Seventh Day Slumber's Joseph Rojas Opens Up About Depression & Their New Album "Found"

Seventh Day Slumber

Found, the critically-praised and highly anticipated new studio set from Christian rock powerhouse Seventh Day Slumber, has recently been released. The album's title-cut and lead single-penned by Seventh Day Slumber's Joseph Rojas and Jeremy Holderfield, along with acclaimed singer/songwriter Daniel Doss-has been serviced to Christian radio formats around the country.

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 following a season of burnout and depression band founder and frontman Rojas faced.

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 to date, landing two Billboard #1 albums, five #1 singles and 14 Top 10 hits in a career spanning 20 years. Comprised of Joseph Rojas (lead vocals/guitar), Jeremy Holderfield (guitar), Blaise Rojas (drums) and Ken Reed (bass), the band's signature songs include "Oceans From The Rain," "Inside Out," "Caroline," "Finally Awake" and "Wasted Life."

Q:  Congratulations on the release of "Found" and thank you for doing this interview with us.  If I am not wrong, "Found" came after a time when you were battling depression.  What happened there?   

It's hard to admit, but yes. I'm not really sure why I was so depressed; I guess it was a combination of things. I was pouring myself out every night but I wasn't getting filled back up. I lost my closeness with God and began running to things that weren't good for me. Food became a way of coping and I gained over 100 pounds. I didn't even want to leave the house, I was so embarrassed.  

Q:  What did you do to overcome depression? 

One day my middle son, Caden, said, "Daddy I miss you." My kids are homeschooled and travel with me so I'm with them every day. How could he miss me? I realized immediately he wasn't talking about physically missing me. He was missing the daddy who joked and played around with him; the daddy that smiled and laughed. I knew I had to change, not only for myself but for my wife and kids. I prayed for God to heal my broken heart, to free me from this depression and to forgive me for running to other things instead of running to Him.  

Q:  Some of our readers may also face depression too.  What can you say to them to encourage them? 

I would encourage you to work on growing closer to God. Our problems are so much bigger and overwhelming the further we get from Him. He is our strength, our refuge. Some of you reading this haven't had peace in a long time. I'm here to tell you that God is waiting on you with His arms open wide. Quit trying to fix whatever it is in your life that's broken and release it into the arms of God. It's too big for you to do on your own. The good news is, YOU DON'T HAVE TO.  

Q:  Talk to us about the song "Found."  How did God speak to you through the song? 

When we were writing "Found" I felt an instant connection to it-this was my story. God delivered me from a $400-per-day cocaine addiction and gave me hope and a beautiful new life. He never turned His back on me. Fast forward 16 years and here I am again, lost in the valley. I couldn't seem to get myself out of this depression. I was helping people overcome their hurts and addictions but I was slowly fading. Even though I lost my way again God was still calling me. He was still looking after me and over me. He wasn't ready to beat me with some holy whip from heaven. He just wanted His son back. I believe the message of "Found" is less about us and more about the heart of a loving Father who never gives up on His kids. 

Q:  I am personally biased, I love your ballads the best.  In my review of "Found," I raved about "Mercy Meet My Pain."  I love this song, it's such a Cross exalting.  What's the story behind this song? 

"Mercy Meets My Pain" is a song about one of the hardest things we have to do as Christians: reminding ourselves that through every difficult thing we are going through-every night that we cry, every loss, every setback-God is with us and He is working for our gain. That's a very hard thing to do sometimes, especially when we are hurting and want an immediate fix. God knows what we need when we need it.  

Q:  Another song I really like is "My Last Words."  Tell us about the inspiration behind this song.  

We wrote that song with our buddies from the band "Consumed By Fire." It's a song about perspective. If I only had one breath left or one last thing to say, what would it be? Am I going to use it to complain about how difficult life can be or am I going to praise God? We can sometimes get so focused on our problems that we miss opportunities to minister to others and show them Jesus.  

Q:  I remember reading a press release where you said "Found" (the album) is not just about your problems, but it's about hope too.  In what ways does this record spell hope for us? 

This biggest way this record spells hope is that it points to Jesus Christ as the answer for everything we face in life. He is painted in these songs as the Author of salvation, redemption and second chances. He is a Healer and Loving Father, but not every song is a full-blown redemption story, and that was very intentional. I wanted to be 100% honest about what I was going through. When I write, I try to leave the song the way it was meant to be written.  

Q: You are also touring in support of the record, what can our readers expect from coming out to your shows? 

They can expect a fun show with cool lights and stuff like that. They can also expect to leave encouraged and refreshed. We make sure the message of Christ is heard loud and clear at our concerts.  

Q:  You have been through quite an ordeal with sufferings.  How has suffering helped or hindered your walk with God? 

I can honestly see how not trusting God with every area of my life has led me to some dark places. The truth is, suffering is part of life. We all suffer. The problem is when we don't look to God in those rough times and look to other things or places to make the pain stop. We end up fixing nothing and prolonging our suffering, making it worse. I'm now at a place where I realize God has never let me down. I'm able to endure whatever life brings knowing that because of God's love for me, things will turn out fine.  


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