Q & A With Ben Crist From The Glorious Unseen

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Here is an interview with Ben Crist, the front man for The Glorious Unseen. He talks about his band’s style of music and their new album. Enjoy!

Q: I hear that you are into hardcore music/metal- what made you decide on doing the style of music that you do?

A: Well, it kinda just happened naturally. When I first moved to Nashville to go to Belmont University -I first played in a local / regional hardcore band for a year and a half or so. After that, I played in more of a emo / hardcore band for another year. It was near the end of that band when I had started leadingworship at a church I helped start in Nashville called The Anchor Fellowship. In the beginning, it was just really stripped down – acoustic guitar and such. it was just me singing worship songs and strumming the acoustic in someone’s living room with like 15 people or so. It was incredibly inspiring to me though. It wasn’t intended to be a band or a touring act or anything at first. I didn’t really expect to be playing outside my own church. But, I began writing my own worship songs, and recorded a worship CD with 5 of my own songs on it. That’s when my songs started to gain an audience with people outside of our church.

Q: Would you describe your band as praise and worship?

A: I know that what we do has kinda fit into the praise and worship genre up to this point – simply because of the lyrics and how things are sung. I know in the music industry – we always like to label types of music and such. And ours has fit in best to the “praise and worship” category. I would prefer that our music not be labeled any certain way, because I think the “praise and worship” genre a lot of times limits who would actually listen to the music. You wouldn’t normally find fans of Underoath heading to their local christian bookstore to search for a “praise and worship” CD. Despite the labels, our intention with every song we do and every event that we play, is to lead people straight into the presence of God. We are not interested in “performing” – so that we can get famous. We are not interested in just doing music to make money. We are interested in connecting with God. So, whether we label this as “praise and worship” or not, our main focus is to connect with God through our music and art.

Q: Also haven’t you toured with several metal bands? How does The Glorious Unseen fit into that, just seems like stylistically it might not work?

A: We have toured with some hardcore bands, and played many shows with hardcore bands. I think this just comes from our “connection” to the hardcore scene. This all started with my relationships with many of the guys in hardcore bands on T&N and Solid State and other labels since before The Glorious Unseen ever started. I had already been friends with the Underoath guys and AsCitiesBurn and some other bands. I think the way we go about our worship style is really attractive to hardcore kids and some of those bands because it doesn’t come off in a showy way. I think these kids that are into the hardcore music – but also desire deep connection to God, desire to have worship music that is meditative and contemplative. I think that’s where our record “Tonight the Stars Speak” really found it’s niche. Stylistically, yes it does seem really odd to have a “worship” band play at a hardcore show. But we’ve done it often, and it works. If people come desiring to connect with God – that can happen regardless of the atmosphere of the night.

Q: What has been the highlight of what you guys do?

A: The highlight is pretty much just showing up at a different church or venue every night and watching God do crazy stuff in us and in everyone there. It’s interesting because we’ll have events that we kinda look forward to in our tour schedule – big fests and such, and we’ll look forward to those and expect it to be really awesome – and it most often is; but, there’s also the times when we’ll show up somewhere where we don’t really expect much to happen, and don’t expect anyone to show up – and God just really comes and wrecks us. The highlight is getting to be in the presence of God every night. Before each show, we get together backstage or in the van or wherever and just have a time of prayer. We tell God what’s on our minds and ask him to do whatever he wants that night. Then, we begin worship and try to be sensitive to where he wants to direct us. It’s so inspiring.

Q: If you could go on tour with any band you wanted who would that be and why?

A: Well, that’s an interesting question because we have to consider how our music and live experience would be received by those certain fans. Because I could say – well if we could go on tour with anyone we would want to go with Underoath or something! And the Underoath guys are all Christians – and they like our music. But, if we go up before their set and do our stuff – would it be received well by all the kids there?? They have a large mainstream audience that are their fans. Many of them may not have been exposed to worship music before. Some of them would probably totally not get it and actually may dislike it. It would probably be a bit easier for us to do like a Leeland tour or something before we try something more mainstream. I do like the idea of our music being exposed to those outside the church – and that is ultimately my intention. We’re just gonna be led by God in our touring, and as opportunities come up we will do whatever is presented to us.

Q: What is your favorite song on your new album personally and why?

A: I’m so stoked to do all the new songs. I really love how we all contributed to the writing of this record. We wrote this one as a band instead of it being just me coming up with the songs like last time. Also, I spent a lot more time developing my lyrics this time as opposed to last time. I really love how HEAVYHEARTED turned out. The chorus is just a celebration of God’s faithfulness, even in the midst of our struggles. I love FALLING INTO YOU. That song is about addictions and how we turn to these things over and over in spite of the fact that God is calling us to go to him in our trials…. I probably can’t choose a favorite right now – there’s so many songs that have specific messages.. The record has an overall theme of hope. Every song comes back to the theme of hope… I’m so excited to be playing them live!!

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  • http://www.zazzle.com/sing_unto_him_sing_psalms_unto_him_talk_ye_of_tshirt-235107326296289498?gl=narrowpathpilgrim Jamie

    Great perspective, thanks for putting this blog together.

  • hitaEscania

    Very Interesting!
    Thank You!

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