Best known as the front man of newsboys, a band he founded as a teenager in Australia, Peter Furler handed the group over to his bandmates in 2009, convinced that God had a new road for him and his wife, Summer. The decision was two years in the making. "We‘d been living in an RV, traveling to all the newsboys' dates, 110,000 miles all across North America," Peter explains. "It was a pilgrimage for us, the process of simplifying our lives, and it was the best two years of our lives so far, really... We had a lot of time to talk, to assess where we were in life. In all that, I felt God telling me to let the ground rest, let the creative process rest."
Peter stepped away from newsboys without an ounce of anxiety, fully supportive of the band. He sold his shares in Inpop, a label he‘d co-founded in 1999 that launched the careers of such notables as Newworldson, Mat Kearney and Shane & Shane, among others. He and Summer sold their house, their cars, and just about everything else but his studio equipment and moved to the Gulf of Florida, the closest thing to Australia down here in the U.S.,‘ and where Peter asked Summer to marry him 20- something years before.
"I didn‘t have a clue what I was doing next, and loved that," Peter says. "I‘d been doing 100+ shows a year, writing, then finishing a record for more than a decade. It was good, but it was a merry-go-round that was never going to stop."
In Florida, the days stretched out before him with no set schedule or to do‘ list, and for the first time in his entire adult life, Peterwas amazed. "I had all these choices in front of me that I had not had before: Mow my own lawn or go to Home Depot? Normal things not even worth mentioning, but really big things to me. No deadlines, no big rush to get in or get out."
The freedom to slow down, to make choices taught Peter a valuable lesson: "Artistically and creatively, I began see that God didn‘t make the horse to win at the races, but for his pleasure – to watch it run, Peter explains. ?I had a definite yearning to get back to nature, to express myself creatively, to do something just for the joy of it.
"I‘m at this place in my life," Peter says, "where I‘m not caring so much what people think, and not in an arrogant way, just knowing who I am and why I‘m on the planet. As a man, I‘m meant to stay faithful to my wife, to love her, to look after her, to take care of her. Beyond that, my role in music has become more focused. I know deep down that God has given me gifts to use for life. I write songs. I have a gift for melody and words, and I‘m here to use that to encourage those who hear them."
Music, he says, is meant to have life in it. And now that he‘s devoted attention to what‘s most important in his life, music itself has taken on even greater meaning, which is one reason Peter is elated to share these new songs with the world.
"I feel a bit like Forest Gump in all this," says Peter. "You run off the porch, run to the county line, then on to the state line and then you‘re gonna run to the Ocean... all for the discovery of it. Living as a free spirit, not letting the things of this life tether us down, not planning my future a year in advance... Life is far more adventurous this way. on fire is the music that comes from living that."
Listen to Peter Furler here
|On Fire||2011||Sparrow Records|