Friday, August 8, 2008

Hanging out with Jesus Wept!

Wednesday, Aug 6th, we had a great day of hanging out with the Jesus Wept guys. They all came over to our house and then we headed off to the beach. First we drove to Encinitas and had a wonderful lunch at Swami's. Then we all flipped through hundreds of used and new CDs at the famous Lou's Records. From there we went to the beach and soaked up some sun and rode some waves. Actually just Jason and I went swimming because the Erie boys didn't bring their swim suits. From there we headed over to Carmel Mountain and played video games at Nickel City until our fingers hurt.

Then we ate at In & Out where Tim Mason (NIV) joined up with us. We ended the night at the Donut Corner in Escondido with butter logs and homer simpson donuts. Can't beat that!

(hanging out at the Donut Corner)

(Davey, Neil, Tim, Jason and Dan)

Going to see Jesus Wept play tonight in Rancho Cucamonga and looking forward to it!

Virginia - Facedown

10 Years Of Genuineness (Seventh Star)

It's been an honor to be involved with a band like Seventh Star.

What I love about these guys is the genuineness of their hearts and that "real" feeling that I get from them. I have seen a lot of people come and go over the last 10 years or so of doing this label. People change, sure I get that, but I don't always agree with it. That's why it was refreshing to have guys like Seventh Star around. These guys didn't just talk the talk when it came to their faith or their music, they walked it too. They weren't obnoxious and they weren't phony and that is what stands out to me after knowing them for almost 10 years. They are the same guys now that they have always been.

I first met the Seventh Star guys in person in the summer of 2000. NIV was on tour with Hatebreed and we had an off day in Florida. Mike from Seventh Star offered to put on a show at his church so with 1-2 days notice they crammed a bunch of kids in a small room at their church and we all had a great time. From that show and some all you can eat pizza at CiCi's our friendship began to grow. Seventh Star's first tour was in the summer of 2001 with Underoath and Point Of Recognition. Outside of Florida, they were an unknown band at the time. I'm not even sure if their "Life Blood" CDep (Warfare Records) was out yet at the time or not. The Underoath guys wanted to bring them on the tour, so that was that and it was booked. It got their name out more on a nationwide level. The next year they were on a tour that stopped by California and they all stayed with Virginia and myself at our house / office. I had been watching the band grow over the previous 2 years and thought that they were ready to take the step up to Facedown and put out a full length album. The guys were all super nervous to ask me about a deal while they were staying with me, but finally by the last day, Shawn had gathered up enough courage to ask me something along the lines of: "Hey man, do you think we could talk about whether you are interested in us for Facedown?". I just laughed and answered with something like "Let's do it, I was just waiting for you guys to ask.". From then on we were all real pumped and the official Facedown relationship with Seventh Star began.

In 2003 we released their first album "Dead End". It came out at a great time along with albums from Comeback Kid, Nodes Of Ranvier, Sinai Beach and more. The label was growing quickly and kids were excited to be friends and fans of the bands and the label. Shortly after "Dead End" came out, the bands singer Jai left the band. He was replaced by Johnny who played one of if not his first show at Facedown Fest 2004 in front of 1,000 people! It was everyone's first time seeing and hearing Johnny (including myself) and he did not dissapoint!

In 2005 the band released "Brood Of Vipers". The album was much heavier and pissed sounding than the previous album. Kurt Ballou @ God City did the engineering and the album came out amazing. The band did countless tours in support of the album in both the US and Europe alongside of bands like Agnostic Front, Dead Hearts, War Of Ages, Bloodlined Calligraphy, Daggermouth, Embrace Today, Jesus Wept and many more.

2006 saw the release of their DVD "100%" which was completely put together by the bands bass player - Drew Russ. Drew is still doing video work and is currently working on a War Of Ages DVD (Fall 2008 release). The video was funny, and well put together and is a must for all Seventh Star fans if you haven't checked it out already.

In 2007, they released what would be their final album, "The Undisputed Truth". Recording took place once again at God City Studios with Kurt Ballou and the production is solid! Touring took place including stops at Facedown Fest and Cornerstone Festival. Late in 2007 the band announced that they would be breaking up.

The band played some final Florida shows in January and March of 2008. They then headlined Facedown Fest 2008 in Pomona, CA as their final show. However, right after the band played Facedown Fest, they got an offer to return to Europe one final time to play Freakstock Festival in Germany and Total Armaggedon Fest in the Ukraine. They just got back this week from Europe and what sounded like 2 incredible final shows!

2008 was a time of change for all of the members. Not only with the band coming to an end that they had poured their hearts and souls into for the past 10 years, but also with personal tests, trials and changes. Whether it was joyous news (3 members being married or engaged) or the terrible news of the loss of Johnny's father in January, the guys were tested and tried, but not beaten down or shaken. Their faith was put to the ultimate test, and they stood on a solid foundation the entire time. That is very rare to see. Their relationship with Jesus was and is their life and that is what has always been so encouraging to me.

Like I opened this blog with, it has been an honor to be involved with these guys and they will truly be missed from here on out.

Seventh Star 1998 - 2008

Jason - Facedown Records

(Seventh Star's final show was on the Black Sea in Ukraine)

(Total Armageddon Fest on the Black Sea Coast in Ukraine)

(Total Armageddon Fest - Ukraine)

(Total Armageddon Fest - Ukraine)

For more pictures of Seventh Star @ Total Armageddon Fest, check out: