What is your name and role within Epic 45?
Ben, I record sounds, play guitar and keyboards, write words, sing a little and take photographs.
Where are you currently based?
You’ve just re-released the album May Your Heart Be The Map on vinyl, which was originally released 10 years ago. You’ve released it on your own label Wayside & Woodland, why did you choose to re-release May Your Heart Be The Map?
We plan to release all our albums on vinyl and this one chimed in nicely with it’s 10 year anniversary. Plus, it seems to be a popular choice with our fans.
How has the scene since the original release 10 years ago?
Hmm. Never felt part of a scene as such, so it’s a tough one to answer. Scenes come and go and we simply carry on with what we do. It would appear ‘shoegaze’ has risen in popularity again, a term that has been thrown our way from time to time but doesn’t sit particularly well with is. Is that a rubbish answer?
You’re currently working on a new LP, the follow up to 2011’s Weathering, where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration, as ever, comes from our surroundings, watching places around us change, the immeasurable impact of the landscape, seasons changing, time passing and the way memories are triggered by talking to old friends, finding objects and items in childhood homes. We’ve both moved away from the village we grew up in, so returning there occasionally has been very powerful and a massive influence on this new album.
Where are you recording?
Bedrooms, village halls, gardens, cupboards and old mills.
What equipment do you use?
Guitars, samplers, synths, various other boxes and computer. Other than that, it’s a secret!
How do you go about writing tracks?
In varying ways, sometimes a track will start with a sample or sound, sometimes from a guitar or synth line. Then the track will be passed back and forth until it’s decided between us that it’s ‘finished’
After a period of concentrating on solo projects, you’re focusing on Epic 45 again, what brought on the solo direction?
The solo projects became our main focus probably due to the changes in both our lives, moving away from where we grew up, long relationships ending, new ones beginning, having children etc epic45 felt very much routed in that other life, so we needed time away from it to figure out what it could be now that things have changed.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Stuff that has caught my attention in recent years and I’ve greatly enjoyed would include Jenny Hval, Richard Dawson, Richard Youngs and Claire M Singer. Other than that, I’m greatly enjoying exploring older folk stuff like COB, Lal and Mike Waterson’s Bright Phoebus and Nic Jones. A late 80s album by the great June Tabor really floored me recently, called Aqaba. I continue to listen to The Fall at alarming regularity too. As well as this, I’m listening to and obviously greatly enjoying the music we’ve released and plan to release on our label Wayside & Woodland – Oliver Cherer, Mark Van Hoen, Component#4 and They Go Boom!!
When and where are you playing next?
Nothing planned at the moment, the main priority is finishing the album first. But next year should see some live outings..