Delirious? Paint The Town Red (Direction Magazine)
Last modified: 01 Feb 2007
Source: Direction Magazine
Author: Matthew Murray
Date: Feb 2007
The Bible speaks frequently about the consequences of stealing, but one of the leading figures in Christian worship has admitted he has recently fallen in that area.
But fans of Delirious? shouldn't worry too much.
Lead singer Martin Smith says the idea for recent track 'Paint The Town Red' didn't come from him or one of his colleagues - he "nicked it" from German evangelist Reinhard Bonnke.
"We heard Bonnke preaching, and he said he wanted to see the world painted red with the blood of Jesus. I thought it sounded good so started to write 'Paint The Town Red'. I fully nicked it and made it into a song, so I suppose we should thank Reinhard."
But the band needn't worry about any legal action or a court case, as they have struck a partnership with Bonnke and have agreed to minister together over the next few years.
Smith says "Reinhard laughed his head off when we told him we'd nicked it off him. We are planning to do more with him next year. He will preach at some of our gigs and we will play at his crusades - it's exciting times!"
Although Delirious? are one of the household names in Christian worship, and have played in front of a record 400,000 people at a gig in India, Smith says he still pinches himself when he meets the likes of Bonnke.
"It's a big shock," he says. "If I could be half the man of God that Reinhard is I'd be happy - the man's a hero. He's done so much for God and it's amazing that we get to minister with him. But it's a very humbling experience to meet people like him. We don't deserve it and are just normal people."
"I wake up and wonder how we've managed to do what we've done. God's raised us up and done so much through us - it just shocks me."
Smith puts the constant success of Delirious? down to a good team spirit and unity among the band.
"We've stuck together through thick and thin and we're a great team. We still love each other's company and are best friends - that's the reason we've done so well. We also love what we do. God made us to enjoy the things of life and we give it all our effort for His glory."
"We're not 19 or 20 any more, but know there's still a lot in us yet. As long as we've got something to say we'll keep going, and we're excited about what God's got planned for this generation."
Smith says the two favourite moments of his career were when the band supported secular singer Bryan Adams, when he says he could "tangibly feel the presence of God"; and last year's Hillsong Conference in Sydney, when 20,000 packed into a stadium.
"With the Bryan Adams thing, you could feel God so much and you knew that he was up to something. There were thousands of sinners there and I'm certain God was moving."
But despite mixing with all the 'stars' and playing in front of huge crowds, Smith says keeping humble is never a problem.
"The funny thing is that pride has never been something I've struggled with. I've struggled with many things but that's not one of them. I've never valued what we've done that highly and give glory to God for everything we've ever done and seen."
When he's not on the stage or traveling the world, Smith loves spending time with God back in England, and is constantly seeking inspiration for new songs.
"I've always got the notebook at hand and keep my ear to the ground for new stuff. I could be on a train or sat playing the guitar and something just comes to me. The ideas come as I experience life."
Smith's favourite songs are 'There Is An Angel', a track from the 'Audio Lessonover?' album; and the legendary 'History Maker' track, still popular years after its initial release.
He says the band are always working on new songs, and pray that God will inspire and anoint every word they write.
"Every muscle in my body cries out that God will save, heal and deliver people during our songs. It's awesome when we get letters with testimonies of how lives have been changed. We pray before every crusade and do a Bible study which really inspires us. God's so good."
Smith stresses that worship is not "just music", but is a life style and a commitment to God.
"It's everything we do, and we must never forget that. It isn't just music and playing instruments, but it's in the way we treat people and live our general, everyday lives."
The lead singer of Delirious? has revealed the story behind the band's controversial white suits.
Martin Smith says the band aren't trying to imitate Benny Hinn or show off expensive suits on stage, but are simply wearing "50 quid Indian bargains".
He said the band bought them in India cheaply and brought them back to the UK where they personally customised them.
"People think they cost a fortune but they were only 50 quid from India. We brought them back here, ripped them up a bit and made them look camp, and decided to wear them for our gigs."
"India's the place to go for suits. Last year we wore black and then we went for white - there was no real reason for it."
Smith says the band has had heaps of criticism for wearing them.
"Our backstage crew and sound team are always giving us stick for the suits, but who cares? I think they're awesome so we'll keep wearing them."