We caught up with Joseph Rojas from Seventh Slumber Day to talk about the band's new album 'Found' and their long history of making music together.
Tell us a little bit about this new album Found?
Found is a record that is deeply personal to me. I was going through a difficult time in my life during some of the writing process. I was struggling with depression I couldn't even tell you exactly what triggered it. I guess I was just worn out and felt empty. I pour myself out with people every day but I wasn't getting filled back up. I ran to things that weren't good for me. Food became my crutch and over the course of four years I gained 120 pounds. My wife and kids obviously saw what I was going through and although they tried to be encouraging to me, I know it affected them, and I hate that. I finally made the decision to focus on growing closer to God, and the closer I got to Him, the further I moved from depression.
You will hear the pain on this record, but most importantly you will hear about redemption from a God who loves us despite our faults. The record is a transparent, honest body of work that is God-inspired, not just pain-inspired.
Which is your favourite track on the album and why?
I gotta say my favorite track is the title track, "Found." I love them all but that song hits me every time I hear it and reminds me of how loving God is.
After 20 years of making music, does it get easier or harder writing a new album?
Every record is different. I wouldn't say it gets easier but we definitely have a formula that works for us. In some ways, it gets harder because we have written about so much we just want to make sure it's still fresh and new for the listener. I believe we accomplished that with this record. I'm extremely pleased with how it turned out, and I can't wait for people to hear it!
If you could work with any songwriter, who would it be and why?
That's a tough question. Three come to mind: Bart Millard, Mark Hall, and Chris Tomlin. They are some of the most beautiful storytellers and songwriters out there. I’d be honored to have that opportunity!
Do you prefer playing live or working in the studio?
To be honest, I'm not a big fan of being in the studio. I'm only in my studio when we start a new project. Some people love the process but I'm just too antsy to sit and watch all the instruments get tracked. I love writing the lyrics, coming up with melodies, and of course the end result, but sitting in a studio for hours is not my favorite thing to do. I LOVE playing live! I love the interaction with the fans.
How would you describe your style of music and what are your influences?
Our style is modern rock, but I think we have something for everyone. Our influences range from Staind to MercyMe. I grew up listening to Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against the Machine, Soundgarden, Metallica, etc., but I love worship and so do the other guys. Our guitar player Jeremy was raised in a Christian household so his influences were Third Day, Guardian and many other Christian bands.
How would you define success in your career?
We never really measure our success by how many awards we have or how many records we've sold. Success for us has always been about the number of hurting kids who have found Hope at our shows. Tens of thousands have given their lives to Christ at Seventh Day Slumber shows over the years.
As a musician, winning a Dove Award was a high point for us. We've had #1 songs, been in magazines, on TV shows, sold quite a few records and have toured all over the world. That's all cool stuff. It's crazy to think we are still going strong after 20 years.
What is your favourite album of all time?
Counting Crows’ "August and Everything After"
You're stuck on an island, it's hot, you only have enough battery life left to listen to one song on your mp3 player. What track is it?
Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" because I want to think about staying cool in that heat!
What does the next year hold for Seventh Day Slumber & yourself?
The band will be doing a couple of tours to support this record. We do the City Rockfest Tour as well as the Small Town America Tour every year. On a personal note, my family and I just bought a new home so we’re looking forward to moving in and making many memories!