7eventh Time Down: "I think we always talk about how we couldnít do this if we werenít playing Christian music. We couldnít do it just being a normal band because itís way too hard. Not worth it."
Servanthood is not always an easy path, yet there’s an infectious energy that comes from fulfilling a calling and it courses through every powerful track on 7eventh Time Down’s BEC Recordings debut, Alive in You. Anthemic choruses collide with crunchy guitars as Mikey Howard’s powerful lead vocal takes command. Music meets message in a gripping sea of unforgettable songs.
“A lot of bands, especially rock bands, sing about brokenness and tough trials and that’s great,” says Howard. “There’s definitely a place for it, but with our record, it’s a little different because we turn our focus more towards proclaiming who we are in Christ. It’s a declaration.”
The Kentucky-based foursome has already garnered an enthusiastic army of fans who’ve seen them share the stage with Skillet, Fireflight, Family Force 5, Group 1 Crew, Jars of Clay, Pillar and Kutless. 7eventh Time Down has earned a reputation for shredding stages across the country with their high-powered live show and for their incredible work ethic.
7eventh Time Down’s big, bold in-your-face brand of rock is inescapable, but it’s the message that’s most important. “Lyrically I hope we make a statement that’s inspiring for people to live like Jesus,” says Howard. “For us, the biggest goal is for them to not only believe in Jesus but to start following him and start to ask themselves some tough questions--What is it going to mean for me to look like Jesus where I’m at in my job? At school? Or for parents in that relationship with their husband or wife or kids? And for non-believers, I hope it’s inspiring for them to want to know who Jesus is. We want to present the gospel in a way that is intriguing and makes it a train that you want to jump on board.”
NRT’s Bill Lurwick spoke with lead singer Mikey Howard and the rest of 7eventh Time Down about the band’s debut album, and about sharing the stage with some of their musical influences.
We are with new artist 7eventh Time Down. Thanks for hanging with us.
Thanks for having us.
And the debut project is called…?
Alive in You.
Alive in You--which is also the single, right?
Tell us about the project--the writing process, what’s behind the lyrics...
Well, when we went into the studio doing this record, we definitely wanted to convey the excitement we have about Christ and being Christians and what that means to us. Each individual song reflects that. We hope we reflect that joy, passion and awareness of God, and the hope in Christ that’s out there for all people, not just believers.
Now, you guys are from Kentucky, but when people think of Kentucky they don’t necessarily think of Christian rock. How did you guys get together?
We all grew up together. Cliff moved into town just a little bit later. He moved there like 6th grade, which would have been--well, I won’t tell you the year. So we kind of grew up all in the same hometown playing music , but there was a youth pastor locally that started having this youth service like once a month called Rocket Town.
We all played instruments and sang and all that, so naturally we all kind of gravitated towards doing the worship at the Rocket Town, and that’s kind of how we started. Talk about the importance of Christian music for you guys growing up. Was there an impact on your lives?
Absolutely. Obviously I wouldn’t be here today without it. As extreme as this sounds, I probably wouldn’t be married to my wife. My life would be completely different. Coming from Southern Kentucky, I’d probably have a different job, different everything. Everything would be different without Christian music in my life. Christian radio just the same. It gave me the opportunity to hear bands coming out of Oregon or California--Supertones and all these new sounds that were kind of up and coming.
You’re dating yourself now.
Exactly, but that kind of paved the way for us to do what we do. Going back to the Christian music thing, I think we always talk about how we couldn’t do this if we weren’t playing Christian music. We couldn’t do it just being a normal band because it’s way too hard. Not worth it. I have a little girl and being away from home is hard. If there wasn’t some life changing experiences that we’re having on the road, it’d be really hard to stay away.
Tell us about the flavor of the project, comparatively speaking. You’re a brand new artist. People pop in Alive in You. What do they hear?
There’s a sticker on our album when you go to the store to buy that will say “Buy this if you like Daughtry, Jeremy Camp...” and maybe some others.
I’ve only heard “Alive in You,” but that’s the first thing that came to mind. It sounds like Daughtry. That’s good. Speaking of other bands, what’s it like to play with some of the artists that you listen to?
It’s very surreal--humbling and surreal. Today we’re doing a press conference, and we’re sitting with Jeremy Camp and Kutless and people are asking questions about our influences and we’re like, “Well, we grew up listening to these guys,” and they’re all looking at us like, “You can’t say that man. We’re not that old.” We’re laughing with them.
I’m standing right next to Jeremy Camp. We’re slapping each other and we just met. Honestly it was distracting from the questions because I’m sitting next to a guy that growing up I would have been giddy over meeting him and I am still. It’s almost like a movie star kind of thing. You meet a lot of people when you play music for a living, but still it’s awesome.
We talked about “Alive in You.” Give me another song that’s either a favorite or one that people are going to like.
It would be hard for me to pick a favorite. I have no idea. Honestly I don't know if it’s me being biased or what.
There are some great fun songs. “Jesus Machine” is just a great party song. It’s a lot of fun. One that really comes to my mind is a song called “Do You Believe.” You’ve seen the tracts that people used to hand out playing salvation on them. “Do You Believe” is kind of our song version of that track. If I could get any nonbeliever to listen to any song we have, it would be that song. Basically it’s “I believe in Jesus. Here’s why I think you should.” It’s this real bare bones, cut-and-dry salvation.
The last track on the record, “Rusty Nails,” is like the oldest 7eventh Time Down song that we have. We wrote it seven or eight years ago when we were first coming into ourselves. It’s about the Cross and the sacrifice Jesus made and what it means to us and how we hope to live up to that. We recognize it and give back to God saying, “We recognize the sacrifice Jesus made.” That’s the reason we’re doing what we’re doing.
It’s Alive in You from 7eventh Time down. Appreciate you spending time with us. Be blessed.
Posted November 07, 2011 | Bill Lurwick, the voice of NewReleaseTuesday.com's weekly New Christian Music Podcast, has been in radio since 1989 and is currently heard on KJIL in Dodge City, KS.