Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter, artist and producer Ben Noble, who draws influence from legendary artists ranging from Bob Dylan to Radiohead, is preparing to release his second LP, “Where The Light Comes In“, in March 2020. His sophomore effort is a major expansion of the sonic palette, introducing drums, synths, electric guitars, and much more to his signature ethereal vocal melodies and textures. It is as much a sonic experiment as it is a heart- rending search for answers to questions of grief and the cyclical nature of trauma.
See our exclusive interview with him below
My sound is a blend of indie-folk with electronic elements and soundscapes. I love the way organic sounds can be distorted and mangled digitally to make unique textures. My goal is to create a cathartic experience in my music.
Which 3 artists have influenced you the most growing up?
Radiohead, Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens
How did you discover your particular sound?
I discovered (and am still discovering) my sound from trying to emulate my favorite artists. I listened to their records endlessly, I learned their songs, watched interviews, etc. There has never been a magic moment of “oh this is what I sound like, this is Ben Noble’s sound” – it has always been a journey of endless tinkering and experimenting, of buying and borrowing new gear that I am unfamiliar with, all in an effort to find the inspiration of not really knowing how something works. I am a guitar-player primarily but have found that I have more creative freedom when I dabble in other, less-familiar instruments.
What are the most important pieces of equipment to you?
The most important pieces are your brain and your ears! You can find inspiration from anything if you try hard enough. Nowadays we have 12 year olds making music on iPads and Grammy-sweeping albums being made in bedrooms. I am so excited about the future of music because ANYONE can create it if they want to. You no longer have to spend a fortune. On this album in particular, I was very inspired by the following gear (all of which are fairly spendy ironically): Dave Smith Prophet 08 Rev2, Elektron Digitakt, Arturia V Collection (especially the CS80 and Buchla), Soundtoys Collection (especially the Primal Tap and Echoboy), and the Caroline Kilobyte Delay Pedal.
What outside of music inspires you to create?
Creativity flows the most freely when my brain is processing things happening in the world. I find this when I think about the big questions in life. Whenever I need inspiration, I read books and poetry or watch documentaries.
Do you have a favourite memory of your career so far that you will take with you forever?
I cried my eyes out the first time I heard myself on the radio. I was driving home from the zoo with my infant son in the backseat when a song of mine came on. I had to pull over to the side of the road because I was overcome with emotion.
If you could work with, or perform alongside any artist living or passed, who would it be?
Most artists say that if they weren’t artists they would be mailmen/women… what would you be?
I would either be a graphic designer, carpenter, or software engineer (because money).
What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
I am releasing my second full-length album on March 6th, 2020. It is called “Where The Light Comes In”, and it has been a major undertaking. In addition to this, I am involved in a number of other projects named Lake Union, Glass Echoes, Bora York, and a number of unnamed collaborations with other Minneapolis-based musicians.
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