With the first album on production, Ben Babylon takes his well-worked band and hits the road. If it first were The House of Blues (on April, 7), The Canyon Club (opening for Jazzmatics, April, 22), The Renaissance Hotel, Hollywood (twice May, 3 and July, 5), The Santa Barbara Fair and Expo (April, 26), The Conejo Valley Days Carnival (May, 5), Skaters Point, Santa Barbara (July, 6), Battle of Bands (July, 21), the Venice Beach Summerfest (July, 28) and Fiesta Festival, Santa Barbara (August, 2), the returning to Canyon Club, back in August, 3, opening for Air Supply was by far their most prestigious opportunity to date. The popular Australian classic rock band, formed in 1975 by guitarist and singer-songwriter Graham Russell and lead vocalist Russell Hitchcock, with worldwide hits like "Sweet Dreams", "Here I Am" or "All Out Of Love", left Ben on the air to "decide what I'm more excited about, opening for them or seeing them play live". As the concert was superb and the songs sounded consistent and fresh, I was wondering how do they pick up the songs to the regular set list and how many of them could become part of the new album. So I just asked Ben...
Congrats Ben for your succesful show! It's so nice to see how you're growing more and more everyday.
It was amazing! It was very surreal watching the huge crowd react to my music. And November 10th, I get to do it all again with the Little River Band!
Wow! Thank you. Which songs do you usually play live, from your set?
I could give you a basic set list. The first song I play is "You Won't Lose". It is a good starter because it starts with the drums alone, and then adds the bass, and then the guitar, and then the piano. It is a good way to let the audience take it all in. It's also a great starter because it introduces the band one by one.
The Ben Babylon Band on the rock! It's not the first time I say I like that band, they fit very well with Ben and complement him. Despite their youth, they're all great musicians: Alex Naylor, a solid bass player; the brilliant Alex Andrews on drums and finally the genious Brian Schwartz on the guitar.
The next song is a very bluesy song called "This Song Won't Be Finished". "You Won't Lose" and "This Song Won't Be Finished" are both upbeat songs, so it gets the audience in a good mood. And the next song is a fairly well known cover song, called "Ain't No Rest For The Wicked" by Cage The Elephant. It is a good break from songs they don't know, because now they get to hear a song that they do know of.
Cage The Elephant, the Kentuky's rock band formed in 2006, know for their high-energy performances.
After that, is "Contradiction". It is the song on iTunes currently, and it really features our guitarist, Brian Schwartz. It also has a great drum solo, by Jagger Krusen. The next song we play is a fairly new song that I wrote on the guitar, called "We Have No Souls". It is a clean guitar based song, with some light piano and great harmonies. And the next song is a song called "Cage", which is always a really fun song to play because people always sing along, since it is a catchy, simple melody. It also has a classical/jazzy-type intro, which is always fun to play. We call the intro "Before Cage".
Hahaha And then, my favourite of all, a winner song, a must to be a classical song.
The next song is "Dreams For Sale". It is sort of the first real slow song... so it gives the audience a break from all the energy. It is a very beatiful song, mostly based upon piano and bass, with light percussion. The guitar then comes at the end, bringing back the energy. And after that song, I play an old-fashioned tupe song called "Laughing Louder". No band on this song, so it is sort of quiet, but it really makes the audience listen.
"Laughing Lauder" is a cute little old-fashioned song really.
The next song we play is a funny song, called "Dorky Loved Doughnuts", which is about a dog that loves doughnuts, but eventually he eats too many and dies. But at the end of the song, the band and I go on this awesome jam! It is probably the most fun song to play for the whole band. The next song is called "Different Meanings", a great add on to Dorky, since it is such a funky song (like Dorky). And the final song we play is a very well know hit song called "We Are Young" by Fun. Everybody knows it, and everybody sings a long, and there's a lot of energy, so it is a great song to end with.
Sure! You said you are a fan of Ben Folds, so, do you play any song of him, live?
I used to play "Fred Jones", but nobody knows any Ben Folds songs, so usually not.
Well, Ben, thanks again for your kindness. And you, "Dreamers", if you wanted to see how Ben Babylon's band play live, just pay attention when next concerts will be announced. By now, enjoy this video from their last performance, the most famous dog in the world: