Interview: Ben Taylor

Photo by Pete Gurnz

Photo by Pete Gurnz

Ben Taylor is doing just fine for being the son of living legends Carly Simon & James Taylor. Not because he’s coasting clean by living off their success, but because he’s spent the better part of his life writing, recording and touring music that is his own. While there are clear influences from his parents work, Ben has managed to build a dedicated fan base around the world. We caught up with him around the time of his last performance at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, Georgia to talk about well, his music. 

You released your first record, Famous Among the Barns, ten years ago – with five release in between then and now. Are there any particular songs that you find yourself continuously going back to, revisiting or reworking, because the idea or meaning behind them has changed?

I would be compelled to argue that a songs natural state is much more liquid, and that the unnatural thing is for a song to be bronzed and frozen the way it is when we record it. Hence the importance of road testing new compositions before committing them to history. What if you have a hit with a record of a song who isn’t finished writing itself? Your adoring fans will never allow you to change any of your “original” words and arrangements.

Songs have lives of their own. Ideally, they should long outlive the artist’s who first found them. They should  spread out into different streams, through the adventurous spirits of musicians yet to be. Have families of their own. echo through the furthest reaches of individuality, back into the one-ness from whence they came.

Short answer: Mostly “Good Day To Be Alive”, because it’s constantly proving itself true, over and over again. But really, songs most often keep writing themselves little by little anyway.

Along with your active music career, you’ve had roles in a number of films over the past few years. Are you currently working on any projects?

I’ve never really taken it very seriously, but I’m definitely getting older and uglier in an attractive way. IF things keep going this way, I may feel more and more inclined toward professional posing in general (no dis-respect to any real thesbo’s).

You’re on the road most of May, with a short run in June and August. You made a stop in Decatur at Eddie’s Attic and from what I assume with your touring history, this won’t be your first time there?

No, last time I was at Eddie’s Attic was one week post-op from a snapped Achilles Tendon. So I was hopping  up the stairs with my crutches and guitar in one hand, and my backpack and the railing in the other… Made it to the second to last step from the top and and then fell all the way back down. Cracked rib, bruised pride, good show.

The newest release, Listening, features the single “World Are Made Of Paper”. Can you give me a breakdown of the idea behind the video? It’s an incredibly clever idea. 

Was going to ask you the same question.