Like any band with an insatiable need to act on its creative impulses, the members of sevenglory can’t help but get excited whenever the conversation turns to music – even if they could never collectively agree on a favorite band.
Despite a menagerie of musical influences, including Jimmy Eat World, Radiohead, and classic rock legend Lynyrd Skynyrd, the band still has a singular goal: to craft catchy pop/rock songs that’ll stick with listeners for the long haul. And that’s something sevenglory successfully accomplishes on its much-anticipated sophomore project, Atmosphere.
But wait, there’s something more.
Beyond the intricate melodies and memorable guitar licks is plenty of substance to go along with sevenglory’s sense of style. And it doesn’t take too many listens to realize that the band’s enthusiasm for its message far outweighs any of its musical ambitions. Converting its stalwart faith to action, they recently teamed up with World Vision to promote the organization’s child sponsorship campaign in impoverished, war-torn countries.
We wanted to do something as a band that was so much bigger than ourselves, says frontman/guitarist Fred Butson. Of course it’s fun playing music night after night; we love it. At the end of the day, though, we leave our wives, kids, friends and the rest of our family behind. So if we were just about playing music, it wouldn’t really be worth the sacrifice to us. But to be involved with something like World Vision, that actually makes touring and making music worthwhile.
And as a result of the band’s partnership with World Vision came inspiration for new songs like The Hope.
“As a band, we believe that Christians should be leading the charge against AIDS and poverty in the world,” Butson says. “That’s what we’re talking about in The Hope being the hands and feet of God. It’s one thing to say you want to do something, and it’s another thing to really do it. The Hope is about being part of the difference.”
Lead single Just Me, co-written with fellow songwriter Brandon Heath, reaffirms that call to action, something the band hopes will start meaningful dialogue about what a Christian’s role is in a hurting world. “All four of us are pastor’s kids with very similar backgrounds,” says drummer/background vocalist Gabe Johannes. “None of us have these really crazy stories where we did drugs and fell away from our faith. But like anyone, we still wrestle with what our responsibility is as believers. What should the church be? Of course, that’s a really huge question that I don’t think we’re able to answer in one song. But we are posing the question of What kind of life do I want to lead? And we hope it’ll get people talking.”
Yet another counter-cultural message that the band hopes to communicate to listeners on Atmosphere is the simple truth that they don’t have it all together.
“So many times because someone is onstage, people automatically assume that he/she has all the answers,” says lead guitarist Josh Parsons. And sometimes we don’t feel we have anything to offer God or the people around us. Yet I think it’s often during those times that God gets our attention and uses us most. We can’t get in the way if we have to rely on God for our strength.”
On one of Atmosphere’s stand-out tracks, All of This For You, the worshipful lyrics reaffirm why sevenglory is performing music in the first place. “We want to play cool music, and we want kids to have a good time at our shows,” says bassist Caleb Johannes. “But at the end of the day, we really want God to get the glory. If we proclaim to know all the answers, we’re lying. The reality is the less we have, the more we’re able to give which is exactly where we want to be.”