Brandon Ryan interviews Carlos Salazer
Recently, I had the chance to sit down with Carlos Salazer, the lead singer of Before There Was Rosalyn, and the author of the self published book Sage Willow.
Enoch Magazine ) first off bro, thanks for spending time with me. its great to talk with you. Can you tell me a bit about who God is to you and what he has brought you through?
Carlos Salazer : no problem brother, it’s a pleasure. I remember being very young and my mother teaching me to pray and I always knew there was something or someone out there who was bigger than everything else, and as I was growing up there was always that voice calling me to my God, and I fell completely in love with Christ through his words in the Gospels, and since then, (and even before then) He has been at work within me to become a better person and has provided strength when I had none, which happens quite well. I went through many things as a kid that I felt would be the end of me, but that it’s those things that now allow me to minister to kids suffering through the same ordeals with a kind of honesty and hope that can’t possibly be faked. I just pray the Lord leads, and I do the best to follow.
Enoch Magazine ) thats pretty cool man. So, a lot of people clame to know the truth. Especially in terms of God and interpretaion of the Bible. How do you stay centered and level headed in the midst of so many voices around you?
Carlos Salazer :I look to Christ. So many people claim to have a hold on things, and even in the church there is so much division between brothers and sisters that only helps to widen the gap between any potential believer and their faith, that it really becomes a sad thing. At the end of the day, I rely on the words of Christ himself to guide me home. Someone once said “a little theology leads you away from God, and a lot more leads you right back.” I think it’s human nature to want answers and I believe my God encourages to reason with Him and one another, but there comes a point when it seems like some Christians are so bent on simply proving they’re right about some particular thing that it overshadows the work they are supposed to be doing, and it’s easy to fall into that mindset, and I constantly ask the Lord to keep me in check when it comes to that. I also have some amazing friends like the folks here in Houston at Anchor Church who are always there for encouragement and support and my dear friend Tucker actually who is one of the best at knowing when the Lord is trying to tell me something, and of course the dudes in the band serve that purpose too. We just concentrate on the sense of unity and love, which are the core of our faith, and that is something that no matter who you are, and what you might believe, can be very hard to argue with.
Enoch Magazine ) yeah man, thats awesome. I can agree with that. Being in a band, do you or your mates ever encounter “persecution” among other so called believers?
Carlos Salazer : I think more than anything we encounter difference of opinion. There’s a lot of people of who don’t believe that Christ is in this kind of scene and we are out there trying to show them that He very well is. This is a new generation who is seeking God in a much diferent way than their parents an grandparents, and even their pastors are used to. Some kids don’t even realize they’re searching for God until they are exposed to some kind of ministry, and that’s what we want to be. Not everyone agrees with this type of outreach, but we know the Lord has always been one to go where not many will, and we want to be the vessels He uses. I think one of the more saddening and heartbreaking things we have witnessed has been other bands who are so bold in their writing and stage presence when it comes to the Lord, but don’t actually take the time to say anything to the kids who so desperately want some kind of interaction or just an exchange of words. I think that’s so vital and important to any outreach, and we strive to keep that alive with the friends that we meet.
Enoch Magazine ) yeah, things have changed a bit. Do you have any peers that you look up to?
Carlos Salazer : Most definitely. I think my good friend Brandt Russo is one of the most inspirational people I know. I really admire him and his ministry. As fas as musicians in the ministry, the boys and lady in Flyleaf have had a huge influence on me over the course of the last six years. Since the day we met, they’re humility and boldness for the Lord has always struck a cord in me and inspired me to long for the same. And of course in the heavier scene, Josh Scogin and Dallas Taylor are to be named as my two biggest inspirations when it came to bringing a positive message as the frontman of a band. Those guys have always stood out to me because they aren’t afraid to step out of the box and be bold for what they believe in, and I could only hope to one day have someone say the same of me. In the scene right now, I think there’s a lot of inspiration and boldness for the Lord that is still continuing to rise, led by such great dudes as Sleeping Giant and For Today.
Enoch Magazine ) back to our previous topic.. you know man I’ve seen a lot of bands that just get up on stage and mention something about God, the crowds go crazy. it seems like some bands/people just want to get a reaction from some Christians. What are your thoughts on this? (oh yeah dude, the people in flyleaf are pretty rad!)
Carlos Salazer : Well I think that what a man believes, that’s what he is, and you can’t really separate that from your actions. I’d like to think that bands mean well when they mention the Lord on stage, but so often it seems like that’s as far as it goes, and its a sad thing in my opinion. I see a lot of bands who start off with such a thirst and hunger for the word and the desire to spread the gospel, but it seems they reach a point when their career status forces them to be more politically correct and their ministry kind of sits on the back burner. I also hear a lot of bands (who are believers) trying to make the distinction between being labeled as a “Christian” band a “band full of Christians” and it saddens me to see that completely, because I think it’s garbage to make excuses for something you claim to believe in so passionately. I’m reminded of a great friend of mine, Tony Hart who owns the 7 venue in Douglasville, Georgia, who once said to me ” when I walk down the street, I want people to say, there goes a man who loves God.” We were kind of on the same subject and we agree that being labeled a Christian, whether in a music scene that will one day fade away, or in daily life, or any aspect of existence for that matter, is in no way offensive nor can it be seen as any kind of hinderance to anyone who craves for that relationship with Christ. I do think that as a Christian band, you’re held to a higher standard in the sense that people often search for a way to discredit you, but it comes with the territory. The Lord said ” to whom much is given, much will be required of,” but its certainly worth it, because the Lord’s yoke is light.
Enoch Magazine ) Being that your an author like myself, do you have any plans for a second book? and what is the response been to your current book?
Carlos Salazer : Oh most definitely. I have ideas that have been haunting me day and night for years haha. As a matter of fact, I didn’t plan on Sagewillow being my first published work. I have another novel that was supposed to be done before that and I always planned to pursue a publishing deal with it, but when it came talk to the publishing agent, I went ahead and sent Sagewillow instead because I felt it was time to tell that story. It held so much emotion with me and resonated such a personal and vibrant cord with me, that I just thought the timing was right and I wanted to share it with the world. The reaction from Sagewillow has been overwhelmingly positive by its readers and it has really warmed my heart to hear so many great things about a work I hold so close to my heart. It hasn’t yet reached the wide market I hope for it since it’s self published, but I’m hoping to find the right literary agent to help me pursue that endeavor. I most definitely plan on writing more, and like I said, I have manuscripts that need finishing and the road is sometimes the perfect place to do that.
Enoch Magazine ) yeah man, the industry is changing a lot and its hard to find anyone to give you the time of day. Carlos is was awesome talking to you, do you have any last things you’d like to add?
Carlos Salazer : I would just like to thank you for your time and its been fun. And to anyone reading, I would just like to encourage you to search for the truth, and if at the end of the day our beliefs differ, I still hope that we can end the night with a hug and maybe a bear claw, because those things are awesome.
And If you ever need anyone to talk to about anything, feel free to get in touch with me. I love making new friends.
Find him at: http://www.myspace.com/solrac2