Brandon Ryan interviews Ben Crist of The Glorious Unseen
I had the honor to talk with Ben Crist of The Glorious Unseen, it was awesome getting to see inside his mind an heart. He’s got a really big heart, and I hope you can see that through this interview. I’m proud to call Ben my brother from another monther. Enjoy.
Enoch Magazine ) With the success of your first album (Tonight the starks speak) where you ever afraid of writing the same songs over again?
Ben ) Yes, I actually was afraid of that – but that was mostly when I was sitting in my living room trying to write songs… Once we all got together as a band, and everyone started contributing ideas, things flowed much more easily… I started feeding off of the ideas the other guys were bringing, and it inspired me lyrically in ways which I had not previously written… So I’m looking forward to writing that way more next time around as well. I Want us to come up with unique and inspiring music – and that will in turn provide me with lyrical inspiration…
Enoch Magazine ) Yeah man, I can relate. I’m the same way with my own writing… You know with so many people regardless of age or gender struggle with legit sadness and or depression. How do you handle dealing with your own pains and struggles in this life?
Ben ) Well, I fall apart all too often… I think it’s a matter of surrounding myself with people who can encourage me.. Also, it’s a matter of going to God often – and with any circumstance… it’s a matter of trusting him no matter what the circumstance is.. I can find a lot of strength and hope in having a community of people around me.. People from my church, band, and other contacts I’ve made over the past few years have helped me through some very difficult circumstances.
Enoch Magazine ) What goes through your mind Ben, when you fall apart?
Ben ) Well – these days, since I’ve felt like I’ve fallen apart all too often… Usually I’ll just try to be done with whatever I’m doing for that day… When I have a really, really bad day – or really just fail at some area of my life… I usually quit being productive for that day. I just kinda “give up” on that day, and resolve to start fresh the next day… Usually when I “fall apart” I’m usually always dealing with a lack of sleep… Somehow those 2 go hand in hand for me… So I’ll just try to say a prayer asking God for help and try to just go to bed… Resolve to start fresh in the morning, and keep my mind in the right place… it all comes down to controlling the mind so often.. It’s easy to just be lazy with my mind and let it go wherever it wants to. it’s important to try to think about productive and encouraging things…
Enoch Magazine ) Yeah, I think a lot of people can relate to that. I’ve listened to both your albums at least three times a day, everyday. And I’ve read that there are some people who enjoy the music that The Glorious Unseen puts out, but are still unsure if there really is a God. How would you respond to that?
Ben ) 3 times a day every day???!!! wow… Yeah I know that even people who are not really “church going christians” enjoy our music… I love hearing about this, I had never set out to write songs “for the church”. I have always tried to write honest lyrics, that deal with questions I deal with on a daily basis… There’s so much that is impossible to even understand about God.. I feel like a lot of christian music and worship music lyrics don’t include a lot of questions that we may have… It’s like no one wants to appear uneducated – or they don’t want it to seem like they don’t know as much about God as they should – so everyone just writes really surfacy lyrics… Like regurgitating things we all learned in sunday school growing up… but it’s been my experience in the past few years – that I have learned more about God, but it has also raised more questions… So I wanted to sing about these things.. And yeah it connects with people who have also had questioning moments…
Enoch Magazine ) Yeah man, I’m not joking, I’ve become addicted to the music. What do you think Heaven will be like?
Ben ) Honestly – I have no idea… Although if God’s way of doing things on earth is only a small portion of what we will see in heaven, I imagine it to be an incredibly joyful experience… And we’ll all be rid of any imperfections…
Enoch Magazine ) The song “Wrapped up in you” is a personal favorite of mine. Two things: How in the world do you get such beautiful guitar tones? And would you say that that song is about craving eternity?
Ben ) I gotta give the credit for the guitar tones to Marc Byrd… He co-produced that record with Steve Hindalong, and they worked hard at getting SICK tones… We worked with many different pedals and several different amps… Yeah – the song does translate well as “craving eternity”… I’m not sure if I was actually thinking that when writing it, I was more just writing in terms of asking God to take me to the place where he is – more referring to somewhere on earth where I could be with him and release my burdens…
Enoch Magazine ) As of late I’ve been doing a lot of research of the impact on Physichal touch or the lack there of. I guess what I’m asking is how that translates in your life? Do you see a lot of kids on a nightly basis that really just need a warm hug? And what do you think of the ramifications of not receiving affection from anyone?
Ben ) As of late I’ve been doing a lot of research of the impact on Physical touch or the lack there of. I guess what I’m asking is how that translates in your life? Do you see a lot of kids on a nightly basis that really just need a warm hug? And what do you think of the ramifications of not receiving affection from anyone?
Enoch Magazine ) Yeah, I just think it’s so sad that so many people now a days are so un-known to something as touch. What are your thoughts on homelessness? Do you run into a lot of it?
Ben ) I come in contact with homelessness every day – living in downtown Nashville. I can say this – I WANT to help the poor and homeless. I WANT to serve the poor and homeless. The question is – is giving a homeless person $2 on the street helping them? That’s where the debate comes in… If I knew a LEGITIMATE way that I could serve in helping the poor and homeless, I would do it. But there’s just so many scam artists out there on the streets that so often I don’t know whether I’m helping anyone by giving some dude a dollar… So this is a good thing to research and find LEGIT ways of helping..
Enoch Magazine ) Yeah there’s like an entire debate going on whether it’s either good or bad to give a homeless person money. Most times people just throw money down at a person, and then go on with their day. It’s sad.. So, tell me.. What is your vision for The Glorious Unseen?
Ben ) The vision for the Glorious Unseen is to make really honest music that connects with people – and at the end of the day, draws them into a spiritual place. We want people to be drawn into either deep worship, or a place of internal contemplation. It’s not really about putting on a “show” for us, it’s more about “joining” with the audience, and to all have a spiritual experience. I believe God speaks through many different formats – music – art – beauty in creation. We want to create music that would cause people to look towards a heavenly beauty – towards a creator. Whenever I experience beauty on earth, I feel as if I’m seeing a reflection of the heavens. I want people to experience that through our music.
Enoch Magazine ) Well my friend, it’s been amazing talking with you. Thank you so much for taking time to have this conversation. Is there any thoughts you’d like to leave our readers or fans with?
Ben ) My latest thoughts on life are just to keep fighting in the midst of difficult circumstances in life. Hang on to your relationships, love people. Be faithful in working at whatever God gives you to do – be responsible with your time. In other words, don’t sit around all day playing video games, and then complain about how your life sucks. Go out and engage your culture, your community. Find inspiration in the people and places around you. There is beauty and inspiration to be found on this earth, we just have to have the mind to see it. if we’re totally wrapped up in our own self-defeat, we can’t love people around us, and we can’t be inspired by them.