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Ben Arthur Interview

All sound clips are copyrighted by me and may not be reproduced in any way, shape, or form.

Who were your musical influences? - Click for sound clip

 I think you get influenced by everything you listen to. From what my elderest brothers were listening to who were big classis rock heads. You know, the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, all the way up to what's going on today. You kind of feel from everything you can.

What's CD's do you usually listen to? - Click for sound clip

We've been listening to a lot of the demos the kids have been giving us out on the road. Let's see, we were listening to the Beatles White Album, my friend Parker Poe, who's just great, his last album is just extraordinary. Any number of things. Our tour manager is a big metal head, so Rage Against the Machine every now and again.

Do you ever listen to your own CD's? - Click for sound clip

I don't generally unless there is a purpose to it. Like when I am recording, I will listen to the stuff endlessly trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong, where I need something, where I need to take something away. But once I'm finished I'm able to listen back once or twice to see if I'm satisfied with it. I probably haven't heard my first album in about a year and a half, two years.

Is playing music more of a job for you, fun, or a combination of the two? - Click for sound clip

I don't know. I think anything can be a job. My friends used to say, show me the world's most beautiful woman, and I'll show you a guy who's tired of uh, let's see what's the word? Making love to her. It's a lot of fun. Particuarly the studio, which gives me a huge kick.

If you could only pick one band, what would be your favorite? - Click for sound clip

Hmmm... tough choice. I think I'd probably go for Pink Floyd.

Where'd you come up with the name of your new CD, "Edible Darling?" - Click for sound clip

We were down in the Meat Packing District in New York, and there was a trash can full of pieces of raw meat, and they had stamped on them "Edible Darling." I thought that was really wild. That's kinda creepy. And then I was talking to my friend Mike who raises pigs all year and then come winter he puts a bullet in their head and makes bacon out of them. That was sort of reminding me how some relationships are cannabalistic and one person sort of feeding off another person, and that all came together and I made that little thing.

Where did the cover art come from (Smiley face on the tomato)? - Click for sound clip

My friend Margaret Knight is an extraordinary artist. I saw it so striking and creepy and kinda sexy and weird. And I thought that's what I want to kind of associate myself. I asked if I could use that for the cover and she very graciously agreed.

Where did you come up with the lyrics for "Mary Ann?" - Click for sound clip

There was a girl I used to date in high school named Mary Ann. I guess I was just thinking about. You try to do songs that are sort of love songs and sort of break up songs. And you just want to take it in a new direction. I guess I haven't heard a lot of songs about dry humping.

Do you have any nicknames? - Click for sound clip

I do actually. My oldest nickname was given to me by my friend John in 6th grade, it was "Benja Barfa Bugers."

What's your favorite out of folk-rock-country-blues? - Click for sound clip

I don't have a favorite. The songs don't really fit into any one category. It sounds a little bit like each genre. The mixture is what makes it cool for me.

If you could tour with anybody in the world, dead or alive, who would you tour with? - Click for sound clip

John Lennon. Not only was he the most extraordinary song writer, but he seemed to have a really cool conscience, knew how to make an ass out of himself, and he knew how to party. Seems like a good combo to me.

Where do you see yourself ten years from now? - Click for sound clip

Probably in a ditch somewhere. With any luck I'll have a bottle, you know. Maybe a couple friends around. I don't know, it's very hard to tell. If you wanna make god laugh, tell him your plans. You really can't make plans.

What musical instruments do you play? - Click for sound clip

I play guitar mostly, but I can also get along on bass, piano, mandolin, harmonica. Not anything that's worth listening to, but I can sort of get around on them a little bit.

What made you start playing guitar? - Click for sound clip

I wanted to meet girls. Which I was not doing. So I thought it would be a good way to impress em. And it's actually true, it really does help. I met my wife when I was in high school. We became a couple maybe a year and half or so after I started playing, so maybe it worked too well. I don't know.


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