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The band was formed in Toledo, Ohio in 1996. Matt and Chris were in grade 10 at a Christian School there. They began writing and playing music together. When drummer Mark Graalman and bassist Steve Goodrum joined they started performing wherever they could, not expecting to make it big. Their first recordings were put on a short independent EP called All This Talk of Aliens in 1998. They next year they released a full indie album called Message for the Masses. They continued touring around Ohio and surrounding states. Slowly but surely their popularity grew. In 2001 they made one last indie album called Nothing to Lose. That year at the GMA week in Nashville they started handing out CDs with their phone number on the back. A couple weeks later they got a phone call from Sparrow records.
They were soon signed and their first Studio album Say It Loud was released in 2002. It was a compilation of songs they had written over their long indie career. They released an album of brand new songs called Fight The Tide two years later. That same year they did a cover of U2’s “Beautiful day” for the album In The Name Of Love:Artists Unite For Africa and “Promised Land” on Veggie Rocks!. Sanctus real took home Modern Rock Album of the Year Dove Awards.
Face of Love was released in 2006. Sanctus Real’s bass player left the band and they was replaced by Dan Gartley. They also added and a fifth member, Pete Prevost on guitar. They had munch more time and preparation on this album. They wrote enough material to fill 10 albums and choose the best songs to record. The album was originally going to be called Turn On The Lights after the opening track but was eventually changed to We Need Each Other (2007). It was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Gospel Album of the Year.
Sanctus Real let their fans vote on what they would name thier next album. The winning title was Pieces of a Real Heart (2010). In 2011, “Lead Me” won song of year at the GMA Dove Awards. Thier latest album is called Run (2013) and featured the song “Promises”..