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Living Sacrifice

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If there's one Solid State release people have been anxious to hear then it's the new Living Sacrifice. The band did well with their first Solid State album Reborn, gaining new fans and inspiring many bands worldwide with their brutal metal sounds. After three years of waiting, the fans can now explore the musical realms of The Hammering Process. Because of the new album I did this interview with bassist Arthur Green, formerly of metalcore band Eso-Charis.

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Discography: Selftitled (1991); Nonexistent (1992); Inhabit (1994); Reborn (1997); The Hammering Process (2000) Available through: Solid State Records Official website: Living Sacrifice Interview by: mpo Date: November 27th 2000

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First of all, The Hammering Process is your first album with Living Sacrifice. You used to be part of Eso-Charis. How did you experience the process, working with Lance Garvin and Bruce Fitzhugh and the rest of the band? How do you feel about it?

Well, the writing process went pretty smooth for the most part. There were a couple of songs written before I got into the band but we wrote a lot together and I think it has been one of the easiest times in my musical career as far as writing goes because those guys bring the riffs to practice as I do at times and then I just put my easy listening bass riffs to the stuff.  I have put my twist on some of the stuff and that's what it makes it my own at times.  It was cool!

One thing that strikes me about the album is the use of percussion done by Matt Putman. How did this enter in into the sound of the band?

Well, there are a couple of songs on the Reborn album that have a little extra percussion but only for a second. All the guys thought it would be cool of  Matt going out on the road with us and have a little fun with the drum stuff and it is history from there.  I personally think drummers have a fantasy for more drums.  Ha ha!

Title of the album is The Hammering Process though there's no titlesong. Was the title chosen for the feel of the album? Or what is the idea behind choosing that title?

The title comes from a C.S. Lewis book that Lance read.  It has something to do with  God chiseling away at us.  How everyday is a process for all of us as humans and as Christians.  Sort of molding us into shape like a statue.   The songs on the album deal with this issue too; I guess it would be a theme type thing.

Personally I think the lyrics aren't always easy to understand. The song Bloodwork seems to deal about drug addiction. Can you tell what it is about?

Well Bloodwork is about salvation.  Lance wrote the lyrics to that song as well as a couple of other ones on the album.  I know the lyrics may seem like you have to read into them at times and it's just the way I think God chose to write through us at this time.  To me they come from the heart and seem a little more personal.  Not one particular person wrote all the lyrics; we all wrote for the album.   I personally wrote the lyrics to two songs.

Like I said before, The Hammering Process is   your first album as a bassplayer with Living Sacrifice. How is your position in the band as a newcomer? And how are you looked at by the die-hard fans?

It was a little hard at first trying to fill someone else's shoes with no new album out yet.  I mean, no one even knows who you are and I felt like I had to cater to the fans who have been around for years.  I would say that the fans have excepted me very well and I love them for that.  They are awesome!

Here's maybe a silly question but I always look at bands and see the singers or the guitarists as the most prominent persons. The bass-players and the drummers are often almost like "behind-the-scenes" musicians. There are exceptions where drummers or bassists are prominent. How do you look upon your role being the bassplayer and what was your reason the pick up the bass-guitar and learn to play it? And what do you like about it?

Well I usually stand behind my 8X10 cabinet when I play and I wear a ski mask.  Ha ha!  You're right about bass players being in the background and I excepted that after I would watch video after video where you don't see the bass player that much unless you are Primus.  I mean, look at a live show with AC/DC.   As far as Lance goes he is the machine and everyone looks at him.   I picked up my first bass like 9 years ago when I was asked to play for this punk band.  I had never played before in my life and me and these guys I used to skate with decided we wanted to put a band together.  Well, I went out and bought a Memphis bass and a 50 watt peavey amp.  Man it ruled!  We didn't know what the heck we were doing but we practiced. My first song was 18 And Life by Skid Row.  I don't know why, but it was. Now about 12 bands later I'm just pickin' and groovin'.  I really like the bass because it carries a groove, gives good punch, and only has four stings ( ha ha) .

Right now there's a tour coming up with POD and Project 86, the second leg of their Kings Of The Game Tour. In the past the band played with Soulfly, Cannibal Corpse and Nile. And early next year there's a tour scheduled with Nevermore. If you had the  chance to do a tour with any band you may pick to do a worldwide tour, what band would you pick?

Well, I would have to say I would tour with Slipknot.  I know the other guys might say Metallica.

You have quite some touring experience both with Eso-Charis as with Living Sacrifice. Touring can be an intensive thing. What's the thing that made the biggest impression on you over the years?

The biggest impression?  My wife is the biggest impression on me as well as God of course.  She is awesome and supports me totally even when I think I should be at home taking care of her and our baby that is on the way.  She always says to me, "Arthur, do you think that is what God wants you to do right now?" She keeps me in check when my emotions can get the best of me.

Okay, I'm sure she's important to you. But as it comes to touring, what touring experience made the biggest impression on you?

Well,  I would have to say doing the tour we just got off of with Ace Troubleshooter and Squad 5-O. I learned a lot about the guys being on the road with them for so long and I gained a lot of really good friendships on that tour.  I think gaining friendships is probably the coolest thing to me. We all had such a great time and even in real frustrated moments everyone really pulled together to make it a pleasant and awesome tour.  I wouldn't mind doing it again.  I have a lot of tours to go and a lot of friendships to gain so we shall see!

The Hammering Process is the next step for the band. I can imagine that there are bigger labels then Solid State interested in the band.   Can you tell about the band's possibilities or wishes or whatever you can tell about this?

I can't say if there are any other labels interested in us or not at this point.  I don't know.  I just know that our wishes are to keep doing what we have done and persevere; to just keep telling others about the good news of Jesus the Christ and His Love for us and them.   We do hope to get out into the general market arena soon and would love to just hang out with the bands that tour that arena and just get to know people.  We don't want to stay stagnant.

Last question: What's the thing on The Hammering Process you'll probably be most happy about five years from now?

You know that reverse-reverb part with the drums in Altered Life? That part. No, really I would have to say all of it.  It is the best album I have ever helped write and played on. By the way, we hope to see everyone when we bring the METAL ONSLAUGHT  through your town.

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