Today’s Feature – October 22-23: The Benjy Davis Project

October 30, 2008 at 1:49 am (Today's Feature)

Success comes to different kinds of artists. Some find it by accident. They know the guy who knows a guy who also knows a guy. One beat and a catchy chorus later, they’re platinum. Some find it in their translation – by accepting what’s in front of them and calling it success. Others find success the right way. They put in the work, time, sweat and tears to grind out a name for themselves by perfecting their craft, penning masterful songs and getting out to the people that matter most – the fans. This is how The Benjy Davis is carving out their success; “They’ve spent the past seven years building fan strongholds around the U.S., releasing three albums that have successfully captured their unique force.”

Following such a traditional path, its evident the members of the Project keep their heritage close to heart, providing several examples on their latest record, “Dust.” The collection “is the culmination of all the best creative parts from the band’s past, in a sound and style that proves they’re totally in the moment.” Pooling all of their creative juices together, the band plugged away for four straight days to complete “Dust;” a method that truly brings out the pure, raw talent of the Benjy Davis Project. Adding deeper elements to their arrangements of soulful and thought provoking music, the record truly takes it up a notch.

Benji Davis puts it best when talking about the album, “I think it’s partly about realizing that someday I’ll be someone’s dead great-great-grandfather. And I want them to know what I said and why I said it. Not just that I was a singer and wrote some love songs.” These guys love to hit the road, whether headlining or opening for bands like John Mayer or Better than Ezra. So get out to a show and see what it is like when a band truly gels together. Get into the XXQ’s for a whole lot more.

XXQs: Benjy Davis Project

PEV: Hailing from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, what kind of music where each of the members listening to growing up? Do you guys argue on different kinds of music?

BD: We listen to everything. Louisiana truly amazes me in that respect. People who have never been here tend to think we’re all backwoods HBO series stupid or naïve or something. Truth is, if it has a soul, we’ll find it.

PEV: Tell us about your creative processŠ What kind of environment do you have to be in to write music?

BD: Alone, certainly not in earshot of anyone. I’ve lost a few songs to someone walking in unexpected.

PEV: Having performed together for quite some time, what can fans expect from a live Benjy Davis Project show?

BD: A sexual experience. I know that sounds ridiculous but I had this epiphany a few years ago that any exchange between people should be treated with the same sentiment, the same care. I won’t come on too strong but I will come on. Some bands make me feel dirty. It’s like hey buddy you didn’t even warm me up to that. Finish yourself off.

PEV: Tell us about your first live performance as a band. How have you changed since that first show to where you are now?

BD: So much. Being an original band from day one, it was hard on everybody involved. I wasn’t always the best about being open to other ideas. We’ve come to a point now where I look around and realize how much the people in this band have shaped it. We’ve become close musically, not just personally.

PEV: What can fans expect from your new album, “Dust”? What was the collaborative process for this album?

BD: The songs sort of stood on their own as far as structure but the team effort is more evident. We’ve learned to dance together and it shows I think.

PEV: How is this album different from others out right now?
BD: The main thing I can say about this album is that a lot of things have happened in my life since I started writing songs for it. I’ve come to doubt some things, I still believe most of it, but mainly it’s honest in how fickle and normal we all are. There are no songs on this album that couldn’t be used against me by the people I’m the closest with somewhere down the road.

PEV: How would you describe the sound of Benjy Davis?

BD: More than influence, I guess, my direction would be a mix between the percussive aspects of pop and the waving movement of Irish-catholic hymnals and such. My parents have been my left and right ear in that regard. Connecting them is the fun and possibly disastrous part.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of The Benjy Davis Project?

BD: We’re voting for Obama.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a career for you?

BD: 7th grade, my mom brought a guitar inside she’d rented for me while I was at school. That was it.

PEV: What one word best describes the Benjy Davis Project

BD: Bemused

PEV: How is life on the road for you? Best and worst parts?

BD: We enjoy culture shock, which is a good thing. Best part is the shows and the hours that surround them. Worst part would be upstairs load-ins and being away from our dogs.

PEV: In all your travels, which has been your favorite city to play (US or International)?

BD: New Orleans will always be my first love. We played a cow field in Conway, Arkansas the other day and that was seriously one of my favorites.

PEV: How have all your friends and family reacted to your success?

BD: They’ve always been supportive. My dad cooked me a steak when I told him about the deal.

PEV: What can we find the members of the band doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

BD: Matt is a nurse so he saves lives, Jon builds amp cases, Mic does something or other and I drink beer and write songs.

PEV: Which artist would be your dream collaboration? Why?

BD: Daniel Johns because he’s been a figure in the distance I’ve been following for a while. Catching up with him metaphorically would be a dream.

PEV: If you weren’t playing music, what would the members of the band most likely be doing for a career?

BD: I’d probably run a bar.

PEV: Ten years down the road, where will the band be?

BD: Hopefully still out here where you can see us.

PEV: So, what is next for Benjy Davis Project?

BD: I hope to get some shows with some people we respect and we’ll just keep it real, normal people in a f- – ked up world.

For more information on Benjy Davis Project, check out: www.bdpmusic.com

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