in ,

INTERVIEW: BEN FOX SMITH of Young Sawbones (Formerly of SERAFIN / STONY SLEEP).

BEN FOX SMITH has been a producing and adding his musical outputs to the vast world of pop-rock for a long while. His career effectively started with STONY SLEEP (started by Ben and his brother, Christian), which was formed in 1993. STONY SLEEP quickly was signed to a label and released their debut album ‘Music For Chameleons’. After it disbanded his next project, SERAFIN (2000), was born. With Darryn Harkness, Serafin was a continuation of the grunge-pop-rock he’d had with STONY SLEEP.

At a similar time when SERAFIN was at the end of its band life, his project YOUNG SAWBONES was started. There are many parts of the story, but Ben is a musician and during the challenges during those years, YOUNG SAWBONES constantly helped him provide the outlet he needed. Ben’s hallowed music career, is deep and wide. When looked from a macro point of view, he had helped seed friendships and outputs that has been critically acclaimed and popular; and is a person to certainly get to know as fans of music.

The North London (UK) based artist is very much active in the indie rock scene, and from our short interaction with him, he is always thinking and prodding, for what he wants out of the world he is involved in.

Here’s a short interview we did with Ben. He’d been a sport for taking some time out of his day. We hope this is an interaction we can continue with Ben, for he is a good person from what we gather, and we at CHF, dig good people, good music, and good vibes.

Heck. As we all should try to, right?

In 2006, YOUNG SAWBONES’ first EP ‘GGNH’ was published and this proud project hasn’t stopped publishing since. His latest EP ‘Stimmung’ (2018) is available now. The project is more experimental and emotive, compared to his other past projects, which is certainly one of the reasons we at CHF had been interested in reviewing ‘Flat Earth Song’.

Ben is planning on a new EP (which would include his latest single ‘Flat Earth Song’) sometime in the near future.

(CHF)
Please tell us a general frame about yourself. What’s your name? Live?

(BFS)
I live in North London… half Peruvian… went to school with Libertines bassist John Hassall and Razorlight singer Johnny Burrel 🙂

(CHF)
Other band members in your current project (if any)?

(BFS)
Brilliant musicians from Display Team and Black Plastic

(CHF)
Where did you get the name ‘Young Sawbones’? And what’s the meaning?

(BFS)
Found it on a book, not read it actually :/

(CHF)
What was the genesis (reason for being) of ‘Young Sawbones’? Is there a story behind it? A cause?

(BFS)
I needed a pseudonym to go solo with… I can be more creative using an alias.

(CHF)
You’d been a fabulous musician and contributor to rock since you were young (Sarafin, etc), and artists, like yourself change/evolve as the years roll on – what certain events in your life has moved you to evolve?

(BFS)
Well getting older means many things… one of them for me was learning to play piano formally which I’m still doing, I’m on grade 7 🙂

(CHF)
And as you’d changed and moved forward, what does Ben Fox Smith of today mean? Or at least try to be? Become?

(BFS)
Well Ben Fox Smith is the reality of Young Sawbones, the day to day bod who brushes his teeth and defecates… Young Sawbones doesn’t do those things 😉 Ben Fox Smith is YSB’s butler 😉

(CHF)
What made you write the ‘Flat Earth Song’?

(BFS)
Well I’d never heard of the flat-earth hypothesis before recent times and I found it brilliantly stupid. You got it right in your review… that I applaud the probing skeptical mind but should perhaps be put to better use 🙂

(CHF)
When were the lyrics completed? As I was recording the song I wrote the lyrics… they seemed aptly fun, suitable to the slightly cheeky music.
What was the inspirational kernel?

(BFS)
I just enjoyed the chord sequence so I wanted to complete it… it was fortuitous that I had the idea of using my brother’s videos which are also joyous and fun. I got my friend Miki to play violin on it! She’s in Pete Doherty’s band 🙂

(CHF)
What is the plan for a future EP or Album (which includes ‘Flat Earth Song’)?

(BFS)
It will appear on an album at some point. Presently exclusive to YouTube… I’m writing and releasing in this way until I have an album’s worth… then I’ll sell it on Bandcamp. I have another album being mixed at the moment which will also have videos for my channel.

(CHF)
It’s been at least 12 years (8 eps/albums) since the formation of your project, Young Sawbones. What’s its future look like?

(BFS)
It’s sustainable…. So I work like a silk-worm to produce quality stuff without any restrictions on me… it’s the beauty of not being signed… although there are some labels I’m looking at who would probably let me do what I want, when I want.

(CHF)
From our experience musicians are always itching to start new projects and try different ways of sonically expressing their thoughts/feelings. Are you working on a different project?

(BFS)
I’m focused on Young Sawbones right now but I’ve recently worked on my brother’s project “Genre 18” and an old friend’s solo album, his name is Tom Eady… I play keyboards, mix and master for them. They’ll be released on my label YSB Records… They’ll be a Tom Moody album soon too I think, another old friend.

(CHF)
What are your joys in life these days? A subject or activity that is most relaxing to you?

(BFS)
I have a nice new morning routine that involves meditation, then yoga, then chi gong, then freeletics, then breakfast with a book, then piano practice… that’s the ideal… don’t hate me, I rarely achieve everything 🙂

(CHF)
You are based out of London: what is the scene like these days? In indie-rock/garage/alt/rock?

(BFS)
It’s painfully sporadic… the best scene I know of that gets no press is the Bird’s Nest scene in Deptford south-east London… lots of brilliant bands with great talent play this little pub… it’s existence is now threatened I believe.

(CHF)
Tell us about ‘Joy Fest’ coming up in July 29th.

(BFS)
Joyfest is Joyzine which has survived the digital age so far, run by the lovely Paul Madden. He’s been aware of my stuff since Stony Sleep days and has awesome taste 🙂

We thank Ben, again for his graciousness in doing this interview. Looking forward to interacting more as the days move forward. Also, don’t forget to see him at JOYFEST this July 29th, if you’re in London. He’s playing will take the stage with peers: Rat the Magnificent, Vienna Ditto, Stephen Evens, Time Dilation Unit, and more TBA.

Word.


Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading…

0

Comments

0 comments

MAGS ON EARTH Shares ‘Crybaby’. “I Want To Accept…”

Tact Actors Shares ‘Traps’. Listen Good. Listen For Pleasure.