Holy Soldiers' Jamie Cramer talks with The Jersey Guys!
Holy Soldier was a Christian hard rock/metal band from Los Angeles, CA.
The band was originally formed in early 1985 by bassist Andy Robbins and guitarist Jamie Cramer. They gained a strong local following before signing to A&M Records in 1989. Holy Soldier was initially noted for their strong evangelical focus, although they regularly played to secular audiences. For a time they held one of the largest attendance records at Gazzarri's, a notable nightclub on the Hollywood circuit. In 1989 they signed to Myrrh Records, an imprint of Word/A&M, as that label's first hard rock act. Their self-titled debut, produced by David Zaffiro, was released in 1990 to critical acclaim and moderate commercial success. The band garnered two Dove Awards in 1991, in the hard rock song and album of the year categories. After heavy touring the band lost two members – lead vocalist Steven Patrick, and guitarist Michael Cutting.
They replaced the departing members with Eric Wayne and Scott Soderstrom respectively while continuing to tour. Wayne exited when Steven Patrick returned in 1991, but would again rejoin the group in 1995. Two years later, the band followed up their debut with “Last Train”. While praised, it was not a commercial success. Although “Last Train” charted, peaking at the No. 10 slot on Billboard's CCM chart, the album did not meet the sales expectations of the label unfortunately.
The band experienced personnel changes when Steven Patrick again departed. They again replaced him with Seattle-based vocalist Eric Wayne, who helped move the band into the current grunge sound seen in the marketplace at that time. Wayne's lower vocal register caused Holy Soldier to be compared in the alternative hard rock and grunge market with the likes of Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, Temple of the Dog, and Soundgarden. After Holy Soldier's reinvention and extensive touring, the band was signed to ForeFront Records in 1994. Once again recruiting the production skills of producer David Zaffiro, Holy Soldier released “Promise Man” in 1995. “Promise Man” returned the band to critical acclaim within Christian music circuit, again winning the band Dove Awards for in the hard rock song (for title track Promise Man) and album of the year categories. Despite the success of “Promise Man”, Holy Soldier was unhappy with the lack of support they received from their record label ForeFront Records and the band requested to be let out of their contract with their label. In 1997, after a short hiatus, bassist Andy Robbins independently produced on his own boutique label (Spaceport Records) and a live retrospective album featuring both current frontman Eric Wayne and original vocalist Steven Patrick was released. After the release of “Encore”, Holy Soldier officially disbanded.
In 2005, the original Holy Soldier lineup reunited in August for a benefit concert and possible studio album follow-up. But again, Steven Patrick's reunion with his former band members was extremely brief. The band played only a handful of shows and the rest was history. Jamie Cramer is currently working again with David Zaffiro and looking forward to releasing new music in 2023 so keep an eye out for that!