In response to messages I’ve received regarding future plans, albums, tours, etc… (long response / short story)
After my spiritual awakening and rebirth in 1997, I went forth as one who the Son set free, and was free indeed. As complacency set in, a gradual sliding back into the world began around 2002. Trudging along as an ignorant prodigal, God finally exposed my spiritual decline and sins to me as only He could in 2007. By the power of His spirit and rebuke of His hand…I figured the damage I’d done to my own witness surely meant the end of my musical career, maybe even my very life. Though at that time, music and everything that went with it was the least of my concerns. The consequences and trials that followed from 2007 to 2010 were times of intense prayer, reflection, and seeking God. Amazingly, by spring of 2013 I was blessed with the opportunity and privilege of releasing five more albums in the past 3 to 4 years when in my mind, it was all but over.
Place of Skulls “As A Dog Returns” in 2009/2010 was a very biographical accounting of my sins and the consequences of…with warning and encouragement to others that “God will not be mocked” yet His love overcomes. It’s the purest album hands down of any I’ve ever recorded before or since. Very special thanks to Anne Griffin, Stan Durham, Lee Abney, Tim Tomaselli, and Travis Wyrick.
Next was Death Row “Death Is Alive”. The initial and subsequently short-lived reformation was basically orchestrated by Joe Hasselvander and Black Widow Records. The album is mainly a collectors edition with rare and previously unreleased demos and live recordings.
Then came Pentagram “Last Rites”. Just prior to this album came the reformation of the mid-90’s band with Bobby, Greg Turley (bass), Gary Isom* (drums) and myself. At the time, Bobby was experiencing a major down-slide in his life as well. To no other credit than God Himself, the pieces fell into place for our reunion.
2012 brought together the songs for the In~Graved album. I firmly believe much of this material is an extension of “As A Dog Returns”. As it reflects many hard lessons learned and the importance of keeping God‘s word in your heart in order to persevere. It also became the catalyst for bringing me back together with phenomenal drummer and friend Pete Campbell. It was a blessing to have such an outstanding group of friends willing to be guest players on the album as well. Thank you all!
Lastly…in the midst of Pentagram and In~Graved tours and recordings, I was invited by David Benson to come on board as studio guitarist for his new album, “Evil Killer”. Just recently released, this great album was recorded old school style on analog tape and reminded me of how cool the old techniques were/are compared to the digital age. There was also tour plans that followed. Unfortunately I couldn’t fulfill those plans due to serious personal/family situations, which brings me back to the real point.
When our pride and ego rise up, God has a way of bringing us low that we may become aware of our spiritual state. And for me, I’m glad He does! Otherwise, my hard-headed tendencies will draw me right back into a pit of forgetfulness, complacency, arrogance, and ultimately…self-deception. Over the few short years God was blessing me with these great opportunities and blessings to glorify Him with the talents He gave me…through all the mud, mire, and darkness He brought me out of…my flesh somehow found its way back to a sickening level of pride that once again, He’s had to tear down that I may walk in recognition of Him. The reality is that without Him…I’m absolutely nothing. I can do nothing and can be nothing. And without Him to breathe life into whatever my fleeting plans may be…will never be anything. That I opened my eyes to life this morning is an act of His mercy and grace.
So I remain on a sort of musical hiatus until it’s clear that God is ready to guide me onward with His strong hand…if, and, or when that may occur…in whatever context. Be it tomorrow, next week, next year, or never…He owes me absolutely nothing. If any of us took our last breath today, He’s already given more than we deserve.
Some understand this, some don’t. But if we search our hearts and seek Him by the measure of faith He has put in each of us…just as He has already revealed Himself through His creation…He will begin to give us understanding.
So my prayer is that we keep His Word in our hearts that His Spirit may bring it to mind when we need it most…guiding us away from the deception of our eyes, our flesh, and the pride of life.
“Faith, hope, & love. The greatest of these is love.”
Thanks for your time & support in music & life!
* Gary was replaced by Tim Tomaselli just prior to going in the studio due to scheduling conflicts. Albert Born joined for a short time after the recording of “Last Rites”, replacing Tim Tomaselli. Sean Saley is currently the drummer for Pentagram.
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‘Victor Griffin’s’ ‘In-Graved’ Tour Dates Announced [Feb. 2013]
‘Victor Griffin’s’ ‘In-Graved’ Now Available For Pre-Order [Feb. 2013]