Ok, so I have gotten plenty of emails and IMs about a band I posted on a few weeks back, Heypenny. I wrote a little bio about these guys and gave some sample songs, but you people just couldn’t be satisfied. Thusly, I have asked Ben Elkins, the creater and mastermind behind Heypenny, if he would kindly grant us an in-depth interview. Being the good guy he is, Ben accepted. Without further ado, I present to you Heypenny: The Interview.
Zack: So first start off by letting all of your readers know a little bit about you. Where are you from? Where did you get that beautiful voice?
Ben: I come from fayetteville, arKANsas, like i said. Weird, I always thought I didn’t have a beautiful voice. When you’re unsure about your hypothesis, you say it softly, or sarcastically. I guess that’s like my singing, but not the sarcastic part. Both my mom and dad have really good singing voices. They used to play folk clubs together before they got divorced and tore my life to shreds. thanks for bringing it up!
Zack: Ouch. Anyways, lets move on. You live now in Nashville, which many consider the home of country music. Has that infulenced Heypenny’s style of music? What other bands have influenced your sound?
Ben: Nashville is definitely the home of country music, but there’s a ton of other music that goes on here. there’s some really good indie stuff going on here, not only really good, but really popular. It’s a good scene. (i.e. a band called brother sister and she lived in Nashville for a year last year and they’re great). Also Be Your Own Pet and The Spinto Band are up-and-coming bands from here, not to mention the Features. Anyways, enough about other people!
As for Heypenny, I’m not thinking that the country music that goes on here is going to influence what we do musically. I do love going down to the honkey-tonks and hearing the real deal country music though. Robert’s is by far the best one if anyone’s interested. Old-style. But a good song is a good song no matter what genre. I’m fascinated by good songs. I love Kanye West’s new album, a few really good songs on that. And I’ll go to these “songwriters in the round” deals here (of which there are tons) and a few of those songs will be really good songs.
For “Use These Spoons” (Heypenny’s debut album) the main influeces were the obvious ones: Wilco, Coldplay, The Beatles, and Iron & Wine. But these days oddly enough I’m liking more raw stuff, like The Arcade Fire, live Wilco, The White Stripes and the Jackson 5 or any motown stuff. I don’t know, stuff that seems like they put a mic up in the middle of the room and caught a moment. You should here how off-beat some of that motown stuff is, like”wrong” by today’s recording standards.
Zack: Yeah, I’ve been to one of those songwriter things in Nashville, and it’s quite an experience. It was at the bluebird cafe (which you’re probably familiar with). So, to go in a different direction, do you have any plans for touring?
Ben: Yes definitely. Actually I just wrote a guy an email about this. It was pretty long. I’ll try and get the important stuff. I’ve been working on some other music projects, co-producing, which has been taking up most of my time, but now that’s over and we’re starting to play again. We’re actually playing tonight. But as for the show itself, I don’t know what I should say. Come see us.
Zack: I know every band has a strange story about how they got their name, so I have to ask. How did you come up with Heypenny?
Ben: Sing along now…”If you haven’t got a penny a ha’penny (pronounced heypenny) will do, if you haven’t got a ha’penny, God bless you.”
Zack: It all makes sense now. So what do you see for Heypenny in the future? Is this a serious project or something you do for fun, or both? Do you see yourself doing serious touring and promotion? Pretty much, what can we expect to see from Heypenny in the future?
Ben: Hmmm. Really, all we want is to take over the world. And well, we’re going to start by figuring out how to get instant messager (Zack’s Note: this interview was done over gmail due to incredible technical difficulties, A.K.A. AIM sucks) . No, really, I’m not sure what’s in the future. I’m Just looking forward to playing a lot, and well I guess the result depends on fine folks like yourself there Zack. you’re definitely helping us along.
Sorry, I hate giving lame answers like that.
Zack: How flattering, thank you. Well I can’t think of anything else to ask you. Thanks again for granting us the interview, and all of us here at All Things Go wish you the best of luck in the future. We also hope you come up and play a show here in Washington. Maybe we could set something up. Before we go, do you have any last words? Shoutouts? Hollas?
Ben: Yeah, I just thought of what to say about touring that’s a little more informative. Hopefully you all like watching these two things on TV: Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood on PBS and Avalanches on the Discovery Channel. I hope you like these two things cause if you do, you’ll like our show. Good talking with you Zack.
A great man, a great band, and a great interview. We here wish nothing but the best for Heypenny. Warning, everyone get ready, because Heypenny is ready to take over the world.
Also, if you didn’t read our previous post on Heypenny (or click the link at the top of the post), you can find it here. I hope you all enjoyed the interview.
I am reposting the tracks just to make sure you download them. I also HIGHLY recommend you buy the album, as these are by no means the only strong tracks on the album.