Hi Ben, thanks for contributing to the first issue of CLUNK. Firstly, I want to ask you……have you a collection of Mr. Benn DVDs or books?
DVD’S! I love old animations, mainly 60’s and 70’s stuff. Oliver Postgate especially is one of my all time heroes.
I’ve seen you perform a number of times. How come you’re always so chirpy?
I once swallowed a sparrow, it’s been living in my stomach for the last 5 years so that’s all I can explain the chirps by.
When did you write your first song? What was it called? What was it about? There, a cheeky 3 questions in 1!
I was 13 and it was called ‘Toy Robots’ and it was about turning into a robot overnight.
On a scale of 1 to 10 how nervous were you on that first Marc Riley session?
I’m gonna go with 8, I was slightly more nervous playing the James Bond theme tune in assembly I reckon.
How come you moved from Lancaster to Sheffield? Is it the place to be?
I still love Lancaster, the scene there is creative, beautiful and odd all at once. Something about being out on a limb creates a lot of idiosyncratic musicians such as The Lovely Eggs, Dog Daisies, The Thyme Machine, Family Selection Box and Sun Drift, to name a few. But Sheffield seems to have loads of burgeoning art and music venues popping up, loads of reclaimed industrial spaces which Lancaster is lacking a bit. And my new rent is peanuts!
You run Bingo Records with a mate or 2……..how did that come about? What other bands are on the label?
Yeah, I run that with Lloyd and Zac. Well, initially we wanted to fund a vinyl release of mine and Zac’s tunes as a split 12” and then the profits from that release could be invested in more music! So, from the initial 250 quid we each invested we’re now a semi-legitimate semi-literate venture, with I think about 8 releases last year. On the roster at the mo are The Bens, Sun Drift, Family Selection Box, Dog Daisies and Rail Waves.
From an outside looking in it seems that all this is mainly fun for you and some likeminded friends. Fair assessment?
Yep, it’s kind of run like a co-op so all the profit is re-invested into the label at the mo which is lovely!
An album in 2019? Plans? Tour? Holiday?
Yep, another UK tour in April, festivals this summer and then another album later in the year! I might take a weekend in Whitby but we’ll see how that pans out.
What’s on your Christmas list?
World peace + pants
Thanks Ben. Merry Christmas!