Joseph Rojas, lead vocalist for rock band, Seventh Day Slumber talks to Soul Shine's Amy Hammond-Hagberg about his music, his faith and his troubled youth where he went from cocaine to Christ. Their new record, Finally Awake recently hit stores in March 2007.
SS: How did Seventh Day Slumber get together?
JR: Seventh Day Slumber was started probably right around the beginning of 1997 at Christ for the Nations Bible College. I had been through a hard time in my life...my father left us when I was three so I grew up without a father. I had really tough teenage years and ended up on drugs. Before I knew it I had tried to commit suicide and I overdosed on cocaine. I gave my life to Jesus in the back of an ambulance. I was an atheist ... but my mother had been praying for me...After I gave my life to Jesus right away I jumped into Bible College and just got on fire for God and started the band Seventh Day Slumber as a way to touch kids and to reach out to a generation that was hurting so bad.
SS: I'm curious about the name, Seventh Day Slumber. How did you come up with that?
JR: It was the weirdest thing - it's really kind of cheesy. The bottom line is when I first got saved I mean I was saved right off the streets - there was no background in church or anything - I didn't know all these clever Christian catch phrases or anything like that...At first my band was called Tribe. A buddy of mine was reading the verse Exodus, 20:11 and he said, "What about, 'God created the earth in 6 days and on the seventh day he rested' - like Seventh Day Slumber?"
SS: How would you define Seventh Day Slumber's music?
JR: I think Seventh Day Slumber's music categorically would be considered modern rock with an edge. I think our music is not listened to, but experienced.
SS: How is the new recording different from your previous one?
JR: The first two records are about how God took a broken person and gave me
hope and a reason to live. That was the first two records, speaking of my
personal testimony, my drug addiction and how God transformed me. The third record is about taking the transformation outward into other people's lives, helping my own experience minister to others in their times of need. The themes of the new record are Restoration and Hope.
SS: You mentioned that you are married and have a family.
JR: I've been married 7 years and not only do I love my wife but I am absolutely, madly in love with my wife and I'm infatuated with her. I mean, after 5 ? years my wife gives me butterflies in my stomach. ... And I've got three beautiful children; a 4-year-old son named Blaise, a son named Caden who's 2 and another son named Sage who is just 6 months old.
SS: Tell me about your dreams for the future.
JR: Let me just tell you, there's one thing that I desire...My one desire is that this record will change lives...I'm just crazy enough to believe that with Christ I can change the world.
For more information on Seventh Day Slumber please visit www.myspace.com/7thdayslumber.
Amy Hammond-Hagberg is an internationally published freelance writer. Her work has appeared in magazines all around the globe. She is also the author of three books: "How Do You Know He's Real: Celebrity Reflections on True Life Experiences with God", and "How Do You Know He's Real: God Unplugged" feature the Christian testimonies of famous actors, recording artists and athletes. She also wrote the book, "My Favorite Christmas" (Integrity House, 2006), which shares precious holiday memories by noted celebrities. Find out more on her website, www.amyhagberg.com.
Writer: Amy Hammond-Hagberg