Tuesday, October 22, 2013

To Ben

"Hello Ben, I would like to wish you a happy birthday and I want to tell you that more and more I love your music." Petr Shadow-Clark, CZ/GB

"Hello Big Ben, Happy birthday to you, huge hug to your amazing family. Have a nice time. Thank you so much for yout amazing music." Tišiks (Yes, they are still with Ben in their minds)

"Hello young man, Ben, I wish you good health, success and published many songs. I love your music, you're amazing musician. Your music makes my life better. Glad to know you. Take care, man. My mind is still with you." Very Old man, Taoist "master" Kim, called by his friends "Ancient".
"Hi, thank you so much for your music, Enjoy your day." Markéta Kuliskova, CZ
"Happy birthday master! Our dear friends. We love your musi so much, thank you so much for it. Have a nice time. Best Wishes from Hawkes."
"Hyvää syntymäpäivää! Happy birthday! all the best, good health and much success. Thank you so much for your awesome music. We love it." Hakanens, Finland
"Všechno nejlepší k narozeninám! Happy birthday! Have a nice time! Huge hugs." Katya, CZ/FI
"Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! Happy birthday! Thank you so much for your music, we love it." Sebastian and Bella, GER/GB

Courtesy of Mikael Makinen-May // Picture made by Koko, from Finland
Special thanks to Ben Babylon CZ Fan Club // To the memory of Ben Tisik and Robert Eduard Hirvonen

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Happy B-Day Ben Babylon: 16 Reasons to Believe in You

High at the stage: Ben has a considerable list of live performances and his live shows are growing every day too. Joined with a good band, with the excellence of Brian Schwartz on guitar, the amazing Jagger Krusen on drums and the greatest Alex Arnout playing bass, Ben is well supported and enhances his music.

An extended list of good songs: Ben penned some memorable tunes for his set. Tracks like "Goodbye Superman" and the single "Contradiciton" are ones of his best creations. Don't forgetlast single "Burning man", where Ben gives his best. And also tunes like "No Goodbyes On The Road", "

Professional: what surprises me most when I met Ben was how professional he is and how he loves music. He is working hard at the studio, rehearsing regularly with the band, studying and practising in a high level, singing and writing best every day. Work is the answer and he knows the answer

Patiente: he knows so well how difficult is music business and how important is to going step by step. Well advised, good team on his behalf, he knows exactly what to do in order to get his place in music business. And he is in the way

Young: Ben use to sing Fun's cover "We Are Young": "we can burn brighter than the sun" reads the lyrics, and he could. Young, with a lot of good experiences to live, opening at his tender youth to artists of the category of Leon Russell, Kenny Cetera, Ambrosia, Air Supply, etc.

Brilliant: Ben is so good. He understand keyboard and keyboard loves him. The perfect mix. Seeing Ben playing piano, with the band and also, solo, is a joyful experience. He is technically perfect, and perfeccionist, so imagine what he could reach ...

Illusion: Ben has passion for his music, even for his fans. He started at a tender age writing a beatiful rendition for his father, Guy Babylon. That song proved what Ben is able to do:writing and singing good music. And the illusion follows his steps in the business, the best way to grow every day, more and more

Remarkable: he's one of a kind. When you listen his music you appreciate some difference with other new artists to come. He excelles from the rest. It's not casual you could see Ben working with masters like Greg Penny, Martin Tillman, Davey Johnstone, John Mahon, Nigle Olsson, the unforgettable Bob Birch. They all believe in him.  .  

Talent: Son of the late Guy Babylon, one of best keyboardist I've ever seen, one of best musicians on Eltons band over the years. Ben has music in his genes. His mother Kathy Babylon also collaborate with Ben on backing vocals, and his uncle is the amazing producer Paul Brown

Harmony: a true musician, notes and chords had no much secrets for him, and he is always improving. The result, his songs, are the perfect expression of his thoughts, his stories, ...definteley, what he wants to explain.

Dilligent: careful and persevering in carrying out his tasks and duties. He is perfeccionist, as I said before, and he wants to deliver his best. Audience knows that. 

Ambition: just a clever point of ambicious, necessary if you wanted to reach some objectives, lol. 

Yesterday: Yesterday I thought Ben is magical, today I agree so much. A taste of his music and you will feel the same

Babylonists: Babylonist or dreamers, the way I used to call Ben's followers, we are growing day by day, and we are so proud of him and follow his success. The last performances on the Expo and everyone of the shows at the Canyon Studios, is proving that the list of fans doesn't stop growing

Elton: "You better watch out for this kid! He can really play!" are Elton's words. And anyone could discuss Elton's knowledge about music. He is the master, he has seen lots of bands and new artist to become, and he knows that Ben is special. Another keyboard wizard on the making.

Nice: Finally, the most important, he is a nice and a good person. So adorable, well educated, he likes to talk about music, of course, he loves his family and his friends, and also important, he loves his fans so much. A genuine person.

With love, 

Jack Rabbit

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ben Shining At The Expo. New Single out!

Ben on the road again. Before the next opening show for Leon Russell, Ben was flying to Las Vegas for being part of the Elton Expo 2013. Jack Rabbit had the chance to speak with Ben, before departing to Las Vegas, where Ben was ready for debuting one new single: "Burning Man". The song, with enigmatic lyrics, were penned by him: "Burning man on a ledge, don't you know that you're the last thing we have / Come inside, burn alive / You can work on this new project that we have." 

So, Ben Babylon with his band debuted "Burning Man" on television for the first time on Friday, October 4, from the prestigious Gibson Las Vegas Showroom at KVVU FOX5 Television. The performance was aired locally on the entertainment program "More Access" on FOX5, with hosts Rachel Smith and Sean McAllister, and will be available online.

Asked about this project and, also, about the debut album, "Dreams For Sale" in the making, he kindly explained: " The album is expected to release late next year, but who knows. There is an EP out right now that is only sold at live concerts, called "Further Interpretations of Real Life." "Further Interpretations of Real Life" has six very cool songs on it, and "Dreams for Sale" is undetermined". Jack Rabbit asked if he still is continuing to writing songs for the album, and what Ben said was as follows: "I keep writing more and more songs, and I'm trying to pick which ones should go on the album. The problem is my style keeps changing, and changing again. You would definitely be able to hear that as the album goes through. Right now I have too many songs to go on one album, and I'm having a lot of problems deciding which ones should go on. And right when I think I have a good line-up, I write a new song." So Dreamers, you could imagine how busy is our idol in the process. 

But, as you all know and I said before, Ben was the guest of The Elton Expo 2013 in Las Vegas, at the Tuscany Suites Hotel, where he is performing one show. "I prepared for the Expo by practicing every day, and getting as much rehearsals in with my band as I possible could. I am playing many, many new songs at this show, and I am really showing a different side of me and my songwriting and the direction it's going" he added on the conversation with Jack Rabbit. Asked if he planned to play some of Elton's tunes, que agreed: "I plan on playing "Song for Guy" instrumentally with John Mahon at the concert, and then transition into "Burning Man," which John will also play with us. It is so amazing to be able to play with members from the EJ band. It's very surreal."

Davey Johnstone was also expected to be part of the show, and joined with Ben in some of his songs. Asked Davey Johnstone about Ben, for his coming Birthday, he sent his wishes: "I’ve known Ben since he was a bump in Kathy’s tummy, so yes, of course I wish him all the love and luck in the world for his birthday". He answered in http://musinq.com/, the website when he kindly is answering fan's questions, this time it was Jack Rabbit turn. More than this, Davey who was one of bests friends of keyboardist Guy Babylon, Ben's father, he continued explaining: "Also he really seems to want to be a full time rock and roll musician, so let’s wish him well down that road too. His Dad and I were the closest of friends and I will miss Guy always". In fact, Johnstone's son Charlie is following his steps too: "My son Charlie is also a killer of the keys and I’m jumping onstage with him too at the expo…..oops, I think I gave away a secret! Not to worry, these kids are the best and we all get the chance to see and hear how they progress…that’s the gift".

Most eltonites attended the event, as its expected, and some of them gave their impressions about the performance. Everyone is sure about Ben's potential and was surprised about his performance with the band. They really rock!

Ben's music is available on iTunes. Also, more information is available at his official site: www.BabylonMusic.biz

Pictures courtesy of Fred Anderson

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Times goes by

 Times goes by, very faster. It was a year ago I met Ben in person. It was one of the most memorable things I’ve ever lived. I saw a man that he lives for and of the music. Meanwhile, Ben has performed at such prestigious venues as House of Blues in Hollywood, The Canyon Club, The Mint, Whisky a Go Go, and the renowned Yoshi’s jazz club in Oakland, California. With an album in the making, with a good title, “Dreams for sale”, Ben kindly agreed to chat a bit with Jack Rabbit, some kind of a review of the year behind, and, of course, the brilliant future in front. So, Rabbit, it’s your turn. Thanks so much Ben, and always happy to be with you.

Well, first comes to mind is the club, the Canyon Club. It seems to be a magic place for BBB, you’ve been playing several times there. What has the club for you and what makes it different from the rest, in case you feel this?

Well, it really is a great place to play. The crew there is so great to the bands, and the sound there is phenomenal. Some of the best sound guys and sound systems are at the Canyon Club. It is really great to play at a place so professional. I’ve been opening for many bands this year, and it’s so great to have that exposure. The Canyon Club is one of my favorite places to play, that is for sure.

Precisely, you opened for some great bands this year, with a public enthusiasm and success, congratulations, Ben! As I was saying, it was Little River Band, Ambrosia, the group you referred as “one of the first bands I listened to as a kid,” and Air Supply, for example. What it was the experience to be on stage with them? Any anecdote to share?

It is such a great opportunity always to open for these kinds of bands. It is amazing exposure, and it is very fun. 

Playin’ live it’s the best way to run the band. How’s the band growin’?

We are really getting better and better every time we play. It’s really cool. You learn things every time you play. Playing live really makes you have on-the-spot decisions and on those decisions you really learn a lot.

Some covers were in your set. I love your cover of fun’s “We Are Young,” let me say. Pickin’ up the set list seems to be a difficult thing. How do you proceed? 

It is hard to expand the set list, especially with covers. Covers are tricky. You never want to play it exactly the same, because then you’re getting compared to the band that originally plays it, and there is usually no way to compare. You don’t want to play it too different, because then some people might think that we don’t like the original version and “want to make it better,” and it’s almost an insult. Have to hit right in the middle, and that is hard to do.

The collaboration with the girls, the country group JetSet Get Set. I particularly love them, so it seems to be a perfect mixture having you. But how it came up the idea to join them as a guest artist and will you tour with them?

It was a lot of fun playing with JetSet GetSet. They really are a great group of musicians. It was a cool experience to play with them, and I would definitely love to play with them next time they come to LA, but as far as we have talked, going on tour together has not been discussed. 

Ben, if we referred about opening for bands, next October you’ve got the chance to be with Leon Russell. What does it represents to you? Did you met him, when he was recording with Elton, right?

This is a great opportunity and I am really looking forward to it. It is going to be tons of fun, but it also is going to be very nerve-racking — for two reasons. One is that I’m opening for LEON RUSSELL. That is crazy. Leon Russell is one of the best pianist/singer/songwriters ever. The other reason is that I am playing solo. I will ONLY be playing piano (and maybe guitar on a few songs) and singing. No band. That is so different from what I am used to, and I really am going to have to put a lot of work into new arrangements for my songs specifically for that kind of performance. It will be fun though, and I am looking forward to playing this show and learning from it.

Las Vegas Elton Expo will find Ben Babylon playing his music to eltonites. How will you prepare this show? Have you thought about covering some of Elton’s tunes? Rabbit, maybe it’s to earlier to ask this………… excuse me, Ben 

I am SOOOO excited for this concert. It is one of my biggest gigs to date, and my first one out of state. This is crazy. We are going to prepare our asses off for this show. As for covering Elton’s tunes, I cannot say yet. 

Do you hear something about “The Diving Board” by Elton? Eltonites are so excited about the return to his classic music

I have heard some of the songs off The Diving Board, and it is really cool. Very piano-oriented, lots of keyboard pads in the background. Really cool. And even though it is sort of returning to his classic music, from the songs I’ve heard, it is also very different in some ways too. And it is produced in a way I’ve never heard Elton do before too, and it is really cool. Eltonites: you should be excited. 

Ben, you are currently working on your first album of original songs, "Dreams For Sale," in collaboration with several members of the Elton John Band: lead guitarist Davey Johnstone, drummer Nigel Olsson, cellist Martin Tillman, percussionist John Mahon and the unforgettable bass player Bob Birch. When is it expected to be released?

Dreams for Sale is definitely coming along well. We have made a lot of progress in the last few months. And yes, several members of the EJ Band will be playing on some songs, but the majority of my songs is me and my band members. All I can say about the expected release date, is that it will be unexpected . . . . . . . . if that makes sense . . . 

Have you penned some other new tunes for the album? “Different meanings” is sooooo good!!!

Thank you, sir! I am glad you enjoy it!
You said: "Humor is also important. If you're going through something hard, laughter can help you get through it” and remarked how humor is important in your writing. Is that so? For example, what’s “Dorky Loves Donuts” about?

Humor is very important, I will stick to that. I learned that first through the lyrics of the Ben Folds Five, and then other bands later. But humor really makes their songs relatable and enjoyable, but they still get a great message out. It is a really cool concept that I am trying to get hold of. “Dorky Loves Doughnuts” is not really funny song, (I mean unless you think it’s funny) but it is random, which could be funny, I guess. I was just bored and started writing “Dorky.” I wanted more of a instrumental type song where I could really jam and this was it.

“Contradiction”, the first single off the album, is the preview of the album, on iTunes now. I love this song, especially live. “Heaven and Hell sit side by side. Good and bad can't make up their minds, right and wrong can't understand, that peace and war battle again”. That’s strong! Life is a contradiction in his own, could it be? Oh, that was released in 2011. Would it be another recording of the song or another single is planned?

You can expect another single, but I can not guarantee it.

First it was “Goodbye Superman”, the Guy Babylon homage. Looking back now, that song grows more and more on me. It seems to be so hard to sing the song for you. Or maybe not, because although is touching it’s a nice reminder of one of our keyboard heroes. How do you feel about this song?

I do not play this song anymore, and (I’m sorry, but) it will be off of iTunes soon. This song is more of a personal song for me, and I think that’s all it should be. 

Do you have any upcoming shows, for sure?

Yes I do! You can look on my facebook page for all of them!

Regards to your band current members. The fantastic Brian, warm regards to him too. And the new bassist and drummer, best to them too. Something to say to the dreamers out there?

My new bassist, Chase Goldman, is amazing! It is lots of fun to play with him, and Jacob Staben, the new drummer, has such great ideas all the time. It is great to work with him. And of course, Brian Schwartz is my favorite guitarist in the band.

Finally, what type of music you are listening in the moment? Could you show me your iPod, in order to learn about your preferences, now? Rabbit!!!!

Oh god, way too much! I like Conor Oberst (of the Bright Eyes), Ben Folds Five, Slightly Stoopid, Dr. Dre produces great music, The Black Keys, Aaron Parks, Brad Mehldau, Mingus, City & Colour, Coldplay, Crack the Sky, Eliott Smith, Eminem, my friends False Puppet (PLEASE LOOK THEM UP!!!!), Foster the People, Foy Vance, Gorillaz, Hans Zimmer, Herbie Hancock, Jimi Hendrix, Kate Nash, Lily Allen, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Meekos & Me, Daft Punk, Outliar, Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, Radiohead, Sigur Rós, Sufjan Stevens . . . to name a few.
It could go on and on.

Thanks so much, Ben, I wish you a happy summer, with a lot of gigs and continuing with your success. And you, dreamers, take a note of the following gigs, you don't have to miss them!

The Ben Babylon Band Concerts 2013
Fusion Music festival June 22
Malibu Art Festival July 28
Canyon Club, opening for Kenny Cetera August 9
Whiskey -Go-Go August 17
Elton John Expo, Vegas, Oct. 5 & 6
Opening for Leon Russell, Canyon Club Oct.18
Opening for Blood, Sweat & Tears, Dec. 13

Pictures courtesy of Ben Babylon Music