by Matt Conner
For a brief season, Daniel Biro thought the ride had come to an end.
The longtime bassist for Hawk Nelson was performing with his bandmates on a cruise with MercyMe in the wake of the release of their last album, Diamonds, when front man Jon Steingard surprised everyone with the news. He was finished.
“It was so anticlimactic,” says Biro. “I thought we were riding this high wave of our career coming off of the release of Diamonds and then he said, ‘I just don’t think I can do this.’”
For well over a decade, Hawk Nelson had found commercial and critical acclaim with their infectious rock brand—from early Tooth & Nail faves like Smile, It’s the End of the World to later hit albums like Crazy Love and Made. Unfortunately, growing demands on the home front for Hawk Nelson’s members were limiting their opportunities elsewhere.
“For a while, we didn’t think Miracles would happen,” says Biro. “Jon had his first child and he lives in San Diego. If we’re playing shows, he has to fly through the night on red-eyes every single time. The stress of a new child and everything felt like too much. We had an honest conversation two years ago where we said, ‘Well, I guess this is it, then.’ We realized it was okay because this is all about family. If that’s what he needs, then we would come to grips with it.
“Then all of a sudden, he said, ‘I’ve got some ideas for songs. I’m going to Nashville to do a bit of writing.’ Before you know it, Miracles came out. It’s not like it wasn’t any work, but it was clear that God was doing something here when we thought we were done. So the record is a miracle and we feel like we’ve seen miracles in our families. The whole thing just made sense to title it that way.”
Miracles is the band’s 9th studio release and first since 2015. Touring for the new album actually began last year as the band loaded their schedule in anticipation of further familial changes.
“Last year we toured a bunch and did a lot of festivals. Our schedule took us over to the Philippines and we stopped in Japan on the layover. I was looking over my photos of the last year and there were all these cool moments. We were treating it like, ‘Well, we don’t know if we’ll get this again, so let’s make the most of it.’ It was like meeting up with your best friends for the weekend, which made it really special.”
Not only does Steingard have a young daughter, but guitarist Micah Kuiper is expecting his first child “any day now,” per Biro. And the bassist himself, along with his wife, is adopting two children from Haiti this winter.
“Every day, you can’t take anything for granted, no matter what you’re doing,” he says. “You just have to be grateful. With so many changes in our lives, it’s cool that we can still put music out while juggling everything else.”