Consuelo Bernardi: The B Sides


A Chat With Ben Lovett

Highway Collection and Tall Swedish Women

So I've blogged about Lovett on the Bsides a few times in the past few months already...he's up there on my current musical obsession list.

Better known for his movie scores, Lovett's singer/songwriter side was finally unleashed.

Lovett's debut album, 'Highway Collection' is available on iTunes...and it's a brilliant eclectic offering...that will have you listening over and over again.

And the fact that I may have a tiny crush on him (he qualifies as totally hawt in my books because he reminds me of Ryan Gosling...which gets filed under my 'swoon worthy' files) well it has nothing to do with the fact that I asked to do a quick one on one interview with him. Ahem.

But sadly, the harsh reality is he won't ever make it to my Top 5 'can have an affair with and not count against me' laminated list. Why? Well this not so tall Italian brunette just won't cut it for him...and cue some tall Swedish woman in his hotel room during a recent trip to London.

I have to accept that I am neither tall nor Swedish. Damn my Southern Italian genes.

Now that I have you on.

So after all the years of producing for other artists and composing musical scores for film - what made you decide that this was the time to release your own music and take on the role of singer/songwriter?
It was just suddenly something I needed to do. I had gotten to a point in my life where the only things that seemed worth doing where the ones I hadn’t yet. It was a new challenge - every aspect of making the record was familiar to me except the role of the singer and the songwriter, so I wanted to wander down that road and see where it might lead. I guess you could also say that it was always meant to be now, that something in me decided not to write songs until I knew what it was that I wanted to say.

There is very much two distinctive creative sides to you - visual and aural - did you envision a concept for each song when you were writing/recording the songs for your debut album? Since you're planning on releasing one video for every song?
I wasn’t thinking about the videos when making the album, no. Each songs has its own story or concept inherent in the lyrics that first informs the mood and instrumentation of the recording, then the visual. My intention was always to collaborate with different directors so that what you see on the screen is an interpretation of that original concept, instead of just an illustration of it. They have just as much to do with shaping that as what is fundamental to the idea of the song itself.

Mildly obsessed with the song 'Heartattack'...and the video is fab too....that 20s swing vibe with your own Southern twist meets a rock 'n roll edge...what kind of music do you gravitate towards (influences) or are you an equal opportunity music lover?
I don’t get too preoccupied with kinds of music. I like songs. There are ones in every decade and style that I enjoy and the gravity of one over another for me generally has less to do with the style or the band and more with the song itself.

You've described your lifestyle as 'rambling' - in that you travel around a lot...what 3 things can't you leave 'home' without?
Well I don’t have a home right now so most of what I have tends to leave with me wherever I’m headed. I prefer to keep around a fancy pillow, a good notebook, and any guitar that’s older than me.

And finally you tweeted while in London..."Suggestions for getting into trouble and/or adventure here in London?" So did you find trouble? adventure? or both?
I did, in fact, find a bit of both. While I am a storyteller, I’m also a gentleman, so I’ll forgo the details. I can disclose only that it might have involved a tall Swedish woman suddenly sitting down at my table during breakfast, a series of underground passageways, the Royal Wedding, Elton John’s piano, and an unpainted cupboard somewhere in the tangled streets of East London.


The Fear

Lovett at SWSX 2011

Lovett from Stephen M. Keller on Vimeo.

You can follow Lovett along on Twitter: @thebenlovett