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INTERVIEW: Ben de la Cour

Hi Ben, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been pretty good. Just clawing my way out of the slough of despond. The usual.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Down To The Water’s Edge”?

It’s a happy-go-lucky song about murder/suicide.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

Not really. At the time I wrote it I was working at a boot store in downtown Nashville and was constantly being bombarded from every angle by these awful pop-country songs. I was pretty broken up over a girl and so most of my time was spent just standing around this boot store all day hating life and trying to hide from the boss. One day I went home and it all just kind of poured out of me.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yes. We have a video ready to go, it’s actually going to be coming out later this month. It was directed by Jay Wasley, who’s one of the main dudes on the TV show “Ghost Adventures”. Him and his wife have their own film company “Sun House Films” and they’re great. He’s been an awesome guy to get to know and I’m lucky to count them as friends. We are actually filming the video for the second single in two weeks. He’s directing that one too.

The single comes off your new material Midnight In Havana – what’s the story behind the title?

Well, I spent some time in Havana as a teenager. I wouldn’t say I “lived” there per se, but I was there for almost a year. It felt mysterious. I love post-war detective novels, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, that kind of stuff. I’m also a huge film-noir fan. So I to try and write songs that have a certain sort of feel to them, lot’s of dark corners. Midnight in Havana seemed like it made sense somehow.

How was the recording and writing process?

Painful. It’s always painful. This one was less so though because Joe Lekkas who engineered and co-produced the project was so great to work with. He also runs Flour Sack Cape Records who are putting out the album. Joe is another one of those guys who I can honestly say has changed my life in almost every way for the better since I met him.

How has your particular life journey influenced your lyrics and sound?

It’s hard to say, because I don’t really have a life journey other than my own to compare it to. While I do give some credence to the argument that you have to live an experience to write about it, I’m not sure how true it really is. I think imagination trumps experience 95% of the time. That’s what makes it art.

What role does Johnny Cash and Leonard Cohen play in your music?

I mean, they’re influences for sure. Out of the two Leonard Cohen was by far the bigger influence, but really I think sometimes I just get compared to them because of my voice. I mean, I’m flattered by the comparison – they are two of the best to ever do it! I just don’t know how accurate of a comparison it is.

Would you say Nashville has found the way to influence you as an artist? How so?

Nashville will make you question your existence on a daily basis. I think constant existential crisis’s make for good art.

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes. I’m going to be out on the road for ten days at the end of April through the mid south and the northeast. Then I’ll be heading out to the midwest the second half of May. I’m looking forward to it.

What else is happening next in Ben De La Cour’s world?

Just trying to stay out of my own way as best I can.

Listen here.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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