UK Worship Leader Luke Wareham talks to Louder Than The Music about his forthcoming new Live worship EP, and why he decided to step outside of the studio and record it in a live setting at his home church.
Tell us about your new single 'Refuge - Live' and what it was like recording it?
I am striving to listen and hear from God more and this has deepened my faith whilst also helping my songwriting. ‘Refuge’ is inspired by a journey of grief in mine and my wife’s life through the experience of losing loved ones to terminal illness. I learnt that we can walk through life knowing that we never go through our struggles alone, as we have a God who will never leave us. Jesus sees us, weeps with us and longs to draw close to us. As people listen and worship to the songs on the EP I hope that it would help to draw people near to God and trust in him.
That song is taken from your forthcoming EP, tell us a bit more about that?
When recording the new live EP our hope was that the songs would help people to fix their eyes on Jesus. The evening of worship where we recorded the songs was a special time where freedom was released in the room as we gazed at Jesus. As we recorded the songs from the beginning we have had 2 Corinthians 4:18 in mind and it has really spoken to me this year. It says ‘So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever’. I have been writing these songs over the past year. I love to write songs straight from reading the Bible and often feel most inspired by worshipping on my own at home. Some of my songwriting friends helped me get the songs finished ready to record. I am really excited about releasing these songs and have been using them when worshipping at my local church so recording these songs live I hope will really help people to worship to them.
Why did you decide to record a live EP this time around?
I have always really loved live worship albums and I wanted to capture the songs I have previously recorded in an studio as part of a worship time at my local church. My friend Ollie Morris produced the songs and has brought a new sound to the songs and the addition of violin and cello adds a different feel to the songs.
If you had to pick out some of the highlights from the EP, what would they be?
The evening of worship where we recorded the songs was a special time where freedom was released in the room as we gazed at Jesus. What was so special about the recording was being able to record the songs at my local church in Clevedon with my friends who normally attend the church weekly. We have been using the songs in Sunday worship and they have become songs for our church to sing.
You've been collaborating with quite a few artists and musicians lately - are there any guests on the EP?
The co-writers on this EP includes - Sarah Teibo, Rachel Walker Mason and Matt Caddick. Each song has been released as a studio version previously but we recorded the songs during a worship night at my local church - live! It was great to record the songs with some of my friends all who are great musicians and worshippers. We thought about the arrangements of the songs and the addition of cello and violin gives the songs a lovely sound. My friend Ollie Morris produced the songs and gave them a new sound.
Do you have any tips to share on the recording process for a live album?
We spent time rehearsing and practicing the song arrangements as a band and sent the band the tracks to learn before. There was loads of setting up to do on the day so I would advise setting up the day before so that you are not to worn out for the day of actual recording! Preparation is key to a good live album recording and inviting people to come along to worship and be part of the recording.
What's your favourite live album of all time?
Have it all (live) - Bethel Music. I love the production of this album and the songs.
Aside from your own music, what have you been listening to lately?
I am really enjoying Matt Redman’s new live album - Lamb of God. I also love the song ‘Holy Forever’ by Chris Tomlin that we have just started singing at church regularly.
What does the rest of the year hold for you?
Other than leading worship at my local church it is coming up to festival season and I will be leading worship at various Christian festivals over the summer. I will continue to songwrite and I am looking to record a new studio EP soon!