Field Notes Interview #45: Ben Allen, Marmoset Artist
Ben Allen is driven — you can hear it in his music. With a prolific catalog of tracks under his belt, Allen's project More Like Georgia presents some of the most infectious electro-pop around.
His anthemic song "Endless Horizon" was used in Camp4 Collective's Curiosity film for The North Face. Earlier this week, We interviewed director, Tim Kemple about the collaboration; so today we bring you the musicians' perspective by chatting with Ben for a glimpse into the life of a working artist.
M: When did you start writing music?
BA: I started playing music around fourteen or fifteen by just jamming with high school buddies in one of my friends’ parents’ garage. At that point, it was always a collaborative writing process. It wasn’t until I broke away on my own that I really started writing music. After high school I got really interested in recording and production and ended up working for a small recording studio in Roseburg, Oregon. That was really a paradigm shift for me. Being able to layer sounds, and not be reliant on other musicians really opened up my mind to new possibilities as a songwriter.
M: What does a day in the life look for you as a working musician?
BA: It kind of depends for me. I have two modes that I sort of work in; the “creative” mode and a “get-stuff-done” mode. If I’ve got some sort of deadline or some project I’m trying to wrap up, I usually just get right at it and knock things off my list to finish a song. But, if I am trying to be creative on a new project, I find it’s really important to be in the right headspace. I’ve got to seek out inspiration so I can stay fresh. That might mean going for a walk, or watching an old movie. It varies from day to day.
M: What was your inspiration for "Endless Horizon?"
BA: I just started stacking sounds and making loops of things, and it just sort of came out naturally. I try not to force things, but rather go into it with a totally open mind and just let the music guide me where it wants to go.
M: How do you feel your song complimented Curiosity?
BA: A lot of my music has a sort of anthemic, energetic feel which seemed to work well where it was used in this particular spot. I always love seeing how someone else interprets music that I have created. It’s almost like the film becomes the lyrics to the song.
M: What are you excited about for the future?
BA: I’ve got lots of irons in the fire at the moment. I’m pretty excited about Hotbloods; a collaboration with Braden, from de L'une, another Marmoset artist. That should be releasing soon. I’ve also got an 80’s inspired pop project in the works called Wyld. I always like to pursue new projects to keep my mind engaged and growing.