14.5 C
New York
Monday, April 15, 2024

Buy now

Matt Sassano: A Journey Through Faith and Music

Recently, I caught up with one of my favorite Holy Metal guests—chart-topping Christian rock musician Matt Sassano. In our last interview, we dove into his most recent release, In Defiance. This time, we covered a lot of ground. He even teased some new tunes that will debut soon. If you love powerful music driven by transparency, particularly in the spheres of mental health and faith, please read on. 

The ability to resonate with an artist’s music begins by learning to understand the artist. Sassano is first and foremost a music fan. As he attested in this interview, music was the first thing in life that made him feel empowered. His journey through physical disabilities, mental health struggles, and abuse highlighted the relatability of music as a sanctuary in this broken and dissonant world. He discovered when music points Christ, the infinite source of truth and refreshment, it is a force with which to be reckoned. His relationship with God and involvement with various ministries eventually led him to Rockfest Records, where he released In Defiance. Two tracks found on the EP (“Dear God” and “Not My Name”) rightfully soared to the top of the Christian rock charts. 

According to Sassano, watching these songs take flight among listeners was both a positive and weird experience—a bit like Freaky Friday. For the first time, he became a notable participant in a genre of which, up until that point, only ever considered himself a fan. Now, he revels in the experience of working with some of the industry’s most influential professionals. The best part is that it feels like a tight-knit family. 

Recently, Sassano performed at Rural Music Fest 2023. He shared the stage with CCM figureheads like Danny Gokey and Brandon Heath. He viewed the festival as an opportunity to appeal to new audiences that otherwise may not have engaged with Christian hard rock. 

In seeing the festival highlights on Instagram, I was reminded of how instrumental the social networking app was in connecting with Sassano. One of the first things I noticed was the deep and profound nature of his posts. Many of them appear as though they have a call to action. I had to ask what drove him to make them. He began to explain that though he is far from perfect (as someone who knows him, I think he is pretty darn close), he tries to publicly align himself with Christ and speak boldly for his cause—even to those who fail to understand such an allegiance. After witnessing a startling number of Christians drift from core theological tenants, become lukewarm in their faith, and ultimately conform to the reasoning of the world, Sassano has become disillusioned but motivated to stay true to Scripture. His social media posts contain what he believes people need to hear most from a place of compassion and conviction. While he discourages the idea of stirring the pot purely for the sake of stirring it, he wants to hold believers accountable for their actions and attitudes. He and I both believe it is possible to see genuine revival happen through hard rock.

In asking him how he stays spiritually full on the road with a busy schedule, he listed some bullet points that are of great value. Some of his advice is as follows:

  1. Have at least one person in which you can confide (family member, trusted friend, accountability partner, etc.).
  2. Make sure the people you confide in keep you grounded in biblical truth. Be a Berean (Acts 17:11).
  3. The hope of planting a Gospel seed in someone’s heart motivates you to plant it correctly.
  4. God made us relational beings. Work to relate to people, even in this confused world. The connections you make can be both encouraging and healing.

Finally, I asked him what the mainstream church needs most. Some of his sentiments are reflected below:

  1. Work to prioritize biblical truth over emotional relevancy and political correctness. 
  2. Do not be afraid to maintain and articulate strong convictions. Being hated purely for the sake of Christ is a blessing (Luke 16:22). 
  3. Teach people correctly. The truer you stay to Scripture, the more it makes people respond to the Gospel. 
  4. The church still needs to make strides in properly addressing mental health.
  5. Double down on your biblically accurate stances out of reverence for God, not a self-motivated desire to assert your opinion over that of another. 
  6. Silence is sometimes the most destructive force. It only takes one voice to break it (hear “In Defiance”).

I want to encourage everyone to stay on the lookout for new music coming in the next couple months. Sassano teased one upcoming song, titled “Fuel”, that portrays God’s revolutionary ability to work misfortune and trials for His good. The song appeals to those who have struggled through dark, seemingly purposeless situations—and points victoriously to the light at the end of the tunnel. Personally, I cannot wait for the song’s release. 

If you are new to Sassano’s music, stream In Defiance on your preferred platform. If you like what you hear, be sure to BUY THE ALBUM! Also, be sure to follow him on Instagram @mattsassanomusic. Holy Metal is a podcast that can be streamed just about anywhere. For interview requests, free to reach out on Instagram @HolyMetalPodcast, or send an email to holymetalpodcast@gmail.com. 

Join MultiMediaMouth+ for $3 a month

Support MultiMediaMouth.com now! For just $3/month, you will get ad-free access to select articles, Podcasts, and livestream events! Join today and support small creators!

Bradley Biggs
Bradley Biggs
Music historian and critic.

Related Articles

Latest Articles