There are so many of them, I could write a whole novella listing them all. I grew up listening to a lot of alternative rock and hip-hop. The first band that ever opened my eyes to the experimental/electronic side of things was Radiohead. J Dilla and Kanye West have always been huge early production influences.
What about non-musical influences?
When I’m not working or making music, I spend a lot of time watching cinema or engaging in conversation surrounding all different types of media. I find a lot of inspiration in storytelling creatives like Speilberg, James Cameron, Richard Linklater, Tarantino, the late Stanley Kubrick, etc.
What’s next for the Benji Robot project? Any big collaborations or news you can share?
Not 100% sure what I’m able to share about collaborations at this point in time. The world of collaborations can get a little messy and unstable – especially when working with an overworked, introverted perfectionist like myself. But the collaborations that DO exist, I plan on playing out during the summer/fall touring season. What’s next for the project is the same as I anticipate it always will be – keep making music as it comes, and share it with the world wherever, and whenever I’m lucky enough to do so properly!
What were some of your inspirations for your “Cherry Blossom” EP?
Cherry Blossom was a bit of a step in a different direction. I wanted to show newer fans since Sedona and NOLA and remind old ones of the versatility in my sound and art direction. I took a lot of inspiration in the design and thematic elements of Cyberpunk 2077, traditional Japanese music, and post-modern brutalist architecture. I wanted to pay tribute to elements of psytrance, drum & bass, dubstep, and nu-school breaks.
What can you tell us about opening for Tipper at the Saenger Theatre in NOLA?
It was like a dream. Tipper has been undoubtedly my biggest production influence ever since I was first introduced to his music when I was in audio school. I started the Benji Robot project after the Tipper & Friends 4321 festival at the 2017 Solar Eclipse at Astral Valley. My first major goal for the project was to get on stage with them, in some capacity. I just wanted to work with them – they seemed like complete experts of the craft and awesome people to work with. That came quickly lol. The folks at Tipper & Friends were so incredibly kind and supportive and gave me the opportunity of a lifetime to debut my first album to a fresh audience. Not to mention, in one of the most beautiful venues in the world. Very hard to believe that was my very last show before the pandemic. I’m grateful every day for that experience and for the tons of new friends and listeners that came along as a result. I’m very eager to play at another Tipper & Friends gathering in the near future. On the day I’m writing this, they just announced their two-night run at Red Rocks on my birthday weekend – I couldn’t be more stoked for them and everyone on that lineup. I know he hasn’t had a headlining show there since 2014-2015. If I’m not booked to play elsewhere that weekend, you’ll know where to find me – smack in the middle, just behind front-of-house 😉
What are your plans for the rest of 2021?
My plans consist of taking things one show at a time. As much as I’m eager to get back into the swing of things – I’ve gotten very used to the comfort of my bedroom studio, so it might take me a while to get back to being somewhat of a social butterfly. My big music plans are to find a very good record processing plant as well as a reputable vinyl packaging company to roll out a limited version of Sedona, and to roll out the next LP once the vinyl is out there.
Who would be a dream collaborator for you?
I would love to work on music with Mr. Bill or ill.Gates. They’ve taught me so much about Ableton and production over the years, I feel like making music with them would be so fun and educational. I’d also be very curious to hear the result of a collaboration with Simon Posford. And I mean, if Tipper ever wanted to work on music with me, I’d give it an honest attempt, but I’d probably just sit back and watch what he does.
What about a dream venue or festival to perform at?
I’d love to experience them all, and I’d love to see as much of the world through music as I possibly can, but personally, some bucket list venues/festivals in the states would include Electric Forest, Red Rocks, Astral Valley, Infrasound, Hulaween, Sonic Bloom, Lightning In a Bottle, etc.
What is one thing that fans wouldn’t know about you unless they asked? Maybe like a hobby or unique interest?
I don’t have many hobbies or interests besides music and cinema like I mentioned earlier, but something new that people might not know about me is that I recently started a full-time day job in the cryptocurrency space, which I’m sure many people would find pretty interesting! It’s a pretty new field and I’m excited to be at the forefront.
What can you tell fans about your upcoming Cabin Fever Festival performance?
Buckle in for safety.
What about Sound Haven, in Tennessee?
Bring extra water, fans, and coolants because it’s about to get HOT in more ways than the sun.
What do you want your fans to know about your music?
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