Monday, March 19, 2012

Pheaturing Ben Talmi From Art Decade

Hiya, kids, welcome to another entry of the Phile for a Monday. How're you doing?  So, who is watching the NCAA basketball tournament? Not me. I have no interested. Anyway, there's a new study that shows the NCAA basketball tournament will drastically reduce workplace productivity in March. Five million workers will waste 90 minutes a day watching basketball and filling out brackets. Maybe we should export March Madness to China to slow them down a little. President Obama was at one of the games at Dayton, Ohio. He brought British Prime Minister David Cameron with him. It's part of a cultural exchange program. They go to a basketball game here, and then in July the Prime Minister has invited Obama to England to take part in a soccer riot. The NCAA college basketball tournament is one of the biggest events in sports. CBS will take in more than $600 million of ad revenue over three weeks. Of that, the players receive... what's 0 percent of $600 million?  Rick Santorum has been on a roll lately. CNN came up with a clever word for this... Santorumentum. Are they serious? It sounds like something you put under your nose or the name of a drug. Bothered by irregularity? Constipation? Santorumentum: the twice-a-day medication, not covered by Obamacare. Consult Jesus before taking any medication. Rick Santorum greeted the locals by telling them if Puerto Rico wants to become a state, they need to start speaking English. Only Rick Santorum would go to someone's native land and tell them they're speaking the wrong language. By the way, Mitt won the Puerto Rico primary.  Well, Spring break is here, kids. Spring break is the week where college students get a much-needed break from binge drinking in Nebraska and go to binge drink in Florida. I wonder what the cast of "Jersey Shore" does on Spring break. Do you think they go to school for a week?  Okay, as I said March Madness is going on, and for those that don't know the NCAA is different then the NBA. They have different rules and sponsors. Take a look.

Yesterday I told you about Jason Russell and that he is running for President now this year. By the way, if you don't know who Jason Russell is, he single handedly destroyed his reputation. Get it? Anyway, he has a new campaign poster. Here it is.
Wank. LOL.  Alright, I have to mention this...  Guitar World magazine has released a list of the top 50 albums that came out 40 years ago. And guess what's number 23? 

Thank you, Guitar World magazine. You can read more and see what other albums are on that list at And now for news that is not so sad. 

Ivan Demyanyuk
Apr 3, 1920 - Mar 17, 2012
He was a Nazi war criminal convicted of 27,900 counts of murder, and he lived in Cleveland for most of his life. Figures.

The 14th artist to be pheatured in the P.P.A.G. is a guy named Winter, and this is one of his art pieces.

Winter will be a guest on the Phile a week from today. 

Today's guest is the lead singer, arranger and song writer for the band Art Decade whose new album "Western Sunrise" is now available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Ben Talmi.

Me: Hello, Ben, how's it going? Welcome to the Phile.

Ben: Hello! Thanks for having me. 

Me: So, at first I thought Art Decade was the name of a person, but it's your band name, right?
I am guessing you are a David Bowie fan. Is that where the band name came from?

Ben: Huge David Bowie fan, Yes we got the name from the song "Art Decade" from the album
"Low" I am especially a fan of Bowies era with Mick Ronson on guitar as he was the epitome of glam rock guitar but he was also an incredible string arranger.

Me: Ben, you have an orchestra in your band, right? Who is in Art Decade with you?

Ben: Art Decade is made up of myself and Binod Singh as the core members. We have a live
band thats another guitarists and a drummer. There definitely is not an entire orchestra
in the band, that would be insane! We do play live with a string quartet quite often though.

Me: How did you form the band?

Ben: I started Art Decade when I was in high school. Since then there have been a number of
different line ups but I have kept a really specific vision for the band regardless.

Me: Where are you from, Ben?

Ben: Born and raised in Pittsfield Ma, the beautiful Berkshires! Some parts are actually quite
similar to the Shire in "The Hobbit". Some parts look like anywhere USA.

Me: Where and how did you first meet Binod?

Ben: Binod was the first bass player I jammed with at Berklee 4 years ago and we have not
stopped writing music since.

Me: I am guessing you are a fan of bands like Muse or ELO judging by your music. Am I right? What music did you grow up listening to?

Ben: I have a lot of respect for bands like Muse and ELO. Especially ELO because Jeff Lynn
is such an outstanding musician in so many areas. His string arrangements were easily one of the biggest influences while writing "Western Sunrise". I grew up listening to a lot of classical music as well as The Beatles, Beach Boys and David Bowie, but my first CD was actually "The Score" by the Fugees.

Me: Man, you are so young. You play guitar I know, but what other instruments do you play?

Ben: I play a bit of piano as well.

Me: How did you first begin to start to arrange orchestral music?

Ben: Ever since I started making records when I was 14 I wanted to incorporate strings. Before I really new what it was, George Martin or Jeff Lynn's string arrangements were always some of my favorite parts of Beatles or ELO songs. I started arranging seriously when I got to Berklee.

Me: You, like a lot of musicians I have interviewed, went to school at Berklee. How was that
experience and what did you study?

Ben: The experience of Berklee has its ups and downs like anything else. The education
you'll get from is priceless, but more times than not you feel as though you are fighting to break free from what I would refer to as The Berklee bubble. Its so important not to let the intellectual take over the spiritual side of music.

Me: Your music sounds like it could be a score to movies, Ben. Did you ever think about doing
that type of thing?

Ben: I would be so happy if I ever got the opportunity to score a film, definitely a dream of
mine, I love how Jon Brion and Jonny Greenwood score films.

Me: Alright, let's talk about "Western Sunrise". How did that become the album title?

Ben: I found the phrase "Western Sunrise" in a poem written by my friend Ned Curley. He
meant it as a metaphor for fascisim but I took it as a way to describe achieving the impossible.

Me: Is "Western Sunrise" Art Deacde's first album?

Ben: Yes, our debut record!

Me: You also worked on Manchester Orchestra's album "Simple Math", am I right? How did you get that gig?

Ben: "Western Sunrise" was produced by Dan Hannon who produced all the Manchester Orchestra records. We were in a rehearsal spot next to Manchester's studio and Dan gave me the opportunity to show the guys in Manchester a sample of some of my string
arranging. I showed them a demo of the song "Breeze" which is on "Western Sunrise". After
listening for about 10 seconds they asked me to put strings on 4 songs on "Simple Math". My mind was blown.

Me: Was that someting you'd like to do in the future? Work and arrange music for other bands?

Ben: Yes, I'm doing strings for a few other bands right now. I just finished up 10 string arrangements on the new Young Man record. Watch out for that one, Colin Caulfield is an amazing songwriter.

Me: How would you describe Art Decade's music, Ben?

Ben: I describe "Western Sunrise" as Symphonic post pop, however our next record will be
quite different.

Me: Your music reminds me of two bands I really like... Fun and Foster the People. Are you
into those bands? I can definitely see you go on tour with them.

Ben: I actually went to Berklee with Isom Innis, the keyboard player in Foster The People. We
played shows with him back in the day when he was doing his own band called Southern Belle. If I ever got the opportunity to tour with either of those bands I'd be really happy.

Me: Speaking of touring, is that something you'll be doing? You would have to take a long quite a few people.

Ben: We will be touring as mach as we can this Summer, we are totally DIY at this point though, hit us up for shows!

Me: Ben, how long have you been a musician? You seem pretty young... to me anyway. I mean, your first CD was the Fugees.

Ben: I made my first record when I was 14, an album called "Perpetual Motion" but I've been
playing guitar for as long as I can remember.

Me: How old were you when you first started to play guitar?

Ben: I was born yielding a double neck flying V, shredding on full volume.

Me: Ben, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Is there a website you'd like to mention?

Me: Please come back onto the Phile soon, and keep up the good work. Take care, Ben.

Ben: Cheers!

Well, that about does it. Thanks to Ben for a great interview. I should of asked him about this album cover. It looks like a painting of a penis. Anyway, the Phile will be back on wednesday with musician Dave Hause. You might know him from the band The Loved Ones. Then next Sunday it's singer Matt Burke from the band Have Gun, Will Travel. The band, not the TV show. And on Monday it's artist Winter. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is Katie from the Cyber PR® Team, and I just wanted to thank you for supporting our artist Art Decade on this blog post!

Thanks! :)