by the partae

What is your name and role within the band?

My name is Ben Romans Hopcraft, and I sing and play guitar.

How did you start?

Me and Leo (the other guitarist) met at university and started making songs together, out of our shared lack of enthusiasm for our courses. 

Where are you based?


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Please give an example of your music writing process?

Usually, I’ll make a demo at home. Record it, show it to the band, then everyone adds their own flavor’s to the song.

What are you working on right now?

Right now, I’m writing a few songs for other singers and artists. Whilst also making new childhood songs and anything that comes into my head really. It’s usually just an outpour of ideas and they kind of find a home at some point. 

What is your gear setup?

Pretty basic. I record at home with a Scarlett 18i20 interface. Also been using this AKAI 4 track tape machine for demoing. Makes crappy recording sound more forgiving I find. Other than that, live i use a Gretsch duo jet guitar, through a fender hot rod deville. I’ve actually started using our sound guy’s Electro Voice re-20 mic for live vocals, which I’m really enjoying. So maybe not too basic? hah.. depends how much / little of a geek you are i suppose.

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What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?

Outside of music I like reading. I usually read about music, but music literature is the one thing that really sets off a spark inside me to create more. It helps, as you live music through other people’s minds, rather than your own, which can become overwhelming a lot of the time.

How would you describe your music genre?

For our new record, I’d call it soul infused pop. There’s strong pop moments, but has the sensibility of a lot of soul – groove records I’ve been listening too over the past years.

Do you know any music theory?

A little. I used to study theory on weekends when i was a kid, and have a music few grades under my belt. But as I got older I got more into the feeling music gave me rather than breaking it down theoretically. I found it was making me resent music. However I’d love to pick up where i left again.

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What are your plans for the future?

We want to tour this album a lot. The live show is really exciting us as a group so ideally we’d love to bring it to as many people as we possibly can.

How did you get into music?

Mainly through my parents. My dad is a musician, so me and my brother have always had music in our lives. My mum is also a huge music fan, so i was hooked even before we knew what I wanted to do with my life. 

What are you listening to at the moment?

I’m listening to a lot of classic American song writers..Like Harry Nilsson, Gershwin and Brian Wilson. Also been really getting to Eugene McDaniel’s records.

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Who are your top 5 influences and icons?

For this record I’d say Shuggie Otis, Todd Rundgren, Brian Wilson, Gil Scott Heron and The Blackbyrds.

When are you playing next?

Our next show is in Paris, May 23rd.

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