The Great Commission was born in 2008 when Angela Razo and Justin Singh disbanded Every Man For Himself in search of something more significant. TGC has their roots in Redlands, CA where they are surrounded by the spiritual influence of bands like Sleeping Giant and xDeathstarx. However, the bands they look to for guidance aren’t limited to their hometown. TGC draw musically from the bands they grew up listening to and mix the dynamics of these older, heavy, hardcore bands (including Point of Recognition, No Innocent Victim and Hatebreed) with the new school brutality of bands like Impending Doom and Acacia Strain. This combination is an essential quality that is winning fans of both new and old sounds. Below an interview with Angela & Justin.
TMR: Hello to you from´The Metal Resource’ Holland, how are things going there in California ?
A: It is going great! Perfect 75 degrees here!
TMR: Will you Introduce yourself and the band please [name and instrument]
I am Angela Razo I play Rhythm Guitar and sing backing vocals, and then there is Justin Singh (Vocalist), Victor Cota (Guitarist/Vocalist), Robby Joyner (Lead Guitarist), Solomon Joy (Bass Guitar) and Zach Cohen (Drums).
Angela, have 1 brother, Justin has 1 sister, Victor has 2 Brothers, Robby has 1 Brother and 1 Sister, Solomon has 2 Sisters and 1 Brother, and Zach is an only child.
TMR: Tell us the brief history of ‘The Great Commission’
A: We are a Christian band that started in the Fall of 2007. Justin and I wanted to start a band where we could openly speak about our beliefs. We ended up getting signed to Strike First/Facedown Records the following year after only 28 shows.
TMR: Are you guys full time musicians ? If not what kind of job or school do you do beside the band ?
A: For the most part we are full time musicians. When we are not touring (Rarely) we work with friends through the church with their companies to make money to survive when we are not on tour.
TMR: What is your musical background ? [for everyone personal]
I (Angela) grew up with all aspects of music. I come from a very musical family. I became very into Heavy music specifically when I was about 12 or 13 years old. Justin didn’t have any musical background however became really into Heavy music around the same time. Victor, Robby, and Solomon all grew up in the Church so they were all on (And are still on) their Church’s worship teams.
TMR: Why the name ‘The Great Commission’ ? Is there a story behind it ?
A: We chose The Great Commission because we wanted it to be our “Mission Statement.” We feel that it was a very important commandment that Jesus asked of all Believers (To Spread the good news of Christ to all Nations). So we take that same approach with the band. We are hoping and praying to be able to go to many different Countries spreading the word of God and to encourage the body of Christ.
TMR: Who writes the music/lyrics in ‘The Great Commission’ ? .. how do you get in the mood for writing music? And which bands/situations have influences you for writing music and lyrics ?
A: Justin writes all the lyrics and Justin, Robby, and Victor write all of the music. Haha those guys are always in the mood to write music whether it be in the van, the venue, in the garage, at a restaraunt, those guys are always working on something. For the lyrics, Justin is very inspired by the bible and things that he has experienced in life. He tries to blend scripture into every song we write. Musically, we are influenced by all forms of heavy music and contemporary Christian worship music. (Groups like Hillsong United, Jesus Culture, Phil Wickham, etc)
TMR: How do you describe the music of ‘The Great Commission’ the best ?
A: Heavy Worship, its heavy down tuned music but we use our lyrics to praise God.
TMR: How does ‘The Great Commission’ stands in life till events in the world, religion and politics and in which proportion stands that till your music and lyrics ?
A: We do not believe in a religion but a personal relationship with Christ. We do not believe in following man made structure or laws that dictate how we should interact with God. We believe that Church is only a supplement to our walks with him and that every believer should have a personal relationship with Jesus.
TMR: Describe your show, visual and musically.
A: We like to play every single show like its our last. We are really grateful to be doing what we are doing so we really pour ourselves into it. Whether that be our stage presence, our heavy music or our strong message.
TMR: For a lot of bands the lyrics are just a accidental circumstance, but for some bands they use them to communicate ! ..can you tell us how that is for ‘The Great Commission’ ?
A: All of our songs have a message. Justin didn’t want there to be any grey areas so for our album, he included notes with every song talking about what scriptures were used and what each song means to him. We feel like our lyrics is the way that we are able to share our faith and to connect with people.
TMR: Is there a highlight you will always remember, since the beginning of ‘The Great Commission’  ?
A: Our first show was at the Showcase Theatre in Corona, CA. Which was our all time favorite venue, it closed down shortly after we played there. We can remember going there for shows growing up.
TMR: And the worst thing were ? [if there is one]
A: The first time we hit black ice and experienced a snow storm on tour. We are from Southern California so we are not use to any type of weather like that.
A: One of our favorite bands to play with is For Today and Take It Back. TakeIt Back was the first band we ever toured with and we had such a great time with them that we still keep in touch and are still friends to this day. We toured with For Today 2 years and those guys not only put on an amazing live show but they were definitely an encouragement and a blessing to us for the whole tour. They are those most genuine guys that we know.
TMR: First record you bought? [for everyone personal]
Angela– I never had to buy cds because my older brother bought them. So I borrowed his cds a lot (Metallica, Rage Against The Machine). For Justin is was Hatebreed “Satisfaction is the death of Desire”
TMR: What makes you laugh? [for everyone personal]
Angela the show The Office.
Justin our guitar player Victor. He is hilarious, sometimes he doesnt even know it haha.
TMR: How do you prepare for a show? [for everyone personal]
Angela I prepare for a show by getting all of my equipement ready, warming up on guitar, doing vocal exercises, and prayer.
Justin I usually do vocal warm ups and spend some time in prayer.
TMR: Tell us about your upcoming shows and why we should be there.
A: We currently have a US tour coming up, everyone should be there because our live show totally blows away listening to our album on an ipod or cd.
TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked? [for everyone personal]
Angela I have been asked several times at our Merch Table if I would Marry the person asking.
Justin How can you be in a Christian Band and play Rock music? haha
TMR: Do you have a life philosophy? [for everyone personal]
Angela By every year, the world is becoming an uglier place, you have to ask yourself “Are you a part of the Cure? Or the Disease that is destroying it?”
Justin Follow your dreams, when God gives you a second chance, take full advantage of it.
TMR: Are you visiting many gigs and what do you listen to these days? [for everyone personal]
A: Yes, we still go to shows even though we are not on tour. Sounds crazy huh? But we enjoy it!
Angela I listen to everything from Metallica to Adele to Brad Paisley.
Justin The Ghost Inside, Motionless in White, and Taylor Swift haha
TMR: Tell us about the hardrock/metal scene in your area please?
A: It is amazing. So blessed to be from Southern California. We have a lot of venues and a really supportive scene for every genre of heavy music.
TMR: What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
A: I try not to get caught up in the Record Industry stuff. I play music because I love it and hope to do it as long as I can.
TMR: What is your favorite ‘The Great Commission’ song ? [for everyone personal]
Angela I can’t just pick one but some of my favorite songs are Dawning of a New Day, The Road to Damascus, Preaching to The Choir, and The Walking Dead.
Justin The Weight of The World
TMR: What about your latest album ‘Heavy Worship’, please tell us about the songs, the recording proces, who did the artwork, etc.
A: Each song on Heavy Worship has its own personality and its own individual message. We recorded or album with Andrew P Glover (Bass player of Winds of Plague) in Rancho Cucamonga, CA at Sound Temple Studios. We had a blast recording with him even though he doesnt believe the same things we believe. He is a big reason why this album came out sounding so killer. I came up with the Phoenix Bird design, I took the member pictures inside the booklet, it was our managers idea to put the bird on the front cover and the label tied it all together.
TMR: The album was released via ‘Aint No Grave Records’/’Century Media Records’, How did you get signed by them ?
A: We have known the label owner Ryan Nelson from a past band we both spent time in. When our contract with Strike First/Facedown ended, ANGR Records approached us and it was a perfect fit.
TMR: What are your plans for this new year or the near future ? [New album/European Tour maybe]
A: We definitely want to get over to Europe. Our plan is to just tour tour tour. And in the middle of all this touring we are hitting the studio in the summer to record a new album.
TMR: What advice would you give to fellow bands?
A: Being in a band is a lot of hard work. It is not the rock star lifestyle that everyone makes it out to be. In order to last, you really have to love what you do.
TMR: Guys thanks for your time and the interview, we wish ‘The Great Commission’ all the best for 2012 … Is there anything you wanna say at last? [any final statement ?]
A: Thanks again for the interview! You can check us out at Facebook, and if you are reading this, make sure to follow us at Twitter.