Earlier this month I spoke with Benny from Gaslight Anthem and we covered a plethora of fun topics! Check it out!
Rachel: I’m a little sad I didn’t get to talk to you in person!
Benny: Well I’m sure we can make this as personable as possible. Would you like me to explain to you what I’m wearing?
Rachel: Sure, that’d be nice.
Benny: Well actually, my normal uniform. Black jeans and a black t-shirt.
Rachel: Still sporting the long hair too?
Benny: Yup, still long. Still greasy.
Rachel: Well, I know some of your other albums did get leaked a couple weeks before. Was Handwritten leaked as well?
Benny: No, it hasn’t yet! Our other records didn’t only just leak a couple weeks before, it was at least a couple months before. This one somehow has been fairly under lockdown. I think one song might have got out there a little, but it didn’t really catch. I guess they’ve been doing a great job keeping it under-wraps. I mean, the last one was sort of a freak incident because some 17 year old Austrian kid hacked the website and blew up like 7 records at the same time. But no, nothing has got out there yet. It almost scared me, like no one wanted to hear it- like why hasn’t it leaked yet?!
Rachel: So it’s not a good thing! Maybe we should call up that Austrian kid to get it done!
Benny: Yeah, maybe I’ll leak it. Actually I think I’m responsible for leaking our first record. I gave it to too many people, so I don’t want to be that guy again (laughs).
Rachel: Fair enough. For your music video for “45”, I heard you kept the fans hyped for like 6 hours and basically you just wanted to give the fans a free show!
Benny: Yeah essentially. We’ve been in that sort of situation before with videos where you have to play the same song about 20 times, and we know it’s boring for us after a certain point so I couldn’t imagine sitting in a hot venue and pretending to be stoked on a song when you’ve heard it for the 15th time, you know. So the idea was to pepper the whole time. We’d play “45” then a couple of our other songs, and then again with “45” and then just try to keep it going where people are actually genuinely excited and not just sitting there faking. It was a lot more fun for us and hopefully it was a lot more fun for the people who showed up too. It actually ended up being a good time too. Better than I had expected.
Rachel: Obviously people know that you love your covers, so what is your favourite song to cover?
Benny: I think my favourite is “Fatal Love And Trust”. That’s a Pearl Jam song. It’s a really fun drum song, it’s nice and upbeat and a good time to play but also it’s one of those songs that was on the single soundtrack which came out when I was like 11 or 12 years old and that record was a huge part of those years for me. I love so many songs on that record. It was one of those songs that when we decided to play it, I didn’t even have to learn it because I just knew it already. Every time I hear it I get excited like when I was a kid. Playing it and people reacting to it- I can pretend I’m in Pearl Jam for 4 minutes is fun!
Rachel: I want to know what’s happening next for you guys!
Benny: Touring! Touring, touring, touring! That’s pretty much it! We’re finishing this tour and doing a whole tour with Dave, and then we’re going to Europe to do festivals, then we’re coming back to the states to do a Rise Against & Hot Water music tour, and then we’re going back to Europe to do a headlining tour with Blood Red Shoes and I think Dave again actually. And that’s already taking up time until like November! We’re working out what we’re going to do in December, but we might take a little time off there and then continue to tour. That’s pretty much what we know how to do. All the other stuff is what it is, but when it comes to writing songs, recording songs and playing them live, that’s what we know how to do and that’s what we’re going to keep doing.
Rachel: You are speaking to BestFan, so we want to know, what are you a BestFan of?
Benny: I’m a huge sports fan! I just got my season tickets to the Brooklyn Nets. I’m almost embarrassed to say that I’m a better sports fan than I am a music fan, where I’m way more on top of the day-to-day happenings of sports than I am with music. People are always like “Dude, this bands new record…” and I’m like, I had no idea they had a new record- but I’ll check it out now! But when it comes to sports, I’m on my phone or computer 3 times a day getting the latest news and what’s happening and stuff like that. That’s probably my favourite hobby and way to get away from reality.
Rachel: Everything can’t be music- you need some balance and other things in there!
Benny: Yeah! My whole life is music! I’m sometimes dying on tour for a conversation that’s not about music! Let’s talk politics- I dunno, something other than music for once.
Rachel: I have one more question to ask you, and it’s not about music! What advice do you think your wise-looking dog would give you if he had any?
Benny: I think my dog, knowing me and he knows me pretty well, I think he would tell me to relax. Take things as they come and not get too stressed out. Try to live life everyday and not to think too much. That’s always my problem, I’m overthinking everything, from life to death to the state of the world and things like that, and it’s the reason I can’t peacefully go to sleep at night. I think that’s what my puppy would tell me. He’d tell me to just take it down a notch and let things happen.
-End of Interview-
Thanks for talking with me Benny! You were so chill and easy to talk to! I wish you well. Have fun at the Brooklyn Nets game!