Hi Ben, how are things?
Hi, things are good thanks. Me and my band have been practicing a lot for the UK tour and have been writing some new songs, too. The last half of last year was pretty intense with lots and lots of shows, so it was kind of nice to have a bit of a break, but it’s good to be busy again now.
How excited are you about the prospect of getting back out on the road?
I love being on the road. Touring is amazing, and I’m looking forward to seeing some new countries this year, too.
Have you been taken aback by the success of your debut album, or did you expect such acclaim?
No, I didn’t expect the album to do half as well as it’s done. I feel really humbled by how well it’s done, you know. I’ve always been proud of my songs, but to know that people all over the world are getting into my album is kind of hard to comprehend - but it’s also a big compliment. To be honest, I don’t really think about it too much… it just is kind of the way it is, and it’s great, but I’ve always been pretty focused on making music and not getting caught up in any hype or moment.
What’s the story behind your single, ‘Pictures’?
“Pictures” is one of the oldest songs on my album, and it’s one of my favorite songs to play live. I play it every night on tour; even after 4 years I feel so connected to it. For me, the song is about growing up and moving on but keeping the important memories. We got to make a COOL video for this song as well: this girl turned up to the shoot in lingerie with a big bag and walked in and opened the bag, and there were 4 full-grown Pythons in her bag, and they’re in the video. So cool!
Why did you decide to get a band together for your latest tour?
When we were recording “Last Smoke Before the Snowstorm”, we used quite a lot of different instrumentation and sounds on various songs throughout the record. Even though acoustic guitar is my main instrument, I’ve always been really up for using other sounds and instruments to give some songs a bit of character. It’s going to be great to tour with a band; rehearsals have been going really well, and the songs are sounding great. I feel really blessed to be working with such an amazing group of musicians.
Were there any outstanding highlights of your 34-date sellout tour?
Playing a sold out show at Union Chapel in London was pretty amazing. I usually really don’t like playing in London, but I’d wanted to play this venue for years. I think most musicians have an idea of their perfect venue, and this had always been mine. Growing up, I’d always seen lots of clips of my favorite artists playing there, so it was pretty special for me to do my own show there.
What do you think it is about your music that appeals to so many people from so many walks of life?
I don’t know the answer to that question, haha! It’s not for me to decide that! One thing that I feel has really helped my music come across in the way I intended is my attitude to being in the studio and recording. I’ve always kind of had a “less is more” approach to recording, and I feel like that has helped us keep a real integrity and honesty to what we’ve recorded. But who knows? I’m not a mind reader.
Are you more of a studio or gig-orientated kind of person?
I think both are such different experiences that it’s impossible to say what I like more. If a gig goes well, it can be the best night in the world, but it’s the same with recording a track in the studio - it can be amazing or bad. Haha. It’s kind of hard to explain… I love playing live, and I love being in the studio. That’s it.
Finally, what’s the best way for folk to find out more about you and your musical endeavours?
We have Facebook, Twitter and Youtube pages with lots of free tracks, gig links, and other cool stuff!