As Planetshakers prepare to release the next installment of their 'Heaven On Earth' series later this month, we caught up with band member Joshua Brown to talk about the Australian praise band's music and their plans for the future.
For those who haven't heard of you before, can you tell us a bit about yourselves and how you got involved in making music ?
Planetshakers started as a conference, and people started asking if we recorded the praise and worship because they liked the songs and wanted to take the atmosphere the music created home with them. So one day our Senior Pastor and Founder, Russell Evans, decided we should “press record” and see what happens…the rest is history! It’s incredible what God can do when we are willing to step out of the boat in faith and serve. All of this has gone to a lot more places than I think anyone originally imagined.
Tell us about your album 'Heaven On Earth Part III’ ?
We want to see God's kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Heaven On Earth Part 3 was birthed out of this desire and prayer. We want to express the love, joy and freedom that is found in God's kingdom. Throughout the year we have road tested these songs at our home Church in Melbourne Australia. So many miracles have been released as we have worshipped and that is our prayer for the listener, that God's kingdom would be experienced, and that heaven would come to earth releasing those same miracles that we have experienced.
Have you enjoyed releasing these songs in a different way (i.e. Part 1, 2, 3) ?
It’s been pretty fun recording and releasing more music throughout the year. It definitely keeps everyone on their toes! We want to release songs closer to the time they are written, so people get them literally as we are writing and singing them at our home Church in Australia. On our social media pages, we are getting so much positive feedback from people, so we will continue to do it! Part 1 was recorded in Manila Philippines, and the atmosphere was electric, people were lining up outside the arena at 4am! We recorded Part 2 at our Conference in Melbourne Australia, where there was so much energy in the room with over 15,000 registrations. Part 3 is really special for us, because this is the first time we have done a live recording during Church! There’s something special about being at “home”. I think you can feel it when listening to the songs. I love how each Part 1, 2 and 3 has a unique feel and story behind it. Each brings something unique and special for which we are grateful.
What have you found different in the way you have released these EP’s?
Because we have recorded in three different parts of the world, I think it’s added a fresh element for listeners, because each location has such a different culture and vibe and that’s rubbed off on the band and on how the live praise and worship experience is captured. Each location helps share a different part of the worship journey and it provides greater points of contact for people. Different isn’t always good, but I think this “different” is great and people seem to really be connecting well with it.
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
Jesus! I think He would write the best songs! Could you imagine sitting down with Jesus and writing?
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
We always want to stay on the edge of culture. Jesus modeled the culture of the day, He spoke the language of the day. When He was with tax collectors, He talked about money. When He was with fishermen He talked about fish. We want to do the same regarding style. However, we don’t want it to come at the expense of His presence. So we are careful who we let influence us. Our Senior Pastor and founder, Russell Evans has a great saying, “Church should be the biggest party on the planet.” We take that to heart. We want our music to bring life, energy and passion pointing people to Jesus. So whatever current style of music does that, we want to draw from and have it glorify and lift up the Name of Jesus.
How would you define success in your career?
Being able to stand before Jesus one day and hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” That is success to me. If our “career” brings us to that place, then we have been successful. We always want to have an eternal perspective. Eyes on Jesus during the journey!
What is your favourite album of all time?
Oh gosh, this is an unfair question! That’s just like saying “who is your favorite parent” or for those who have kids, “who is your favorite kid!” We are lovers of the God given gift of music, what it can do and how it changes the atmosphere. Right now it’s so easy to stream so many great albums, it’s hard to just select one!
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your mp3 player. What track is it?
This one is easy, I would listen to the song “Nothing Is Impossible,” because I would want to be reminding myself and building my faith that although it seems like I’m in an impossible situation, that with God, nothing is impossible and I will get off the island and into some nice air conditioning and be able to charge my phone again so I can check out Instagram!
What does the next year hold for Planetshakers?
In 2019 we are going to record a new EP series, something is stirring in our hearts, we are more passionate than ever to see His kingdom come, His will be done on earth as it is in heaven, drawing as many people as we can closer to Jesus. There are some exciting projects on the horizon, we can’t wait to share them with you!