Pop and punk music isn’t what you expect to hear from your worship team on Sunday morning, but Shine Like Stars reminds us that worship isn’t about our expectations.
Shine Like Stars broadens the definition of contemporary worship with a fresh pop-punk sound. Full of bright melodies and rich harmonies, the band restores an energetic joy to the heart of worship. Their unique approach enticed us to ask Dale Huntington, their front man, a few questions about the band.
Can you give us a short background of the band? How did it come about?
We started in 2004 in Irvine, California. My wife and I (Dale) wanted to start a worship band that led worship in our home church, but also one that would tour and make CDs. Our leadership blessed it and we started touring in the summers.
Eventually, we felt called to Kansas where, with the band’s blessing, we took the name of Shine Like Stars. The guys in Orange County were really awesome about it. Now we have been with this Kansas congregation for about five years. We love Kansas and Kansas has been good to us. No surf, though.
How has your music evolved over the past few years?
At the onset I was really influenced by mainline pop-punk groups like Green Day, blink-182, Death Cab, and Jimmy Eat World.
We still write worship songs with that feel, but I’d like to believe we have transcended the SoCal / West coast pop-punk sound. We all love lots of styles of music, and I believe they have found their way in.
I still listen to Matt Redman and Tim Hughes as I did back then, but my worship influences have diversified as well. I love the City Harmonic, The Digital Age, and some of these newer worship bands that have recently come out.
Your most recent album, Beauty in the Storm, features a song called “The Overflow.” What’s the story behind that song?
As a worship leader, I honestly kind of got sick of people telling me how they needed Sunday worship as we know it. If they missed Sunday or the band was off, they didn’t get their worship and thus felt unfulfilled.
I began to think, we have this turned around. Worship is about God. We shouldn’t worship Him to get anything. He’s already sent His Son to die a grisly death for our sins. He’s already conquered death for those of us who were broken in our sin. Who are we to worship for what we get out of it? Don’t come to be refreshed. Worship because you need to thank Him.
Don’t come for healing. Come to worship the Creator of the Universe because He absolutely deserves it. The funny thing is, when we get it in order and come for the right reasons, we often leave with healing and refreshment.
On your blog, you describe the unfortunate events from last summer’s tour. Can you explain how God used those events to strengthen and benefit Shine Like Stars?
We ended up having to replace eight tires on our RV. EIGHT TIRES! We eventually got stuck in Los Angeles and a friend’s Church in Orange County brought us out to do a special concert on a day’s notice. We were so blessed by that church. About 60 people showed up with eight hours’ notice and we had a blessed time of worship. Obviously, in all of this we’ve learned we can make our plans where God would have us, but ultimately it is the Lord who guides the steps.
You’re putting together a Midwest tour for 2014-what should fans expect?
We usually do about one and a half hours of worship music, prayer, and Scripture. It’s a powerful night—we love doing it. However, we can’t do it if we can’t book it. If you are in the Midwest and parts of the South, bring us out. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in bringing us out in late May to early June.
What do you think of Shine Like Stars? Tell us in the comments.
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