Hobbyist turned indie-sensation Ben Schneider of Lord Huron first began recording music for fun. After handing out some CDs at a music festival in 2010 and the subsequent frenzy that it created in the blogosphere, he found himself in the position to make music for a living. Gathering together his former bandmates from his home state Michigan, Ben created Lord Huron. With the release of his debut album Lonesome Dreams looming (October 9!), Ben was kind enough to answer our questions.
When did your interest in making music begin?
I suppose it was hearing my Dad sing with his brothers. They’d break out a guitar or two around the campfire and sing in harmony. I really liked trying to sing along, even if I didn’t know the words. Back then it sounded to me like they were spot on pros. Ready to cut a record or perform in a theater somewhere. I wonder now what it really sounded like. Good enough to get me going, I suppose.
Where do you find inspiration for your songs?
Hard to say exactly where it comes from. Any number of places, I suppose. People, experiences, other songs, the outdoors. Going someplace new will often make me want to write something down. And a lot of the time it’s a girl.
How do you come up with your music videos?
I often begin working on a song by thinking about it visually. I don’t know why, but thinking that way helps me work things out. That image can change quite a bit while I’m working out a song, but something is always retained. I think that’s partially where the videos come from. The songs are often pretty narrative, too, so there’s a good starting point. From there it’s just a matter of finding some good people to work with who can help flesh it out.
What was your favorite experience on tour?
Well, so far we’ve had a lot of good experiences on tour. Playing in Detroit for old friends and family was a good one. We once had a helluva night in Tucson.
What were you wearing when you were 13?
I used to be pretty fond of wearing an old brown fedora my Granddad gave me. And old loafers. I remember walking home from school one day with a girl. Her name was Rebecca, I think. People called her Becca. She looked at my shoes and said, “You could maybe have a girlfriend if you’d wear some different clothes.” Well, I knew pretty quick I was wasting my time walking home with Becca. I made up my mind right there that I was gonna wear whatever the hell I felt like for the rest of my life. I recently started wearing a hat much like the one I wore back then.
What is your favorite place in the world?
That’d have to be the shores of Lake Huron, naturally.