Music, musings and more from the mind of Ben Averch.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dead Center



“Dead Center” was a huge song for Bison – it seemed like this song put us into a new space and the perception of our band moved from incredibly loud noise rock to something a lot more polished. The response to this song made us feel like this band could really do something. As it was, we played a lot, we drove a lot, and we certainly learned a lot, even if it takes 15 years of hindsight to figure it out.

Listening to this song, I’m instantly transported to being a 19-year old, feeling like I could do anything, someone in the process of doing just that. There is a total confidence in the performance of this song that I just love. There’s also a great dynamic shift in the middle section, and one of our best instrumental passages. There’s just a lot of energy and passion in this song, and this performance in particular. Pretty special stuff.

This song was the opener to our “Low Speed Chase” EP, recorded in 1995 by mixer and musician extraordinaire Mike Gatzios, now of Cinesounds (pictured left). Having Mike produce this absolutely took what we were doing to another level of sound quality – and we would take another leap forward sonically on the second record we made with Mike, our third EP, “Powerbomb”. I know I was excited to have a real pro like Mike working the console and producing our band. What we got was something where the energy of the band seemed to be contained inside a much more listener-accessible framework, as compared to our first recordings. Part of that was the songwriting, which was a lot more focused. But the other part was the quality of the production -- it made us feel like a real band and not just kids with a reel-to-reel recorder in their parents’ basement.

Also hugely important was a line-up change in the band itself -- "Low Speed Chase" introduced future viking Doug Cabot (left) as the new Bison drummer. Doug brought a kind of Keith Moon energy to the drumming that paired really well with Matt’s frenetic bass playing to create an extremely active rhythm section that was really a whole new animal from my (somewhat) more streamlined drum approach. I’m not sure I’ve heard a band with the same level of turbo-boost in the rhythm section as the Matt and Doug combo. It was awesome. Be sure to check out the middle section of “White Bronco” from these sessions (to be chronicled all the way at the end of this alphabetized history) for playing that will really blow your hair back. It wasn’t all bombastic in the rhythm section though, as “Dispossessed” demonstrates. Credit is due to Doug and Matt for always playing what the song requires and dialing things back in our more contemplative moments.

Thinking back on it, “Low Speed Chase” was probably the best thing that we did in terms of song quality – there were five songs and they were all really strong, with “Dead Center”, “Kerosene” and “Dispossessed” as particular favorites of mine. Around this time, our shows were becoming better attended, with people I didn’t even know up at the front and rocking out. Man, that was great.

Sometime after we released "Low Speed Chase", we had a show opening for Jawbox, who were (and still are) one my all-time favorite bands. This gig was at the club “Mama Kin” right behind Fenway Park (dunno if it is still there). Jawbox was the best live band that I’ve ever seen.  All sweat and thrashing and manic energy, all while super tight and basically note-perfect. That was the blueprint for live performance for me, something to aspire to. Seeing J. Robbins from Jawbox in the audience rocking out to our music was my personal highlight of our band’s career.

Back to Dead Center, the song. In this one, Mike (my older brother) and I arrived at really complementary guitar parts (being in a two-guitar band introduces some challenges as both players are occupying the same sonic space – so creativity and compromise is often needed). Mike’s line in the opening is really melodic, and is the signature of the song. My counterpoint is just to pound out the four chords, making life easy, and sounding good. (I would later tweak my part here to I think unfortunate results in the re-recording of the song for our full length, “Space Evader”). 

The verses are really driven by Matt’s completely sick bass playing. This line has always been one of my personal favorites. Just awesome. Mike is pounding out the chords and I’m playing a little tiny muted part that goes into a ringing arpeggio. Fun. The middle section, as I mentioned earlier, is one of our all time best. We didn't go for a solo but a 'moment' where we allow the dynamics to come back down and have a new kind of space in the song -- then build it back up into the final chorus and the huge "Limelight"-style ending. 

Lyrically, this one is heavy on the visuals -- bending light, shattering rain and a ball of red fire. Some intense stuff going on here, and a sense of desperation and maybe capitulation in the understanding of a relationship ("I know it's never enough just to be decent and sane" is a line that teleports me back).

There's a lot of action in this song. I tried at various points to do an acoustic version, but so much of the song is in Mike's great guitar playing and the really awesome bass parts that it just didn't lend itself to being "folked out". I'm not sure if any video footage exists of Bison playing this -- which is kind of stupid, considering we played it at every gig we did since we wrote it. Anyway, it's a trip to go back in time and remember all this stuff. Gotta love it.

===

I hear the sky open up and let the water fall down
Give me the strength to maintain and hope that I'll come around
Because there's nothing for me in hanging on to the past
I hear your words in my head, I know my love is outcast

Shot into orbit
Bending the light between my hands
I know it's never the same, why did you let me down?
Enough to bury your tender heart six feet deep into the ground

And if this ever was mine, how could you give it away
I know it's never enough, just to be decent and sane
So if there's someone alive who thinks that they could love me
Well I just can't see, no

So far above all the world, I can see clusters of light
A million people below are sleeping right through the night
And at the center of this, there is a ball of red fire -- all your desires

Shot into orbit
Burning across the empty sky
Under the shattering rain, I know I let you down
And all the wonders on earth will fall when no one cares to hear the sound

And if this ever was mine, how could you give it away
I know it's never enough, just to be decent and sane
So if there's someone alive who thinks that they could love me
Well throw your arms in the air because from here I can't see
I can't see, no

I know it's never the same, why did you let me down?
And all the wonders on earth vanish without a sound
Under the shattering rain, I know I let you down
And if you're looking for me, you know I won't be found

Under the shattering rain, I'm lost and I'm given away
I know it's never the same
But how could you give it away?


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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Creative Destruction


"We often regard fire as an agent of destruction, but to Nature, it is an agent of necessary change."

“Creative Destruction” is one of my favorite songs that I’ve done. For the lyrics, I started with the visual of a forest fire – an event that devastates the area and destroys most living things there, but is also a natural part of the cycle of the life of the forest, “bringing new life from what there was”. This great article “Fire’s Natural Role” by the Florida Forest Service describes all this in detail, and all the ways that trees have adapted to periodic fires, and the new kinds of trees that can only grow from soil rich with the ashes of the previous generation.

There’s something pretty powerful and comforting about the idea that whatever may be “burning you up” (or burning up around you), it’s necessarily setting the stage for something new to come, the next phase in an ongoing evolution. There are only 14 lines in the song, but I think it really comes together and makes a statement about the power of hope (and maybe, faith in the ‘okayness’ of whatever path we find ourselves on) when it appears that all is lost. So, deep thoughts going on here.

The music reinforces these ideas with alternating “heavy and dark” introduction, verse and bridge segments and a bouncier, almost lilting, melodic chorus, driven the bass line, that lets some of the light through. In the heavier sections, I’ll include a bar of 7/4 after a couple of bars of 4/4 (just to mess with people), basically dropping a beat here and there to maybe add to the sense of instability. (That being said, it seems to flow pretty smoothly and I’m not sure people would notice this, which is usually a good thing for bands playing in odd time signatures!)

Listening now, there sounds like a little Tom Petty thing going on in the vocal which is kind of different for me. (Most people used to tell me I sound like the Counting Crows guy, a comment for which I will reserve comment!)

One of my favorite parts here is the reprisal of the introduction heavy part after the bridge, with the lead guitar plaintively wailing in the background. I really love that bit as it leads into the solo. Without giving up any state secrets, I used a little trickeration on the main guitar solo here, but I still played it (in a manner of speaking).

This song is one that carries across into my live solo acoustic interpretation pretty well, I think, and it’s been a staple of the live performances that I’ve done over the last few years. You can really put a lot into the song and it doesn’t seem too overwrought (at least to me). Only the bridge section is a little bit reworked as it relies heavily on the lead guitar in the recorded version.

Yep, I like this one a lot and I would be sure to include this on a “Greatest Hits” record should such a thing ever become a good idea. So, something to look forward to!


===
Forest fires raging in my heart
Everything I've built is torn apart
And you know I'll never be the same
As the picture hanging in the frame

Creative destruction bringing new life from what there was
Without hope there can't be any way to see what could be


Black smoke engulfing all I see
Wind whips the flames when you look at me
No words can say what this means
Regenerate this in memory

Opening the canopy to let light in
From this sea of ashes you'll begin
Open up to every possibility
From this smoking darkness you can see the sun

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Cloud Cover


Shortly after moving from California to Washington, I got a device called a Palmer Speaker Simulator. The model I have has the designation “PGA-04 ADIG-LB”, a catchy name for sure. This thing changed my life because I’ve been able to make recordings of huge guitar sounds without having to mic up an amp and blast everyone in the neighborhood. So this has made late night sessions possible and I usually get most of my work done on recordings once everyone else in the house has gone to sleep.

With the Palmer and my trusty Marshall amp head (the Marshall would be replaced with the Tonic Amps “Vapour” prototype that I have used as my main guitar amp for “Fortune Cookie” and everything since then), I set out to record the album that would become “Washington State” – with the target being rocking guitars and good songs all the way through. I had previously recorded a bunch of stuff at home in California, using the “blast the neighborhood” guitar recording technique and created a futuristic concept album I called “New Neural Substrate”. For a variety of reasons, after working up more than a dozen songs, I pretty much shelved the project. I guess I was thinking that the sound quality wasn’t there and maybe that the concept about a futuristic world 100 years from now was just not really happening. But, I digress.

So, having just moved up to Washington, I was really in awe of some of the natural beauty here – all kinds of trees, mountains on every side, giant lakes, and of course – clouds. Clouds hanging low in the sky, lingering over the hillsides. Living here, I am perpetually reminded of Luke Skywalker’s head-standing force-meditation vision from Dagobah: “I saw a city in the clouds” … for sure, that is Seattle, and the surrounding area.

The song “Cloud Cover” was the first tune that I did for “WA ST”, and I think I was just getting over a cold so my voice is kind of uncharacteristically smoothed out. I may have allowed myself to get too close to my longstanding Rush influence with this song, with the “Dreamline” muted eighth-note guitar line in the verses, and the phantom fear from “Freewill” making an appearance in verse two, but it’s all out of love (or subliminal response) so I forgive myself.

This tune skips the traditional guitar solo for a synth solo, which is a nice change of pace (always loved these on the “Signals” album, whoops), but there’s still the “lead guitar voice” in the verses, so folks shouldn’t miss that too much.

For this tune and pretty much all of this record, I was pretty heavily influenced by “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle, which had a big impact on me (and millions of other people too, I guess). The goal for the lyric writing was really about simplicity and directness (and about planet Earth), which I think was a natural reaction from laboring over a to-be-abandoned science fiction epic for the prior couple of years. In any case, the result is a catchy rock number with lots of guitars and keyboards and a big distorted bass sound that really drives the whole thing. All that, and uplifting lyrics about being in a state of alert presence.

I did a music video for this song with director extraordinaire Brian Barnett who filmed the awesome Wylie Gustafson live movie. The idea for the video was, rocking out in the forest. So that’s pretty much what we got. I had a bigger vision than budget, so a lot of the sure-to-have-been super awesome ideas (like me coming out of the lake with the guitar on, lolz, and groovy B-roll) were all dropped.

We found a great spot to do the filming, and the trees really were huge. The day was perfect, but there was just one tiny little problem -- the spot we had dragged the amp and set up the cameras was right off of a dirt road, and as cars (and trucks) drove past, inevitably huge clouds of dust would sweep over us. This actually looked pretty cool as the dust got caught in the light streaming through the treetops, but having to sing the song six hundred times in what became a dust storm meant I inhaled massive amounts of dirt. Hilarious fun!


===

In the chaos of time that's strung together
Without a pause to beat it back
Somewhere there's a silent moment
In my mind's whirl and my heart's attack
Looking out at all that the world is
The crush of cars, and roads and buildings
Makes you want to fly away
But you can't fly in the daytime
And you can't hope to know your dreams
As the present tense slips through the seams

Awake under the cloud cover
I'm standing in the misty rain
As hills erupt in all directions
I just want to see you again

Wrapped around my heart
Stolen away by a phantom fear
I know that you are near me
When everything I've known just disappeared Lingering over the hillside
Like a blanket pulled up by the trees
I can't think of anywhere else to be
In the moment now, I can almost see you
I can almost hear your voice
And everything only you or I could remember

Burning through the cloud cover
Here comes the mighty sun
To bathe us all in waves of hope for change
To bring about what is to come

When the dream ends and you're up with the sun again
And the rain falls you can already see the future

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Cathedral


"Cathedral" is one of the oldest tunes in the catalog, and one of my favorites to play live. It's probably also the fastest tempo song that I've done. When I listen back to this, 18 years after the recording, I remember how freezing cold it was in Matt's basement during the "Destination Amsterdam" sessions, I remember how excited we were about some of the guitar sounds we were getting -- 'exploding amp' sounds, for sure.

Given the small number of microphones we had, I'm pretty happy with the drum sounds we got too. I can remember Matt's red Modulus bass, going into his Trace Elliot amp, easily the world's heaviest object. How many times we had to load that amp from the garage into his basement at 2 in the morning after a show at The Middle East or TT the Bear's is anyone's guess.

Mike's guitar solo in this song is kind of emblematic of his playing style -- melodic, pretty fast and articulate with some cool chordal stuff happening. His guitar line in the choruses gives the tune its main melody and it's great when the bass comes in and plays it in unison at the ending. I can hear myself struggling to keep up the tempo on the drums through the different sections, I can hear Matt's bass pulling me along. Fun stuff.

This one makes me shake my head at some of the song selection choices we made when it was time to record our full length. We missed out on a lot of our best material -- like this one, "Mild Stallion", and a bunch of other great tunes. Not sure what we were thinking there but I'd guess we were just really excited to do a lot of new stuff and not try and recapture something like these frozen sessions down in the basement.

I remember renting the eight-track tape machine to do the recording and I remember freaking out the other guys in the band with some of my vocal performances, sung up in Matt's room while the other two guys sat and manned the tape machine. There was some angst happening for sure.

It's kind of funny how mellow this live acoustic version is compared to the full on 'punk prog' thing going on in the recorded version. I never thought I would mellow with age but maybe it's a good thing. This tune stands the test of time for me, still love playing it.

===
Creep inside the doorway, you gotta be silent I can barely see
I think I'll leave this stash here, do you think you heard a sound
And I don't know what we're doing here tonight
You're walking towards me and I'm fumbling for the light

Rising as the ceiling rises, falling as a brick would fall
Drop me into your cathedral, I will feel your sacred walls
And I don't know what's waiting in here for me
And this silence hangs heavy in the air
In the grip of all of this mystery
I'd believe you if you told me you were scared

Break me open, break me down
I feel this breaking all around
Oh cathedral, here's my soul
What it's worth, I don't know
Break me open
Oh cathedral

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Chance For Me to Stay


"A Chance For Me to Stay", from my first solo record, "Washington State" in 2006, is one my favorite songs that I've written. This song has a kind of loneliness, and openness to the sound, that is still very rare among my catalog of songs. For this one, I left out the big rhythm guitar and instead went for more of a fingerpicked lead kind of sound in the verses, leaving the drive and propulsion to the bass and drums. The vocals in the verses aren't multitracked, which is my usual compulsion, giving the song more of a sense of intimacy -- and of being a performance rather than a production.

This changes when we hit the chorus section, as the drums and bass drop out, and a big harmony vocal comes in over a wash of strumming guitars, leading to the refrain "I am the sum of the risks I take", a lyric that has been a favorite of mine, and kind of a motto to live by.

The second verse is now led by the bass and drums, with the lead guitar providing the ambiance, and the sense of anticipation. Into the second chorus, and we now have the promise of the opening chorus fulfilled, with a big rock band backing the big harmony vocal, making plain to the listener that life experiences are subjective -- the world that you experience can be created through willpower and effort, and fear has no place in a life well lived.

That's a lot of philosophizing, so it's time for a guitar solo! This one is over the verse section, and I think this solo has a sense of patience and has a place in the song that just really works. It's really restrained as my solos go, but by the end elevates into the final chorus, where I finally get the vocal harmony completely right and bring the whole thing home.

I've played this in a solo acoustic mode at most of the shows I've done, but it's really not the same without the full rock instrumentation (although I'll let you judge for yourself). In any case, this song is a keeper, and a reminder to me that there are a lot of ways to arrange songs and they don't all need huge rhythm guitars consuming all sonic dimensions!



===

You won't believe me when I tell you
How hard it's been to say
And the speed that the world keeps spinning
Is increasing everyday
Every time I remember how it used to feel
I can feel the distance in the time
It seems remote to me, the sun's absorbed my energy
I don't think that I used to feel that way

Dreamtime, wide awake, I am the sum of the risks I take
It's all the way down, where I have to go
Meantime it's the world I make, when I don't hesitate
I think there's a chance for me to stay

Looking out at the world through a windshield
I can feel it turn to motion blur
Everything's slowing down before me
And I think there's a chance for me this way
I can turn away from the life that I've known
And find a way to embrace the unknown
As every moment reveals itself to me
All I want is to feel your energy

Beyond the threshold
Beyond a point in time
Beyond that one decision
Is the dividing line


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Global Unification!

Hi all,

Since the exciting news from yesterday regarding my collaboration with Sweetwood Guitar Company, I thought it would be a good time for a long overdue update in this space. It has been a very busy few months in the studio and another new album is shaping up for what is likely to be a Spring 2013 release. For this record, I am going the concept album route again, this time with a story about a (somewhat) futuristic totalitarian “Global Unified” government that uses surveillance drones and miniature listening machines to identify targets as part of an endless campaign to rid the world of potential threats to the globalist order. So, fun, light hearted stuff!

To write this, I’ve been taking some inspiration from the headlines and then imagining the logical conclusions of some of these frankly disturbing developments. Some of the hilarious titles include “Globalist Death Camp”, “Enemies List”, “If I Were a Drone”, “Secret Listening Machines”, and “You Won’t Feel a Thing”. These songs run the gamut from dark folk to Police-style smoothed out grooves to pretty blistering rock. So, as I have done with the last couple of records, there’s some variety inside the parameters of the styles I can execute.

Right now there are about 16 songs in various states of development – I’m borrowing the three finished songs from my “Roughshod Mentor” dark ambient project back for this record – these instrumental pieces will create some breathing space over the course of the album and hopefully create a unique listening experience. There aren’t a lot of rock albums that I have heard that have well executed ‘techno-ambient’ pieces in the middle. But, we will see if/how this idea works out.

I’ve been collaborating with Ed Becker of Eltmon Productions on the preliminary mixes and we are off to a good start. It’s always great to get another set of ears beyond my own to pull out some of the different nuances that are in the music and to help balance the instruments to create the perfect mix for the each song. A laborious process to be sure, but satisfying when the results are good! It is indeed enough work to do all the recording without having to mix it perfectly too. Help, then, is a good thing.

Speaking of good results working with Ed, last night I got to hear Ed’s mix of one of my older songs, “In My Sleep”. This sounded really excellent – warm and ‘vintagey’, a little reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac (must be the 8,000 plug-ins on the track!), and pretty much exactly what I was going for with that song. Ed also brought out the guitar solo a good bit and I am super stoked with the results. (Listening back to that, I kind of feel like a real guitar player, rather than a frustrated drummer trying to play guitar!)

So, Ed has some plans to release “In My Sleep” on his Eltmon Productions label which will be great. Since Bison’s “Space Evader” record was released on Cosmic Records back in 1996, I have released all of my own music (on my “Automatic Earth” label), with the one awesome exception of South Korean guitar genius Jeff Lee’s song “Footsteps in the Sand” where I played the backing instruments (this song was also released by Eltmon Productions). Jeff Lee plays guitar for the band Black Bag. Jeff is an absolutely great player and a terrific guy. Be sure to check his band out.

So, “In My Sleep” is sounding really great and it will be great to get some new material out (it has been two years since “Fortune Cookie”, craziness). I wrote this song when I was 17, so it is kind of a trip to hear it sounding so huge, here 20 years later. I also have to wrestle with the question of whether I was a better songwriter at 17 than I am at 37…but, this is a good problem to have I guess, since the song is sounding so good.

Back to the Sweetwood Guitar Company, I have to tell you that this new collaboration is extremely exciting for me. The guitar I’m playing is a “Comet” with a padouk/walnut top and it really just sustains notes for a shockingly long time. It sounds amazing through my Tonic Amps Vapour model. One issue is, I’ve already laid down about 8 million guitar tracks for the new record using my classic arsenal of instruments…so I will either need to create some space for the Comet or (more likely) just do a whole bunch of new songs where the Sweetwood guitar can really sing.

As it is, on one new song in particular, a heavy rock number called “Keep the Fires Lit”, the blend of the Sweetwood with the ‘large guitar manufacturer’ guitars sounds pretty damn huge. So, a lot of opportunities for great guitar sounds, which is always at the forefront of my mind.

On the technical front, I'm going to try out some different cables and maybe some reconfiguring of the studio to be sure that I'm capturing these tones as accurately as possible. So, stay tuned, there's a lot of good stuff happening, excited to share it with you.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sweetwood Guitars Announces Endorsement of Progressive Rock Guitarist Ben Averch


Sweetwood Guitars Announces Endorsement of Progressive Rock Guitarist Ben Averch

San Jose, CA – San Jose-based boutique luthier Sweetwood Guitar Co. today announced progressive rock guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Ben Averch as an endorsing artist.

"Sweetwood Guitars is extremely pleased to announce our marketing association with Ben Averch," said Glenn Sweetwood, President of Sweetwood Guitar Co.. "Ben's unique guitar playing uses a lot of altered tunings and illustrates the wide range of rich tones that my guitars can provide. I look forward to working with Ben in the development of new Sweetwood guitar models."

"I'm very excited to work with Glenn and Sweetwood Guitar Company," said Ben Averch. "My Sweetwood Comet is truly an amazing instrument. It provides a really clear, saturated and expansive tone that gives me the kind of sonic foundation that I've been seeking for a long time. The sound, playability and build quality of Sweetwood guitars is absolutely world class. I'll be using my Comet extensively during the recording of my fourth solo album and I'm thrilled to have Sweetwood Guitars front and center of my sonic arsenal."

Sweetwood Guitar Co. is a leading boutique luthier that manufactures guitars to exacting specifications, using select tone woods and the highest quality components. Sweetwood builds numerous guitar models including “Comet”, “Sweet T”, “Leopard”, “Sweetcaster”, “XKE”, and “Rock Rite”. For more information on Sweetwood Guitars, please visit http://www.sweetwoodguitars.com

Ben Averch has released three solo progressive rock albums including the recently released "Fortune Cookie", an introspective rock journey that incorporates progressive rock, electronica and folk rock into a genre-defying epic. Ben is also endorsed by San Francisco Bay Area boutique amplifier manufacturer Tonic Amps. For more information on Ben Averch, and to stream his entire discography, please visit http://averch.bandcamp.com

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ben in The Digital Conglomerate Magazine


Hi all,

There's an interview with me in this month's issue of The Digital Conglomerate magazine, featuring Boston rapper JQKA on the cover. Check it out for my thoughts on technology, music, influences and inspirations.

Thanks to Garland McLaughlin for reaching out!

Video Interview with BandsLikeRush

Here's a video version of my interview with Ben Sommer of BandsLikeRush. Thanks to Ben for putting this together! Hope you enjoy it.










Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions



It's the last day of the year and I thought I'd put together a few thoughts on the year that's passed and what I'm looking forward to in 2011. This year I spent a lot of time reflecting inward and trying to gain a better understanding of myself as a person -- my motivations, my fears and my idea of what it means to succeed. I read a whole lot of books on psychology, spirituality and relationships, including "The Five Things We Cannot Change" by David Richo, and a bunch more by him and a bunch of other stuff in a similar vein.

It has been a fruitful time -- I feel generally lighter-hearted and more self-assured so that's pretty nice. I got the chance to do a lot of jamming (and all these jams were recorded!) with a Korean guitarist named Jeff Lee, an immensely talented guy and one of the nicest people you'll ever meet. Jeff contributed some guitar solos for a couple songs that I had been working on, and I had some of the best times ever backing him on drums or bass, or backing him on guitar while he soloed like a demon. Great fun.

Regarding my own music, during the year I completed my "Fortune Cookie" record, which was received very well, and was a very satisfying way to draw the curtain on the thematic arc that started with my "Start at the Beginning" record back in 2008.

It was a lot of fun to complete the album, and to see people respond to it -- and one of things that struck me was how people seemed to notice the emotional directness of the record, which maybe goes against the grain of a lot of "tongue-in-cheek" modern rock music. Not quite as emotionally direct as, say, American Music Club, but I'm not sure the world (or me) is ready for that!

Basically immediately after I finished "Fortune Cookie", I set to work on a new record, looking to leave behind a lot of the heaviness of the subject matter of the last two records, and over the last six months or so I've recorded a lot of new material. I wrote about ten new songs and brought back a couple from the archives, and they're in varying states of doneness. But one of the things I really want to do with this new record (working title "E.S.P.") is just make something that sounds HUGE. I'm maybe 80% done with the writing and recording for this new record, but with any project like this, the tendency for perfectionism (and admitted lack of a real deadline) could allow this process to stretch out for another year if I'm not careful. But early indications are that this record should be pretty good, if you like that kind of thing.

So that brings me to the coming year and what I (and you, the listener) can look forward to. Obviously the new solo record is something that I am hugely excited about, but one of the other really exciting things going on is that I've been working on some material from deep in the archives with good friend producer Ed Becker. This is work I did with my brother Mike and includes some of our favorite psychedelic rock anthems like the Resident Evil-inspired "What Happened to Jill and Wesker?" and my personal favorite a wistful, dynamic powerhouse called "Memory Man". Mike wrote the music and played the guitars on these songs, I provided the lyrics, played drums and bass and vocals, and played a little bit of extra guitars in a few songs.

Having these older songs (all recorded between 1998 and 2005) back in action is really fun, and Ed is taking them to another level with his mixes and restoration. So I'm excited for this 'bonus album' of material. It's great to hear my brother's guitar playing -- it's very ambient, melodic and textured, so when the heavy parts happen it's very intense and cool. Mike and I have had for a long time a strong intuitive sense about the other's musical ideas and cool places they could go to. We have been a good team, so while it's kind of sad that we don't get to work together on music that much, when we do work it's very productive, and enjoyable.

So I'm hoping to finish the "E.S.P." record, finish the "Mike and Ben Archives" record, get those released and do some collaborations with some more artists. If 2010 was a year of reflection and growth, I'm hoping to just exponentially increase the output in 2011 and really attack hard in terms of my creativity and productivity musically. Get into "harvest mode" from all these ideas and learnings that have hopefully taken root from the last year.

So that's what I'm planning, or hoping for. Happy New Year everyone!!!!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Fortune Cookie on Sea of Tranquility



Fortune Cookie on Sea of Tranquility

One man band Ben Averch has built a reputation for blending the Modern Rock sounds of the 80's with Alt Rock style of the 90's and third album Fortune Cookie finds him continuing in much the same vein. Taking his cue from the Bob Mould fronted Sugar, Averch also weaves some classic prog rock influences into his work, notably on the Rush-tinged opener "Love Me Anyway". Mournful vocals and melodies that twist and turn are much in evidence across the hypnotic loop of "The Hook" and angst filled "It's Getting Away From Me". The contrast between acoustic strumming and electric riffs contributes to the brooding atmosphere throughout with the mood lightened by the arena rockers "One and The Same" and "Something to Revolve Around", either of which would not have sounded out of place on anything by the Foo Fighters. Another track worth highlighting is "Landfall" which finds Averch at seemingly his lowest ebb lyrically but also demonstrates his ability as a drummer of note with some solid rhythms.

...Averch is an unquestionable talent and has clearly devoted his heart and soul into his work and is well worth investigating.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Keep Choppin' Wood



I’m happy to say that I’ve been back to work in the studio over the last couple of weeks, and I’m cranking on some new material for what is likely to become my fourth solo album. So far, there are four tracks in process, plus a couple secret ones:

“Force Field” is a heavy rocking number with big chords, big arpeggios and a big gulp of a guitar solo. This one is about circling the sun and hurtling through space without ever really feeling it…kind of an extension of the idea in the opening refrain from Fortune Cookie opener “Love Me Anyway” (“it’s not the sun that’s setting/it’s just that you are spinning away”).

It needs a lot of work still but it’s got a lot of potential; this one sits in the ‘power progressive rock’ domain pretty squarely, but hopefully won’t feel generic by the time I’m done with it. There’s an energy to it that’s pretty groovy.

Another song, “Lift”, is either going to be a crazy instrumental, or I’m going to write some crazy words for it. But crazy is the word. This one has several movements, starting with a laid-back-yet-intense slow burn of a groove, then diving into a heavy syncopated unison part (yeah, this will provoke Rush comparisons), then into a lighter arpeggiated section, then more heaviness, more lightness and a multi-part solo section that starts dreamy and breezy, and then dives right into the inky blackness with a section that hopefully, maybe might bring to the dark recesses of the listeners’ subconscious mind some of the really evil guitar sounds from John McLaughlin on Miles Davis’ heavy, dark rocking funk stuff like “Big Fun”…which is not to say that McLaughlin and I are on the same planet as guitarists!

I whittled this one down from over 8 minutes to a more manageable 5 or so, so now there’s a whole lot of adventure packed into a short while. We’ll see whether we need that guy yelping over it to make it the best it can be.

“Morning Phantom/Waking Dream” is a mood and texture piece, with some similarities (to me, anyway) to my song “Source of Love” from Start at the Beginning. A couple months back, I spent some time sampling different drum sounds from the recordings of Jawbox drummer Zach Barocas, and loading them into my drum machine. Zach has always been one of my very favorite drummers (and Jawbox one of my very favorite bands), and I always loved his drum sounds – a snare that cracks like a gunshot on every hit, and toms that are very resonant, tonal and melodic.

So sitting around with my guitar one night, I came upon a little melody that I thought would make the perfect backdrop for a song. Add a couple more segments for a chorus and bridge and I had something pretty exciting. Feeling like I was still sketching things out, but wanting something a little more exciting than just a metronome loop to play back to, I took my sampled Jawbox drum kit and made a circular, snapping two-bar loop that runs through the body of the song. I put the loop through some filters to make it a little bit my own, and add some “feel”, and with a little bit of shaker and tambourine, we’ve got a pretty alive sounding rhythm section.

Lyrically, I’m talking about the sense of feeling like you already know what’s going to happen, and in this haze, miss out on what is happening: “In the morning, there’s a phantom of the things are still yet to be…in the waking dream, you think you know what you see/is it a fool who believes that he’s got E.S.P.” Kind of a fun idea and it goes very nicely with the other song…

“Telepath” started life on a cross-continental airplane ride, as scribbles on the back of a napkin, or a section of an in flight magazine. Its recorded life began back in April and May at my friend Ed Becker’s studio, and I’ve recently begun building it out at my own place. This one is reminiscent of some of the songs on Start at the Beginning, with a hybrid acoustic-electric kind of feel, some really fun arpeggio sections, and then that emotional warbling over the top of everything. This is the most melodic of all the songs, and the most emotionally direct – so of course it is my favorite. I don’t want to give away too much on this one. It’s pretty exciting.

My friend Ed turned me on to an EQ’ing tool called Har-Bal (I think that stands for Harmonic Balancing) that lets you input a source track that it then analyzes somehow and creates an EQ profile that it can apply to other songs that you put into it. I applied this process to “Morning Phantom” using “Back on Me” on Urge Overkill’s Saturation album as the reference and wouldn’t you know, the track sounds amazingly better. So I started wondering if maybe I could save a whole lot of money on album mastering and just do it myself by “borrowing” EQ profiles from my favorite sounding songs…this would allow me to get a lot more stuff out there, even if it won’t sound like it’s on Capitol Records or whatever. Another tool for the toolbox…

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for these tunes and other new ones!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Fortune Cookie on Prognaut



Fortune Cookie on Prognaut

You swear you are hearing a full band in full stomp, but this really is a one man show. Ripping guitars and drums that just smash along the sound shore. Ben has kind of a young Tom Petty sound to his voice, only deeper. That is as close to any major artists that I can pin that vocal sound. Those grinding and soaring lead guitar riffs are amazing.

Rating: 8/10 – This is a good album that provides this one man band with an excellent showcase for his talents. To play all of these instruments so well, write all of the interesting lyrics and sing the entire album is quite an accomplishment in itself. Each instrument on this album is well played, and then you remember this is a one man show. Putting all of this together must have been time consuming. We get to sit back and enjoy the show.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fortune Cookie on The CD Reviewer



Fortune Cookie on The CD Reviewer
By C.W. Ross

Seattle singer songwriter Ben Averch likes to stretch the genres boundaries adding in elements of both modern, and Indie Rock via thick drum parts and electric guitar solos that are found on the songs that make up his latest release, ‘Fortune Cookie’. Averch is also pretty much a one-man band playing, drums, bass, guitar, keyboards, loops and handling the vocals.

Averch’s MySpace page list his musical influences as, Rush, Jawbox, Yes, Swervedriver, Sugar, Urge Overkill, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Alex Lifeson, American Music Club, Kings X, Bob Mould, Husker Du, Jayhawks, Channels, Burning Airlines and John Coltrane.

Ben Averch waste no time getting the music flowing in the right way with the track, “Love Me Anyway” that mixes pop and rock together to achieve its style. Like just about all of the other songs found on this release the song’s lyrics deal with love and relationship issues.

You’ll find both ends of love dealt with in the songs from betrayal like found on, “You Won’t Be Owing Me”, to the true love found track, “Something to Revolve Around”.

On the track, “The Hook”, Averch brings some electronic elements to the music via its loops. You’ll also find a nice rocking guitar solo part on it. I’ve read that this is also one of Averch’s favorite tracks on the CD.

Besides on “The Hook” you’ll also find several other nice guitar solos found in the other songs.

The shortest track, (1:23 running time) is the instrumental, “Moment of Peace” that acts like a, ‘musical sherbet’ cleansing track that will refresh your musical palette.

The last track that I want to mention is, “Something to Revolve Around”. Probably the most upbeat track, lyrically speaking, it deals with finding true love and features a mixture of keys and guitar parts.

With ‘Fortune Cookie’, Averch shows that music doesn’t have to fit into a small musical box. Because it’s when those style genre boundaries are stretched that the real magic starts to happen.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Ben Averch Featured Artist of the Month at WikiMusicGuide



Featured Artist of May | Ben Averch

His soul and love for his craft reflects on every music that he makes. Every song that he writes has a story to tell. He is Ben Averch, the “one man symphony of prog rock!” And we at the WikiMusicGuide are so honored to have him interviewed and featured as our artist of the month.

It all started when I first heard the Fortune Cookie’s carrier single, “The Hook”. I instantly became a fan of a man whose music has a definition that is beyond the strums of his guitar and beat of his drums. More than just the hymn, it’s the story of the song, “The Hook” that made me decide to listen to his music more.

But Ben Averch did not only give me a new music to listen to. He has also cheerfully accepted my invitation to have him interviewed and be featured on our blog. Indeed, it was a remarkable experience as he is the first musician to be personally interviewed by me.

Thank you again, Ben for the opportunity to know you and your music more...



1. Since when you started singing?

I started singing as a little boy, probably when I was 6 or 7. My older brother Mike and his best friend Dave and I tried to cover Rush songs like “The Trees” and “Working Man”. We loved those songs so much, and our expectations were that we should be able to reproduce them. It was always hard for me to listen back to our recordings since I was so young and wanted so much to sound like a full grown man!

When I was about 17 I started singing and playing guitar as a street musician in Harvard Square, Cambridge, which is where I really developed as a musician and a songwriter. I would put in very long days, really going full out to try to get an audience, and even when there was no one to play to. My goal was to bring big arena rock energy to the sidewalk, every single song. I look back to this period of time as being really pivotal in my growth as a musician.

2. You are called as “a one man symphony of prog rock” now, have you ever been a part of a group/band before? If yes, what band?

I was the singer/guitarist for a band called Bison back in Boston in the mid ‘90s. My brother Mike played guitar, my best friend from high school Matt Olken played bass, and we had a drummer named Doug Cabot. We were a very fast paced, up tempo hard rock band with a really intense rhythm section and lots of guitars all over the place. Bison was very dense, driving rock music with a lot going on – but at the same time we had a focus and coherence to what we were doing.

3. You can play almost all kinds of music instrument, what is you most favorite instrument? Why?

While I love playing each instrument, my favorite instrument to play is electric guitar, because for me it is the most expressive. With drums and bass, you’re really building the foundation of the song, so there’s a little more pressure to make each take perfect and have everything locked down tight. Guitar playing feels somewhat freer to me — there’s room to experiment and create different textures. Also, I love playing guitar solos since that can be so climactic — where the emotion of the song ultimately gets expressed.

4. You play rock music, what other music do you want to listen/play?

Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Elliott Smith records. I’m not sure if he is considered rock as a lot of his stuff is more acoustic. In the singer/songwriter vein, I really enjoy Jackson Browne and his approach to songwriting. It’s very direct, vulnerable, and honest. I love the Mark Knopfler and Emmylou Harris record which is about as ‘country’ sounding as I go. I also really love all periods and styles of Miles Davis music. Beats Antique is a trippy Middle Eastern sounding dance band from Oakland that I like a lot. Swell Season is on the border of folk and rock and I like them a whole lot. American Music Club is not a rock band but more of a singer-songwriter with backing group and they have always been one of my favorites. I even covered their song “Western Sky” on the original version of my “Start at the Beginning” record. Joni Mitchell, I love her singing and songwriting too. Sarah McLachlan is amazing. Michael Hedges was a real pioneering acoustic guitar player who had a huge influence on me (and an even bigger influence on my older brother Mike) in terms of discovering altered tunings, and different, more percussive ways to play guitar. These artists, and a whole lot of rock bands are what I enjoy listening to primarily.

As far as other non-rock genres that I play, it probably goes to the folk side of things, with some of the influences I mentioned, and I have dabbled a little bit in more “electronic” sounding songs with some pretty heavy loops. Putting huge guitars on these electronic songs brings them into the rock sphere for sure.

5. You are the musician, writer and producer of your songs, what/who is your inspiration?

The inspiration for my music comes from life. There are struggles and also beautiful moments as you go through things and grow and get to a place where you hopefully feel stronger and more together. If there’s an emotion that’s really intense or there’s some aspect of a life event that stays with me, it’s usually a sign to me that there’s a song that needs to get written. So, I try to keep my antenna up for both feelings and situations that are poignant or otherwise important. I try to express both the really hard things that a person goes through, and also the really beautiful and transcendent things. Life is a process of growth and discovery and I look at songwriting as both a way to chronicle some of the experiences and imaginings of life as well as a way to discover things through the process of creativity.

Listening back to a song that I’ve been working on, before anyone else has heard it, is probably the most exciting and rewarding thing. I’m always excited to share my songs with people but those moments beforehand, it’s still totally personal and full of potential.

6. What were you thinking when you create your albums? Do your songs have a theme per album?

Each song has its own story that it’s trying to tell. When the songs are collected in sequence in an album, a theme for each album does seem to emerge. The “Washington State” record is about starting to discover spiritual awareness and the experience of nature as a way to resonate and connect. “Start at the Beginning” explores a lot of the (self) destructive ways strong ego manifests in relationships. And “Fortune Cookie” is maybe about reconciliation between that spiritual awareness and strong ego, and recognizing the need to bring depth and presence into personal relationships to create real love. Basically, “Fortune Cookie” is about trying to figure out how to leave behind that more ego-driven nature and aspiring and working to become a more genuine loving person.

7. Could you briefly describe how you make your music? What comes first, the lyrics or the hymn?

Often (usually when I’m driving) I will get a single line or two lines of a song lyric that will just pop into my mind from somewhere. And usually somewhere in those lines is the kernel of an entire song. I’ll try to see if I can let those lines lead me to another few lines and see if there’s something unfolding, like a story that wants to be told.

When I have a few lines together, I’ll grab a guitar and see if there’s a melody or some chords that go together with the lyrics, and then follow where the song leads. When I have a good idea of the lyrics and arrangement, I’ll start to record some basic tracks to hear the song playing back. Then I’ll simply layer each instrument and vocal on top of these basic tracks until the whole song is done.

I really live for the spontaneous moments of discovery during recording, where a particular sound or harmony or phrase really adds some new dimension to the song and takes it to a new and surprising place.

9. What has been your biggest challenge as a musician so far? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If yes, how?

This is a great question. I think the transition between my first and second solo records (“Washington State” and “Start at the Beginning” respectively) was pretty dramatic and challenging. “Washington State” was well received, and it sounded good but I felt that there was some element to it that was still a little bit distant emotionally. It was focused more on awareness and experiences of the outside world. The “Start” record was all about trying to make something that was much rawer, more internal and more direct emotionally. While this was not totally new territory for me as we had done very emotional music with Bison, creating this kind of music totally alone felt a little daunting, to be sure. While the process of creating “Start” was very difficult, I’m pleased with the results in terms of the intensity and the quality of the songwriting.

10. How do you describe your music to people?

I usually call it high-energy emotionally charged rock with an emphasis on lyrics and songwriting…and lots of guitar solos!

Let’s talk about your album..

1. How can you differentiate the Fortune Cookie album from the other two previous albums?

Apart from the difference in the lyrical themes and the emotional directness that I described earlier, I think “Fortune Cookie” has an aliveness and electricity to the sound and the production. There’s a lot of energy in these songs. Most of the songs feature both acoustic and electric guitars, and I think the way these guitars weave together with the vocals to create the body of the songs was really successful. Sonically, it’s the best record I’ve done, and in terms of songwriting, I think it carries forward and builds on what I began with the “Start” record.

There’s more coherence and I think the tracks on “Fortune Cookie” really work in terms of the flow of one track into the next. What the albums have in common is an emphasis on guitar playing and using guitar as the sonic fabric that ties everything together.

2. What’s your favorite song in the album? Why?

This is always a tough question to answer but I think “The Hook” is probably my favorite song on the record. It seems to have its own little world unto itself and texturally it feels really different and new for me. And I think that there’s a glimmer of hopefulness inside this otherwise-sad song that has a real resonance and impact for me. Also, it has probably my favorite guitar solo that I’ve ever recorded.

3. How long did it take you to finish the album?

The record took about two years from the starting the first songs to finishing the mastering. There are a bunch of other songs that I did during this period that were left off the record that will hopefully be released in the future.

Quick fun facts for your fans:
1. How young are you as of this interview?
I’m 34.

2. What’s your favorite past time?

That would have to be having fun with my wife and kids. I’m also a huge pro football fan. I love the Patriots. And I usually like to watch whatever’s on Bravo.

3. If there’s one love song that would be singing, what would it be?

I Would Die 4 U by Prince comes to mind.

4. What are the three things that could you not live without?

Family, coffee, and guitars!

Parting words…

1. How can fans gain access to your music? Please site website, song demo pages, etc.

All my music is available at http://averch.bandcamp.com. This is the best place to stream and download all my songs and albums.

My music blog is http://averch.blogspot.com. I put interviews and reviews here, and have some thoughts on recordings in progress.

My Facebook page is: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ben-Averch/29539496225. It’s fun to see people comment on stuff, for sure.

2. Do you have any upcoming shows?

Right now, I’m working on putting a band together to play my material. Things are happening quickly so I expect we will be out there in the Seattle area before much longer!

3. What advice do you have for aspiring musicians who want to have their own album?

This is a great question, too. I’d say: Listen closely to lots of music. Pay attention to the parts of songs that resonate with you. Understand what elements about those songs are so exciting. Maybe it’s the texture, maybe it’s the melody or the chord change or the vocal harmony. Become an expert at what you like to hear.

Then it’s just a matter of doing the work to create music that you like listening back to! It will take a long time and it will always be a work in progress. Make your statement and enjoy the journey.

4. Any last words?

Thank you for the great questions and thanks to all for reading! Hope you enjoy my music. Let me know what you think!


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Friday, May 14, 2010

Fortune Cookie on Ink 19



Fortune Cookie on Ink 19
Seattle singer/songwriter Ben Averch may sound like a band at times, but he's definitely a lone warrior. On his latest album, Averch cranks the noise level higher than it's ever been -- and every thump and crackle is the offspring of his fingers. Averch is a one-man army, one who doesn't subscribe to the water-cooler blandness of his acoustic-pop brethren. While many male solo artists are veering toward the folk route, Averch lets rip his Guitar Hero. The result is a sound that combines the slick Modern Rock of the '80s with the ominous fuzz of '90s Alternative Nation.

The greatest strength of the CD is in its first four blockbusters. On "Love Me Anyway," Averch captures the breathless heartache of Bob Mould (there's even a lyrical nod to Mould's pioneering group Hüsker Dü) with a sparkling pop sheen. It's a killer track, one that attaches itself to the ears with sticky hooks. This would've been played endlessly on Modern Rock radio circa 1992; actually, it's not even that far off from the Foo Fighters today. "You Know I Need You" is darker, creating a tense atmosphere of romantic obsession and longing with spine-tingling acoustic riffs that eventually explode in a wall of electric angst. Layers of introspective brooding make "You Know I Need You" so effective. On "It's Getting Away from Me" and "The Hook," Averch continues to unveil his arsenal of memorable and addictive melodies, all presented with a shadow of inner turmoil.

Eschewing the ironic twists and low-fidelity quirks of indie rock, Averch proudly marches with a style of his own, free from trendy inspirations. The arena-ready "One and the Same" combines the bracing grunge of Sugar with the epic guitars of U2 while ["Landfall"] finds Averch down in a hole of his own personal hell. Alternative rock used to mean something, and this record reminds us of its true definition.

By Robert M. Sutton

Friday, May 07, 2010

New Interview on BandsLikeRush.com



Hi all,

Here is an in depth interview I did with Ben Sommer of BandsLikeRush.com that covers a whole lot of ground, including my early musical upbringing, the process of creating material on my own, the "Fortune Cookie" record, the influence of Rush on my music, Eddie Vedder and the Harvard Square busking experience and much more...enjoy!

Ben Averch on BandsLikeRush.com
My guest today is the first unsolicited interviewee for BandsLikeRush.com. Ben Averch – a one-man progressive rock band from Seattle – contacted me directly at this website with an offer to talk. I’m glad he did because – not only is his music great – but he’s an avid, long-time Rush fan, with great stories to boot. Its quite rare to find a fellow musician who – like me – writes, performs and records his own music – and doesn’t SUCK! On the contrary, his music is not at all simple Rush “similac” or directly derivative from any other classic prog rock band, but are personal statements, with great arrangement, production, and musicianship. His songs have grown on me – they’re in my iPod – I suggest they get in yours.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Start at the Beginning on CrossOver



Start at the Beginning on CrossOver - Network For Youth Culture

(Translated from German by Google!)

Ben Averch is from Seattle, has however not yet Nevermore Grunge something to do with with. However, Ben Averch has a certain musical individuality, which is worth to look closer to it. Music is a matter of taste, for sure, but regardless you have to "Start At The Beginning" extraordinary publication classified as. It is the second CD by Ben Averch and he has recorded all the instruments himself. At first I tended more to the singer / songwriter-drawer to put the whole thing, but ultimately it would be wrong. OK, Ben sings and writes the songs, but here also lies more in it yet. Ultimately, I unabashedly titling the whole time with all kind of rock, finally narrowed the music not so much. The music conveys all the time a pleasant Achtzigerflair (sometimes we slip into the seventies), though this whole thing as no one should dismiss as stale. The mix of rock and electronic pop reminiscent in places of OMD, only then prog giants of Rush in the mind's eye to appear that the short order, turn classical melodies to place clear which already bands like Cheap Trick and Kansas did celebrate. All songs are very catchy, the choruses and the vocals never seem cluttered very harmonious and somehow reassuring. Ben Averch is a great combination of rock and pop success. Ultimately, the perfect soundtrack to smile over it to see if the TV is just exploding onto brand-new sofa or the cat has puked. Hey, peace!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Back for the Attack



I've been working on a new song at my good friend Ed Becker's studio. Ed runs Eltmon Productions and has produced some really terrific stuff by a bunch of musicians including Christopher Youngblood who, like your correspondent, is a play-all-the-instruments-himself guy.

It's great to be working on new material so soon after finishing "Fortune Cookie", and it's especially fun to work with Ed, who is bringing out a real hugeness to the track. It's the first time in a long time that I've recorded with a producer-who-is-not-myself and it's great to be challenged on some of my basic assumptions during the recording (such as the you-could-call-it-compulsive need to have 100s of guitar tracks). In fact, Ed even suggested that if I resist my tendency to layer and layer and overdub forever, that I may be able to get another record out in 3 months instead of my usual "18-24 month cadence."

So that has been food for thought for sure. In any case, the song has taken shape very quickly and I'm very hopeful it will turn out well. (Early returns are encouraging.) It's a welcome relief to simply write, play and sing and let someone else work on the computer! I'm not sure yet whether I'm doing a record, or just busting out a track here, but as always, the thrill of creating new stuff makes me super happy.

Hope to give y'all an update on this work really soon!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ben Averch Interview with Bob Decker (WRKC) Part 3



Ben Averch Interview with Bob Decker (WRKC) Part 3

Hi all,

Here's part 3 of my Fortune Cookie interview with Bob Decker of "Bob's Metal Show". This segment includes the following super fun topics:

1. Inspiration for the lyrics
2. Do-it-yourself vs. chasing record labels
3. Being as prolific as possible

WRKC FM Stream

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Ben Averch Interview with Bob Decker (WRKC) Part 2



Ben Averch Interview with Bob Decker (WRKC) Part 2

Here's part 2 of my interview with Bob Decker. This segment covers:

1. "Fortune Cookie" stylistic differences from "Start at the Beginning"
2. Approach to guitar solos
3. Layering inside the tracks

WRKC FM Stream

Monday, April 05, 2010

Ben Averch Interview with Bob Decker (WRKC) Part 1


Ben Averch Interview with Bob Decker (WRKC) Part 1

Here's part 1 of an interview I did with WKRC's Bob Decker, host of "Bob's Metal Show". The topic of the interview is the album "Fortune Cookie". Part 1 includes:

1. Album title and artwork
2. Older tracks making the record
3. Sonic approach

WRKC FM Stream

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Fortune Cookie FTW!

<a href="http://averch.bandcamp.com/album/fortune-cookie">Fortune Cookie by Ben Averch</a>

At long last, here is my third solo record, hope you like it!