"I was wondering whether it was time for the Circus to be done. There was a lot of time I spent praying seeking the Lord to see if he wanted us to forward (with the band) and He did," said Wilson, lead singer of Rock N' Roll Worship Circus.
Touring almost non-stop for almost two years from 2002 to December 2003 had taken its toll on original touring Circus members, Zurn, Blurr Wilson (Gabriel's wife), Eric and Wilson, as had releasing two albums. With the band since its 1998 inception, Rock N' Roll Worship Circus drummer, Zurn, felt it was time to leave to spend more time with family. But, it was through a hole that God showed it to Gabriel, Zurn and the rest of the band.
"Zurn felt that he was supposed to raise someone up to take his place ... in a Biblical sense and I said 'Who is it?,'" Wilson said.
Zurn didn't know, but he prayed about it.
"He prayed and felt he should ask Eric. Zurn called Eric...and said 'I need to leave the band and the Lord has told me that you are supposed to take my spot. Can you play drums?'"
Eric's secret was soon out - he could play drums. No one knew Eric could play drums, but they knew he could play guitar.
"Solo was our original guitar player and he was on Rock N'Roll Worship Circus and Beautiful Glow (albums) but he was unable to tour in 2003 because of family commitments so Eric took over," Wilson explained.
The band still had a hole with Blurr missing.
"Josiah was playing keyboards with us before Blurr, but he couldn't tour because he had to finish (high) school, so we brought Josiah back," Wilson said.
With several new band members, Rock N' Roll Worship Circus is almost a new band...with a new album, The Listening e.p., which was released this past fall.
"I think [the sound] is more ambient. It is a little less of the 1960s Monkee-ish pop and a little more of our Pink Floyd side," said Wilson. "We recorded this for our fans. We just wanted to get something into their hands for summertime. But, then we got asked to go on tour with Delirious and got a licensing agreement to distribute this overseas...so it will be released in the U.S. and Europe," Wilson said.
While this year has been moving at a rapid pace for the band with touring in Germany, U.K. and Holland, the accomplishments of 2003 were equally impressive: With the band receiving four Dove nominations for Welcome to the Rock N'Roll Worship Circus. It was a time Gabriel still fondly recalls.
"When we got asked to go to Kenya (in 1999), we had gotten an invitation ...and (this) let everyone experience a little bit of American culture that was not your typical student-type or missionary time. When we got back, more invitations would come in and we just went where we were invited. It was a great time because there was no money in it and there is still no money in it in some places. You just have to trust God is going to provide," he said.