|i got a few questions asking about my influences. that's a tough one to sum up in one sitting. i can remember listening to music in 1979 with my pop. he had a stereo where you could plug in a mic and blend it with records or 8 tracks. there's pictures of me 2 years old with a mic in my hand and pajamas with built in footies. i can remember liking music really far back. the first record that made me want to make music was "rio" by duran duran. since then there have been alot of musicians, bands, songs, movies, girls, etc.. that have made me want to make music. playing music never felt foreign to me and i think that's what made me stick to it.
the musicians that influenced me the most were the ones i was fortunate enough to play with. i started to make a list but that shit was getting ridiculous. i spent a few years playing with some awesome musicians in philly and i can't explain how drastically that changed the way i hear music.
Q: I assume and hope you know or have heard of Eric Avery. (bassist of the old Jane's Addiction) I would just like to know if you're influenced by him in any way?
A: eric avery is dope. i think mountain song is one of the best basslines ever. when i hear it i want to drop my pants and impregnate the local women.
Q: When can we expect the new division group disc?
A: it's coming. we've started over twice already but it's finally taking shape. neal and ashley wrote some huge songs and slowly we've been chipping away at them. i don't know when it will be done. i hope soon but we're in no hurry to put out anything unfinished.
Q: what song do you usually play to warm up with when playing?
A: that depends a lot on my mood. lately i've been playing "absent stars" by year of the rabbit on guitar, "continuum" by jaco on bass, and "low" by the foos on drums.
Q: if you could describe what you think about when you play using one verb, what would it be?
Q: what kind of bass are you currently playing?
A: i just got a fretless lakland joe osborn. it's unreal. definitely the most beautiful bass i've ever had.
Q: if you could be a college professor, what would you teach?
A: wood shop.
Q: what is your favorite book?
A: unfortunately i don't have one.
Q: where is the most beautiful location you have been?
A: i don't know. i think seattle is beautiful. cape may new jersey too.
Q: vereenbanikergayladinfranklinhanna. explain?
A: over the course of a tour with the roots black thought was experimenting with all the different ways my name could be augmented. this is kinda the greatest hits of the library rolled into one word.
Q: black on both sides or the new danger?
A: b.o.b.s. for sure. i'm not really into the new danger. but i like how many times he shouts out black jack johnson. i tend to forget what record i'm listening to from time to time.
Q: how much deeper would oceans be if sponges didn't live there?
A: 12 inches. if you're lucky.
Q: When writing, how do you decide which song becomes a Division Group, Ben Kenney, or Incubus jam?
A: the weird stuff always goes on my album. that way no one else has to take the fall for my self indulgence.
Q: What is your goal?
A: to keep doing what i'm doing as long as i can and hopefully not get caught.
Q: What do you want to change?
A: not much. i'm learning how to let things be.
Q: do you have any advice for guys trying to make it in the music business?
A: try to enjoy every moment. that's about it. everything else is luck.
Q: what kind of camera do you have?
A: these days i've been using a polaroid land camera.
Q: favorite beer?
A: reed's extra ginger brew. if that counts.
Q: what computer program (if you used a computer) did you use to record everything?
A: digital performer 3.0, 4.0 and 4.5.
Q: is it true that you write everything yourself?
A: all of my songs, yes. neal and ashley wrote a bunch of the new division group stuff.
Q: in what order do you normally record each instrument?
A: 9 times out of 10, drums > bass > guitar > vocals.
Q: how do you start writing a song all by yourself?
A: pick up a guitar and go. sometimes a small tape recorder helps things unfold. listen, rinse, then repeat steps 1 through 4.
Q: what types of mics/amps/guitars/effects/drums did you use for the entire album?
A: i used a bunch of things but just about everything was mesa and thd amps, lakland basses, gibson guitars, fulltone and keeley effects, and gretsch drums. as far as mics it was all royer, shure, neumann, sennhieser and audio technica stuff.
Q: will you put tabs of your songs on the internet?
A: it takes so long to tab out a song. i'm pretty lazy. maybe. but i am pretty lazy.
Q: Where did you record your new album and what have you been listening to (as inspiration) during that time?
A: i recorded it in my house. i was listening to year of the rabbit and fela kuti quite a bit.
Q: What instruments did you play on Andrea's asleep?
A: that's a strat through a line 6 delay modeler and a korg pandora's box.
Q: If some fool outlawed bass, drums and guitar tomorrow (which I know you play) what instrument would you play and why?
A: i'd focus on playing piano. i saw ahmad jamal a few weeks ago and watching him made me feel like piano was the ultimate instrument. but that was of course with him on it.
Q: just wanted to know, what's it like joining a band that's been together for so long?
A: it's like being adopted into a tight family... but there are a few million people watching your every move. and a few of them are salty cause you replaced the 3rd from oldest child. where he is now, no one knows but they hold you responsible for his departure and want to burn you alive.
Q: what was the first -complete- song ever you could play on the bass
A: "kissin kitty" by the bulletboys. and yes i do find that embarrassing.
Q: which song did you play the last ? like 30 minutes ago
A: are you outside looking through my windows? how did you know what i did 30 minutes ago? anyway it was a new division group song.
Q: and what was the first word you spoke today
Q: ...and how are you ?
Q: WHERE IS MAUCHI LEE, I heard he was out hanging with animal chin, is that true????
A: mauchi lee is in the basement of the stone pony.
Q: What's your least favorite album that you've purchased?
A: probably "breathe" by midnight oil. that's my favorite band and i'm fascinated by every one of their albums except that one. i still don't get it and i can't dismiss it cause they're such a special band to me.
Q: my question is, if you had to summarize up your new record with a few words, what would you say?
A: "new jersey native doesn't leave house for 9 months, emerges with beard and music."
Q: What were some of the sacrifices you had to make to truly devote yourself to the music you knew you had to create?
A: time, money and sleep. there are other things that i used to think were sacrifices but they're all things i wouldn't have in my life either way. i've lost things along the way but that happens to everyone.
Q: Were there times you had an opportunity that seemed great but you had to turn it down because it wasn't quite right for you at the moment?
A: not really. i never turned down much. i tried to play for anyone who could give me a ride to the gig and back.
Q: What style(s) would you say you play?
A: sloppy, impulsive and doggystyle.
Q: How did you find your sound?
A: i'm still searching.
Q: Who would you love to write a song with, could be living or dead?
A: duke ellington and billy strayhorn. in my opinion the best songwriters ever.
Q: if you could assemble a supergroup of musicians, who would they be?
A: ?uestlove, neal evans, pino palladino and randy bowland.
Q: is your new album going to rock?
A: is O.J. guilty?
Q: How is working with neal evans?
A: it's difficult cause we spend most of our time making jokes and laughing instead of playing.
Q: Did you play all the instruments on your album?
A: yes. but there is a song with a drum machine in it.
Q: do you have a band?
A: the guys in the division group let me play some of my songs so i get it out of my system.
Q: "pain is weakness leaving the body." But when you leave your body, what's the pain?
A: in the hospital bill.
Q: I just wanted to know what it feels like to know that your music is being listened to and enjoyed so many miles from where you are right know...?
A: it's one of the coolest things in the world.
Q: What is your purpose in life?
A: to impregnate beautiful young women. and rock out while doing it. i hope.
Q: what's the deal with the band Shelter?
A: that was the first band i got fired from. but not the last. they had a good song called "in praise of others". i was young, dumb and needed the money...wait, that was the stripper thing...nevermind.
Q: hey man i was looking at the division group site and in the live pictures you're playing a really sweet-looking soapbar guitar. what brand/model is it?
A: that's a gibson les paul double cutaway classic. it's either that or a decaf grande mocha frappuchino with whipped creme.
Q: Ben, what did you use to take that picture from your dashboard?
A: that's a lomo fisheye. i'm biting reggie's style.
more to come soon... maybe.... maybe not......