Read the New Slightly Obsessed #183: He Knows Your Name
Hawk Nelson Talks Joy, Happiness, and Jurassic World
by Michael Tackett on 2015-03-13 11:53:07
With a week away from Hawk Nelson's new offering, Diamonds, founding member Daniel Biro chatted with CM addict contributor, Michael Tackett, and talked about opening the door to Joy, Happiness, and Jurassic World.

Michael: I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me today! First, congratulations with Drops in the Ocean! I saw earlier today that it’s officially the number 1 song on Billiards AC/CHR radio. So congratulations - that’s awesome!

Daniel: Thanks man! I just saw that from Jon’s twitter and it's insane! I had no clue and honestly did not think it would do that.

Michael: Yeah! It’s pretty cool!! So having Jon as the lead singer for several years now, it’s been a smooth and successful transition. What do you think contributed to that success?

Daniel: Yeah man, we honestly tried our best to manage the storm. I’m picturing like the fisherman out on the boat, while the storm is raging and Jesus is just chilling. We do our best to manage in the storm but really when it comes down to it – praying that God opens the right doors and closes the right door is equally as important. Like, it’s really Him that is opening the opportunities and we can't do it on our own…A lot of people said “this was not going to work, your taking a big chance, are you sure you wanna do this?” And we were like well let’s see what God has in store… so let’s give it a shot. So a lot of prayer and you know a lot of hark work. Jon has worked very hard at song writing and developing his craft and producing, but at the same time, I think its God.

Michael: Yeah, I think its been great! So what would you say was the ultimate goal with this record compared to the last one or was there a theme that you guys wanted to focus on with this new one?

Daniel: Honestly, on this one we wanted to convey hope and joy. It’s supposed to be full of energy and happiness and the idea that we can be thankful for something with that song, thank God for something, and that really opens the door to joy in our lives. We felt like there was enough seasons, maybe downer content, with a lot of CCM music and we were ready to say "lets do this kinda record!"

Michael: Yeah, definitely! I do feel that energy on this record. Looking into the song “Drops in the Ocean." How did that song come about? Was it an idea someone had?

Daniel: Yeah, so about a year ago we were at a conference and there was a speaker that was giving a message to a bunch of kids and he meant well but it was little more of “your do's and your don’ts” and Jon could see it on everyone’s faces that they felt like there was no way they were going to measure up to all these kinda rules. It wasn’t really full of hope and he wished he could go up and tell them “God is for them and not against them” and is behind them encouraging them on! That sparked this idea that he could actually tell them that and write a song about it. So it’s exactly what he did and I think it’s a message that is resonating and why it’s doing well. When I go to concerts and play that song, people are singing it and I believe in that message - that God's grace is big enough for each of us, our problems and our imperfections or else it wouldn’t be called grace. We can’t earn it with our acts but these acts are more of a response to our relationship of God and accepting our grace to start with. I think sometimes we get that order switched around.

Michael: For sure - I sometimes take my struggles and I dwell on it so much that I never allow grace to take over. So I never see that… ultimate giving it up and the satisfaction it can bring.

Daniel: That’s the thing - do we really believe that he is the Savoir and that his blood was shed for a reason? Or was it for nothing? Well no - it was to save us. Well, if it was to save all of mankind then it’s big enough for my sin.

Michael: Absolutely! One other song that stuck out to me was “Thank God for Something” which is one of those songs that’s really upbeat but the message was pretty profound in the sense that “you know what – this life I live sometimes I am not really thankful for what I do have you know. I am always looking at my future career or if I’m in school making the grades and not really thankful”. If you could touch base on what inspired that or how that song was formed?

Daniel: Yeah, I think it’s really easy to focus on our problems or the things that are not going well for us. In the last couple of years, I have went through a couple of big surgeries with a tumor that came back and took me off the road, but at the same time, with these problems it can give you perspective. So I realize “wow”, I saw these other people in the hospital that are so worse off than me, and I was like, I got to be thankful for the health that I do have. For the fact I get to wake up in the morning and for the breath in my lungs. That I get to see my family and see the sunshine…that really inspired me to be more positive. But at the same time Jon was wrestling with the concept of – if we can start thanking God for something, even the little things, it really is a gateway to opening up joy in our lives.

Michael: Yeah, I love it! What is one song, off the new record, that is a personal favorite of yours?

Daniel: One that stands out to me is the last track, Only You. Have you heard it?

Michael: That’s actually one of my favorites too!

Daniel: Yeah! I love it because, our guitarist, Micah, and Jon wrote it together and then Micah actually produced the song and that’s the first time he’s produced a track for us, and I think it turned out great! I love it’s a worship moment where you have this album full of energy and then the last song is a reminder to give God all the glory, and I love that it ends with Jon just playing an acoustic guitar. He recorded that in an empty house in Nashville as he was getting ready to move to California and he said it was the last thing he recorded in the open room.

Michael: Wow. That is one of my favorite moments - the last minute of the record where we end it on a high note but it’s also a “reflection moment” of what it's all about. What would you like one thing for the listeners to get out of the record?

Daniel: I just want people to feel that joy that is in the imagery of the record. Another being, the whole diamond concept - that we start out as coal but the pressures of life and our trials are being used for something so that they are not for nothing, wasted or a road block - it’s a opportunity to get closer to God and become something more beautiful and stronger like a diamond. And then when God really works in our lives then he is shining his light through us and we can pass that grace on to other people, our friends and family, through tough situations. I think the metaphor is really strong and I hope that people get a sense of hope and joy when they listen to the album.

Michael: One final question, and kinda serious question - which one are you more pumped about - Avengers 2 (Age of Ultron) or Jurassic World?

Daniel: ::Laughs:: Oh my gosh - I am going to have to say Jurassic World because I grew up with those movies. In fact, Jon, our signer is a Huge Jurassic park fan!

Michael: Yea! I love it!

Daniel: You know, I never have seen the Avengers!

Michael: Oh, really?! It’s a great popcorn movie! Definitely worth seeing! Well, congrats on the new record. I really do enjoy it and like you said the message of joy is throughout it. I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me today!

Daniel: I appreciate you, and thanks for being really well researched, and I think you'r doing great!
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