Rend Collective Experiment

Artist Biography

Rend Collective Experiment (currently known as Rend Collective) is a Northern Irish Christian experimental, folk rock, worship band originating from Bangor, Northern Ireland.[1][2][3] Band members include leader and drummer Gareth Gilkeson, Will Herron and Chris Llewellyn on (lead vocals) and Guitar, Ali Gilkeson on Percussion and Keys, Bridget Herron on EWI, Brass, Accordion and Patrick Thompson playing the bass guitar.[2] Their first studio album Organic Family Hymnal was released on 28 September 2010.[4] Their second studio album Homemade Worship By Handmade People was released on 10 January 2012.[5] Both records were released by Kingsway.[2] Their first live album Campfire was released on 29 January 2013[6] with Integrity. In 2014, Rend Collective released their third studio project entitled The Art of Celebration.

Rend Collective was established between 2002-2003; during a point in which drummer Gareth Gilkeson described as "a bunch of us trying to figure out life." [3][7] While the group comprises over 15 members, the band tours and records with 6 members.[3][7] The remaining members of the Collective are there for support and to encourage the band "spiritually, musically, and missionally."[3][7] Rend Collective explained noticing a sense of hostility from the modern culture towards the church and Christians therefore sought to create music that would draw those such individuals spiritually and encourage them to come back to church.[3][7]

Rend Collective was on the And If Our God Is for Us... Tour with Chris Tomlin and Christy Nockels in the Spring of 2011.[1] They also served as the light-up act for the Rock and Worship Roadshow, as well as appearing at the Soul Survivor and New Wine summer festivals in 2012. They toured the UK in November 2012 with Matt Redman. They have toured with Tenth Avenue North and Moriah Peters on The Struggle Tour. On their Campfire tourthey toured the UK and US with Ben Cantelon. Currently Rend Collective are touring in support of their Art of Celebration tour with Kari Jobe.


Organic Family Hymnal
Gareth explained the term organic means the music "came from a very deep place with God."[7]

According to Gareth, the most powerful song on the album is "You Bled", which he said "'It came from a point of awareness of our own faults and our own issues then getting to a place of simplicity. In the middle we take the saying from the kids' song, 'Yes, Jesus loves me'. I felt when we first started doing it that it was a bit simplistic for those who are slightly more cynical and 'cool'. It was a bit weird for them. But we came to the point where we thought, 'This is really it, Jesus loves me, this is the simplicity of what our faith is and we don't need to dress it up'.'"[3]

Gareth told the song "Exalt" was "coming from a point of 'I don't know but you might'. Sometimes when we go into worship we come up with so many walls and the first verse is just letting them drop and just saying to God, 'We can't hide from you.' Then the chorus, 'I exalt you, you're the colour of my world,' that just does it for me. Life is grey but with God in our lives it becomes full of colour. The chorus is the important part where we are talking to the Lord, when we are exalting him. Sometimes in some worship songs we get distracted from that. But in this song that's what we focus on."[3]

The song "Movements" is about "a deep commitment song that says we won't walk away after a time of loss and suffering."[7]

Homemade Worship by Handmade People
The album is fairly different musically from their debut. There seems to be more of an influence from the burgeoning alternative folk rock scene with a sound similar to that of Mumford and Sons, The Lumineers amongst others.

The song "You Are Our Vision" is a translation of the song "Be Thou My Vision", which the Gilkeson said "'as we translated the song from the Irish and the Old English, we soon realized the true meaning of the words were starting to get lost in our culture'".[8] Furthermore, Gilkeson said "'This is not a song of longing and asking God to 'be our vision,' but it is a song of declaration and faith. We say to God with strength, trust and humanity that 'You are my vision, You are my wisdom… You are my battle shield.'"[8]

The song "Second Chance", according to Gareth, is about the redemptive power of the Cross and not wallow in "failures and personal mistakes", but about seeing the Cross for what it truly represents, which is "about the grace of God and not about the Law of God."[9] Gareth said the Bible verses used in the song come for John 8:10-12.[9]

Campfire Known for pushing artistic boundaries, the Campfire project sees Rend Collective in their creative element, using inventive and often surprising new arrangements of material from their previous two albums, Organic Family Hymnal and Homemade Worship by Handmade People, to lead a small gathering of friends in worship around a campfire. The vocals were recorded live outdoors on Ballyholme Beach after the invitation to participate was given via Facebook and Twitter.

Sonically, Campfire is a fresh and innovative take on the new-folk and indie genres, an acoustic project by virtue of the fact that there are no electrical sockets on the beach. The album is entirely driven by classic, retro folk instruments that could be played by the fireside and by the ocean. The result is an album that captures the raw, rootsy, foot-stomping energy of the Irish worshippers, which has been infectious among audiences across the globe, as well as the vulnerability and intimacy of home group worship.[6]

The Art of Celebration
On 23 December 2013 The Rend Collective announced their third studio album, The Art of Celebration, which was released March 2014.[10]


2010 Organic Family Hymnal
2012 Homemade Worship by Handmade People
2013 Campfire [Live]
2014 The Art of Celebration


US Christian Songs

2012 "Second Chance" 24[15]
2013 "Build Your Kingdom Here" 27[16]
2014 "My Lighthouse"

[1] a b c CMSpin (31 March 2011). "Rend Collective Experiment Tour With Chris Tomlin". New Release Tuesday. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
[2] a b c d e f Jesus Freak Hideout. "Rend Collective Experiment artist profile". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
[3] a b c d e f g Cummings, Tony (26 February 2010). "Rend Collective Experiment: Bringing a fresh approach to worship music". Cross Rhythms. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
[4] Jesus Freak Hideout (28 September 2010). "Organic Family Hymnal album". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
[5] Jesus Freak Hideout (10 January 2012). "Homemade Worship By Handmade People album". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
[6] a b "Campfire by Rend Collective Experiment | CD Reviews And Information". Retrieved 17 June 2013.
[7] a b c d e f Hoernschemeyer, Emily (1 October 2010). "Unrestricted: Finding Community in Organic Worship". CCM Magazine. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
[8] a b Van Pelt, Doug. "Rend Collective Experiment offers new translation…". HM. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
[9] a b Davis, Kevin (21 February 2012). "#294 - "Second Chance" by Rend Collective Experiment". New Release Tuesday. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
[10] "Album Release Dates, CD New Releases". Retrieved 16 January 2014.
[11] Billboard (9 April 2011). "Rend Collective Experiment Chart History: Christian Albums". Billboard. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
[12] a b Billboard (28 January 2012). "Homemade Worship by Handmade People - Rend Collective Experiment". Billboard. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
[13] "Rend Collective Experiment - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
[14] "Rend Collective Experiment's Campfire Digital Recording From Integrity Music Sparks No. 1 On iTunes Over 3 Months After Its Release : BC News : breathecast". 10 May 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
[15] Billboard (21 April 2012). "Second Chance - Rend Collective Experiment". Billboard. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
[16] Rend Collective Experiment chart history

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Rend Collective Images

Rend Collective camper
Rend Collective Experiment all go on a camping trip together ;-)
Rend Collective sailboat
Rend Collective Experiment all go sailing without sail, without water ;-)
Rend Collective fishing boat
Rend Collective Experiment all go on a fishing expedition for clams and crabs ;-)

Podcasts List