By: Laura Bennett
After almost a decade on the road, early next year Irish rock band We Are Messengers will make their Australian debut, hitting five cities as part of their Where the Joy Is world tour.
In previous years lead singer Darren Mulligan opened up about seasons of “morose sadness” and “isolation” he’s faced, but with this tour the focus is on rediscovering joy.
“I’m not trying to pretend I’m in some emotional pit – because I’m not,” Darren said in our interview.
“I was [years] ago, but these days I know that I’m a very, very blessed man and have everything I need in Jesus.
“[Our next album] Where the Joy Is, talks about those situations, those circumstances, and reminds you that joy isn’t a place, it’s a disposition. And a grateful heart doesn’t need convincing about how good God is.”
Knowing the heaviness many of us have carried in recent years – whether from watching the news cycle, dealing with financial pressures or losing loved ones – Darren wants We Are Messengers shows to be a place for shaking it off and having fun.
“I look at what [my kids] are facing – I didn’t have to face that,” Darren said.
“The hypersexualisation, the access to social media where your whole life revolves around likes and dislikes and people tearing you apart – how would you not be heavy?
“Our hearts weren’t ever meant to carry all of that, we were supposed to be in community loving the people near us and taking care of what was around us.
“I think we all carry way too much pressure, way too much weight and way too much hurt.”
Living “off the grid” with his wife Heidi and their four kids in the mountains of Ireland, Darren’s approach to his career has changed in recent years, with the band focusing more on personal wellbeing and spiritual intention.
“When I go into the world and I’m trying to achieve and accomplish and be something, I’m never enough,” Darren said.
“I’m never what I hoped I would be. But resting in the arms of Jesus I don’t feel that weight or that pressure, that darkness.”
“If the world wants my career, they can have it.
“I want to be a good dad and a good husband, and I want to know Jesus.
“I find since we made that change [the] career is growing all by itself because we’re putting the right things first.”
Come February, “this band wants to call you home”.
“Call you home to Jesus, to a cup of tea, a bowl of soup with Jesus at a rock ‘n’ roll concert,” Darren said.
Tickets to the Australia leg of the Where the Joy Is tour are on sale now.