Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance Chats

Posted by Miss Ess, August 6, 2009 02:37pm | Post a Comment
Ben Chasny is the man, the myth from Drag City guitar fest Six Organs of Admittance. Sounds like the making of his latest record, Luminous Light, out August 18, was some seriously risky business, what with the Turkish prison-style atmosphere and all! Check out our correspondance below:

Miss Ess: What music did you hear in your house when you were growing up, before you had a choice? Do you think this music had any influence on you?

Ben Chasny: The Rolling Stones - Tattoo You. Well, I have a crazy tribal backplate, so yes.

ME: When did you pick up the guitar?

BC: When I realized it was a lot easier to play like that than when it was lying on the ground (waa waaaa).

ME: When and how did you start writing songs?

BC: When I was 3. I wrote a song called "The Futility of the Rattle" inspired by Sartre. I've tried to simplify things since then.

ME: How has living in Seattle as opposed to the Bay Area influenced your latest batch of songs?

BC: Well, I can still look California here but feel Minnesota. Or is it the other way around?

ME: What made you ready to move away from a mostly guitar-based sound for this album?

BC: I loaned my guitar to an albino 5 year old from El Salvador that used to be my cook and he kept it for 5 months longer than he promised, right when i was supposed to do raging guitar overdubs that sounded like John McLaughlin, so I had to have some folks do them on viola and flute instead.

ME: Where was your new album recorded? Who produced it and what was the concept behind the production style, if any?

BC: Randall Dunn both produced and recorded it. His style is somewhere between Dirty Harry and When Harry Met Sally, but more Turkish prison style. There were always mafioso types coming in and out. None of them had any guitars to borrow.

ME: What is your most prized piece of musical equipment and why?

BC: I'm partial to my custom made crazy ass distortion pedal that my friend Bill Skibbe made for me. Bill does sound for Shellac.
ME: What song describes your life right now?

BC: "Old And In The Way" by Old And In The Way.

ME: What's an album you love that you think more people should hear?

BC: The Cosmos Soundtrack.

ME: What records have you been listening to lately?

BC: Lots of Cakekitchen, Thomas Khoner, Bruce Springsteen, Flower Corsano Duo and Master Musicians of Bukkake.

ME: Who would you have on a bill with you if you could choose any bands, regardless of time and space?

BC: Moondog, Popul Vuh and Hendrix.
ME: What has been your best find at Amoeba?

BC: I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but off the top of my head: This killer Hermann Nitsch 8 cd box set, used, and Bo Hansson's Music Inspired by Watership Down for $1.99. Oh yeah, and A.N.P.s Ultrasonic Action, which I had sold years before and wanted back.

ME: Thank you for your time.

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Interview (341), Ben Chasny (2), Six Organs Of Admittance (7), Comets On Fire (5), Drag City (14), Luminous Light (1)