Ahead of his New Strings EP set to release on Apparel Music this month, we caught up with producer and DJ Benjamin Long for a quick Q&A.
What else? It’s a form of pure escapism.
If you weren’t making music what would you be doing?
Probably watching TV, eating or working my 9-5.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
For music, keep at it! You can only improve.
What inspires you?
Maverick musicians like David Byrne or Keith Jarrett.
What’s the next big thing?
Anything but the ‘metaverse’.
Best club experience?
Tricky, probably those formative raves at Fabric.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
There are too many. Probably being a kitchen porter at a hospital on minimum wage.
How do you know when a track’s finished?
Usually, I get bored with it. I think if you leave a track for a few months and it still bangs when you come back to it, then you know it’s probably good.
What was your last day job and when did you realise you could give it up?
Haha, next question…
Which song do you wish you wrote?
Cher – Believe.
What’s the easiest way to make it in the music industry?
Not sure to be honest but I would guess becoming a superstar DJ or producing a lot of pop tracks for others.
What’s the worst track you’ve ever released?
They are all equally superb IMHO.
Recommend us a film.
Recommend us a book.
Jon Ronson – The Psychopath Test.
What or who is underrated?
Toughie – I think many musicians are underrated. Someone like K15 who makes incredible tunes but is still fairly under the radar compared to others.
What or who is overrated?
Expensive studio speakers/headphones. I just use some basic Sony cans these days and they do the trick – as long as you know what sounds good on them.
What are you addicted to?
Popcorn, I’ve had a weird obsession with it for many years now.
What do you lust over?
Natural performers/people who actually love being the centre of attention.
What is your greatest regret?
Probably wasting too much energy, time and money going out when I should’ve been making music. Alas!
What one thing would most improve your life?
A new synth probably, looking at a few.
What’s the worst gig you’ve ever played?
I’ve only ever DJ’d a handful of times and they’ve all been pretty awful. I put on a one-off night in Brighton once called ‘Bookie Nights’ and I had no control over the mixer, so the music kept cutting out. The tunes I did play were fire though.
Collaboration: rich creative experience or pain in the ass?
Rich creative experience. I don’t do enough of it these days but collaboration always leads to something new.
What’s the secret to a great mix?
The best mixes are those that surprise you. I like hearing a lot of diversity and energy switch-ups.
If you could only listen to one more track, what would it be?
Coffee Cold – Galt Macdermot.
How do you relax?
Usually with a beer on the sofa, producing with my headphones on, with football playing in the background.
What one piece of software/kit could you not do without? Why?
Probably my Nord Electro. That was the biggest splash I’ve made but it levelled up my tunes significantly.
Art or money?
Really expensive art.
Ronaldo or Messi?
Strangest place you ever wrote a track?
On a Megabus.
Must-visit record store?
I like Flashback Records in Angel.
What’s your single biggest frustration in the music industry?
Probably Spotify. Can’t succeed with it, can’t succeed without it.
Read this next: “I Removed My Music From Spotify”- Why Artists Are Stepping Away
What’s your favourite label? Why?
Apparel! Great consistency over the years and the head honcho Gius does amazing things.
What’s the worst thing about making music?
It’s isolating and time-consuming. You have to sacrifice time with friends and loved ones (sorry bae).
What’s your motto?
Fuck it, it’s summer.
Name something timeless
Jacket potatoes, beans, cheese and tuna.
Tweet us a tip. What’s the best production advice you can give in 140 characters or less?
Produce with your ears, not your eyes. Took me a long time to figure this out!
Complete this sentence: At heart I’m just a frustrated …
Charlton Athletic supporter.
Can music change the world?
What are you listening to right now?
Arthur Russell – Make 1, 2 (Gem Spa Dub)
What should you do before you die?
Set up my own popcorn business.
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