Church Alive Presents:


Seventh Day Slumber, From The Ashes

Sat, June 10, 2017

Doors: 5:30 pm / Show: 6:30 pm (event ends at 11:00 pm)

This event is all ages

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To know the story of Disciple, you have to place yourself in Kevin Young's shoes. Like Kevin, Disciple's singer and bandleader, let's say you've recorded ten albums, played thousands of shows worldwide, headlined tours since the late 90's, and opened multiple times for the biggest artists in Christian music. You've sold hundreds of thousands of records and you've got fourteen #1 singles. Add to that the fact that you are done with your most recent recording contract and your band needs a lineup change. You've been on the road for twenty years, and you've seen more hotel rooms than a Gideon Bible. Most people would probably say, hey, I've done a lot and maybe it's time to walk away. Most people are not Kevin Young.

"Disciple started when I was 16," says Young, "so I'm somewhere between old and young. I know Disciple's been around for a long time, and sometimes, when I wake up, I can feel every mile, but I can't wait to see what's ahead. It honestly doesn't FEEL like it's been as long as it has, and in a lot of ways I feel like we're just getting started. The process, where I've been and the new stuff we're doing right now as a band – it's a gift. We chose to be who we are AND embrace the new."

In a six-month period around the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014, Kevin rebuilt Disciple, as well as his own approach to the band's future. "We added Josiah Prince from Philmont and Andrew Stanton from I Am Empire on guitars, Jason Wilkes from High Flight Society on bass and vocals (since the guy was an amazing lead vocalist for his band), and Joey West from After Edmund on drums. It's Disciple's best lineup ever. They have the perfect combination of being great players and performers, and are ridiculously talented songwriters," says Young. "One of my favorite things about these guys is that they have embraced where Disciple has been and love to play the classic songs for our fans, as well as have put every ounce of their souls into trying to take Disciple higher than we've ever been. I think our fans have embraced them for that in return."

Next, the band had some business decisions to make. Disciple finished their record label contract in 2013 and the band's recording future was in limbo. "We talked to a bunch of labels, but the whole time my manager and I kept asking each other the same question: why wouldn't we do this on our own? I guess we decided that it was because recording an independent project and all that goes with that was new and a little scary. Being fearful is real, but it's also a bad excuse," says Young.

"We decided that we would really give ourselves to our fans. It's one thing to have a record deal, make a record, and see if folks will buy it. It's a whole different level to engage your fans – really talk to them, tell them what you want to do and why, embrace them and then hope that they will embrace you back. We created a bunch of really cool packages that the fans could buy and put them all up on Kickstarter, hoping that our fans would buy things ahead of time to help us make a record. We were scared to death. But then our fans met our goal in seven days and it just kept going up until the forty-day funding process finished. We were stunned and just so thankful. Nobody has fans like we do," says Young.

"So with the lineup solidified and plans for a new record in place, now all we had to do was write the album. No big deal right? I was a little nervous – excited but nervous. I had more freedom than I've ever had to make the music and say the things that I really wanted to say. We had the support of our fans. But what really energized me was the music that was being written by the band members. It somehow felt very Disciple-esque and was somehow new at the same time. I think we all were really inspired by it."

The first order of business was to bring back Travis Wyrick to produce. Young states, "I hadn't worked with Travis in six years, but we knew this was going to be a hard, aggressive record. Travis recorded all of our hardest albums and working with him was like going home." The finished album is called Attack, and it is the band's most ambitious project to date. It's bold, it's hard, it's experimental, and it's sweepingly atmospheric. Attack gives a nod to long-time Disciple fans with "Radical" and "The Name" and the album will intrigue new listeners with offerings like "Dead Militia," "Lion," and "Angels And Demons."

"We wrote this record as a new band. Attack is the right album title because that's what we did with every song. Every band member contributed in a huge way to this album. Everybody brought songs to the table that we all worked on, and made each other's songs better. It was definitely a well-coordinated attack on all sides," says Young.

"You know, rock music isn't the most popular music genre right now, but it's also the music genre that will never die. Rock music always comes back around. And with that, I know what we've been called to do, and that's to do our best to show Christ to people with our music, and with how we interact with them, both on and off the stage. I thought about this new album for a year before we started in the studio, and I knew that the lyrics would be the boldest Disciple has ever put on a record. I wanted to talk about Jesus loudly and without shame. That's why "Radical" is the first track and our first single. It sets the tone for what we want people to hear. We talk about Jesus openly at every show. We do an altar call. That is who we are and that is what Disciple is called to do, and we hope that people hear the new music and say 'Yeah, now THAT'S Disciple!'"
Seventh Day Slumber
Seventh Day Slumber
Seventh Day Slumber frontman Joseph Rojas has an image in his mind. You might even call it a vision. Angels and saints are in Heaven, surrounding the throne of God, singing anthems of praise. At the same time, here on Earth, praises ascend skyward. They are the anthems of the imperfect children of God, expressions of hope from a place much darker than Heaven, songs of honesty and victory.

And in Rojas's vision, they're set to pounding drums and scorching guitars.

Rojas calls "The Anthem of Angels", the band's eighth release on BEC Recordings, "one of the most honest records we've made. We've opened ourselves up more, and been vulnerable. On this record, we pull no punches."

Honesty and candor have been trademarks of Rojas's path from the depths of a cocaine-fueled suicide attempt through miraculous salvation in the back of an ambulance to the top of the Christian music charts. Seventh Day Slumber has long been heralded as a band that refuses to sugar-coat the struggles of real life. As the band has matured over the last 15 years, they've faced newfound challenges head on, and today their perspective and relevancy are as strong as ever, and their anthems of praise are even more profound.

Were it not for the resiliency of Rojas, Seventh Day Slumber's story might be far different. In the early days, he knew his band needed a way to build awareness and name recognition, so he started his own label, signed his own band, and managed to get a single added on just two radio stations. Undeterred, Rojas launched a radio tour, wound up in the top ten, booked 30 shows, and got a distribution deal. The band's first independent release, "Picking up the Pieces", sold 40,000 units out of the gate and word of this scrappy Christian rock band was getting around.

By 2005, Tooth and Nail Records came calling with an offer to sign the band to BEC, and since then Seventh Day Slumber has not only found chart success and a string of top ten singles, they've seen the power of music and the gospel to change lives. "The stories we hear are amazing," says Rojas. "Emails that say, 'I was on the verge of pulling the trigger, and I heard your song on the radio, and it gave me hope, and I put the gun down.' It's just crazy to me, that a guy once filled with so much pain and hurt could write songs that touch people's lives and make them feel like they can go on."

Rojas's musical beginnings were fostered in that context of pain and hurt. His abusive father had left and his family was poor. When he was 12 his mother bought him a spindly copycat B.C. Rich guitar from the Sears & Roebuck catalog. "I thought it was the coolest thing ever. She got me an amp for twenty dollars at a pawn shop. It was basically four pieces of wood and a speaker in the middle. It didn't have distortion, so I had to crank it all the way up and make my own distortion."

Rojas learned six Metallica songs and was ready to start his own band, even as his life was crumbling. As a teenager he was a drug addict and a convicted felon. He started writing songs to help him cope with the anguish in his heart. "If I was depressed, I'd write songs about it, and they were really depressing songs. If I was in pain, hurting, struggling, that's what you got out of me." Before he found Christ, those songs were devoid of hope and offered no solutions. Today, Rojas knows the answer. It's telling that the band's recent boxed set compilation was entitled "A Decade of Hope". As Rojas puts it, "All the songs I had written prior to becoming a Christian could be called 'A Decade of Pain'. Now, I still write about hurting and how I make mistakes, but I know that God has taken us from nothing and given us hope and life."

A particularly poignant confessional song, One Mistake, is a prime example of the band's willingness to share their faults so that others might know victory. Rojas is a family man now, with a wife and three sons and the associated responsibilities. One night, he slipped. He let his eyes stray too long on a computer screen. "I looked at something I shouldn't have looked at that night, and I literally felt sick to my stomach. Here I am, lead singer of a Christian rock band, a lot of people look up to me. I felt like I had just made a huge mistake. I could have hidden it, but I know you cannot hide from God.

"I woke my wife up, and told her what happened. She saw how distraught I was. She was amazing, encouraging me that tomorrow's a new day, a chance to start over, and reassuring me that she loves me. I went to my studio and sat with an acoustic guitar, and started crying. I felt like I had let God down, let my wife and kids down.

"I started writing this song, questioning why God would want to stay with me. I struggle with this lie of myself telling me God's done with me, and the truth is He will never leave me."

As the song's triumphant bridge declares, "I'm not too far away / Still covered by your grace / And You came to take away my shame / I'm not one mistake away!"

Such openness about the struggle with sin resonates with listeners, particularly in a musical landscape that tends to hide from difficult issues. Seventh Day Slumber fans love to sing along with their music, perhaps because it's so meaningful to them, and, as Rojas promises, "'Anthem of Angels' has so many songs you can sing along to. You'll hear catchy melodies and hooks and big riffs. From beginning to end, it's a full rock worship experience."

Maybe that's what Rojas was picturing all along: a concert. A sea of people, joining their voices together in an anthem of praise, forming a beautiful union with the anthems of the angels, proclaiming not just doubt and struggle and fear but hope in a God of grace who will never leave us. That's an anthem we'll all want to sing.
Venue Information:
Lafayette Theater
600 Main Street
Lafayette, IN, 47901