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Brendan Benson

Singer/Songwriter — Detroit

Name
Brendan Benson

What do you do?
Write, record and perform music.

Where are you from?
Detroit, MI

Describe your style in three words?
Sometimes, always, never 

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Pablo Escobar. But the one from the TV series. Wait... he’s still living... I don’t know... David Bowie?

Another you? Any other career that would have appealed?
Fine artist. Oil painter. Actually, I was an apprentice to an artist before I landed my career in music. I would paint during the day and play guitar in the evenings. My plan was to go with whichever panned out first.

Best Gig you have ever been to?
I remember loving seeing the grunge bands play live. Soundgarden was especially fun for crowd-surfing... etc. there’s even some vintage Nirvana footage from the '90s I’ve seen on the internet which features me at the very front! I think they opened for The Flaming Lips who would fill the entire bar with smoke so thick you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face, and all you could do was listen. It was pretty awesome. Jesus Lizard and Laughing Hyenas are among some of the best shows I’ve been to. I was also fortunate to catch the tail end of punk and hardcore shows at the Greystone in Detroit. Legendary punk club. Also Cro-Mags at Bookies, another club in town. I caught a cue ball to the forehead that night and dove into the crowd from a tall PA speaker. I probably weighed 120 lbs, so no injuries were sustained. Just good times. I feel fortunate to have seen so many extraordinary, exciting concerts. I feel sorry for kids nowadays who will never experience that. There’s no movement-no rebellion. It’s all style over substance.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite, and why?
I like the comfortable ones. Nice backstage area, clean toilet, a cheese plate perhaps. British audiences are some of the best; lively, engaging and always up for a good time. I seem to remember Liverpool and Manchester as being some of the better gigs.


As well as an acclaimed solo artist and producer, Brendon Benson is known for forming The Raconteurs with Jack White, and scoring a number one single with their 'Steady As She Goes', as well as two hit albums.

Brendon Benson's latest single ‘Half A Boy (And Half A Man)' is out now. 

First track you played on repeat?
Adam And The Ants - 'Stand and Deliver'. Couldn’t get enough. 'Beat My Guest' on the b-side. I wore that record OUT!

Song that defines the teenage you?
Black Flag - 'Damaged'. That song and record stayed in my Walkman for weeks.

What was the last piece of music you bought?
I don’t remember.

One record you would keep forever?
Can’t choose. None, I guess. How annoying would that get?! I have a very large record collection which I plan to pass on to my kids.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
“And if you feel what I’m feeling then it’s a musical masterpiece,
hear what I’m dealin' well then that’s cool at least”

MCA of the beastie boys, 'Pass The Mic'.

A song that people wouldn’t expect you to like?
Rainbow by Sia (and anything else she does)

A song you wished you had written?
'Seven Nation Army'

Any new bands you are listening to right now?
Sadly, I don't follow bands like I used to. I like to listen to pop and electronic when I work out. The sonic textures are really exciting! Usually, the songs leave something to be desired, but the tracks are slammin! Taylor Swift, for example (because we don’t hear about her enough); the content is absolute bubble gum, while the backing tracks are the main attraction.

I get inspired when I hear a real artist. You gotta wade through a lot of stuff to find them, but they’re out there...right?

Name
Brendan Benson

What do you do?
Write, record and perform music.

Where are you from?
Detroit, MI

Describe your style in three words?
Sometimes, always, never 

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Pablo Escobar. But the one from the TV series. Wait... he’s still living... I don’t know... David Bowie?

Another you? Any other career that would have appealed?
Fine artist. Oil painter. Actually, I was an apprentice to an artist before I landed my career in music. I would paint during the day and play guitar in the evenings. My plan was to go with whichever panned out first.

Best Gig you have ever been to?
I remember loving seeing the grunge bands play live. Soundgarden was especially fun for crowd-surfing... etc. there’s even some vintage Nirvana footage from the '90s I’ve seen on the internet which features me at the very front! I think they opened for The Flaming Lips who would fill the entire bar with smoke so thick you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face, and all you could do was listen. It was pretty awesome. Jesus Lizard and Laughing Hyenas are among some of the best shows I’ve been to. I was also fortunate to catch the tail end of punk and hardcore shows at the Greystone in Detroit. Legendary punk club. Also Cro-Mags at Bookies, another club in town. I caught a cue ball to the forehead that night and dove into the crowd from a tall PA speaker. I probably weighed 120 lbs, so no injuries were sustained. Just good times. I feel fortunate to have seen so many extraordinary, exciting concerts. I feel sorry for kids nowadays who will never experience that. There’s no movement-no rebellion. It’s all style over substance.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite, and why?
I like the comfortable ones. Nice backstage area, clean toilet, a cheese plate perhaps. British audiences are some of the best; lively, engaging and always up for a good time. I seem to remember Liverpool and Manchester as being some of the better gigs.


As well as an acclaimed solo artist and producer, Brendon Benson is known for forming The Raconteurs with Jack White, and scoring a number one single with their 'Steady As She Goes', as well as two hit albums.

Brendon Benson's latest single ‘Half A Boy (And Half A Man)' is out now. 

First track you played on repeat?
Adam And The Ants - 'Stand and Deliver'. Couldn’t get enough. 'Beat My Guest' on the b-side. I wore that record OUT!

Song that defines the teenage you?
Black Flag - 'Damaged'. That song and record stayed in my Walkman for weeks.

What was the last piece of music you bought?
I don’t remember.

One record you would keep forever?
Can’t choose. None, I guess. How annoying would that get?! I have a very large record collection which I plan to pass on to my kids.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
“And if you feel what I’m feeling then it’s a musical masterpiece,
hear what I’m dealin' well then that’s cool at least”

MCA of the beastie boys, 'Pass The Mic'.

A song that people wouldn’t expect you to like?
Rainbow by Sia (and anything else she does)

A song you wished you had written?
'Seven Nation Army'

Any new bands you are listening to right now?
Sadly, I don't follow bands like I used to. I like to listen to pop and electronic when I work out. The sonic textures are really exciting! Usually, the songs leave something to be desired, but the tracks are slammin! Taylor Swift, for example (because we don’t hear about her enough); the content is absolute bubble gum, while the backing tracks are the main attraction.

I get inspired when I hear a real artist. You gotta wade through a lot of stuff to find them, but they’re out there...right?

Brendan Benson - ‘Half A Boy (And Half A Man)'

The Raconteurs - 'Steady As She Goes'