Christian band to headline free outdoor concert

PLAINVIEW – Christian rock band Seventh Day Slumber will headline a free concert at Wayland Baptist University’s J.V. Hilliard Field on April 16 at 7 p.m., the culmination of a day-long Battle of the Bands event.

Led by frontman Joseph Rojas, the band is also comprised of bassist Joshua Schwartz, guitarist Jeremy Holderfield and drummer Ray Fryoux.

A troubled teen after a rough childhood, Rojas said he contemplated suicide and became addicted to cocaine and was a convicted felon. He hit rock bottom with an overdose, and something finally clicked: He needed God to save him.

Following his hospital release, Rojas was a changed man, with a new desire to serve God and follow Him. He enrolled at Christ for the Nations Bible College in Dallas and God began working in his life through songwriting. A series of events led to the band forming, and the group released a few independent albums and began performing in various locations.

The band’s first national release, Picking Up the Pieces, yielded five Top Ten songs on Christian rock radio, including eventual No. 1 hits “Candy,” “I Know” and “My Struggle.” The group also scored a Dove Award nomination and a BMI award for “Most Played Music at Christian Rock Radio.”

Seventh Day Slumber signed in November 2004 with Tooth and Nail Records and released its first album with the label, titled “Once Upon a Shattered Life,” on Feb. 1, 2005. The first single to be released, “Caroline,” climbed the charts immediately, reaching No. 1 in mid-March. The song is still holding its place at the top.

Despite their rising success, band members say they hope to be able to share music that encourages others who struggle and points to Christ as the giver of life and hope.

“It’s always been our goal as a band to really relate to fans and I think we’re able to do that so well because we’ve been exactly where they are before,” Rojas said in the band’s biography on their Web site. “There is so much hurting, so much pain that we see when we look out and a lot of times living the Christian life can get sugar coated from the stage. That’s just the opposite for us since we’ll be the first to share how we’ve messed up and asked people to pray for us since we’re all still far from flawless.”