Former Armor For Sleep front man Ben Jorgensen never made it down here to Australia during his time with the band, but he is about to make up for it by touring the country as a solo act. With the tour kicking off in Adelaide in a few days time, Ben took the time to answer a few questions for us about the upcoming tour, as well as his debut solo EP, "There Is Nowhere Left To Go".
Start off by stating your name, and your favourite record of all time?
My name is Benjamin David Jorgensen and my favorite record of all time is Ok Computer by The Radioheads.
A lot of people will be familiar with you from your time in Armor For Sleep, when did you first begin to write solo material?
I’ve been writing solo material forever, but these songs were written over the summer.
Was a solo record something that you had planned on doing for a while now?
After Armor I was in the studio experimenting with this weird electro-thing, and on the side I was writing super simple stripped down songs obviously not meant for that project…that’s how it started.
How do you approach writing solo material compared with previous bands?
It’s almost the same except the songs don’t go through a filtration process at the end like they normally did. It’s just me.
How well has the EP been received by fans? Has it mainly been positive feedback so far?
Yes it has…people have been very receptive and I haven’t had tomatoes thrown at me yet.
What were you greatest influences lyrically when writing the EP? Is there any specific message or meaning that you have tried to portray through them?
I have artists whose lyrics I love that probably influence me but none I was trying to emulate. For instance, I think David Bazan is a genius and he definitely came to mind a lot.
You self-released the EP, what was the reasoning behind doing this?
To have all the control and not be at the disposal of a companies objectives. It isn’t that difficult nowadays to self-release online and why wait on anyone?
The EP is currently only available digitally; do you plan on having physical copies anytime soon? Possibly a vinyl release?
Vinyl would be cool…but no-no plans for that yet. I’ll be printing some physical versions of the cd though.
Your solo Australian tour will be kicking off later this week, what are you looking forward to the most about this tour?
I’m looking forward to re-visiting a bunch of old Armor songs in a stripped down acoustic way that’ll be fun for me because I wrote all of those songs on acoustic and I think in some ways that’s where they sound best. Also really excited to play the songs off the EP for everyone.
Is touring to Australia something that you have been wanting to do for a while now considering that you never made it here with Armor For Sleep?
Yes! I think Armor was supposed to go down for festivals but those plans always fell through. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
What can fans expect in terms of a set list throughout the tour? Will you be playing mainly solo material? Will you be throwing in a few AFS tracks as well?
Yes…it will pretty much be half Armor songs half solo songs. I’m bringing my friend Wes over and we’re both going to play acoustic versions of everything. We’ve managed to put a really cool set together.
Do you play solo shows by yourself or do you have a backing band?
In the states I play with a full backing band, but in Australia it will be just the two of us and our acoustics.
Have you been writing much new material as of late?
Mmhmm…hoping to track more when I get home.
Can we expect to see you release a new record sometime this year? A full-length possibly?
That would be awesome.
You probably get this question all the time, but do you think Armor For Sleep is done for good? Or is there a possibility of a reunion or maybe even a farewell tour?
I wouldn’t say no forever, but if there is something like that it won’t be for a long time.
Considering that you have accomplished so much in your life as a musician, is there anything that you would still like to achieve?
Yes of course! I always feel like I have way more to achieve. It’s a blessing and a curse.
What is the best advice that you can offer to bands who are just starting out?
Don’t depend on anyone. Know that you will care way more about what you do than anyone else will.
Are there any bands that have impressed you lately that we should be checking out?
I love Foxy Shazam.
What are your plans for 2011 after returning home from Australia?
Record more songs, start touring more in the states.
Thanks for doing the interview, any last words?
Thank you! Last words: come to some of the shows!