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Seven Places Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and Seven Places lyrics)
Seven Places Biography
It all began a few years back when four young men from southern Oregon decided to pursue God's call on their lives. Taking the name Seven Places, for the number of places blood flowed from Christ's body as he suffered for mankind's sin, the band quickly made a name for themselves among their peers as well as a strong impression at their home church, where they regularly led youth worship. After signing with BEC Recordings (home to such artists as Jeremy Camp, Smalltown Poets, KJ-52, and Kutless) the band made a strong debut with Lonely for the Last Time. With more than a little radio attention paid to the album's two singles "Everything" and "Landslide", the band found a place for themselves in the hearts of Christian music fans everywhere practically overnight. Fans and industry VIP's alike knew there was something truly special about this band. With much anticipation in the air, vocalist Seth Gilbert, guitarist Tony Pallotta, bassist Dave Luetkenhoelter, and drummer Jeffrey Gilbert are set to unveil their sophomore effort, Hear Us Say Jesus. Its release will certainly cement the band's place in the hallowed halls of Christian rock.
Titling the album Hear Us Say Jesus is not only a bold move, but also one that has the potential to negate any thoughts of jumping into the mainstream music market... a thought that weighed heavily on the minds of the band members. "We chose this album title because we want to be a band known for being bold with Jesus," declares frontman and founder, Seth Gilbert. He continues, "I look at a band like Mercy Me, and I think, 'if God wants a band to cross over, it'll obviously be the Lord.' In His word it says, 'In all of your ways acknowledge Him' (Proverb 3:5). We're just doing our best and trying to acknowledge him in all we do. Our whole goal is to serve the Lord first and as long as we know we're doing what He wants us to do then whatever happens, happens."
Much like the aforementioned Mercy Me, as well as artists like Skillet and Audio Adrenaline, the gentlemen of Seven Places have no place for compromise when it comes to sharing their faith. They boldly proclaim it, loud and clear.
As a matter of fact, they have proclaimed their faith boldly night after night on popular tours with the likes of Jeremy Camp (twice), and Kutless. They even received a much-coveted spot on the Festival Con Dios tour (featuring artists like the Newsboys, Sanctus Real, and Thousand Foot Krutch). In addition to such highprofile tours, the band has also performed at world-renowned festivals such as Alive, Spirit West Coast, Sonshine, and Cornerstone. If the true test of a band is their live show, then audiences everywhere agree that Seven Places have aced the test!
With more live experience under their belt, the foursome turned their sights toward expanding their sound for the new project. "The goal this time was to be a little more creative. The first album is mostly guitars, drums, and vocals-just pretty raw, stripped down basics. This time we wanted to add to that base and put more thought and emotion into it, so we added cellos, violins, and pedal steel to give it more musical feel," says Seth. He continues, "Basically, the goal was to enhance the overall experience. We really wanted the fun songs to be bigger sounding and at the same time we wanted the slower songs to really stand out and be more emotional than they had been before."
To help Seven Places achieve their sound expansion goals, one of today's hottest producers, Aaron Sprinkle (Kutless, Poor Old Lu, Falling Up), was enlisted. The band's maturation, drive, and energy, coupled with Aaron Sprinkle's pop sensibilities and innovative mind, proved to be a winning combination. Hear Us Say Jesus brings to the foreground the band's smooth pop sound and at times brings to mind artists like The Newsboys and Third Eye Blind, while managing to create a unique place in the music world for this young band.
But it's not all about the music now, is it? Ministry is priority number one in this camp, so just as much emphasis, if not more, is placed on the album's lyrics. The music is great but it's connecting with people that matters most to this young band. In a time when many Christian rock bands shy away from explicitly saying "Jesus", Seven Places embraces it wholeheartedly. "Lyrically this album is all about finding creative ways to say 'Jesus.' Sometimes bands want to be poetic, so they take the word 'Jesus' out and just symbolically paint the picture of Jesus. But when they do that you have to decode it to see it that way. We wanted to be creative and say the name of Jesus at the same time. Hopefully we got there." states Seth.
Exhibit A is the album's first single, "Even When" and its upbeat, celebratory attitude. Even when my eyes are dry / Even When my soul is tired / Even when my hands are heavy / I will lift them up to you/ It's not about how I feel /
Oh Lord I am here for you/ I exist for you. Or perhaps the simple and powerful call to arms from "Fall in Line," So Sing it now with one voice loud and clear / Sing hallelujah for our redemption's near. This is the thing that truly sets Seven Places apart... uplifting, powerful, and straightforward lyrics that leave no questions...only THE answer.
Since lyrics are such an integral part of the band, their strength is a high priority. Many of the lyrics for both of Seven Places' albums were written by Seth and his wife together. It's a dynamic that you will find in few other bands and creates a uniqueness that resonates in people's hearts. "We usually sit down with an acoustic guitar and come up with the lyrics and melodies together for the songs." states Seth enthusiastically. "It's an amazing experience. My wife is best friend. We do everything together!" The closeness that results from this band's commitment to the Lord flows naturally from this album's epic sounding songs.
Having talked with teens until all hours of the night at various tour stops, the band has learned just how powerful their songs can be to their fans. Hearing stories of encouragement and salvation is more than enough to put any band's goals in perspective and for Seven Places, encouraging and challenging the body is their calling. But no matter where your CD is sold, no matter how many times you say "Jesus" in a song, and no matter how many records you sell, one question looms over every band with Christian members and the answer is "Yes," Seven Places is first and foremost a Christian band.
Not shying away from the debate at all, Seth enthusiastically says, "Our music is designed more to bless and encourage the Christian audience and then hopefully from that they will show it to people who aren't saved and cause a ripple effect. We have met a lot of Christians who were blessed by our music and that is who we are as a band. There's nothing wrong with that."