We like bringing you interviews with the very best in Christian music here at All4God. We’ve done interviews with the likes of Casting Crowns, Leeland, 33Miles, and Nathan Jess. But it has been a while since we’ve brought you a big name interview. Today we are remedying that by bringing you an exclusive interview with the class American band The Glorious Unseen (check out the previous band of the month post if you haven’t heard their music – I can almost guarantee you’ll become a fan!)
Lead singer Ben Crist took some time to answer a few questions for us, and this is what he had to say:
- First off, for those who haven’t heard of The Glorious Unseen, or don’t know much about you, who makes up the band, and how long have you been together?
The current lineup is myself (Ben) on guitar and vocals, Jon Todryk on drums, Adam Smith on keys, Ryan Stubbs on guitar, Ben Harm on bass. I’ve personally been doing this project for about 8 years – it started as a worship thing at my church, and then grew into something that has gone beyond our church.
- Where did the name come from?
When trying to think of a name – I wanted to communicate something about the mystery of God – something of His greatness. There is so much to him that we could never understand, I wanted to communicate that in the name. So that’s how that came together.
- How/why did you get into the music scene, and why did you decide to form a worship band?
I’ve been playing music from a very young age. Started drums at age 7, piano at 10. Played worship in church often growing up. Naturally kinda started doing it myself when I got to college. Didn’t really set out to start a “worship band” – That just kinda happened naturally when I started writing my own songs…
- If you had to describe your musical style in three words, what would they be?
Mix Delirious and Sigur Ros together – with Pedro The Lion vocals – and maybe you have something like us… At least that’s what people say a lot… haha. 3 words? Ambient, Epic, Honest
- While your music is clearly worship music, it is very different to most modern contemporary worship music being produced at the moment. What would you say are the main differences, and why have you made them?
ummm I don’t really like modern contemporary worship music. I would not set out to be a part of producing songs like that – A lot of them seem to say the same thing over and over again, and songs are arranged and produced in much the same way – basically, they all sound the same to me. I would say, I just wanted to create music that inspired me, but also – I really value the experience of worshipping together with a community at a church. So, I WANT to worship – but, I want it to be music that I like. So, I just brought the 2 together – along with lyrics that said something I hadn’t already heard before in other worship songs.
- What is the most important message you want people to pick up on as they listen to your music?
Honesty with God, authenticity before God. No putting on a show – no “puffing ourselves up” so we can get before God. We come as we are – we let him heal us.
- One of the themes that comes across strongly on your latest album ‘The hope that lies within you’ is God’s grace – was this a deliberate focus for the album, or is it one of those things that just happened as you made the album?
I think grace has been a theme in both of our albums. It’s just something that I like singing about a lot haha… it wasn’t a deliberate effort to write an album about grace – it just happened as I was writing lyrics…
- Your song ‘Heavyhearted’ is a powerful song that many Christians can relate to about how when we mess up God comes and takes us back. Could you share a bit about the thoughts behind this song?
I think I feel “Heavyhearted” a lot when I experience pain and confusion in my own life. In that song, I kinda wrote about how God is still accepting me and loving me in spite of my doubt and pain. I like it cause melody-wise and such – it sounds like a happy song, but lyrically, it’s darker. So, it kinda blends those 2 worlds…
- On ‘The hope that lies within you’ you have a cover of ‘How he loves us’ – a song which has seen quite a number of covers of late. What was it about this song that made you decide to include it on the album, and why do you think it is impacting so many people?
We had been playing it in our church for a while – we loved doing it live, and I hadn’t heard a version of it that I really loved yet – so I wanted to make “our” version of it. Also, we knew it would be somewhat marketable cause many people are singing it and being impacted by it. I think that lyric -“Oh, how he loves us” is what really captures people – it’s just basic. it’s simple. It’s refreshing and desperate at the same time. Great song.
- Which of your songs are you most satisfied with and why?
hmmm… Well – there’s a lot that goes into that question. You have to consider are we talking “live experience” or “recorded material” or what? I guess overall, “Awakening” is one that I’m MOST satisfied with live… It really translates well live – I love how lyrically it has a lot of questioning. The recording of it is amazing – we have a choir part at the end that really takes it to a new level… Yeah, I would say that one is possibly my fav song overall…
- You have done a few reinterpretations of songs such as ‘Oh praise him’ and ‘God of wonders’, but if you could have one artist or band do a cover of one of your songs who would it be and why?
hmmm… Honestly – I would like to see a hardcore band (August Burns Red, For Today) do a cover of one of ours… I’m not really interested in seeing what band could do it in an ambient or mellow way. I feel like we’ve already done that. I would love to see what a hardcore / metal band could do with one of ours… And totally redo the music and stuff but just keep the lyrics… That would rule if that happened sometime…
- This being an interview for All4God, what does living all4God mean for you as an individual and as a band?
It means finding our identity in God. It’s not really about living up to some standard or “rules and regulations”. It’s about seeing what Christ did and is still doing – and looking to follow that example.
- Finally, what can we expect from The Glorious Unseen over the next year? Do you have any plans to come over to the UK?
We don’t have plans to come to the UK yet… We would love to, but just have to wait for the right time… We’re gonna try to get a new record out this next winter… We’re doing a lot of festivals in the US this summer…
If that has got you interested, by sure to check out their myspace page or search for and become a fan of them on Facebook to stay up- to-date with all their latest news.