TRIAL Interview
This interview was made the 13th of August 2005.
Greg Bennick (the singer) has answer our few questions.


For those who do not know you, can you present you?
I sang for Trial, from the beginning of the band through our break up in 2000. I am from Seattle, and since the band broke up, I have been involved with a number of projects aside from performing, including making films about why people behave violently towards one another ( to international diplomacy, to sharing political ideas. I like to stay busy constantly. It makes me feel alive.

How did you come to straight edge and hardcore?
GREG: I got involved in hardcore in the late 1980's. I grew up near The Anthrax, the famous club, so after I was first introduced to the genre, the greatest hardcore shows in the world were right nearby. I lived about 45 minutes from the club, so we would see tons of bands there: Judge, Youth of Today, Gorilla Biscuits, Burn...the list was huge. Straight edge at the time, of course, was getting much more popular. There were tons of bands coming up all the time. It was a few years before I started calling myself straight edge, but I always loved the music. I must have listened to the Wide Awake ep a thousand times or more. Hardcore was then, and is now, the most vital and vibrant form of personal expression that I have ever encountered.

You were the frontman of the band Trial. How did you guys met and formed?
Derek and Timm met first, in the mid 1990's in Sacramento CA. Derek sang backups on Timm's band Blindside's demo. Later, when Timm moved up to Seattle, the three of us got together and talked about forming a band, and that band became Trial. We started out with the name Headline, and we would practice from 1 AM until 3 AM some nights because that was not only cheaper, but also the only time we had to get together. Our first songs were just terrible. I have a cassette of them somewhere that I will gladly copy for people if they send me a million euro or so. The songs were that bad! Today, Derek plays in Himsa. Their new record is coming out in a few months and I am really excited to hear it. he is more metal than I am and he has a lot more hair. I actually give him all my hair. That is why he has so much and I have so little.

What was your motivation to do a hardcore band?
I have been involved in performance and art for over 20 years since I was a kid, but no matter what style of performance I encounter or take part in, nothing compares to the intensity and interaction and power of hardcore. Emotionally, politically, personally, collectively, nothing else comes close to that connection. The potential for honesty and openness that exists with hardcore is just so incredible. I never get bored of it and will never fully be able to use up all of its potential.

What did the Trial music bring to you?
Playing in Trial helped me interpret and absorb the most intense experiences of my life, making me feel completely alive while allowing me to learn so much about human interaction and connection. I still listen to the "Are These Our Lives?" album on a regular basis. The songs on that record still mean as much to me today as they did when we recorded them in 1999. Hearing from people how the songs reached them and what the songs meant and mean today to them, makes me feel like we really accomplished something valuable.

What is favourite Trial song?
I would say that there are three songs that were my favourites. "Reflections" which is a song that examines the conflict between desire and insecurity is the first one that comes to mind. The second is "Scars" a song written in support of victim/survivors of rape, sexual abuse, incest, and molestation. Each time we played that song, the worlds of suffering that would open and be healed in the room was unprecedented. I still get choked up when I listen to that song. Finally, "When There's Nothing Left To Lose", a song that reinterprets human suffering, was one that i love dearly. All three of those are as intense and direct as potent as songs can get as far as I am concerned.

Why did Trial split?
Trial split for the same reasons that most bands do: disagreements and general fighting with one another. Being in a band is like dating three or four other people at once, so of course there are going to be disagreements and arguments. At this point, the important thing is not looking back on who said what or did what, but rather looking forward to the reunion shows this fall and beyond, when the band is gone but the solid and powerful memories will remain.

Is it important for you to communicate your straight edge message through your music?

We didn't have many songs that dealt directly with straight edge other than "This is Not a Trend". There of course was the "straight edge!" yell in the background of "For the Kids", but overall, we would spend a lot more time just being straight edge than singing about it!
You will do few dates with Trial in USA and in Europe in October and November.

What determined you re-formation?
Timm and I had been talking about a reunion from time to time for years, but it didn't really come together until we played a Trial song at the last show of a friend's band in Seattle. We got onstage totally as a surprise. I actually didn't know about it in advance either. I was invited onstage to speak and when I got done speaking, Tim was there onstage. The band had planned this in advance. They started playing "This is Not a Trend" and it was a lot of fun. That night we started talking about the possibility of doing a full reunion show. We were originally going to do only one show in Seattle, but then we got word from a number of European kids that they wanted to come over and couldn't all afford it. They suggested that having the five of us go there was cheaper than having thirty of them come here, so we agreed to fly there for a show. The London show was added only a couple weeks ago. We've never played there and thought it would be fun.


How is the Seattle hardcore scene today?
The Seattle hardcore scene is really good right now. There are a quite a few bands that people might not have heard of. Bands like Wait in Vain (Timm from Trial's new band), Sinking Ships, and This Time Tomorrow are really promising. All three are very different so I would recommend checking them out sometime, either on myspace or on the web. Seattle has had a few more fights than normal recently, but overall the community is good to one another and self aware. People here are excited about the city and it shows. Its a good feeling.

What do you think about the hardcore revival?
The hardcore revival? I didn't realize it ever went away. By "revival" if you mean how popular hardcore has gotten recently, then it isn't about a real revival, which would be more about people rediscovering something they had forgotten about or grown away from. The recent surge in hardcore popularity is all about effective marketing. It has gotten more popular because advertising budgets have gotten bigger.

What is your view about straight edge today?
My feelings about straight edge today are the same as they always have been. Being straight edge for me is a personal choice about how I live my life in terms of choosing not to use drugs or alcohol. Its first and foremost a personal outlook on life and way of living. I would like to see more straight edge bands take risks with their lyrics and really push themselves further. Singing about straightedge can only go so far, and taking lyrics a step further and really challenging yourself and your listeners benefits everyone.


Can you introduce your new band "Between Earth and Sky"?
People can find out more about us at The band has recorded one song so far, which is on the site and will be recording more soon. The song is an extension of the Trial full length in that it picks up where "Saints and Sinners" left off. I always wanted a bit more from that song, and the new song adds that perfect punctuation mark to the sentence started by "Are These Our Lives?" and more specifically by the song "Saints and Sinners". The band has members of Strain, Gob, and of course Trial and is recorded exclusively by Blair Calibaba who recorded the Trial record, the Strain record, the new Propaghandi LP, and a ton of other stuff. Its going to be good.

With your new band "Between Earth and Fire" did you want to make something very different to trial or did you want to have the same root?
At the core, the band will be similar to Trial in that we'll be going after intense topics and deep issues with the lyrics. The music will be different for sure, though it will still be a hardcore band. So my answer to you is yes on both counts: yes, we want something different than Trial, and yes, it will have similar roots.

What are the topics for the lyrics?
Like the name of the band suggested, the songs will explore the relationship of people to the world and the heavens and how we are caught between those two extremes as we go through life. On one hand we can imagine vast futures for ourselves, and on the other hand, our potential is limited by our eventual death. This conflict in the human mind and heart is where the band starts. The first song is about the conflict between needing guidance and being subjected to authority in the face of insecurity and fear.

What is your favourite band or song today?
I listen to Alkaline Trio constantly, and "All on Black" is my favorite of their songs.

Have you listened and what do you think of the new bands of your ex bandmates: Brian and Alexei in 3 Inches of Blood and Timm singing in Wait in Vain?
Both bands are amazing. The 3IOB record is one of my favorites currently. Brian sent it to me last week and I played it all the way through twice the first time I put it in my CD player. Wait in Vain is one of the better hardcore bands on their way up through the scene. They have solid music and vocals and good lyrics. I will have a feature up on about them soon.


What is the thing you loved the most during your entire career?
Being able to continue sharing emotions and ideas with people all over the world. I love that more than I could ever describe.

Nowadays, you are a professional juggler. How did you come to it?
I have been a juggler since I was a kid. I learned how by accident when I was signed up for a class in juggling by mistake and decided to take it anyway. As soon as I learned how to juggle, I loved it and stuck with it non stop over the years. I love the hidden ideas that juggling presents: order from chaos, maintaining control, finding balance, and all that sort of thing. Practicing fascinates me really. I love it still after all these years.

You wrote and co-produced a documentary named "Flight from Death". Can you tell me more about this project?
"Flight From Death: The Quest For Immortality" is a feature length film narrated by Gabriel Byrne about human anxiety about death and how if affects our behaviors, specifically our violent behaviors. My partner and I have been working on the film for four years and it is finally coming out on DVD next month. We have won seven "Best Documentary" and "Best Feature" awards at film festivals around the world and anticipation about the film's release has been amazing. Our website is You can read a review of the film here:

What are the messages you want to express through your website Words as Weapons?
I put together as a means of continuing to address the ideas that Trial was exploring. I wanted the discussion and sharing of those ideas to continue even after the band broke up, and the web was the perfect way to do that. There are articles on there about all sorts of topics and I always love getting submissions with more. Just last week I put up a page about the band Die Young from Houston Texas, who are a cross between Terror, Trial and Catharsis. They are really worth checking out.

You did spoken intervention on Bridge to Solace record. How did you meet Zoli? Were you free to do what you want?
Zoli did the Trial show for us when Trial played in Budapest in 1999. We have stayed friends ever since. We came up with a cool idea for the Bridge to Solace record: my spoken pieces come between many of the songs, and the first line of each spoken pices is the last line of the song lyrics for the song that precedes it. Also, the last line of each spoken piece is the first line of the song that comes after it. That makes the spoken pieces really bridge the tracks together and gives the record more of a theme. I just finished recording a spoken track for a band called Parallax. They are from Salt Lake City, and their full length with that spoken track is going to be coming out on Counterintelligence Records this fall. The band's website is

What are your plans for the next years?
Patrick, who is my partner with "Flight From Death", and I are going to make two more films. I hope to do more spoken word material with bands, and I want to write a book. If i get all that done in the next two years, I will be in really good shape. Ask me again in two years and see how I did!

QUESTIONNARY (Top of mind answers)

What is your favourite word? Passion
What is word you hate? Laziness
What turns you on creatively?
People who push the limits of what is possible physically or emotionally.
What turns you on spiritually? Exploring fear, suffering, and hope.
What turns you on emotionally? Honesty.
What turns you off?
When people hold back and don't connect with me fully.
What is your favourite bad word? Death
What sound do you love? An aluminum baseball bat hitting a ball in the rain.
What sound do you hate? A sigh of regret.
What is the last book you read? Dan Brown, Deception Point
What is the last movie you saw? George Romero's "Land of the Dead"
Where is your favourite place on Earth? Currently: Laguna Beach CA
And the one you hate? Any place without internet connectivity.
Which persons influenced you the most during your life?
V (the main character in Alan Moore's "V For Vendetta"), my mentor John Wilson, and those who have had the courage to connect with me fully, deeply.
Who were your heroes when you were a kid?
My mom. She rules. No one on the planet knows more about connecting with people who are struggling to make their lives better than she does. She transforms people's lives every day and saves people from suffering physically and emotionally. You should interview her sometime!
What profession would you like to do when you were a kid?
Professional juggler and film maker.
What profession would you not like to do?
Anything that involves working 9-5.
If Heaven exists, what would you like to say to God when you'll arrive to the pearly gates?
"I was just kidding. I really did believe in you. All the stuff I said about you? Just jokes."

Interview Ben
Translation Laureline


Copyright Hammerock - Spiritribe 1999