Perhaps you’re wondering what is meant by the title of two time Grammy Award winning, Australian born duo, for King & Country’s album Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong. Joel Smallbone, who makes up one half of for King & Country (the other – his younger brother Luke) answers that question at the end of the final track O God Forgive Us. To Run Wild is “to risk everything, to hold nothing back, to lay it all on the line, your reputation, your success, your comfort, It’s that moment when fear is overcome by faith”. To Live Free “is not to do whatever you want, where-ever and whenever you want, but rather living in accordance with the Creator who conceived you…to find the truest version of yourself by knowing the One who knows you even better than you know yourself.” He tells us to “Love Strong, because you were first loved, because without love we all perish, because the earth and the stars can and will pass away, but love…love will always remain.”
“The album also serves as the musical journal documenting the last three years of the brothers’ lives, a life-changing time of growth, transition, revolution and revelation. In addition to their professional success, Joel got married and Luke became a father during this time. But Luke also faced a life-threatening illness that forever altered his perspective. By experiencing great depths of pain and fear, he now has more joy and hope than ever before.
The album’s most gut wrenching and moving track is “Without You,” which unexpectedly features Luke’s wife, Courtney, on vocals and is also the most difficult song Luke has ever written. When he was at his worst, his wife feared that she could lose him, so she told him, “Luke, you just can’t leave me here.” Luke says, “The lyrics gave me the vision and the hope for what is to come. I know that I have today but I don’t know if I have tomorrow, so in those moments, I am going to laugh, and I’m going to dance if I can. If this illness was to take me, it would take me as a very hopeful man.”
Check out the story behind the song video for ‘Without You’.
Watch the music video to hear the full song here.
The special 1 year Anniversary edition of the album includes 4 new songs, among them being Priceless, in which they sing, “No matter what you’ve heard, this is what you’re worth, more than all the money or the diamonds or pearls”, declaring that women are priceless.
“Coming from that rich family heritage, the brothers also carry with them a mantra of sorts, speaking to a woman’s worth as well as encouraging themselves and other men to step up and stand out to proclaim that chivalry is not dead. “Part of the DNA of for KING & COUNTRY is this idea of respect and honor in relationships and women being priceless,” Joel says. “What we’ve both found in our beliefs as men is that people are made equal. No one is a commodity and everyone deserves to be loved and loved well.”
To Joel and Luke, remaining focused on what truly matters is crucial to succeeding musically. “The best legacy I can leave is if I am a good dad and good husband. If my family environment was out of whack, I don’t know if I’d even be able to write songs anymore,” says Luke. “A lot of my passion and zeal for life is because I have a wife who counts on me and a son who looks up to me and says ‘Dada.’ I can’t believe how much love he has in his eyes when he says that word. I can see the complete trust and safety that my son feels when he is with me. When he began to walk, I often thought, if I could run wild like a one-year-old does and live a life that embraces adventure in that way, I think I would see life entirely differently.”
And therein lies the phrase that has ultimately become not only the title of their sophomore album, but also a statement of what it means to truly be alive. Joel sums it up this way, “RUN WILD. LIVE FREE. LOVE STRONG.is a statement of reclaiming our birthright as humans, to live a life that is for others, and in that find what it truly means to run wild, live free and love strong.“ – via for King & Country.com/bio
Check out the live music video for their song Fix My Eyes;