Songwriter, author and podcaster Ben Arthur did not know what he was in for on Basic Folk, but neither did I. Most times there is a plan when I approach an interview, however, every once in awhile the plan gets thrown out and we really dig into it. “I didn’t expect all the psychological profiling that we’re doing… but I’m into it” Ben says after a couple of minutes into the interview.
Ben’s had an interesting and varied career, but has always had an incredible drive that led him to pursuing several outside of the box projects. Aside from writing music, Ben’s very interested in shedding light on the creative process and allowing music fans to go behind the curtain of how music is made. He’s hosted and produced SongCraft Presents, a video series on PBS that featured him writing songs with My Brightest Diamond, John Wesley Harding, and Ben Sollee. His latest project is a podcast called SongWriter that features stories and answer songs with Joyce Carol Oates, Roxane Gay, Gary Shteyngart, Ted Leo, Patricia Lockwood, Susan Orlean, and others.
Ben also explains the three legged stool rule: It can be a good hang, it can be good money, or it can be good art. You can usually have two out of the three. Also, he’s convinced me that it’s better to be human and honest than have a big ego. A big ego = giant walls and no access to relatability or vulnerability. This is a lovely conversation with a smart, self-deprecating and humble human.
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