music morsels The Band Mates Network Sept 2007


Ben Godwin

MUSICAL GENRE: Blues Rock Singer/Songwriter
BIRTHPLACE: Darby, United Kingdom
FAN BASE: 1000 

MM: What is your music background in a nutshell?

BG: I started in school as so many do - when you do school bands that change people and reform every two weeks or so. Then when I was eighteen, I joined a metal band, and when I went to Glasgow in he 90’s, I was doing grunge and industrial up there. Then after a while I went into the theater, and that actually led me away from the music life for a bit. Eventually, all those rock music influences and theatrical influences sort of glummed together and became what I am doing now.

MM: What else was behind this new direction that your music has gone in these last few years?

BG: When you are young you think that if you are good enough you are going to get signed and you are going to make it. It will happen like magic. When you get a bit older and become more grown up you realize that music is a life long game of trying to master the art and always trying to get a little bit better. I realized that this was doable, and that there are the tools out there now for the independent musician to make it themselves. It is totally viable to be an independent musician and have a workable life.

MM: Do you feel that you have less constraints with your songwriting now that you are doing this yourself?

BG: I have always felt pretty free from constraints with my songwriting. It has been a constant process of evolution, and I never felt that any bands that I was in in the past limited my expression. There is a very particular vibe with the songs I am creating now that have to do with living in New York and approaching that with a certain attitude. Looking through the cracks at all the greasy, grimy stuff that happens in the city.

MM: What made you decide to move to the U.S.?

BG: That would be my wife. (laughs) She is actually American and she got a job over here, and we discussed moving here previously. We thought about it for about three seconds and said, yeah!

MM: Do you feel that the U.S. is a better place for you to pursue this current direction with your music career?

BG: I think there is a very good climate here for getting music out. One thing I really love about America is people are really positive about anything you are up to and are trying to do. Whereas in Britain, they may be a little bit more dismissive. Another thing here is that every little detail in your life is right up in your face. It’s very detailed and very clear and as a result you feel like you can just pick stories out of your head as you go along.

MM: What have you done to let people know that you are out there?

BG: I’m learning more and more how to do it, just as many independent artists are. We sent the record out to a lot of blogs and all sorts of publications, from the small ones to the very large. We also got it out to a lot of radio stations, and I put up a web site and a myspace page. I am also out in New York meeting people. playing music and having a good time. I have been doing a lot of solo acoustic gigs for the last couple of years, but last night I actually premiered the new band. It got electric and took on a whole new sound, so that is really exciting.

MM: Do you feel that the grass roots promotions is working for you?

BG: I do think it is working, and I think I have to keep getting out there and playing more and meeting more people, and that is a really fun way to do it as well. All those kind of mainstream media guys become accessible once you get to a certain point. I think it is really important to realize that you can make it to that point through your own work efforts.

MM: What are some of the influences that went into your sound? You say New York, but I hear a bit of New Orleans in there, and Dr. John comes to mind when I listen to your CD.

BG: Yeah, Dr. John somewhat, Nick Cave, Tom Waits, and I really like the Kinks as well. Some of that sound came about because of the piano player on the CD, Dan Costello. He really introduced me to some whole new ways to attack what I wanted to do with the recording.

MM: What about your lyric writing influences. Are they driven by emotions or life experiences?

BG: Definitely. There is no actual formula. You might get inspired by a very little thing or massive event in your life. What I tend to do is I write myself into a frenzy. I sit down with a notebook and pick a direction and just write and write and write. I end up getting myself into a loopy state where everything starts connecting. A lot of good music pops out of that process. Sometimes I also get spontaneous and some songs may get written about something I see or experience in my daily life.

MM: What feedback do you get from your fans as to what they like about your music the most?

BG: I think that when I see people coming to a show, they really seem to go for it. At first you are not sure if they are going to hold on to it or not. I strive to create this energy in my shows and when I hit the moments where there is a lot of energy in the room that is when I get the best feedback, There are a lot of people who do like the ballads as well.

MM: What level of success would you like to see with your music career and what do you think it will take to get there?

BG: The level I want to attain is first of all, I want to make my living in music. I want to have that feeling that I can wake up in the morning and go, hey, today I get to go make music and get paid to do it. The second thing is to take it to a stage where it is a big fun party. Where I play shows and everybody is having a great time. In terms of how far I have come along the path to becoming successful in that way, I feel I am making progress. The record is selling in quantities that my previous EPs in England didn’t do. I can play out in New York pretty much any time I want and get people to have a good time. There are so many things you can do as an artist to move your career along. I am looking at doing music for film, and looking for new ways to get the record out there. You have to constantly invent and reinvent everything that you do. Find new ways to reach people, find new people to reach, keep it exciting and give people what they love.

Division of Serge Entertainment Group