Gabe Martinez: I think we’ve grown closer; tragedy can do that. I think we’re appreciating what each person’s strengths are and celebrating that instead of competing against it. The other day I was feeling really tired and worn down from a string of intense shows and travel and one of the other guys just said, “Hey, man…let’s take the time and pray for one another.” Normally, that was kind of my role and now I see that we’re relying more on one another to push each other towards prayer and spending time in the Word. CCM: What is the concept behind Echoes of the Light? Martinez: I guess I’m fascinated with how light is a theme that occurs over and over again in the Bible. The first words spoken are God’s. He says, “let there be light” and it’s almost as if from that moment on, every conflict, every life, every story, novel, film or song is set in motion with those four words. I’m also struck with the fact that Christ echoed that idea later on in the gospels: “You are the light of the world.” As we started the process of making this album, we wanted to talk about the struggle between darkness and light and the desire we have to live out the words of Christ—to be light in this world. To say that the four years in between CDs for Circleslide have been challenging would certainly be an understatement. Most glaringly, the group lost most of its gear in the Nashville floods, prior to which front man Gabe Martinez underwent unexpected surgery, while the group as a whole faced the shocking death of a friend’s 10-year- old daughter and additional health scares with some family members. Though those variables would’ve been enough to take a lesser band down for the count, the worshipful modern rockers are unbelievably resilient, channeling their struggles into the songwriting process on Echoes of the Light (Save the City Records) under the production of Brandon Bee (Stacie Orrico, Lanae Hale, Benjiman). Catch more from Martinez during a chat with CCM about the group’s personal perseverance and musical growth. CCM: How do you feel the group has grown amidst recent roadblocks? CirCleSlide YOuR guide tO the newest happenings in ChRistian musiC by andy argyrakis WhaT’s NeW 14 CCM