It’s amazing to think that Ben Lee’s first record Grandpaw Would was released the year I was born, in 1995. This music legend has been in our lives for a very long time and we have really come to treasure every release Ben’s had. This year, he released Ayahuasca: Welcome to the Work; a fantastic album which allowed us to carry our ever-lasting admiration for this artist. So, we were very honoured when given the opportunity of interviewing Ben! Have a read where AMBY talks to Ben Lee about “everything. everyone.”, the state of modern music, loving kiwi, and bottles being smashed on his head!
AMBY: Hello Ben, how have you been and what have you been up to lately?
Ben Lee: Preparing for the US release of the new album. Organizing events around it. Doing interviews, which in this case, have been fascinating as the record has triggered quite complex questions from people. And as always, parenting and continuing my inner work.
AMBY: You are about to release your next record Ayahuasca: Welcome to the Work via pledgemusic. What have been some of the benefits as an artist going this route?
Ben Lee: Obviously, financially, it gives an artist the freedom to allocated resources to where we find appropriate/important (as opposed to how a label might see it). But also it creates awareness about a project from much earlier than a traditional marketing plan would.
AMBY: What were some of your favourite moments while making the album?
Ben Lee: The vulnerability of the collaboration with Jessy, while making something so terrifyingly new for me. Going so far out into a new space with the support of a dear friend is something I will forever be grateful for.
AMBY: Who influences you as a songwriter and musician?
Ben Lee: Everything. Everyone.
AMBY: Which three of your songs are quintessential Ben Lee?
Ben Lee: No Right Angles. The Will To Grow. Whatever It Is.
AMBY: How do you feel about the state of modern/mainstream music?
Ben Lee: True awakening has always happened underground. This is nothing new. But there are some signs that mainstream consciousness is beginning to integrate some alternative ideas that have been presented. I’m optimistic.
AMBY: What’s the funniest thing to happen to you at a gig?
Ben Lee: Having a bottle smashed on my head in Margaret River at a festival.
AMBY: Which artists have you been listening to lately?
Ben Lee: Nadav’s album of Hindu Chants “Om”. Arvo Part. R Carlos Nakai.
AMBY: What do you do outside of music for fun?
Ben Lee: Play with my kids. Talk to my friends.
AMBY: What has you excited for 2013?
Ben Lee: A growing sense that “it’s possible”.
AMBY: If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Ben Lee: I would ask that the world use its intellect to serve its heart, not the other way around.
AMBY: And last but never least, what’s something about Ben Lee that nobody knows?
Ben Lee: I love kiwi fruit.