Wednesday, August 8, 2012

INTERVIEW: Benjamin Wesley

1)      What do you want people to hear most when they hear your music?

People listen to music differently and it is hard to expect your songs to have any one quality that draws the listener to it. I guess a good starting point with my music would be to listen to the lyrics and see if any of what I sing about is relatable.  The soundscape I created in each song, with the synths, beats and guitars, all take their cues from the lyrical content. 

2)      Having music on Band Camp, along with other such platforms in music right now such as Sound Cloud, Spotify and others, do you feel that music is moving into a virtual age?  Personally, I fully support the idea of downloading songs for free from Band Camp and then if I like them buying them on vinyl.

Music has and is continuing to move into a virtual age. It's kind of interesting looking back at when I was a kid with floppy discs, cassettes and vcrs and thinking about the kids these days would hardly know how to use these machines because they are outdated. Consumers have to keep up with the flow of technology and that means digital.  When I started making music cd's were the goal, had to record a cd. Cd's now are just as dispensable as business cards and are more wasteful. It's a little confusing during the constant shifts music makes. I support the online sites and the free downloads and love the idea of vinyl and think it is a smart business model. Vinyl will keep music alive, some mediums never die. 

3)      How important of a factor do you feel that record labels play in music these days when pretty much anyone can put their music on the internet as opposed to having to hand out demo tapes at shows, the distribution record labels can offer, etc.   It just seems like it’s a bit easier these days to succeed as a band- and even build up a strong fan base- before a label possibly comes calling for you.

Double edge sword. Anyone can put there music on the internet and it is a good vehicle for sharing anything, but the key is "anyone" because anyone is everyone, and everyone does. If you can be successful and not get screwed over by a label then you figured out something and that is good if you can maintain it. Labels are double edged as well, but labels have different advantages to them when they play fair ball and treat their artists well. Good labels carry credentials, knowhow and experience. It has all changed in more ways than I know these days, but whether you a looking to run your music yourself or want a label to pay attention to you, they probably won't touch you unless you act like a label before hand, so really it is about saying yes or no when the opportunities open up with considering a label. You have to treat music like a business at the get go or have enough money to hire someone for you to do that. 

4)      If you could tour with any single band or musician who would you pick and why?

I would love to tour with Animal Collective, Panda Bear, Kurt Vile, Paul Simon( with his band from "Graceland"), OutKast and Muddy Waters. We would start a huge band out of all of our bands, play for 4 hours a night and I would be the conductor, however I will not want to be in the way so I will have to just sit in a comfortable chair and watch and listen from the front row for every show. 

5)      Who is your favorite New Kid on the Block?

Mark Wahlberg's older brother, the one with the pony tail. 

6)      Who would win in a musical fight: Jack Black or Jack White?

Fighting with instruments as weapons: Jack Black

Fighting with instruments as instruments: Jack White

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