“I think we felt like we could make a better record, to be honest,” Bear candidly reveals. “What we were able to do on Rivers In The Wasteland was really put raw emotion on a record, but we weren’t able to work on it that much because we were fighting so much. It feels like we made a really simple record because we had to, and because of that, a lot of the emotion came across. I think that’s why the record connected with people; but I think in terms of what we feel like we’re capable of, we felt like we were capable of more.”

NEEDTOBREATHE, CCM Magazine - image

photo: Eric Ryan Anderson

Anyone who’s seen the band live knows the South Carolina natives are capable of scaling incredible heights. If Rivers felt like the insurmountable struggle they almost couldn’t work through, new album H A R D L O V E (Atlantic Recordsbuy) feels like sweet redemption.

“All of us put our families though that same fight that me and Bo were going through, and that includes Seth and Josh,” Bear says. “It was a really tough time, and I think we just came away with an appreciation for what we do and for the opportunity to do it; and I think that’s what H A R D L O V Es really about.”

NEEDTOBREATHE spent the better part of ten days holed up in a secluded cabin in the North Carolina mountains to commence the process for the new album, which ended up taking them nine months to complete. They hired an in-house chef and filled the multi-story residence with every instrument imaginable, creating a space for them to experiment and dream—no idea too wild or weird, and the more outside-the-box the better. Both Rinehart brothers have small studios in their homes, so they were able to come to the makeshift band retreat with a few rough demos. Fresh songs were also written once the band was gathered.

“We started to make this record as friends again and as people who just didn’t really care about what the results were, which is a very freeing thing,” Bear offers. “That’s just something that would not have been possible the last couple of records… It was just us having fun together again. It feels like we’re in a garage band.”

Born and raised in the small town of Possum Kingdom, South Carolina, the members of NEEDTOBREATHE have always prided themselves on the band’s southern roots, preferring to keep their rock ’n roll swampy and their instruments as pure as the terrain of their childhood. But from the very first distorted reverb of H A R D L O V E, it’s obvious we’re not in the wasteland any more. Banjos, mandolins and steel guitars take a back seat to colorful synth and electric vibrancy.


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