Sinners to Saints is a metalcore band based out of South-Eastern Pennsylvania. The band is releasing their debut full-length album, The Greatest Of These via Red Cord Records this month [March 26th.] Sinners to Saints is bringing a new twist to the music scene with technical, complicated parts mixed with catchy, driving melodies. With the project finally getting some attention, the members are excited to see where it goes. Below you can read an interview with the guys of Sinners To Saints:
TMR: Hello guys this is´The Metal Resource’ from Holland, how are things going there in Lehigh Valley, PA ?
Today is the first day of warm weather in a long time so we’re pretty happy.
TMR: Will you Introduce yourself and the line-up please [name and instrument]
TMR: Tell us the brief history of ‘Sinners to Saints’.
James (drums) and myself (Jon (guitar) had been in bands in high school together. Nothing special, just some local stuff. After those projects disbanded, James and I decided to keep writing just for the heck of it. During my freshman year of college (2010) we decided to record our first EP that summer (2011). We solidified 4 songs for ‘The Experiment EP’ and in summer of 2011 we made plans to record it in our friends basement studio. Mind you, we had no vocalist. We could put together the whole EP minus any vocal work because neither of us have any special vocal talent with this genre… Or at all for that matter haha! To be honest, Andrew’s (vocals) decision to join the band was a godsend. Maybe a week or two before the first recording date I got a hold of him and asked if he wanted to try some vocal demos, so he came over and we messed around with a demo track. Our vocalist position was filled out of a total shot in the dark. I immediately saw the potential he had to do some great vocal work, at least, he had the kind of sound we were looking for. Long story short, he got his brother (Kyle – Guitar) to play rhythm guitars for us, we got our good friend Chris to play bass for us, we recorded an EP, put it up for free download, got ahold of a friend in visual media to do a music video, and then promoted the crap outta it as best as we could.
The purpose of all of this was simply to test the water and get a realistic idea of where we stood in the market for our genre. Really, we just wanted to see if the potential we saw with the group was real. Within 6 months we signed to red cord records. Chris couldn’t commit to a deal and, again, in a “this is fate” kind of way, our current bassist, Jake, joined the band. We recorded our album this past August in Rockford, IL. Our single, “Life, Like Statues”, is out now and the album comes out on the 26th of March.
TMR: Are you guys full time musicians ? If not what kind of job or school do you do beside the band ?
We’re currently part-time, after we finish college we will be full-time as long as God wills it. We represent the following colleges: Liberty University, Penn State University, LCCC, Moravian University, and Full-Sail University.
TMR: What is your musical background ? [for everyone personal]
Andrew: I honestly like to listen to a lot of poppy bands I guess you could say. However I love heavier genres of music, otherwise I wouldn’t be in a metalcore band.
James: I’ve been in school bands playing drums since elementary school. I also play guitar and helped write some of the EP.
Jon: I went through high-school playing in the school band. Through school I was able to hone my musical skills and learn how to play trumpet, piano, and guitar. After school I wanted to keep pursuing my passion for music and decided to start this band.
TMR: Why the name ‘Sinners to Saints’ ? Is there a story behind it ?
Not really actually. I (Jon) saw a friend’s twitter name that I liked and the band name spawned from that. His name was “Sinner Turned Saint”. Other than that, the only real story behind it would be a motto that we like to run with as a part of the name. And that is: ‘Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.’ – Oscar Wilde
TMR: Who writes the music/lyrics in ‘Sinners to Saints’ ? … how do you get in the mood for writing music? And which bands/situations have influences you for writing music and lyrics ?
Jon and myself, (Andrew) write the lyrics for the band. We try to write from a Christian
worldview but fit in concepts that listeners can relate with.
TMR: How do you describe the music of ‘Sinners to Saints’ the best ?
We don’t really focus on a specific genre when we write music. We just kind of write ideas down and if they sound good we use them. I guess if we had to compartmentalize our music we’d be closest to the “metal-core” genre.
TMR: How does ‘Sinners to Saints’ stands in life till events in the world, religion and politics and in which proportion stands that till your music and lyrics ?
We stand with a Christian worldview that can be seen and presented in our lyrics. Each of us believe that God is a wonderful and graceful God, and if He can love us in our sins than we should be trying as hard as we can to show that same love to everyone else, regardless of their past, present, or future. Unconditional love is the basis of this band and is the filter that we view the world through.
TMR: For a lot of bands the lyrics are just an accidental circumstance, but for some bands they use them to communicate ! ..can you tell us how that is for ‘Sinners to Saints’ ?
We definitely use our lyrics as a means to communicate with the people that listen to our music. Again, we use our lyrics to convey a message of hope and unconditional love.
TMR: Is there a highlight you will always remember, since the beginning of ‘Sinners to Saints’ ?
Spending time with the band in Chicago for a day off.
TMR: And the worst thing were ? [if there is one]
When our van broke down two times right before we were supposed to leave for our recording dates.
TMR: The last album you bought? [for everyone personal]
James: Wow I don’t even know. I normally just use Pandora or Spotify. It was probably an August Burns Red CD.
Jon: This or the Apocalypse – Dead Years
Andrew: AmeDeus – Assemble, Dismantle, Repair
TMR: What makes you laugh? [for everyone personal]
Andrew: Punny jokes, the office, and low budgeted movies.
James: Andrews answer “Low budgeted movies” that makes me laugh… oh gosh. Meme’s are always good.
Jake: Jon’s laugh
Kyle: Family guy and the inside jokes Jon and I have
Jon: Just about anything… depending on how tired I am.
TMR: What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?
We usually write all of our music on a program called tux guitar and practice while we’re all at college. This way when we come back home, we’re all ready for practice which usually begins on Friday evening, sleep over James’s house, and wrap it up with a Saturday morning practice.
TMR: Where have you performed recently? What are your favorite and least favorite venues?
We do a lot of shows at churches in our area and at venues in Eastern PA. We don’t really have any favorites or least favorites because the level of fun we have is dependent on the crowd more than the venue quality.
TMR: How do you promote your band and shows ?
TMR: How do you prepare for a show? [for everyone personal]
Andrew: Drink lots of water, pray for a fantastic show, and stick around for all the bands
playing before us. I get really pumped and antsy when someone is playing.
James: Drink tons of water. Sit down with my in-ears in and listen to music, warm my hands up and focus/zone out and pray
Jon: Drink a ton of water and get focused.
Jake: Drink water.
TMR: Describe your show, visual and musically? And tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
We put a lot of passion into our music and practice a ton to not give it our best. We have a lot of energy and have been told we have great stage presence. We make sure there’s a great lightshow that goes along with our set so all together these factors create a great performance. As a rule we try to be moving constantly.
TMR: Which songs do you perform most frequently? Do you ever play any covers? Do you have a set play list?
We set our playlists up at the practice before the show. We perform Vanquisher and Life Like Statues the most. We are going to be recording a Taylor Swift cover this summer.
TMR: Name some of your favorite bands to play with live [past and future] and tell us why ?
We’ve had a blast playing with This or the Apocalypse.
TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked? [for everyone personal]
Nothing really comes to mind.
TMR: Do you have a life philosophy / favorite quote ? [for everyone personal]
“Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.” –Oscar Wilde
TMR: Are you visiting many gigs and what do you listen to these days? [for everyone personal]
James: Mumford and Sons. For the most part I always have a Christian radio station on.
Jon: I get to local shows whenever I can. I’ve been listening to This or the Apocalypse,
Lecrae, and Macklemore a lot lately. Some of my favorite artists are Circa Survive, This Will Destroy You, Sigur Ros, and Explosions in the Sky, so those artists are always playing on my iPhone.
Jake: I’ve been listening to Mumford and Sons a lot lately
Andrew: Tegan and Sara, And Then There Were None, Fit For A King
TMR: Tell us about the hardrock/metal scene in your area please?
The scene was once fairly good in our area but as kids got older the music has kinda died. However, since we’ve gone to college the scene has begun to start up again and a lot of Lehigh Valley bands are coming out with great music so hopefully this becomes a reoccurring trend.
TMR: What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
Personally, I think it’s still trying to recover from the hit it took with online piracy. But I think the outlook is good because a lot of piracy sites have been getting shut down and other things such as Pandora and Spotify are becoming popular. It seems that the industry is getting back on its feet, slowly but surely.
Recording – the process was tough because we had to fit all of the work in to a very small time frame, so it was stressful. However, we all pulled together and worked through it. Our producer, Chris Galvez, did a fantastic job.
The Songs – We went into the album writing process with a goal of having a little bit of everything. We wanted this album to be a showcase of all of our talents without being so diverse that each song sounded like a different band. We strived to create each song with its own personality and we think we did a pretty good job of doing that.
Artwork – We got the art from a friend who designed it for another band. However, the band never used the art and released it to us. Jon then touched it up and finished the design for release.
Album Title – “The Greatest of These” comes from 1 Corinthians 13:13 – “three things last forever: faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is love.” We realized that a lot of our lyrics centered on the theme of unconditional love and the hope that comes out of it. That’s where we got the name.
TMR: The album will be released this month by ‘Red Cord Records’ how did you get signed by them ?
It was really kind of a shot I the dark. We were approached by an acquaintance of the CEO of red cord and told that we should get in touch with them. We sent over our material and after a month or two the CEO, Joey, got back to us and offered a deal.
TMR: Do you have any upcoming shows?
August 1st @Planet Trog w/War Of Ages
TMR: What are your plans for this year/near future?
To release our full length, play as many shows as possible, make new friendships/relationships and share the Love of Christ.
TMR: What advice would you give to fellow bands?
Stick with where your heart leads you in music and don’t ever make lasting decisions out of times of frustration. You will encounter a lot of frustration, but that’s part of doing something you love.
TMR: Guys thanks for your time and the interview, we wish ‘Sinners to Saints’ all the best … Is there anything you wanna say at last? [any final statement ?]
Thank you for taking the time to get to know a little bit about us! God bless.
Andrew East – Vocals
Kyle East – Guitar
Jon Hendershot – Guitar
Jake Bastian – Bass
James Mowrer – Drums
The Experiment EP 
The Greatest of These 
Music Video For: Vanquisher