Sanctus Real offers rendition of ‘Silent Night’Written by Jay Hathaway | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sanctus Real, a Grammy-nominated Christian rock band from Toledo, offers a variation on one of the all-time great Christmas classics for “Holiday Wishes 3.”
Drummer Mark Graalman said the Make-A-Wish benefit CD was a great opportunity to share “Silent Night,” a song they already had in the bag.
“We recorded that song a little bit ago. I think it’s been a few years, actually,” Graalman said. “We had never recorded any Christmas tunes at that point, and the label wanted us to do one for a compilation.”
As far as what song they would choose for their first Christmas offering, Graalman joked that the record label made it an easy choice.
“If I remember correctly, I don’t [know] if we necessarily had a choice,” he said. “I think they assigned us a song, to be honest. But obviously, who doesn’t love Christmas music? We’re all big fans of it.”
“Silent Night” is traditionally a slow, ambient piece, and Sanctus Real stayed true to that while making it their own.
“It was kind of a nice challenge for us to do a song like that, because we’ve always been primarily a pop rock band. To take a beautiful Christmas song and make it ‘us’ somehow was a fun challenge,” Graalman said.
He said that, as a faith-based band, recording Christmas music can be a spiritual experience.
“For us to be a bunch of Christian guys in a band together, everything we’ve done musically has revolved around our faith, pretty much,” Graalman said. “It’s always been the mission of the band to express our life experiences, but coming from a Christian worldview.
“It always felt very fitting for us to be involved in doing Christmas songs and Christmas tours. Really, it’s a celebration of everything we believe in, so it’s pretty cool.”
Sanctus Real just wrapped up a fall tour of more than 20 cities, and is now taking a couple of weeks off. The band will embark on a brief Christmas tour, including a Dec. 1 stop in Fremont, and then head home for the holidays. They will then head to Nashville in January to start working on a new record.
While Graalman has never had any personal association with Make-A-Wish, he said it’s definitely a charity he can get behind.
“Make-A-Wish is so amazing with what they are doing. I don’t know anybody who doesn’t love what they do. Actually, I was really excited to hear about it being a Make-A-Wish CD, because of the whole ‘Batkid’ thing recently.”
Graalman was referring to a recent event in San Francisco, where 5-year-old Californian Miles Scott was able to live his dream of being Batman for the day, thanks to Make-A-Wish Foundation. Scott’s leukemia is now in remission.
“They’ve brought a lot of joy and encouragement to a lot of families out there that have been through stuff that no one ever wants to go though,” Graalman said. “We love being a part of it. More than anything, it’s really just an honor to be part of such a project. It’s very humbling.”
Graalman added that he hopes listeners enjoy all of the bands and performers on the CD, and that listeners not familiar with Sanctus Real will enjoy their contribution as well.
“Maybe a new twist on a familiar song will turn some people on to the band, but either way, it’s pretty cool to be a part of it.”