Hearts of Saints Singer Craig Felker Talks to Rocking God’s House

Josh Bechler Writer for Rocking God's HouseIndependent bands usually come a dime a dozen. If you have enough money and will power, you can potentially make your own record. Most bands pursuing this outlet into music usually get lost in the highly competitive Christian music industry. That’s why I find Hearts of Saints freshly unique. These guys have found a way to capture an audience of Christian music fans through social platforms, a commitment to authentic ministry, and a willingness to reach out and do an interview when asked. Hearts of Saints is creating a buzz in the Christian music scene. The band based out of Kentucky is comprised of vocalist Craig Felker, drummer Jason Killebrew, guitarist L.J. Granstaff and bassist Joel Purdy. They have spent the last few years touring endlessly, honing their innovative signature sound, and attracting legions of fans all across the United States.

What’s in store for Hearts of Saints in 2014?

We really want to focus on playing more shows this year. In fact, we’ve set a goal to play 100 shows in 2014. In addition, in February we’ll digitally release (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) our song “Throw Your Hands Up,” which has recently been played in NFL and NHL stadiums. We’re also already writing for a new record, but we still have no idea when we’ll release a new album.

Congrats on being a new dad. How is the experience so far?

It’s incredible. Being a father has unlocked so many new emotions and has helped me see the world in a totally new perspective. I loved children before being a dad but it’s different now. The thought of a child being fatherless or orphaned just wrecks my heart. Fatherhood has also given me a better perspective of God’s love for me.

You guys shot a music video in Haiti; what was that like?

We love our brothers and sisters in Jacmel, Haiti, so getting to shoot the “Merciful God” video with them was special. The previous year we spent a week with Conduit Missions in Jacmel building homes and helping the local church bring restoration to the community. During that week we built lifelong relationships there, and it was very cool to go back and have them participate with us in the video.

Did you used to work at CCM Magazine; what did you do for them?

Yes, CCM was my first job after I graduated college. I did marketing and sales at CCM and eventually became a contributing editor for the monthly gear column. My writing pen name was Dick Farley, and I had a ton of fun interviewing and meeting artists in the music industry. At the time of my employment the band was just starting, and over the years CCM has always been very kind and supportive of the band.

 “Battle Cry” is a very popular song write now; how do you feel about the song’s success?

We’ve been making/playing music for several years now, so I think that has made us much more grateful for any successes we have. Ultimately, we hope each song we write connects with a larger audience and changes the world. That doesn’t always happen but it’s gratifying when a song reaches new ears.

Is it true you guys got started at MTSU [Middle Tennessee State University]?

Yes, our original drummer and I met at MTSU and almost immediately started making music.

Is Hearts of Saints currently looking for a drummer?

No. Our original drummer Jason Killebrew’s passion for “live sound” led him to transition last summer from drummer to road manager. This has been a very good change for everyone, and Jason still travels with us and is very much a part of the Hearts of Saints family. Our new drummer, Patrick Ford, has been a longtime friend and has traveled with us in the past running sound and helping at shows. He is an excellent drummer and was already very familiar with our songs. We’re so grateful the change has been so seamless.