Ben Lovett of Mumford & Sons with Olympic swimmer and guest DJ Anthony Ervin at Communion New York on December 3, 2013.
Photo © Levrock Photography.
BY KAYLIE SUZANNE STARKEY
With Communion Presents coming to the Bluebird Tuesday, WIUX was lucky enough to talk to founder Ben Lovett, who doubles as the keyboardist of Grammy-award winning band Mumford and Sons. If you’re like us and can’t get enough Love(tt), check out more from the interview below…
Q: Which is more valuable in a show setting: intimacy between musician and fans, or a large audience?
A: I think the dream is that you can maintain the intimacy in a bigger room and it feels just as special and like real moments for those artists and the fans.
Q: How does Mumford and Sons do it?
A: I don’t know how well we are doing it. I think we’re doing everything we can. It definitely is harder, it’s amazing that people want to see our shows on such a big scale or that so many people want to come and see us, but there is a point where you are just too far away from the music to be fully engaged in the show. We’re working on it. There isn’t a perfect answer to any of that, we just play our hearts out every night we play and hopefully people feel it. We try and send it out to bigger audiences and give it as much and more in those bigger arenas.
Q: How much of a goal is it for Mumford to schedule shows at smaller venues?
A: It’s tricky because you’re kind of upsetting people who wanted to come to the gig. There is that fine balance. I find it really interesting for me when split between the two worlds, I thought of Communion before Mumford and Sons. I’ve always been struggling with Communion in trying to figure out how to encourage to a few hundred people to come and see what I think is amazing music, and then with Mumford and Sons it’s a completely different beast because it’s just such a huge number of people now who want to come and see us play. It’s like governing two completely different worlds—instead of tens of people with Communion, it’s hundreds of people with Mumford and Sons and it doesn’t really make sense to me because I listen to Willy Mason and Rubblebucket and all the bands that we’ve put on over the years and just think “I love this, I love that music so much and I don’t understand why thousands of people aren’t listening to them.”
Q: How does listening to bands like Rubblebucket and these DJs influence or play into your work with Mumford and Sons, which is such a different genre?
A: I find that it really inspires me as a songwriter and always has—working with and listening to and watching shows of some other artists and collaborating with people. I think that I’ll continue to do that. I love listening to people who have just written a song… There’s something really special about music fresh off the press. It inspires me to keep going myself as a musician.
Q: Communion was founded all the way back in 2006, why was it originally started and what was your vision in the beginning?
A: I was in a band with Kevin Jones and it was tricky back then breaking as a musician in London. It’s actually really hard. People don’t fully appreciate how hard it is for musicians starting out. If you want to play a show, we all had day jobs at the time. For me, I was working in a packaging warehouse for 6 months I remember very specifically and every time I wanted to do a gig you had to get down there for a sound check and so you had to try to get off work and then you get it from your boss and then you’d turn up to the show and there wouldn’t be anyone there. And they wouldn’t pay for the gig because there wasn’t anyone there and then you’d wake up in the morning and go back to work and the whole thing was kind of a vicious cycle and there wouldn’t be any way out. So when we started communion it was about trying to make sure that it was worthwhile for musicians to do the gig.
Q: How do your roots as a struggling musician in the beginning of your career effect your appreciation for where you are today?
A: I think if anything it just makes me incredibly grateful for what has happened with Mumford and Sons. I’m incredibly grateful for the support because I know how rare it is and I know how harsh it is for a lot of my peers and friends who are musicians and are trying to get to the point where they can quit their jobs and do music full time. So I think if anything it just makes me grateful now. But that doesn’t mean that I should rest up, I think just keep on pushing on is crucial.
Last.fm Originals chats with Ben Lovett, Communion Music, October 2, 2013
Source: Last.fm Original’s Instagram
Communion Founder, Ben Lovett (also of Mumford and Sons fame) will return May 2nd as a Guest DJ!
Rockwood Music Hall - Stage 2
Doors: 8.15pm // Show: 8.30pm
Tickets: $12 adv./$15 door
Ticket Link: https://www.stereoposter.com/events/13474
Communion NYC is ON this Thursday, January 10 at Rockwood Music Hall, Manhattan!
When Kendra Morris was a little girl growing up in St. Petersburg, Fla., she would hide in her closet and sing along with her karaoke machine. Later, when she moved to New York to chase her music dreams, it was back into the closet with an eight-track recorder she’d bought. Now, the 31-year-old is out with her first full-length album, a lush, moody mix of neo-soul called Banshee.
While performing solo around New York City, Morris met and began collaborating with producer Jeremy Page and released a self-titled EP in 2010. She’d been conscientiously working on her craft as a songwriter, which was acknowledged by ASCAP and the Songwriters Hall of Fame the following year. The institutions awarded Morris the 2011 Holly Prize, which recognizes new singer-songwriters whose talents honor the legacy of Buddy Holly by way of excellence in songwriting, performing, and musicianship.
A tour with Motown Funk Brother Dennis Coffey this past summer and support from DJ Premier via his remix of her blaxploitation-dipped single “Concrete Waves” pepper the year that Morris took to write and record her full-length debut. Inspired in name by wailing female demons from Irish folklore, Banshee is an amalgam of stories, both imagined and Morris’s own, produced by previous collaborator Jeremy Page. [Biography by Marisa Aveling]
The stunning and original sound of this new vocal duo began in 2005 when Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano met and began writing together, drawing from any corner of popular music that pleased them, from folk and soul to indie-pop and R&B. To these songs they gave their show-stopping voices, and Johnnyswim was born. No matter the story of a song or its musical influence, each tune burns with a spirit and passion that has this singer/songwriter team turning heads in the music world.
The Parkington Sisters
From Wellfleet Massachusetts, the Parkington Sisters have “a collective magic — part chemistry, part alchemy, and entirely mysterious.” The four sisters emerge from a lineage of musicians, each a songwriter and dynamic multi-instrumentalist; Rose plays piano, guitar and accordion, Ariel and Sarah play violin and viola, and Nora plays violin and percussion.
They have toured extensively across the US, Canada and Europe with the Dropkick Murphys, opened for Mavis Staples at Symphony Hall in Boston, performed at the 2011 Bonnaroo festival and even shared the stage with Bruce Springsteen.
The sisters are currently recording their follow up album, which will be released early 2013. Their 2011 debut album “Till Voices Wake Us” was produced by Joel Hamilton (Tom Waits, Elvis Costello) and was selected by Acoustic Guitar Magazine as one of the top essential albums of 2011.
Norma Jean Martine
Norma Jean Martine is a unique songwriter and a classic performer, having learnt her craft singing in blues jams in New York from the age of 12. Still only 21, her live performance is a sublime experience, with a tone and expression that belie her years. Through combining deeply poetic lyrics and a pop sensibility with an effortless, ageless and rootsy voice, Norma Jean creates pin-dropping moments of heart-piercing emotion that leaves the audience breathless.
In the past year she has been increasing her repertoire in Nashville and London alongside some of the best writers and producers, collaborating with Ed Harcourt, Romeo Stodart from the Magic Numbers, Darrell Scott, Marcus Hummon, Steve McEwan and Brendan Benson.
A fun night awaits with things like a DJ battle between Communion Founder, Ben Lovett and our beloved DJ The Big P.A. from Bang The Drum.
Oh, and, the first hour is an OPEN BAR thanks to Cutty Sark Scotch Whisky.
Doors: 7pm // Show: 7.30pm // 21+
Ben Lovett was interviewed by Communion in The Sun today!
Read the full article here.
On 6th December we’ll be seeing the year out with a bang at The Ruby Lounge with a stellar line up for our Christmas Party.
THE AGE OF GLASS
HOT BOTZ BRASS BAND
THE FAMILY RAIN
DJ - BEN LOVETT( COMMUNION FOUNDER/MUMFORD & SONS)