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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Christian music news: Sanctus Real's rockers have a message

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Bassist Dan Gartley wants to make it clear that, despite success with power ballads in recent years, Sanctus Real is still a group of yesteryear rockers who've mellowed in their old age.

The band, born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1996, still likes to crank the volume up to 11, and Gartley says there is always a happy medium among the group's five members.

“I grew up with Led Zeppelin, Tom Petty, guys like that,” Gartley said with a chuckle. “When we're writing songs, there is some balance. We try to write the right rock songs, but we also know when to tone it down a little. We're a little more grown up now, a little bit older. Three of our band members have kids; four of the five are married. So yeah, we've matured a little.”

San Antonio will get to see that powerful blend of beat-thumping rock and melodic acoustics when Sanctus Real brings its Something Heavenly tour to Park Hills Baptist Church at 7 tonight. Phil Wickham and Jason Gray will open.

In recent years, Sanctus Real has enjoyed airplay and commercial success with ballads “The Face of Love” and “Whatever You're Doing.” The band's biggest hit was a cover of U2's “Beautiful Day” in 2004 for “In the Name of Love,” a compilation of artists that raised money for relief in Africa.

“Those ballads were born out of an acoustic guitar,” Gartley said. “Matt (Hammitt) likes the pop and me and (guitarist) Pete (Prevost) bring the rock background.”

But whether it's rock or something mellower, he said the message remains the same and the sole focus of the band. He says the band has a common goal to share the gospel.

“Anybody can make music now,” Gartley said. “So it's pretty crucial that we be very intentional with our sound and our lyrics. Without the right sound, they're not going to listen to the lyrics and the songs won't have the impact that we want it to have.”

He points to a new single, “Forgiven,” off their current unnamed project slated for release next spring.

“A lot of times it's real easy to let mistakes keep us from being used the way God intends for us to be used in this world. We have a problem forgiving ourselves, yet God has already forgiven us.”

Gartley said shows on the tour, which started in Canada earlier this month, are a family affair and that Wickham and Gray bring the same message.

“We still love meeting the fans. It's another form of service, to be there for kids, college students and adults — to be the face of love,” he said.

Christian Music News Source

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