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For KING + COUNTRY Reveals Band Name’s Origin Story

Photo from for KING + COUNTRY’s Instagram

For KING + COUNTRY Reveals Band Name’s Origin Story

By Movieguide® Contributor

In December 2022, For KING + COUNTRY members Joel and Luke Smallbone came on the “Bobby Bones Show” to talk about their band name inspiration and how their music fits different genres.

“We had a lot of bad [band names],” Luke said. “I mean, at first, we would do the whole like we’re not going to leave this coffee shop until we find a name and usually we walked out with ‘Joel and Luke’ and Joel he’s like, ‘Luke. we’re gonna be called Jolly.”

“Joel had another great one,” he said.

“Uh, Austraville,” Joel chimed in. “That was one because we saw when we make up a word, it’s Australia to Nashville.”

After they tried out their new name at a show in Australia, fans struggled to get it right.

“Australia’s pretty forthright in their opinions, and we were doing a festival and people came up and they’re like, ‘Yeah mate, I don’t even know how to say your name.’ So we actually reverted back to Joel and Luke at the festival,” Luke said.

The brothers unanimously decided to keep their last name out of the band name.

“Would you come to a show with the band name Smallbones?” Joel said. “You know…we opted to not because of all of the…well, innuendo.”

“We homeschooled for a reason, with our last name,” Luke joked.

They eventually landed with For KING + COUNTRY when they thought of the old British phrase soldiers used before battle.

Movieguide® previously reported on their name origin:

“We kind of thought well that’s a cool phrase and then I think there’s that great overtone of like why do we do music like you said, like God, people, country,” Joel said.

“This was 12 years ago or so and he came in with the name ‘All the King’s Men’ which was a cool name,” Luke added. “Our producer at the time spun around and he said, ‘What about the old British Mantra that they used to chant before going into battle?’ We’d always wanted something that felt like it had purpose… The other big thing was it was available on MySpace.”

Bobby Bones noted the band’s music presents an “amazing blurred line” among music genres.

“Between the instrumentation, the message…,” Bones told the band, “I mean…you wouldn’t know what genre it is because it kind of is universal.”

Vocal Coach Ken Tamplin categorizes their music as “pop, rock, and alternative, with powerful, anthemic compositions and lyrics,” while Billboard labels them as pop.

“I sort of I kind of love about this country [America] is you have enough of a like a framework for people to sort of rise in certain genres but then I feel like with shows like yours,” Joel said to Bones, “with streaming platforms and what not, you’re able to actually sort of branch out further because. I mean we write love songs. We write life songs and God songs and Christmas songs. It’s all in there, but it’s really Christian radio, particularly early on, was like they were the ones and still are the ones that have sort of helped us rise, which has been beautiful.”

Currently, the Australian brothers have a tour lined up across the U.S. from July to November. And their concerts are just as hard to get tickets for as Taylor Swift’s, according to Bones.


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