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Exclusive Q&A: Ben Lee Takes Us ‘Deeper Into Dream’

OurStage Exclusive InterviewsMaking a dramatic shift in how you approach songwriting can be incredibly difficult, especially for those who’ve been set in one way for a long time. So, when you look at the case of Ben Lee, who’s been making his mark in the music industry since he was fourteen, solo and in the band Noise Addict, it makes his latest output all the more impressive.  With his recently released album Deeper Into Dream, this indie pop mogul made serious adjustments and improvements in his craft to the delight of many music critics who panned his previous release The Rebirth of Venus. To give us some insight into what experiences and reveries went into this revision of technique, Ben Lee took some time to explain his new writing approach, how he approaches collaborations and tell us who he’s excited about in the music industry today.

OS: About Deeper Into Dream, you’ve said that you wanted to take a more personal approach to writing this album. Did you run into any difficulties making that shift? Do you find that it’s easier to be more personal when writing lyrics for other people to sing?Ben Lee

BL: Well, it’s all relative. My music has always been personal, but I guess what I mean is I wanted to be more vulnerable. Sometimes I think I’ve found it hard to admit weakness or my flaws (both in life and in music), so I was conscious of wanting to have more questions than answers on this album.

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cmjdotcom_webWelcome to our sixth installment featuring CMJ’s OurStage Staff Picks from the CMJ Relay Blog. CMJ is well known for their industry leading New Music Report magazine, which contains music reviews, artist news and interviews with the best artists being played on college radio.

Jon Call

“My Ship”
Acoustic Channel
Take a little bit of blues, a little bit of folk, and a little bit of rock, throw in some melodic vocals and soft guitar, call it “My Ship.”
RIYL: Ben Harper, Plain White T’s, Tom Petty

Coconut Records

“West Coast”
Indie Rock Channel
Ex-Phantom Planeteer Jason Schwartzman hits head-on once again with this hit. Jason proves that once a musician, always a musician—this time with a larger sound.
RIYL: Ben Lee, Rooney, Of Montreal

The Press Project

“Get Right”
Hip-Hop Channel
Enjoy the smooth, jazzy beat and buttery flows while you can, before the distorted crunch of the bridge grates your eardrums in all the right ways.
RIYL: Lupe Fiasco, Roots, De La Soul

Daily Dose: September 24th, 2008

  • I often forget that OurStage is a global site. We are a home, not only to great music from the US, but from all the countries of the world. Check out this Take Away Show from OurStage band, YuLeS, bringing folky pop that borders on Americana(?), all the way from France.
  • REEEEMIXXXXX. Seriously killer cuts of The Ting Tings
    (Shut Up and Let Me Go DANCE!) and Digitalism by L.A. duo LAZRtag.
  • Listen to Choclair, mixing old school beatboxing, ‘Price Is Right’ horn lines, and powerful flow on Breath Control.
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