The band’s fifth studio album Crazy Love reveals the right combination of heads and tails: a return to the early days of Hawk Nelson rock with an ever-maturing look at life and the need for truth. “This record has got some old-school punk rock feel to it, as well as some songs my mom would appreciate. Overall it is one of our most well-rounded albums dealing with truth,” says frontman Jason Dunn.
“Part of this truth talk is us growing older and wanting to sing about what’s real to us,” says bassist Daniel Biro. “The truth topics make Crazy Love the most different from past records; we are definitely more overt about our faith this time. It’s satisfying to be real like that.”
With Crazy Love, Dunn, Biro, Jonathan Steingard (guitar) and Justin Benner (drums) continue the call for action heard on the band’s last studio album Live Life Loud. Inspired by Francis Chan’s book Crazy Love, Dunn and producer Ian Eskelin (CREDITS?) wrote the title track and debut radio single as a greater wake-up call to love: “This book made me realize how much God loves each and every one of us,” says Dunn. “Sometimes submerged in a Christian environment, we lose perspective of what Jesus did for us on the cross. We need to wake up and grasp the meaning of what he did; Jesus made something completely unattainable, attainable, and we are called to live in and practice that same ‘crazy’ love.”
Hawk Nelson would have fans seize the day and live this love, as heard in the new song “One Shot”: You got one shot, all you got, take it now. You gotta get up, get up, get up / One life, live it right, keep on moving forward. / You got one shot, all you got, live out loud. / Come on, wake up, wake up, wake up before it’s over. Actions speak louder than words, says Steingard. “It’s a big part of who we are as a band. We meet people wherever we go and find ways to love them the best that we can, in the most practical ways we can.”
Introspection and punk rock combine in a synth-laced “Your Love Is A Mystery” and loud-fast “Skeleton,” songs that admit faults and insecurities that can only give way to Christ’s love. “Often we forget that God is there, so we take control. It’s easy to think that we have control until reality hits us. These songs show that no matter how hard we fall, God, in his love, is there to pick us up,” says Benner.
Easily grasped are the loud elements of Hawk Nelson; all the while the band’s quiet thoughts build in the background. Opposite the loud rock is a focused intentionality that speaks to the core of the band and the unanimous band favorite, the anthemic “My Next Breath,” reveals that side of the band. “This song is undoubtedly the heart of how we feel about our faith. Some might see Hawk Nelson as this ‘good time party band’ but each of us feel very strongly about our faith and I think this song communicates it better than any other.”
The guys of Hawk Nelson admit that they could jump around, rock out and call it day but they believe in a purpose greater than the music: to know and be the love of God to people everywhere. It’s their faith that fuels the fast and slow of Crazy Loveto reveal a “good time party band” that translates the rigors of life into music – music that will move people to action.