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An E-mail Interview With Ben
Samuel Barker
April 4, 2001

The Benjamins

Samuel: First off, what are you names, and what do you do?

Ben: I'm Ben and I play bass, Jay plays guitar and sings, Dan plays lead guitar, and Jon plays drums and looks cute.

Samuel: Has it been hard trying to find your way to the head of the pack in California?

Ben: Well, we're not necessarily trying to find our way to the head of the pack, but we're having a good time playing shows, hanging out with old friends, and eating the wonderful California fast food.

Samuel: What have been some of the more difficult obstacles to overcome to reach the point you guys are at now?

Ben: Well, there's the growing pains, the little arguments we have with each other that end up getting forgotten about. For me there were obstacles getting us here because I do all the phone calls and business and have been busting my ass for the past 2.5 years to get us here. We've had pretty good luck so far, but sometimes we don't get appreciated as much as we'd like. I want to be everybody's friend.

Samuel: Has it been a positive experience working with Drive Thru Records?

Ben: Most definitely. They take care of us and make sure our records sell. What more could we want?

Samuel: I see you guys are getting a lot of play on college radio stations all over America, what do you feel about the contribution College radio makes to independent music?

Ben: Well, I don't listen to college radio that much, I'm more of a classic rock kinda guy, but there are lots of people that gauge what they listen to by what they hear on the radio, and that definitely helps us since we're getting so much play.

Samuel: Are you planning a tour soon?

Ben: We're on tour now, and we will be on tour on and off for the next year or two. It's fun, and we've got a good booking agent, so why not?

Samuel: How long can we expect to see you guys out, and how far will you be going?

Ben: We just got off a week and a half tour with Reel Big Fish, in a few days we go out with Homegrown, and in a couple weeks we do three weeks with FenixTx. After that we're gonna start trying to tour with more indie-style bands...we're covering all the bases here. The ultimate goal is to go overseas, which will happen in time.

Samuel: Who have been some of the band's largest influences?

Ben: Lots of mostly pop-oriented stuff...anything from old stuff like the Beatles, Kinks, and Beach Boys to newer stuff like Blur, Weezer, and Superdrag. We also get influence from the bands we tour with...not so much musically but in how to live on the road.

Samuel: What would you classify your music as?

Ben: Rock n' roll.

Samuel: I (among others) have kinda coined it "dork rock" because all us "dorks" can identify with the messages conveyed, is this offensive to the band or comfortable?

Ben: Well, at least you're not calling us rap-rock, nu-metal, or techno. I really don't care what you call us, as long as you enjoy the rock.

Samuel: What are the Benjamins' future plans as of now?

Ben: We're recording tomorrow. We're doing bonus tracks for the late spring/early summer vinyl pressing for our album. That and lots of touring.

Samuel: Anything you'd like to add or say, or is there a message you'd like to relay to people?

Ben: Don't stop believin'. Oh, and the road ain't no place to start a family.

Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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