Interview: Brendan Benson

Wising up to the business

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UNCUT: What lessons did you learn from the Virgin experience?

BENSON: It took me a while to regain my confidence. I think I fell into a depression. I was insecure and unsure of my ability as a songwriter. But I have a more realistic approach now. Then, everyone was promising me the world – telling me I’d be the next big thing and crap like that – and I believed it. I didn’t realise that’s what everyone says all the time. I’ve learned so much, like the kind of music I write isn’t hugely popular. I’ve got no business being on a major label really.

How do you achieve that freshness of sound?

I don’t know if it’s a conscious thing, but they do sound spontaneous. [Mixer] Tchad Blake has a lot to do with it too.

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The Velvet Underground, The Black Crowes, Bunny Wailer, Richard Thompson, Nick Cave, Rhiannon Giddens, Laurie Anderson, Blake Mills, Postcard Records, Mogwai and The Selecter
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