Escaping the Wolves, and Walking Like Lions

When we asked him for the backstory, Skillet’s John Cooper confessed he actually hated his own band’s name. We are Leo frontman David Duffield doesn’t have the same reservations when it comes to his band. They chose the name to symbolise the boldness and courage they want to live out.

‘I think the idea for me is, with the world that we live in, there’s a lot of opportunities in life where you can either choose faith, or you can choose fear or doubt. And for me, being lion-hearted and having that mindset, is about a community and a group of people who are choosing faith. And it is a choice. It is what I believe in, and it’s what I’m going for, and I just want to reflect the beauty and the strength of God.’

When Alex mentioned John Cooper to David, she had no idea that he and David actually live just two blocks apart. Cooper has helped out the band by giving them support slots, and introducing them to the guy who set up their first record deal.

But David also sees him as a personal mentor. ‘Loads of times we went out for coffee, and I just said “Dude, tell me how to do this. I need help.” He always had time for me. Even if he didn’t have an answer, I could tell that he cared. And he’s a great example of someone who—from marriage to money to walk with God—really lives it.’

David and the band are trying to walk courageously in a practical way, committing to write and release 12 songs in 12 months, starting in July last year. David admitted they were finding the process super challenging. ‘It’s right on the edge of possibility,’ he said. ‘Some days it feels like I’m so excited, and we’ve got this. And then other days, I’m like oh my gosh, we can’t do this.’

we’re just relying on Him, and leaning into Him for rest and inspiration

When we caught up with David, the band were struggling to keep up with the pace, but pushing themselves has also led to some of their best material, including Vision180 favourite Your Voice, Eyes on U, featuring Ryan Ellis, and an upcoming collab with Elizabeth Grace. ‘It puts us in a place where we’re super dependent on God, and we’re just relying on Him, and leaning into Him for rest and inspiration.’

As if they weren’t busy enough already, We are Leo have also visited more than 150 schools in the last two years. They’ve been working with a faith-based non-profit helping teenagers struggling with their mental health. For David, it has been an eye-opening experience. ‘My life is so good, and I have had a lot of struggles for sure, but in the last couple of years, God has just really blessed me. And so it’s kind of like remembering what it was like to be in high school.’

The chance to uplift people through music has really impacted the band. But David has been moved personally by the one-on-one connections he’s made. ‘Most times after we play, people will just come up to us, and hug us, and they’ll just cry. I won’t even say anything. I’ll just hold them, and be like “Hey God, let me be a conduit to your love.”’

Especially for teenagers, self-doubt, judgment and confusion can get super overwhelming as we’re growing into ourselves. Inspired by John Chapter 10, Your Voice is a powerful reminder that there’s a Good Shepherd who wants to lead us through our hardships.

‘All these other wolves are just noise,’ David sings.  ‘Jesus talks about wolves all the time. Things are trying to get us distracted or off focus. And he was super real about that. Hey, there’s wolves out to get you, but I’m your Shepherd. I’m going to lead you to where you need to go. So it’s just my reminder to keep listening to the Voice I know, and to not pay attention to the other stuff.’

We reckon that listening for God’s voice is one of the reasons We are Leo are kicking so many goals right now. They’ve still got a couple months left in their year-long songwriting challenge. Stay tuned to Vision180 to hear their new tunes as they come.

Listen to their new collab with Elizabeth Grace below

About the author

Jonathan Craig

MORE GREAT READS FROM

How a Gideons Bible Changed Anna McGahan’s Life

Through starring roles in Underbelly, House Husbands,  the Doctor Blake Mysteries and Picnic at Hanging Rock, Anna McGahan became a familiar face on Australian TV. But with the rise of her fame, her self-esteem was crashing. She’d come into acting pure-hearted and trusting, but by age 23, she’d realised her industry treated her as a…

God of Always

Can you think of one word to accurately describe this year so far? ‘Crazy’ doesn’t come close! As much as there have been some dark moments, we’ve also been touched by some awesome messages from people all around Australia, listening to the radio, connected and united by awesome tunes. This is the story of one…

Building the Kingdom, Brick by Brick

When Alex’s brother got Lego sets for Christmas, he’d always end up asking his big sister for help. ‘It would take me like months to build a little truck!’ she admitted. But on Nine’s Lego Masters, you had less than twelve hours to build some of the most elaborate creations ever assembled. You might think…

Under Pressure

Only a couple of years ago, at just 15, Coby James started writing songs every day. He’d played guitar all his life, but this creative growth spurt was different. ‘I think a girl broke my heart or something,’ he said, ‘and I just wanted to find a way to express it.’ ‘They were just like…

The Unstoppable Bethany Hamilton

If a shark bit off your arm, would you be happy to jump back in the ocean every morning? That’s exactly what Bethany Hamilton did. At just 13, after a horrific shark attack, she chose to confront her fear to pursue her passion. If you’ve seen the movie, Soul Surfer, which tells her story, you’ll…

Christ’s Royal Blood Can Wash Away Fear

Is it just us, or does March 2020 feel like it happened millions of years ago? If you can think back that far, you’ll remember that, for a little while, the world was in a state of limbo, as we tried to work out what we would have to sacrifice to beat COVID-19. When new…

Trusting in Better Hands

The fire was bearing down on her hometown of Cobargo, but Rachel was less worried for herself than for her boyfriend. She knew his family’s property was in even more danger, and she thought the blaze would get to them before her. But when she spoke to him that morning, he told her they were…

How Can the Church Fight the Racial Divide?

Ed Williams wasn’t even a teenager when he experienced police racism for the first time. Driving around their new neighbourhood with his father and uncle, they were suddenly pulled over for no apparent reason. ‘Just listening to how tense that car was that night, it really showed me this thing is real. It actually put…

Learning to Like Yourself

Elizabeth Grace always loved to sing, but as a child, she thought she was no good. In the church choir, she’d take the tenor part with the men, hoping no one would hear her. But her future manager saw potential, and invited her to song writing classes. Last year she was signed up by Dream…

The Peppered Moth Controversy

Q&A with John Mackay the Creation Guy Alex regularly interviews John on Vision180 radio. Here they discuss the school science textbook. Q John, let’s talk more about evolution. Well, biology I guess. Because I studied biology in senior school, and I remember going through my textbook… A  And I heard a rumour you actually did moderately well….

Recent Articles

How a Gideons Bible Changed Anna McGahan’s Life

Through starring roles in Underbelly, House Husbands,  the Doctor Blake Mysteries and Picnic at Hanging Rock, Anna McGahan became a familiar face on Australian TV. But with the rise of her fame, her self-esteem was crashing. She’d come into acting pure-hearted and trusting, but by age 23, she’d realised her industry treated her as a…

Jots & Tittles: Chata (Sin)

Way back a thousand years ago, people thought that if someone hurt or killed a member of your family, you were duty-bound to take revenge. Feuds could go on for generations, like a deadly tennis match, one person murdering your cousin, your uncle avenging that, someone on the opposing side getting rid of him, your…

God of Always

Can you think of one word to accurately describe this year so far? ‘Crazy’ doesn’t come close! As much as there have been some dark moments, we’ve also been touched by some awesome messages from people all around Australia, listening to the radio, connected and united by awesome tunes. This is the story of one…

Building the Kingdom, Brick by Brick

When Alex’s brother got Lego sets for Christmas, he’d always end up asking his big sister for help. ‘It would take me like months to build a little truck!’ she admitted. But on Nine’s Lego Masters, you had less than twelve hours to build some of the most elaborate creations ever assembled. You might think…

Donate to vision

Over 80% of our income is from the freewill gifts of wonderful people just like you.
So thank you for helping. Your generous support is 'Connecting Faith to Life'.