Seventh Day Slumber has been around since 1996. Vocalist Joseph Rojas has one of the most powerful testimonies you will ever hear. We talked recently about the drug use in America, the new EP, and future tour plans.
Gabe: You have a new EP out called Redline, I got to listen to it last night for the first time. Sounds amazing to me, sounds a really fresh sound for you guys.
Joseph: I really appreciate that.
Gabe: What was the heart behind this EP?
Joseph: The name of the EP.. the news was crazy, there was all kinds of things going on.. it seems like God is being taken out of everything. I feel like the state of our country is like a racecar that has a tachometer it has the red for a reason. The red means, hey look dude you’re getting real close to blowing this engine up. I feel that way and I’ve felt that way, that that’s kind of the state of our country that we are redlining, especially with taking God out of everything. You can only reline so long before somethings got to give. That was the premise for the title of the record. There are also songs on there that talks about stuff we have talked about for years.. we answer all of our Facebook messages, any fan that writes us now we write them back.. on our Instagram, we check all of those, we read all of those, we respond. All of our social media stuff, it’s really us that you’re talking to, so we read these messages from people that are hurting and struggling, going through things and so we decided to write songs too that would deal with bullying which is a song called “I’ll Bleed”. We wrote a song called “Gone” which is about how far I was lost, how far I felt like I was .. like I had messed up so bad that I felt like I was out of the reach of God’s arms, but God is saying you are never out of my reach. Then we have a song called “Bring It On”, that’s about our politics and the way this country is going, that you have to be so politically correct and you can’t stand up for your faith because if you do you’re bashing others that don’t agree with them.. you have Biblical views so people think that you are automatically hating them.. or you’re a bigot because you don’t believe in gay marriage.. or whatever it is. We’ve been attacked by so many people on our Facebook for standing up for Christian beliefs so we wrote the song ‘Bring It On.” Bring it on man.
Gabe: That’s cool. I read, I think it was a press release you guys put out, it said that all proceeds are not going to you guys they are going to different organizations. What organizations are being benefitted from this? Whose idea was that? What was the heart behind that?
Joseph: With Christian rock music, a lot of stations aren’t playing Christian rock anymore. You have to be a poppy band to get any kind of air play. People say the Christian rock community is a dying breed. I wanted people to know that we’re out here alive and well, we’re still changing lives, people are getting saved at our concerts. We’re getting children sponsored every night at our concerts. So I wanted to make a statement, the statement from me was, “Hey, I trust the Lord as my employer, he’s not broke. So every dime of this record I want to give it away.” I wanted our rock bands to get behind this record and support it. Our fans, we’re letting them kind of decide where they want to see the money go. There’s two avenues that we’re going to go down and then we’ll pick charities after that. The two avenues are this: number one we want to feed hungry children and build wells for people that have no water and children that have no food, that’s why we did the cover song “Hunger Strike.” All the money from that song is going to go to Compassion or Child Fund or organizations like those. We also want to give some of this money to Christian rehab centers that help drug addicts and alcoholics, people with porn addictions to overcome those things. We want to help them financially because these facilities, rehab houses, sober living houses a lot of them are struggling financially. We are giving it all away.
Gabe: That’s crazy man, that’s awesome! I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that before, that’s really cool to hear. You mentioned rehab centers, and I know you have an awesome testimony of GOd saved you and delivered you. The place that I live in particular is really bad with drugs such as methamphetamines and heroin is starting to creep in too. It’s a small town, but it’s one of the worst areas in the country. The United States has penitentiaries that is full of inmates that are addicted to drugs, it’s becoming an epidemic in this country and I know with your background.. I was just wanting to pick your brain and see what you thought with, not necessarily what the answer is, but what is wrong with the system that all these people are falling into this?
Joseph: First of all, the reason that people turn to drugs a lot of times is they feel like they have no hope. I know that people make bad decisions that have been raised in a good family and they get addicted to drugs. The reason you stay addicted to drugs is because at some point after using drugs.. maybe you started using them recreationally, you were trying to drown out the pain.. but at some point after that you get to a point where you are hopeless. Now all the drugs or alcohol or whatever you have been taking has now rendered you helpless and you are dependent on them, which gives you no hope at all. The only hope you have is another high. Then you get incarcerated because you do stupid things in order to get high. I’ve been in and out of jails and institutions, I’ve been in trouble with the law since I was a kid. While you are in these prisons, and I think a lot of prisons are starting to do this now, you are just locked up, but you need treatment, you need help, you need counseling. People say well we don’t want to waste our money on that kind of stuff, these guys made a bad decision they get locked up. You don’t want to waste your money on it, meanwhile, they are going to come back to the same place when they get out and there is more money going into incarcerating people than to rehabilitating them. To me a good Christian based program is the answer. To me, that’s the only answer. I feel like there are some prisons that are incorporating that. Anyway, that’s just my two cents. I think because I was one, I guess it takes one to know one, when I found Christ.. well he was never lost (laughs).. when I surrendered to Christ I found more hope than I had ever had before. A lot of these inmates are just looking for hope. I’m not talking about violent offenders.. I’m talking about people that they were husbands, they were fathers and they got caught up. They just want a regular life again, but they need help to do that.
Gabe: Thanks man! I really appreciate your time. Are you guys out on tour right now?
Joseph: Yeah! We’ve been out for two months and a half months. It’s Fireflight, us, a guy named Shonlock who was TobyMac’s old singer and band called Scarlet White, they’re a rock band and they’re awesome. We have another two weeks left on this tour then I am home for a couple of months to finish the record. We just put out the Ep, but we’re actually going to finish the other six songs. Then we’re headed back out with Disciple, Decyfer Down, Spoken and Children 18:3.
Gabe: Wow! That’s a heck of a tour!
Joseph: Yeah! It’s called the City Rockfest Tour. That’ll be in the spring.
Gabe: I will be looking forward to that. Thanks again for your time, I appreciate it.
Joseph: You’re welcome! I appreciate what you do man!
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