Rhema 99.7’s Wayne Hindson caught up with Luke Smallbone from ‘For King and Country’ to chat about their recent tour, Dove Award and collaboration with Dolly Parton.

Wayne: You’re just in the process of finishing up your world tour which was in Australia earlier this year kind of give us just a summary of what’s been going on for your guys in terms of that world tour.

The Artist Spotlight with 'For King & Country' 1

Luke: Yeah well the tour really started Oct last year we did kind of a theatre album release tour and then earlier this year in the springtime…well and even if you go back actually we did that October release tour then we did a Christmas tour right, basically immediately after that then we took a little bit of time off and then went into our spring version of the north American portion of the world tour then we kinda came back and hung out with  you guys but on our way went to New Zealand, Australia, went to Singapore, the Philippine’s and now we’re doing our full version of the North American tour now, got one more week of that.  Next year we will be going up to Canada and there are rumours of us coming back to hang out with you guys again. So yeah its all happening but all really good things. 

Wayne: Now Luke I’ve got to say congratulations, you’ve just recently won a Dove award and news came out just about a week ago that you’ve been nominated once again for a couple of grammy’s. What are those kind of nominations and receiving awards like? 

Luke: Yeah, I’ts an interesting question because it’s not the reason why we signed up to do music. You know what I mean? Like you’ve gone into radio because you love radio, you love the medium of being able to speak into people’s lives through their cars, their radios, their homes and there is something about that that you fall in love with and that’s why you do it, you don’t do it for the salary you don’t do it because you’re up for awards for “The best morning show”, you’re doing it because you love it and because you believe in it.

So for us I never intended on doing music for an award, I did it because I felt like music had this ability to bypass the head and go directly to the heart. And in displaying these songs for people and singing these songs that something really, really powerful takes place. And so, when you get nominated for an award, I think for both Joel and I we try not to take it too seriously but then at the same time somebody did vote for you so it’s like if you ignore it you’re the jerk, but if you celebrate it too much you’re still a jerk. So for us we kind of take it as a pat on the back, it’s like when your son scores a goal in that game, you rejoice in that but you kind of move on relatively quickly because he’s got another game to play. So we’re grateful for it, people are saying “this music has resonated with us” and that’s special but at the same time that’s not the reason I signed up to do it and if I hadn’t of been nominated I’d still be talking to you today Wayne and I hope I would be talking to you with the same enthusiasm and joy that I have now.

Wayne: One of the songs that you’re nominated for and I want to know how this came about, it’s “God only knows” but it’s the version you did with Dolly Parton? How did that all come together? 

My brother Joel had just watched the movie Dumplin, on Netflix. I don’t know if you guys have that specific movie down in Australia or not. Joel had watched the movie and we had grown up with a pair of Dolly Parton’s managers,

Joel had actually taught them at Sunday School believe it or not. So Joel just thought I’ll call them up and say “Hey we’re looking for a female voice on this song, do you think that Dolly would be interested?” And unbeknownst to us, she got back to us within a week and had said “hey, I had actually just spoken to my manager about how I wanted to be involved with more Gospel and more inspirational music and so the fact that this came across my desk two days later is just crazy and I’d absolutely love to be a part of the song, thank you for thinking of me.”

Essentially. She got into the studio, recorded it, we then went and did a music video together. And for us we thought that was the end of the line, and then, just a few weeks ago she called us and said “Hey I’m going to be hosting the CMA’s? Would you guys be interested in singing God only Knows on the CMAs I’m hosting it?” All that sort of stuff. So the relationship with Dolly has just sort of continued. She is a wonderful person and for us to have a female, especially someone like Dolly who has lived a lot of life, for her to sing those lyrics, “God only knows what you’ve been through, God only knows what they’re saying about you, God only knows how it’s killing you but there’s a kind of love that God only knows.” It takes on a different weight, it takes on a different meaning. And for us, to have been able to have her a part of the song, I think that song has gone into a whole lot of nooks and crannies, all over the world that that song would never have been heard in, so we are grateful to Dolly for that opportunity.

Wayne: Can you tell us about the film clip as well? Because I love it, I think there are 3 sets. I don’t want to spoil it but at the ending you break, is it the 4th wall? I think when it comes to movie making? Is that the wall you’ve broken? 

Luke: Maybe so. I don’t know. Yeah, we kind of love the story of the music video has a lot to do with an alternative, if we had a vice in life, who would we be? For Joel he plays an addict, for me I play a guy who is just sick, Dolly actually plays a prostitute in this, that’s by her choice, that’s who she wanted to play. And so the clip is all about, we see these other facades and yet despite all those things that have taken place in our past or may be a part of our lives even now there’s still a God who is crazy about you. And at the end it all comes out that we are actually all in this one room experiencing all of these stories together. My older brother Ben filmed it, he is wildly talented and is a movie director and we’re really grateful for how it turned out. 


Thanks for hanging with us Luke! Click to listen to the full interview below!