Legacy. It’s a word Adam Agee, Dave Stovall, Brandon Bagby and Jack Campbell are hearing a lot lately. Taking the reins of one of Christian music’s most beloved bands, Audio Adrenaline, from former members Mark Stuart and Will McGinniss—who together saw the group garner two GRAMMY® Awards (Best Rock Gospel Album for Worldwide and Until My Heart Caves In); five GMA Dove Awards; a GOLD®-certified recording (Bloom); and 14 #1 Christian radio singles, including such signature songs as “Big House,” “Get Down” and “Hands and Feet”—the new foursome may have some big shoes to fill, but they also have a new trail to blaze.
Audio Adrenaline’s tenth full-length album, Sound of the Saints, finds the band poised for a fresh season, ready to build upon a storied history with a reenergized passion to reach the next generation of fans. With the full support of founding members Stuart and McGinniss, the group honors its heritage—performing a string of Audio A’s biggest hits in concert—while also bringing their distinct personalities to the music.
“We are excited to inspire a new generation of fans the way Audio A inspired us,” says Agee, former lead singer of Dove Award-winning pop/punk act Stellar Kart, with whom he released five studio albums and garnered multiple hit singles. “These new songs carry on the message of Audio A—positive, encouraging and challenging. God can use all of us, even the underdogs.”
“Watching the guys practice for this tour and record has been such a joy,” Stuart affirms. “Hearing the old classics with the new Audio A message makes me proud to be part of a legacy that continues to focus on the Glory of Christ and the absolute joy of becoming His hands and feet.”
Bassist Stovall, originally signed to Flicker Records as part of the band Wavorly, cites Audio A among his leading musical influences. “These guys have been my heroes,” he says. “I was just a 12-year-old kid in a crowd, thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, these guys are excellent musicians; they’re making great music; and they’re Christians. They’re the coolest people I know.’ That inspired a career for me, so my personal goal with the band is to become what the older generation of Audio A was to me.”
Bagby, who was part of Know Hope Collective—an acclaimed worship ensemble birthed by Stuart and McGinniss which, among others, included David Leonard and Leslie Jordan of All Sons & Daughters—is also an accomplished visual artist and was a sought-after session guitarist prior to joining the new Audio A lineup. Meanwhile, Campbell, the group’s youngest member, grew up listening to Christian rock in his native Australia. “I think I was 9 when my parents gave me a drum kit, and they regretted it,” he laughs, “but it’s the best thing they ever bought me.”
Produced by GRAMMY® winner Seth Mosley (Jeremy Camp, for KING & COUNTRY) and Joshua Silverberg (Newsboys, Michael W. Smith), Sound of the Saints offers something for a broad spectrum of tastes, while building on the pop/rock foundation laid by the numerous award-winning songs in the band’s large discography. The title track reveals a foot-stomping, Americana-tinged anthem co-written by Stuart, Agee, Mosley and Jared Anderson. “The song is about us as modern-day saints singing out to our Savior and worshipping Him,” says Agee. “All of creation sings Jesus’ name, but He loves to hear His people—His children—sing. It was one of the first songs written for the project, and it seemed to encapsulate what we were trying to accomplish with this record.”
Like their predecessors, the band continues to focus on Gospel-centric lyrics, as evidenced by the pop-driven lead single “Love Was Stronger.” “Everyone’s fallen short. We all make mistakes daily, but God’s love is stronger than all of those mistakes, and covers them one by one, as we make them,” Stovall says in reference to the song’s theme.
“It all goes back to the cross and the power of Love displayed there to cover everything from the beginning of time to the end of time,” Agee adds. “That one act of Love was stronger than anything we could ever do and any power against it.”
The album-opener, “Move,” is the band’s unanimous favorite song to play live and their current concert closer. “I love seeing everyone get pumped about it,” says Campbell, adding that fans have really resonated with the upbeat track.
“I think the music and the message are both very timely,” Agee offers. “The message of ‘Move’ is what Audio A has been about since day one and what we’re hoping to continue into the future.” To that end, the band will continue to support the Hands & Feet Project, the orphan care initiative founded by Stuart and McGinniss. It’s actually this emphasis on ministry that made stepping into his new role as frontman undeniable for Agee. “The mission aspect of it was inspiring. It was one of the huge trigger points that got me into playing music,” he says. “There had to be a higher calling and a ministry aspect to justify going on the road and leaving my family.”
Agee wants the band’s music to energize listeners to put their faith into action as well. “Some of the last words of Jesus were, ‘…go and make disciples of all nations…’ That’s the mission we’re honored to keep—going into the world and taking care of people, taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves.”
United around a common goal, Audio Adrenaline hopes longtime fans will celebrate with them in this season. “They have always had such great, loyal fans, and that’s what’s so fun,” Agee says of the group’s iconic history. “When you can impact people like that and they stay with you and have your back for 25 years, it’s amazing.”
As for the big shoes this new foursome stands poised to fill? They’re more than ready, Agee assures. “I consider it a privilege to get to carry on this legacy and continue to play music and inspire a new generation the way Mark and Will and the others who built Audio Adrenaline inspired us.”