A consistent force on Christian CHR and rock radio, Dove Award-winning Seventh Day Slumber has sold a combined total of nearly 500,000 units, landing two Billboard #1 albums, five #1 singles and 14 Top 10 hits in a career spanning 20 years. Their latest record, Found, was released to critical acclaim on July 28. Produced by Holderfield, Found (VSR Music Group/Capitol Christian Distribution) features 10 new selections showcasing the band’s comprehensive musical breadth, from hard rock anthems to melodic pop ballads. The project was largely inspired by a season of burnout and depression band founder and frontman Joseph Rojas faced. Recently, Joseph graciously took some time to share with us about this new release.
First, congratulations on the release of Found! How do you think this album stands out from your previous music?
I believe this record is more mature lyrically. We've gotten older and have been through more things in life. We’ve also had a chance to help others over the years and have walked with them through their hurts and pains. Our lyrics on this record reflect that.
What is the first track that you knew had to go on this album? What is the story behind the creation of that song?
I knew “Mercy Meets My Pain” had to be on this record. A friend of mine came to me with the song and asked if I could help him finish it and record it. We sat in my studio and wrote a few lyrics and added a bridge. I immediately loved it. He recorded it but always felt I should be the one to sing it. I was honored that he allowed us to put it on the record. The lyrics are so powerful. We all struggle, we all hurt— most of us have even wondered why it’s taking God so long to move in our situation. This song is very intentional in conveying the message that God has never left. He has His own timing for everything, and His timing is better than our timing.
Which track are you most excited for listeners to hear and why?
I honestly cannot pick one. Each song has its own powerful message and was written with lots of love and care. As far as a favorite to play live, I would have to say "Sky Is Falling." I love the guitar riffs and the cool drum stuff. It's fun to sing as well!
What do you hope listeners take away from listening to Found? I hope they will be encouraged and reassured that God is on their side; they are never alone; and they are loved beyond measure. This isn't just a record about pain and struggle, it's a record about the hope we have in a living God named Jesus!
This is the first release since your Redline EP in 2015. What has the band been working through during that time? How do you think that has affected the music On Found?
I've been working through my own struggles. Over the past four-and-a-half years I went through a pretty tough depression and gained a lot of weight. I'm not even sure why I was so depressed. I guess I was pouring out so much and not getting filled back up. I was running to food instead of God. I know it sounds stupid to some—and someone yelled out at one of our concerts, "Why don't you just quit eating?”— but it's just not that easy for others. Food wasn't the problem. It was only a symptom of something much deeper going on. I had lost my closeness with God. I'm thankful to say I'm getting closer and closer to God every day, and the weight is also coming off!
How has music (writing, recording, performing) impacted your relationship with God?
Music is an outlet for me. It allows me to express myself out loud. I love writing worship songs. Some of them will never make it on a record because they are just for me and God. Sometimes it's easier for me to sing my thoughts to God.
Which artists are you currently drawing musical inspiration from?
I love the new MercyMe record, and I also love Casting Crowns. My playlist is all over the place. I'll go from listening to Memphis May Fire to Darius Rucker to Demon Hunter to Chris Tomlin. It's crazy but I love all kinds of music.
What do we have to look forward to from Seventh Day Slumber coming in the second half of 2017 and into 2018?
We are headlining the Small Town America Tour this fall and will be playing new music from 'Found'. We are also extremely excited about the City Rockfest Tour 2018. It’s going to have a RIDICULOUS lineup!