Σάββατο, 16 Ιουνίου 2007

-- έμπαινε, Μπεν! (VAUGHN): the interview

words: John G. Simandiras

FOR MANY PEOPLE (including myself), Ben Vaughn is one of the truest iconic figures of US rockNroll. Vaughn got hooked on rockNroll, after hearing an album by pioneer guitarist Duane Eddy. Today, Vaughn has managed to create an exceptional back catalog. Not only the man is a brilliant songsmith, a well-respected singer, but he wears many other hats, too. He is an instrumental musician, known for his excellent compositions of TV and movie film music. Want more? The man has produced albums by cult personalities, such as Charlie Feathers and Arthur Alexander (among others). He released an album in collaboration with the cultest-of-the-cults: Kim Fowley. And another LP with living legends Alex Chilton and Alan Vega, a combination of three major talents. Sounds like the prototype of renaissance man?

BEN HAS RECENTLY given the world two albums, that he was kind enough to send to us, and we could not help but air them on the radio: ‘Vaughn Sings Vaughn Vol. 1’ and ‘Vaughn Sings Vaughn Vol. 2’. These recordings are the first in a series that will offer the complete cataloguing of all songs Vaughn, many from the past, some new, the entire batch recorded with his backing band, the Ben Vaughn Desert Classic.

BEN HAS ALSO found the time to answer our questions via the Net. Here is our conversation in its full glory:


What made you revisit your songbook, Ben?
I have a studio here in L.A., and the rent keeps going up, so I decided to record every idea I could think of, before closing it down. Most of my records are out of print, and fans keep asking for recordings of the old tunes, so I decided to revisit my songbook with my band, the Ben Vaughn Desert Classic. I started writing new songs, once we started recording, so that’s why it’s a mix of old and new.

Upon entering the studio to record the new versions of your old songs, did you remember the lyrics and the music or you needed to play your old albums back on your stereo?
I have a really good memory when it comes to music. I’m hit and miss when it comes to remembering other things in life.

Were the players familiar to the songs? Or did you have to teach the songs to them?
We already play these songs on stage out here in L.A. I’ve had the same band for over five years.

When inspiration visits you and you make up a new tune, what is it that makes this tune develop into a song (with lyrics) or an instrumental composition?
I write everything in my head when I’m driving or walking. It comes to me all at once very quickly.

Many of your songs remain extra popular over here in Thessaloniki. But a certain LP of your back catalog (and that is ‘Dressed in Black’) is still being played quite often, both on local radio stations and music bars, too! How can you explain that?
I need you to explain that to me! Music travels in the strangest ways.

Do you work on PC or on Mac?
Mac.

In today’s music biz, where exactly do you think you fit in?
I’ve never known where I fit in in the music business. When I started out, I was “alternative”, then I was “roots rock”, then I was “indie rock” and now I think I'm “Americana”, but I’m not sure.

Ben Vaughn with no beer near him

When on stage, what do you like to have near you?
Beer and um... beer.


What was the longest sound check you ever did?
I have blocked all past sound checks out of my mind. I prefer to dwell on positive experiences.

How many electric guitars do you own?
I own four electric guitars.

Ben with one of his four guitars (2006)

What’s been your latest purchase?
I haven’t bought a guitar in a long time. I’m not a real guitar fanatic. In fact, I know very little about guitars. I bought a Telecaster, when I was a teenager, plugged it into a Fender Deluxe, and never looked any further. I’m a songwriter / composer first. Guitar player second.

How many records per month do you purchase? How many albums per month do you listen to?
I listen to music all the time. I buy a lot of old vinyl out here in L.A. I have thousands of records. I love it.

How many credit cards are there in your wallet?
Two credit cards.

Who’s more sorry? You or Brenda Lee?
Nobody is truly sorry in that song. Nothing is learned. Which is probably why people like it.

Are you too sensitive for this world?
‘Too Sensitive’ was written after my best friend died. I was going through a rough time, and wasn’t sure if I would make it through. That was long time ago, but I still think about him every day. He was a great guy.

7 σχόλια:

ντινιώ είπε...

Εγώ πρώτη,σε μια τόσο φρέσκχια interview?
Συγχαρητήργια Yanni!Είσαι θεργιό!Και ο Μπαιν ε?Αμέσως μπαίνει στο νόημα των ερωτήσεων..δε Βγαιν και εκτός θέματος..δε κομπιάζει και είναι σεμνός και μετριόφρων"i don't know many things about guitars"he said..σιγά να μη δεν ξέρει..

ντινιώ είπε...

"In fact, i know very little about guitars".Αυτά είναι τα ακριβή λογάκια του (παραπάνω με απάτησε η άτιμη μνήμη μου).Σιγά μη ξέρει very little..

mystery falls down είπε...

Διαβάζεται με συνοδεία μπίρας.

Τόσο οι ερωτήσεις όσο και οι απαντήσεις κατάφεραν να κάΜνουν εξαιρετικά ενδιαφέρουσα τη συνέντευξη (με ένα μουσικό, του οποίου αγνοώ τη δισκογραφία. Βέβαια, το ζητούμενο είναι να με ωθήσατε να την αναζητήσω ή να επιστρέψω σε αυτήν για να της ρίξω και δεύτερη ματιά. Και στις δύο περιπτώσεις πετύχατε το στόχο σας διάνα. Εύγε!)

John S. είπε...

ντινιώ, do you think he wears BENetton? (thanks!)

mystery, i'm so glad you like the interview. would be fun for you to check ben's long catalog out, starting out from 'Vaughn sings Vaughn Vol. 1 & 2'. it's such a pity i quit drinking beer. please, mystery, have one for me and enjoy. (thank you, too)

john simandiras

ντινιώ είπε...

Ι'sure for that!He could make an advertisment for BENetton.He has the name and a very nice profile!

John Simandiras είπε...

united colors of BEN(etton) VAUGHN?

it would make sense --don't ya think?

j.

ντινιώ είπε...

Yeah...with soundtrack his music..(ε να μη πλασάρει και αυτός την μουσική του)?