Tuesday, February 22, 2011
BEN OTTEWELL GETS PERSONAL
With his receding hairline, flannel shirt and glasses, Ben Ottewell's the least 'rock star' muso in rock 'n roll. But his voice is pure gold. His gravelly, wounded-knee melodies are what drew me to Gomez - and kept me there. Now, like fellow Gomez guitarist Ian Ball before him, Ottewell's decided it's time to unleash his first solo album on the world. Six years in the making, the record's called Shapes and Shadows. And I couldn't think of a more perfect name for the dreamy, patchwork collection of personal songs, written whenever he could steal a moment.
How long have you had these songs rolling around your brain?
The oldest tune on the record is 'Blackbird'. I started writing it about six years ago, on the same morning I wrote 'How We Operate'. The newest is either 'Lightbulbs' or 'All Brand New', both written in winter 2009. So they have been rolling around my brain for quite some time. It's great that they finally found a home.
Are they more personal than your Gomez output?
Yes, and I think that’s the whole point; to reflect something more personal musically and lyrically. Although some of these songs are co-written (with Sam Genders), they’re closer to me than they would have been on a Gomez record.
Who was the first person you played the finished record to?
My wife and twin boys.
Click here to read the full interview on Don't Panic Online.