THE WAY MAGAZINE
YES, we are back and ready to bring you some awesome new content bi-weekly! We plan to feature some of the artists you already love and we will introduce you to some artists you will learn to love. We will also continue to list events that we feel you might enjoy. please enjoy this week's story on Sleeping Giant by HectorOfTheWay.
Sleeping giant's Farewell by hectoroftheway
Sleeping Giant has announced their retirement as a band! With the announcement, the guys have also put in a little work to go out with a bang! The guys have put in a strong 12 years, well; their 12th anniversary will be on February 17th. After a great conversation with Tommy Green (Front Man), I can say I really respect the way they chose to go out. Thinking about the Familia they have built, they planned to say good bye in an awesome way with 3 farewell shows and the release of their final album “I Am” which was released today!
If you have ever been to a Sleeping Giant show, you know how they throw down. The three shows they have announced are as follows: January 28th they will be playing in Dallas Texas, February 16th they will be at the legendary Chain Reaction in Anaheim California with ADVENT, and finally February 17th at the Glass House in Pomona California also with ADVENT which is actually sold out. There “MAY OR MAY NOT” be some tickets left, if there are, you must grab them because if there are any tickets left it’s literally a miracle!
Now on to the Sound, Today, Sleeping Giant released an 11 track album titled “I Am”. The weight of this project was nothing less than you would expect from the legends themselves. In a press release, Tommy stated “This band has become the private journal made public of the story of my life.” which brings me to not only listen but to also dissect the words he speaks in this album. On the instrumental side of the project, the tracks are heavy and fast as if the band didn’t show any sign of slowing down. Where it gets exciting is, they featured some awesome people like Garrett Russell of Silent Planet on “No Love”, Brook Reeves of Impending Doom on “Reformation”, then they brought out the big gun… pulling Mattie Montgomery of For Today out of retirement for “Second Chance Kids”. What a gnarly way to say goodbye.
As the band is retiring, it may make others sad that it’s over, but at least we will have one last chance to Stage Dive, Crowd Surf, Throw Elbows, and walk out of a legendary show with a little blood on our shirts and a smile on our faces. #PitLife
IF YOU NEED TICKETS TO ONE OF THE REMAINING SHOWS, [CLICK HERE]. ALSO, CHECK OUT THE CONVERSATION TOMMY AND I HAD A COUPLE WEEKS BACK ABOUT THEIR RETIREMENT:
Hector: Hey Tommy how are you feeling about this being your final release with the band?
Tommy: I feel good man, honestly and truly. I feel like the whole process of being in the band and the journey has come full circle and that’s really nice. About five years ago I had a mentor and he said “Tommy, everybody has a vision for how everything should start, very few people have a vision for the end.” And I remember thinking how would I actually like to end this humongous project, amazing ministry, and total gift that I’ve been able to be a part of? It’s come full circle, it’s been really incredible to be at a spot where it’s as if we are going to end in a lot of ways back where we began. So I feel like yeah, I really did it! I’m grateful for where I’m at.
Hector: Was this something you saw coming or did you guys expect to continue this for a few more years?
Tommy: No, this is something that I saw coming. Again, all of us knew that we had slowed down pretty significantly over the last couple of years and life and family and business and other stuff had kind of blown up for everybody in the band. We weren’t traveling as much as we were in previous seasons, and I personally had gone through a few hard years on the home front, just in relationship and leading the ministry my wife and I lead and going through life man, and so I was just at a spot where I was burning out and needed to hit reset kind of start over on some stuff outside of the band. So the band really slowed down quite a lot during that process. All of us could recognize that we really loved it but we didn’t have the same energy, we didn’t actually have the same willingness I would say time commitment wise. So opposed to sticking around and being a band that kept going and continued to lose steam and lose steam and maybe lose effectiveness and kind of become a joke, let’s figure out how we want to finish, and then let do something to say goodbye and let do that well! It’s something we have been planning for probably a year and a half or two years.
Hector: Taking this all back to the beginning, how did the band “Sleeping Giant” come to be?
Tommy: I was invited in, it started with an old friend of mine his name was Travis, and another old friend of mine named Cory. They had both played at different times in our good friends band, I was a part of that as well but, they all played together at different seasons in a band called DEATHSTAR and so when they left DEATHSTAR, I was leading a church in Southern California and being a dad to my oldest daughter Maryn, I was kind of a single dad at that point just leading a church doing my thing. And they came to me and said “It’s been a while since you sang in a band, and we started this band. Cory is playing guitar and Travis is playing drums and we would love for you to sing.” And I said “Well, I’m only going to talk about Jesus cause I don’t really care about anything else.” And they said “OK, that’s great, do that!” and so that was kinda how it started. We started rehearsing and our first show was my bachelor party show, the night before I married my wife Krissi, we’ve been married for coming up on 12 years, and so our first show was February 17th 2006, and we jumped on, it was like a cool opportunity to play for the first time. My dear dear friend Eric Gregson who was the lead singer of DEATHSTAR and one of my bestest friends threw my bachelor party show and then gave me and Krissi all the money he could that was left over after the show for our honey moon. It was super duper cool, kinda partying and people came from other states that were homies with me that were coming to celebrate me and Krissi getting married and that was kind of how it started. And I think that in some way the boldness that I had in my heart because what Jesus has done in my life, I just didn’t change anything. I did what I was going to do anyway, and I think that added a level of passion or maybe fire, maybe it encouraged some people when we were first starting because in a lot of ways the Christian hardcore scene… they were going through kind of what’s going on in the hardcore scene right nowhere there’s been some preachy bands, there’s a Christian business model where people lie and say they’re in a Christian band to try and get their band bigger and you know. That stuff gets played out and people kinda quiet down, and then in a lot of ways that’s happening right now there’s not a lot of people that are trying to say a lot, they want their music to speak for them because it’s as if it goes in waves. When I got saved there was a bunch of Christian bands but they weren’t talking about Him, and I didn’t really see them reaching out to people for real and really going after connecting people to Jesus. I was real passionate, and it lit a fire for some people in southern California and all of a sudden we had a lot of favor man and it was just kind of a goofy band. Yeah man, full circle man, our final show is going to be 12 years to the date of our first show. And we approached JD at Facedownfest this last year and we just said “we don’t want you to lose money, but we’d love it if you’d be willing to partner with us and put out our final record, were not going to tour on it, it’s just a way to give away one last expression of our band and then say good bye” and he was super stoked, and that was just amazing. In a lot of ways, it’s coming back to where we started.
Hector: Among your previous releases, is there a song or project that stands out over for you?
Tommy: Honestly and truly, I would have to say that the first record that we did is still one of my favorite things I’ve ever had the chance to be a part of. I didn’t know all of the craziness of being in a band, I was very naive and super ignorant to quite a lot of the industry or the business behind being a touring band or just how played out everything can get, I just didn’t know, I was just in a really sincere and young place, I was really passionate. So I look back on that record, there’s a song that was basically my testimony up to that point that was put out “Whoremonger”. I remember when the song came together, I felt like there was something on it. And we would play it live, I remember that there was person that came up to me in tears just like they could feel the presence of God it was something powerful thing. It marked something different. Every single record has a couple songs that where I’ve bled on em a little bit like I really put my life out there whether they were popular or not, there’s a few songs on every record that are more vulnerable and more my life than id even like to admit sometimes. Over all I would say the first record and then this last record have become the most important, because I really feel like the first thing we did set us up for something awesome, and then as we built on that throughout the years that, it’s been great. But this last project I’m really proud of because I feel like we did it right. If I had to pick one, I was just so proud of… Ive never been a part of something like that, it was our first record.
Hector: Among the chaos of touring, stages and the pit, crowd surfing, what’s one of your most memorable experiences?
Tommy: I have a few, one that pops up to me is the first time we played at my friend Javier’s venue in Rancho Cucamonga called The Nitty Gritty, and I remember that, that became a little hub for me, I felt so much life, I would fly into California and I would go to a show and I just felt so at home. People would just go off, like it was violent and it was passionate and it was awesome but I would do spontaneous weird stuff on stage and it would work. I remember the first time we did "Whoremonger" and I started singing nothing but the blood of Jesus in the interlude and the crowd grabbed it and I remember just crying. That was a powerful moment for me!
Hector: We are all so stoked for this new and final album you have coming out, “I Am”! Many people might interpret the title in many different ways; what does that title mean to you?
Tommy: Sleeping Giant to me has always been bigger than a hardcore band, it’s always been connected to mission, it’s always been bigger than just some dudes playing songs and trying to get some kids to mosh, like there’s always been a sense of something that’s happening, and that something doesn’t happen without the kids that would support the band. What do, we can’t do without the Lord, like I can’t do anything without Jesus, I just can’t. But the reality is that the hardcore scene is special to me because the kids have always been at the epicenter of the scene, whether dudes in bands don’t recognize it, the reality of the situation is that the kids that come to the shows are more important than the dudes that are on stage, and if you don’t recognize that they’ll jump up on stage and knock you out. And I love that because it doesn’t leave a lot of room for some of that “rockstar ego” garbage that takes place in other parts of the culture, at least not in Salt Lake City, Utah. There’s something beautiful about the fact that the scene itself belongs to the kids, and the bands are the soundtracks to these people. It’s not my story, it’s these kid’s stories. They’re the ones that are going to come out to the show to let out everything going on in their life. Try to connect with their friends. For me I remember when showcase was still open in corona, there was many times when there was a show and I was going through my divorce so I was so stressed out because I didn’t know what was going on with me and my daughter I would just go sit on the steps at the show case and sit with my friends and that’s what I needed. This was before I really knew the lord. The kids have always been super important. I would try to let the kids know that the mic belongs to them, the show belongs to them, and the stage belongs to them and it’s their time. I’m pumped to be a part of it but we were there to serve them. When we were talking about titles, our drummer rookie was like “we have always said though we are sleeping giant as a band, but then we would say to the people ‘you are Sleeping Giant‘ and so I wonder if we called the record ‘I Am’ if the people that supported it would feel like ‘I Am Sleeping Giant this is my story too’ that all the kids who bought a record or all the people who have supported us over the years for real would feel like ‘this is my story too’ because we couldn’t have done it without them. So “I Am” is a powerful declaration and its rooted in certainty comes from the identity of who God is and so “I Am” is a strong declaration in and of itself and its also the name of God. This is for all of our fans; this is for all of the people who actually needed what we were doing.
Hector: Thanks man, we are stoked for the release of this new project! We will see you next month at the Farewell show in Southern California!