Interview with Fuck Buttons’ Benjamin Power

photo courtesy of Bennet’s Blog

Fuck Buttons have been on a tear this year as acclaim has poured in over their album Street Horrrsing (ATP.)  Their live show is a force to be reckoned with and made me reconsider everything I thought I knew about electronic based performances (review here.)  Benjamin Powers is one half of this dynamic duo (Andrew Hung being the other) and he was kind enough to take some time out of his day to answer some questions for me.

SC: What is Fuck Buttons’ greatest fear?
BP: heights and moths

SC: Does a Fuck Button have natural predators?
BP: not as far as i’m aware

SC: Least favorite interview question
BP: “why are you called fuck buttons/ explain the name”…etc.

SC: Best question anyone ever asked
BP: what came first, the chicken or the egg?

SC: What type of a producer was John Cummings? Hands on or of the “just push the record button” school of thought?
BP: john was a great producer. we asked him to work on street horrrsing with us as we were convinced he would be able to capture our live sounbd on record and he did just that. as neither of us are particularly clued up when it comes to studio recording, john took control and we’re extremely happy with the results

SC: How does your writing process work?  Are some songs more the product of one member or are they pretty evenly weighted.  Do either of you have a particular specialty or trademark?  Basically, would Fuck Button scholars of the future be able to pick out your individual contributions?
BP: there isn’t a set role for either of us, when we jam and write music, we do it together. it’s not like one of us writes on their own at home and the other then adds to it. our music is the result of heavy jamming and experimtenting with whatever instrumentation we can lay our hands on

SC: What’s the story behind your whisker face paint at the Dallas show?
BP: it was my girlfriends birthday and she was having a cat themed birthday party back home that i couldn’t attend so it was for her.

SC: A lot of the people I talk to don’t just describe listening to your music, they talk about what was going on while they listen to it.  I got a chance to tell you about my listening experience as I was running down deserted streets through the post hurricane drizzle here.  First, how important do you think context is to your music and what would your ideal Fuck Buttons listening environment be?
BP: there isn’t one particular ideal environment to listen to our music. it all depeneds on the listener. alot of people might take strong hallucinagenics to listen, whilst others may enjoy listening whilst sat in a field on a sunny day. my ideal environment is at a live show

SC: How do you think your hometown has effected your sound?
BP: not at all if i’m being honest. our music doesn’t really have a sense of location. it could be from anywhere, which is healthy

SC: What is your favorite place you’ve gotten to see on tour?
BP: i think the ferry ride from vancouver to victoria is just beautiful. and we always have a great time in new york.

SC: What can we expect from Fuck Buttons in the future?
BP: more touring and more records. we’re really happy with the way this year has gone for us and hopefully next year will be just as great.

SC: What do Fuck Buttons expect in the future.? I’m personally waiting on tube technology.
BP: teleportation pods for travelling musicians

SC: In a lot of the interviews with you guys that I’ve seen the idea of the subconscious eventually comes up.  What is it about the subconscious that you find so interesting and how do you incorporate those ideas into the Fuck Buttons experience?  Just out of curiosity, did either of you study psychology anywhere?
BP: that’s just the thing. we don’t consciously try to incoroprate anything into the sound of fuck buttons. i guess what we’re trying to say is that our sound comes from a heavy experimentation process and it’s our interior that we let guide the way as opposed to exterior influences. and neither of us studied psychology, we’re both schooled in art

SC: Must have item on the road?
BP: berocca

SC: You’ve mentioned the idea of jamming with the voice as you would any other instrument.  Could you elaborate on that idea?  Are the vocals in your music meant to be intelligible or are you mostly concerned with their sonic effect?
BP: the latter is definitely the case with the vocals on street horrrsing. we shall see what happens on later albums though…

SC: What are you listening to right now?  (in the general and literal sense)
BP: the new growing record and james holden

SC: What’s the last thing you do right before you take the stage?  Any pre-show rituals?
BP: no rituals as such. just make sure we have enough water.

SC: You’ve gotten to work with some pretty illustrious members of the music community like John Cummings and Bob Weston who worked on Street Horrrsing.  If you had to pick, who have you gotten to work with so far that you were most star struck by?
BP: everybody who we have met over the past two years have amazed us and changed our lives from the guys at the label, to our manager and eveyone who worked on street horrrsing.Thanks Guys! but if we had to pick, probably James English.

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6 Responses to Interview with Fuck Buttons’ Benjamin Power

  1. dhex says:

    neato interview. street horrrsing is one of the best albums i’ve heard all year, though it obviously doesn’t match up to their live show.

  2. Brad says:

    Really nice interview! Those guys are the best!

  3. lumiered says:

    Cool interview. I wasn’t too impressed with their set at 930 in DC to be honest, but maybe it’s because I’m just more used to traditional band setups for live shows. I still love Street Horrrrsing, and at the very least I can say that it came through pretty much flawless live.

  4. neversleeping says:

    hey man, I did that poster. it’s screenprinted, and there are some for sale at http://neversleeping.bigcartel.com/
    cheers.

  5. Tina says:

    Very cool. Sweet story behind the whisker face paint:)

  6. merrie says:

    nice interview!

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