The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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July 26, 2013

Seventh Day Slumber headlines Uprising 2013

JOPLIN, Mo. — It's been years since Joseph Rojas was at rock bottom. A suicide attempt propelled by a cocaine overdose in the early '90s was the turning point that fueled a conversion to Christianity and fronting a rock band.

But Rojas, lead singer and songwriter for Seventh Day Slumber, still knows what it's like to feel that way.

"I'm still in touch with the pain, the hurt, the feeling abandoned, because I'm in touch with fans," Rojas said. "I check all the Facebook messages, I'm still in touch with fans. And being involved with them keeps me in touch with where I used to me, and makes sure I don't get back to that."

The experiences that led to salvation are part of the music of Seventh Day Slumber. The band will headline Uprising 2013, a Christian music concert that also features Karyn Williams and Consumed by Fire.

Seventh Day Slumber plays a variety of rock songs, from the rough, aggressive styles in its first albums to more pop-friendly praise anthems in later releases. Its latest release of original music, "The Anthem of Angels," was released in 2011. An album of praise covers, "Love and Worship," was released this year.

The band takes influences from before Rojas' conversion. He counts Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against the Machine and Metallica as musical influences.

But he said that the last few years have been good for Christian rock. Once confined to a narrow genre, bands such as POD and Chevelle have made it easier to rock with a Christian message.

Rojas said bandmates are in the process of writing a new album that dives deeper into rock. It's last album marked the end of a contract with Tooth and Nail Records, and that means a little more songwriting flexibility -- it won't be compelled to write more pop-friendly songs.

"We are going to write the next record with no boundaries," Rojas said. "I think it will sound more like our original songs. It's definitely a rock record."

Want to go?

Seventh Day Slumber, Karyn Williams and Consumed by Fire will be featured at Uprising 2013. It will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday at Victory Ministry and Sports Complex, located at 3405 S. Hammons Blvd. (former location of the Bridge). Tickets: $8. Proceeds will benefit Children's Haven. Details: 417-674-0138.

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