Thursday, October 29, 2009


The upcoming release on Seventh Dagger is the full length CD from Southern California's ONE CHOICE. The guys in ONE CHOICE wanted to really create something special so they dug deep and pulled in a lot of great guest contributors including members of Earth Crisis, Strife, H20 and Trial to represent what time tested dedication to straightedge looks like. In the month leading up to the release of the new ONE CHOICE record we will be posting interviews with the guest contributors about their involvement with this project. Here is a short interview with Greg Bennick of TRIAL on his contribution to the new ONE CHOICE record and what keeps straightedge inspiring to him after all these years.

Hey Greg how long have you been straightedge and what led you to the decision to become straightedge?

GREG: I quit drinking on September 30th 1988. I have not wavered in my conviction since that time and that’s an incredible feeling. This fall will be 21 years. Everyone said I would drink when I turned 21, but as I sang on the Genuine record years ago “I stayed true and proved you wrong”. What led to my decision to become straightedge? I had been a heavy and intense drinker at times in high school. I think I am missing the part of my brain that regulates alcohol intake. I couldn’t just have a drink. I would want, and have, ten drinks. And not just beer. I was drinking straight grain alcohol by myself. Good times. More like really dangerous and self destructive times. Alcohol is used by many as a means of replacing something in their lives that hurts them which they need to work through. Its like this: if I cant figure out why my parents were difficult to me growing up, or why this person left me or lied to me, or why I can’t succeed the way I want to...if I have failed in all of those regards....then at least I can be an expert at one thing: drinking. I see it all the time.. People get obsessive about it because its an area they can excel in. Its the perfect avoidance of real life. For me, I realized that if I was going to approach life with the sincerity, sensitivity, empathy, and clear-mindedness that I wanted to, I couldn’t do that with alcohol in my life. So that was it...I decided one night after a round of drinking and seeing friends tear apart a field in my hometown with trash, that this was a way of life that I could no longer condone or be a part of. I made the decision to stop, completely, and never looked back.

Whats your connection to One x Choice and what made you want to contribute to this project?
GREG: The guys in One x Choice are inspiring to me because they are older guys who are still connected to their ideas. I really like the idea that people can stay true to ideas and convictions that they find important and vital, even as “real life” encroaches upon them as the years go by. Hoe many people have used the excuse that straightedge was great as a teenager but as they became adults it just didn’t mean the same? I remember the band Uppercut from the east coast singing “Straightedge is great when you’re young, but as you get older, its not very much fun”. I remember standing in the crowd at the Anthrax at age 18 watching them and thinking, “First, I disagree completely and will throughout my life. Second, you write grammatically silly lyrics.” When Rob Mertz called me and asked for me to be a part of the record, it was because of their enthusiasm and decision to continue letting young people know about straightedge that inspired me to be a part of the project. Also, it was nice to not be the oldest person in a band for a change.

Can you talk briefly about what the lyrics to the song you sang on are about?

GREG: I’d be happy to talk about the words I wrote and spoke for the song. The words are “Identify your addictions. For they go beyond your drugs. Beyond alcohol. They are rooted in your insecurities. We find strength in submission. Solace in being unsound. When we are empty and alone we try to fill ourselves in any way and at any cost. We are worth more than the price at which we sell ourselves short. Life slips us by and we miss every chance to move forward along with it.. Look at who you are. Look at those around you, not for what is, and not for what they are, but for what could be...for what we all could be....what you could be”. I wanted to capture the idea that we have deep value and that we often forget that. People thinking about not drinking might find strength and confidence in knowing that they too have as-yet-unrealized self worth, but that they don’t have to try to find it in any way other than simply looking within.

I know you do a lot of spoken word projects, writting and are a professional juggler tell us a little about all the projects you are working on musical and otherwise.

GREG: I definitely am involved in a number of projects. Musically, I am finishing vocals for the Between Earth and Sky EP which will be out hopefully later this year. I am also of course playing some Trial dates in Europe this summer and very likely one or two in the US in the fall, possibly a show in another country or two as well. We are loving playing shows and while no, we will not be writing a record and touring again, its wonderful to have a chance to continue sharing those songs with people and feeling their input. That photo from Burning Fight, taken during our set, really changed my life. It was like the embodiment in photographic form of a decade of my life. I have been recording spoken word projects for bands and am considering doing a spoken word record this year. Yes, I do entertain too. I love it...its just fun to have fun with people. I think as people involved in hardcore, we get so swept up in intensity that we forget to laugh often times. I am also a film producer, and the latest film I created with Patrick Shen (with whom I did “Flight From Death” in 1995 ( is called “The Philosopher Kings” and we just had our world premiere at the AFI Discovery Channel SILVERDOCS film festival in DC. We sold out two screenings, the second in a 400 seat theater, and were asked back to show the film a third time. It was an incredible experience. More on the film can be found at

Where are you finding your inspiration these days in terms of straightedge?

GREG: So I am dating an incredible woman right now who has a sixteen year old daughter. The daughter is right at the age where people start experimenting with drugs and alcohol, that is, if they let peer pressure and the minds of their friends think for them. This girl is amazing. She has so much heart and integrity and sense of self at sixteen...its so great to watch her just be alive. Recently, she’s become very interested in straightedge and learning about why people are straightedge, what the lyrics mean, why the X is part of the subculture, what bands exist, and what the differences between those bands are. Its been amazing for me to explain it all to her. I usually am talking to people who already “get it”, and while she certainly gets it, its just fascinating and totally inspiring to see her process the information and ideas for herself, having encountered them for the first time just recently. I highly recommend talking to younger people about these things. It will likely be fulfilling and inspiring both for them and for you.

How can people reach you if they want to find out more about the projects you have going on?

GREG: Best thing to do is to find me on the myspace at I would be happy to hear from you anytime. Thanks for the interview!

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