AFTER headlining thousands of shows, Peter Furler is probably the last person you expect to get nervous in front of a crowd.
But the former Newsboys front man admits he will be running on pure adrenalin as he makes his debut as a solo artist at Australia’s biggest Christian music festival next weekend.
“I love the Aussie crowd and let me tell you I will be relying on them all the way to get me through this,’’ he told the Daily.
The chief songwriter and singer for one of Australia’s biggest music exports will step up to the microphone again as one of the key drawcards for Easterfest in Toowoomba.
Furler, who has written, produced and sung over 25 number one hits, said he had chosen Australia to kick off his new career because that’s where his musical journey began.
“I felt sentimental about going back to where it started from.’’
After his shock departure from Newsboys in 2009, the former Mooloolaba man has spent two years "simplifying" his life, selling his huge home in Nashville and moving to Florida with his wife Summer.
But the music in him knows no rest, and he has signed a major deal with EMI Music to return to the huge US Christian music circuit.
Already his first single, Reach, has debuted well while a two-week tour of radio stations, where he played some of his new music, has been met with rave reviews from industry executives.
“It’s been overwhelming. (Reach) is racing up the charts over here.’’
Furler admits it has been a new adventure, starting out with a brand new band after spending so many years on the road with the same guys.
“Newsboys was a well-oiled machine.
“You were kind of like an old married couple. You knew everything about each other. I love those lads.’’
But he has no regrets about leaving Newsboys, saying it has given him time to revive his best musical creativity.
He’s particularly looking forward to returning to Toowoomba, saying he had been inspired by the Aussie spirit shown in the face of the Queensland floods.
He said many Americans had noticed the "she’ll be right" attitude that is typical of Australians' resilience and the way Toowoomba, as a city, had pulled together.
Easterfest is Australia’s biggest drug-and-alcohol-free music festival featuring more than 200 artists playing everything from jazz to hardcore Christian metal music.
It attracts about 30,000 people to Toowoomba with headline acts this year including Switchfoot, Naturally 7, Newworldson, Petra, Paul Coleman Trio, Darlene Zscheck and Peter Furler.
The festival not only takes over Queens Park but also the city itself with free shows, rides, stunts and entertainment.
More info: www.easterfest.com.
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