A Conversation with Ben Taylor
Puremusic: Hi, Ben, it's Frank.
Ben Taylor: Hey, Frank. How ya doing, man?
PM: All right, man. How's your day been?
BT: Oh, so far really relaxing. I found a cool restaurant right down the way where I had some breakfast, and then I walked around a little bit, and hung out in my room and read a magazine.
PM: What did you find for a restaurant, anywhere good?
BT: A place called Cafe Coco. Do you know where that is?
PM: Oh, yeah, that's a nice hang.
BT: It's cool, because I found it the night I got in here at like 4:00 in the morning, and it was the only place open and I hadn't eaten all day. So that's where I got me a veggie burger.
PM: Yeah, it's kind of a crazy little AA/NA hang, but there's a lot of denizens of the deep that go there for the late night run.
BT: Yeah. It's funny that you should put it like that, because that explains sort of the oddball phenomena.
PM: [laughs] Yeah, right. You get the NA crowd, but then you get the vampire crowd.
BT: Yeah, you really do. It's pretty interesting. I'm stepping into an elevator. I may lose you, but if I do, I'll call you right back.
BT: I think I've spoken in this elevator before.
PM: Oh, really? I didn't know that any elevators would work.
BT: Yeah, as a matter of fact, I haven't lost you yet, and I've already traveled five floors.
PM: That's amazing. I didn't know that would ever work.
BT: Yeah, they must have a Sprint tower in this hotel.
PM: You know, I was so glad that my man Goldstone sent me an email about you playing at Tower, because I just dug the living shit out of the show.
BT: Right on. That was a pretty odd show that you guys caught.
PM: Well, of course, because the Wurlitzer crapped out.
BT: Yeah, but the nice thing is that he found one today. Somebody who was there hooked him up with the number of some secondhand shop, and he went and found a great one today. He called earlier from the shop all excited about it.
PM: What, he actually bought one?
PM: Oh, wow. Now, was it a tube one or a transistor one or the one that was the transitional model?
BT: It's the same exact one that he had.
PM: Because guys like Adam are freaks on the Wurlitzer because those three models are all so different from one another.
BT: Yeah, they really are.
PM: How old are you, Ben?
BT: I'm 26.
PM: So are the audiences split between your peers checking you out and older folks checking out James and Carly's musical offspring kind of thing?
BT: In the few past months, I haven't played to very many of my own audiences. It's been mostly Dar Williams' audience because we've been touring with her. But when we were headlining our own shows, it was mostly kids my age. But then there are always at least twenty people who are big fans of my parents who were there checking it out who dig it too.
BT: It's been a pretty mixed batch, yeah, but I'd say mostly kids my age.
PM: Cool. You're a really good guitar stylist. Have you been playing since childhood and just got serious about it in your twenties, or have you been serious about it all along?
BT: I was actually way more serious about it in my teens. I used to be way better than I am now. The rest of my band gets on me about that more than anything else, really. I got to practice.
PM: Because I thought you were playing pretty damn good, actually. continue