especially after knowing the feeling of being bed ridden, was ‘every time I threw out my back, the only place I had to look was up,’” reflects Sumrall. “We get so busy in life with so many things going on- from various aspects of life to our band to this overall ministry- that sometimes we even forget our own relationship with Christ. It’s funny how the Lord allows something like an accident to, which often times causes us to cry out for help. What I realized was it made me turn to God for help, and secondly, it made me appreciate what I have! You don’t realize how much you use your shoulder, arm or wrist until you can’t use it and I’m so glad I’ve been healthy most of my life. A lot of people are permanently disabled and it reminded me of just being thankful for what I have.”
“We know life is hard, but God is good,” he succulently sums up. “Both Christians and non-Christians need to hear that message, especially in a world that’s so misunderstanding of Christianity and is very hostile to the way they view the faith. People need to see who God is and how God can change their lives, so we’re just here to keep those ideas out in the open and talk about real stuff we’re dealing with, what we see every day and anything that’s on our hearts. We want to share how God’s impacted our lives in all of that, and I think when people can hear the sincerity on this CD, it will hopefully reach them wherever they’re at.”
Listen to Kutless Here
|Sea of Faces||2004||BEC Recordings|
|Strong Tower||2005||BEC Recordings|
|Hearts of the Innocent||2006||BEC Recordings|
|Live from Portland||2006||BEC Recordings|
|To Know That You're Alive||2008||BEC Recordings|
|It Is Well||2009||BEC Recordings|
|This Is Christmas||2011||BEC Recordings|