Seventh Day Slumber
As an independent band for over five years, Seventh Day
Slumber toured all over the country sharing their edgy, modern rock
sound and the message of salvation with anyone who will listen.
The support of concert promoters has been very apparent,
as well, with the band performing 150 shows each year, always welcomed
back with open arms.
Dallas-based alternative CCM band Seventh Day Slumber
was led by frontman Joseph Rojas. Teaming with guitarist Evan Weatherford,
bassist Joshua Schwartz and drummer Adam Witte, he formed Seventh Day
Slumber in 1996, and upon signing to the Afinia label the group issued
Matthew Twenty-Five three years later.
Seventh Day Slumber belt out catchy hooks behind throbbing
guitars while singing about real-life problems confronting many young
people like addiction, suicide and depression.
The members of Seventh Day Slumber have lived through
it all, and each of them has a story to tell of a dark, terrible past,
and how embracing God's love redeemed them. Now, SDS is on a mission
to reach the unreachable, the kids who today are just like what they
used to be -- the kids who live on the streets or have abusive parents
or are ready to swallow a bunch of pills to escape it all.
But what sets this Christian rock band apart- Seventh
Day Slumber sings about solutions. "There are things going on with Christian
kids that no one wants to talk about because we¹re supposed to be happy,"
said Joseph Rojas, lead singer and guitarist for SDS. "When talking
about those issues, we always paint Christ as the answer to hurting
people and tough situations."
Seventh Day Slumber "Picking Up the Pieces"
On the surface, Seventh Day Slumber doesn't sound much different from
other modern rock bands. Strong music and ministry have made Seventh
Day Slumber a favorite with Christian rock DJ's nationwide, which is
apparent with the success of two songs, "Candy" and "My Struggle" already
garnering R&R Top 10 status as independent singles.
Seventh Day Slumber released their first national album
on the Crowne Music/American Dream label. "Picking up the Pieces,"
was release on April 8, 2003, distributed by WEA/Word Entertainment.
This Nashville-based 4 piece has previously released two
records on independent labels and two songs, "Candy" and "My
Struggle" shot into the top 10 on both the R&R and CCM charts.
These songs are also included on their national debut.
Seventh Day Slumber has skillfully adapted the musical
style of secular bands like Staind and Incubus to create an innovative
hybrid modern rock sound.
The band derived its name from Exodus 20:11 which states
how God created the world in six days and designated the seventh day
for rest. But SDS' live shows are anything but sleepy. The band approaches
the stage as a makeshift pulpit, ministering to young people who are
looking for something or someone with which to identify.
During shows, Rojas delivers a stirring, passionate testimony
about his life that eventually led to Christ. Show-goers gain a greater
understanding of a graceful, loving Savior. Over the years, more than
10,000 young people have committed their lives to Christ after a SDS
The band sings praise songs with those who come forward
and prays with each fan until the venue is empty. They often keep in
touch with fans via email and send spiritual words of encouragement.
In speaking with their fans after shows and via email, the band members
hear harrowing stories of what everyday teenagers face in their shift
through adolescence. "A lot of these kids grew up in Christian
homes and when something hits, they have nothing to relate to,"
Holderfield said. "In our songwriting, we try to show you can still
be a Christian with all this bad stuff happening to you." Adds
Rojas: "We're trying to impact the world by getting people to look
to Christ. If you try to do it on your own, at the very best, you'll
end up depressed."
The album's first single, the melodramatic ballad "I
Know," represents a time when the band was encountering kids on
a nightly basis who were struggling with life-meaning and contemplating
The song challenges listeners to not focus on their own
sorrows and pain, but to look at the gift Christ gave them and to stand
in worship of Him: You have your Savior on the cross While you sit on
the throne Put yourself upon that cross Put your Savior on the throne.
Radio-friendly "Candy" describes the pure pleasure
derived from the knowledge that God's love is never-ending. The freedom
of God's grace is a reality that is nearly indescribable: Your love's
like candy Or like something I've never tasted before And you take me
places I've never dreamed I could go.
The guitar-heavy production ranges from crunchy, hardcore
stuff to more melodic modern rock -- either way, rock & roll fans will
be in heaven, while the entire band shows off major-league skills with
their respective instruments and vocals.
"Spiraling" remembers the period of early Christianity
that Rojas experienced. After dealing with law problems and drug abuse,
making the transition to follow Christ was an enormous challenge. I
was having drug relapses the first few months, and I hated it.
"I had changed in my spirit, but was still battling
the physical and mental addictions that had ruled my life for years.
It was a reality that I had to deal with and the Lord got me through,"
claims Rojas. "I know there are kids out there who need to hear
this song and see that the Lord will get them to the other side of those
problems. He promises us a hope and a future in Jeremiah 29:11. That's
what got me through that period in my life."
The album contains a hidden track of an altar call by
Rojas, much like the call given during the band's live shows. The concluding
call to accept Jesus is the band's purpose in making music, and their
goal to reach millions before they are finished is what drives them
each day of their lives. "When Seventh Day Slumber is done, I want
people to say we've made a difference in people's lives," Schwartz
said. If their first six years as an independent band are any indication
of the future, they are well on their way to doing just that.
After their first project- PICKING UP THE PIECES-produced
five Top Ten Christian Rock hits, Seventh Day Slumber moved to BEC Recordings
for their sophomore CD.
In late 2004, they signed with BEC Recordings, and their
fourth album, Once Upon a Shattered Life.
BEC/Tooth & Nail producer-in-residence Aaron Sprinkle
refines the band's alternative-tinged modern rock sound in ONCE UPON
A SHATTERED LIFE, resulting in a standout album. The passionately powerful
vocals of Joseph Rojas convey the band's mindset in I Believe:
Seventh Day has always been known for their "in your face"
lyrics about life's tougher subjects. Pain, suicide, and suffering have
all been covered in extreme detail many times over. But hope is not
just presented, it is practically preached. This overshadowing theme
has not been forgotten on Once Upon a Shattered Life.
The lyrics are passionate and fervent, painting God as
the answer to pain, sorrow, and the consequences of wrong choices. It
is a solid album that is refreshingly raw and honest.
This band raises questions, but it's not afraid of pointing
to Christ as the answer. Seventh Day Slumber also offers balance. God
rescued Rojas from a life of substance abuse and atheism, and sometimes
those "up from the gutter" stories almost tempt kids who haven't messed
up yet, but bass player Joshua Schwartz grew up as a missionary kid
who resisted the temptations around him, showing that it's cool to live
for God from day one.
Once Upon a Shattered Life is for anyone like me who likes
the sound of Seventh Day Slumber, Kutless, and Jonah33. I especially
like the title track, but the whole album is full of powerful songs.
SDS has another winner.It is somewhat reminiscent of Jeremy Camp, yet
very much like John Elephante from years ago. For the most part, they
keep to a more melodic pop/rock sound, but occasionally up the ante
and bring heavy guitar licks into the mix.
The members of Seventh Day Slumber have traveled vastly different paths to Jesus.
Their distinct life journeys instill a diversity that
allows everyone in their audience to connect with at least one guy.
Band founder and lead singer Rojas was a $400/day cocaine addict,
spending time in and out of jail and in drug rehab centers most of
his adolescent and early adult years. Battling a broken family of
abuse and divorce, Rojas searched for acceptance, eventually finding
himself in the company of those involved in drug dealing. At the age
of 20, after a drug overdose, Joseph cried out to the Lord in the
back of an ambulance.
Bassist Joshua Schwartz followed his missionary parents
from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to the United States six years ago. Schwartz,
the youngest member of the group, shares a testimony of saving himself
sexually for marriage and living a drug-free life, closely following
the Christ-like example set by his parents. Schwartz and Rojas met
in 1997 at Christ for The Nations Bible College in Dallas, Texas and
soon began playing music.
Several band members came and went before the duo moved to Nashville
in March 2001 and met guitarist Jeremy Holderfield. Holderfield,
a native of Jasper, Alabama, grew up in a Christian home, but watched
his family unit tear apart when his father left his mother for another
woman after 31 years of marriage. Holderfield struggled to cope
with anger towards his father in subsequent months. After a brief
fall from grace, Holderfield recommitted himself to Christ. Those
emotions provided inspiration in the group's songwriting and have
given him insight into the confusion, anger and desperation that
many young people face throughout the world.
Juan 'Rhino' Alvarez grew up in San Antonio's inner-city, and got
his nick-name from a life of street fighting. Despite growing up
in a Christian home, Rhino quickly fell in with the wrong crowd
and ended up getting arrested after robbing $10,000 from a courthouse.
He became a Christian in jail and was amazingly released from jail
9 months into a 10 year sentence. Much like Joseph, Rhino never
looked back and is now a gentle giant. The guys met his after being
in the band "Real" which was on Rojas's Mercy Streets
Records. When "Real" broke up, SDS immediately asked him
to join the band.
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