Burning Stars: Name, position in the band.
Ben Jorgensen (vocals/guitar): My name is Ben Jorgensen, I play guitar and sing in Armor For Sleep.
BS: Where did the name of the band come from?
Ben: That's always a hard one. I guess I kind of choose it for a lot of different reasons because it didn't have one definite
explanation. I guess the answer I give alot is that when I first started the band, I really was having trouble sleeping and I would
stay up until 8 in the morning, writing songs, kind of being stuck in my own little world, so like the songs kind of kept me from
thinking about the fact that I couldn't fall asleep. So I called it Armor For Sleep.
*random talking about how it was funny that Club Infinity's website put Armour For Sheep instead of Armor For Sleep.*
BS: Who are your influences personally and/or musically?
Ben: Personally my influences are my parents and the people I grew up around and everyone that helped to raise me.
Musically, everyone from Nirvana to Nine Inch Nails to Saves The Day to Thursday; I have thousands of musical influences.
BS: Are you tight with your parents?
Ben: I'm close with my mom, my dad lives in California and I don't really have a good relationship with him.
BS: What made you get started in music?
Ben: I guess when I was in 6th grade was when I first started learning to play an instrument and I started playing drums, and I
don't really know what drew me to play music. I guess I've always been a huge fan of music and I've always been really
affected by the songs I listened to. I never felt like I listened to music to be cool or anything, which a lot of the time, the music I
listened to was really un-cool, like all these shows and everything have been going around for years, but when I first started
going, this was not cool, I was an outcast at my school for going. But I guess the bands that I loved just really affected me. I'd
listen to them in my room by myself and just be able to close out what was going on in my life and I knew that one day I
wanted to actually make it myself for other people.
BS: This is kind of a random question, but what's a question you'd like to be asked that no one else has asked?
Ben: I don't know, whatever people want to know, I'm open to having them ask me. After doing interviews I've gotten use to
talking about myself but I don't usually like feel comfortable about talking about myself, I just feel like I'm being cocky if I tell
people my life story. I guess my answer to that is just whatever anyone wants to ask me, I'm willing to answer but I don't wish
they would ask this about me.
BS: How long did you guys work on What To Do When You Are Dead?
Ben: From beginning to end, it took about 2 months of our lives working pretty much every day for like 15 hours a day.
BS: What's the story behind the video for "Car Underwater"?
Ben: It can be taken a lot of different ways like we made it, and then Nash, our drummer, like a week after we did it, was like
"oh, this is what's going on in the video right?" and I was like '"well I never thought of it that way but I guess so". I guess I look
at it as there are a bunch of different versions of me, kind of like looking to see what's going on, there's a girl who runs out of
the car and then it ends up being that I'm the one who was in the car all along and I guess it's suppose to be like I've already
died and all the different versions of me are like different ghosts of me who are like trying to remember what happened
between me and this girl but they can't really figure it out and then they finally see what they're looking at; that's pretty much
BS: Is there a personal favorite song off the CD?
Ben: I think I like the last song the best, it's called "The End Of A Fraud" and I like it because it kind of summarizes for me,
lyrically, what the whole albums really about. So like, if you only have 5 minutes and you have to really understand what to do
when you are dead, I would tell people to listen to the last song because it's just kind of like this big conclusion to the record.
BS: When you write, do you write the lyrics first or the melody?
Ben: I kind of do them both simultaneously, like I keep a journal and just write stuff down all the time, and at the same time I
write music and just have random riffs that never become songs, and once we choose a song, we shift through our material and
choose something, then I'll flip through the pages of my journal and see what I've written down that kind of matches that
feeling. Then I'll kind of like finish writing a song based on that. So its kind of like both of them happen on their own time and
then I take which ones go together.
BS: Is one of them ever harder than the other?
Ben: I guess the music is something that we think more about, like lyrics, through my eyes, it's never really been a struggle.
Sometimes it just takes time of me saying "ok I have to give myself a couple days to finish writing these lyrics" but it's never
hard for me. I'm never like, "crap, I can't think of anything to say", you know. And music isn't hard either, but I think it's more
decision making then writing lyrics, which just kind of comes out.
BS: Did you ever take any music classes?
Ben: I took drum lessons for about 6 years and that's it. I've never had a guitar lesson. I took some vocal lessons during the
recording of CDs so I could sing using the right techniques, but I mean, that's pretty much it.
BS: You've never taken like music appreciation or music theory or anything like that?
Ben: No, I mean, I've never been in any formal classes. I've bought books on music theory and I've had my mom give me
lessons because she's a piano player, so I can read music, but I never signed myself up for any classes. It's kind of like I just did
it on my own.
Katy: How old are you?
Ben: I'm 21.
BS: That kind of went with the next question, are any of your family members into music?
Ben: Yeah, my mom was a music major at Wellesley, so she's really into music. But ironically, my two sisters were raised
playing classical piano, and my mom never thought I would be interested in music so she never gave me lessons and now
they're scientists and I'm a musician.
BS: If you could be one person for a day, who would you be and why?
Ben: Um, who would I be? So many people. I guess I'd like to be Trent Reznor for a day.
BS: Any reason?
Ben: Oh, um
Ben: Well, he used to live in New Orleans, I think he just sold his house, but he basically lives by himself. He has like this huge
property and his own recording studio and he just basically stays in his basement and makes all his music by himself because
he has so much space and time to do it.
BS: So you just want to live alone forever?
Ben: Sounds like my life.
BS: What is a cd you've been listening to, that you'd like to recommend to others?
Ben: I guess since we're on the whole Trent Reznor tip, I got a few of the new Nine Inch Nails songs and it's really good, in a
really weird way though. But I think it's the best stuff they've done in a long time.
BS: What is the best advice you've ever gotten?
Ben: I guess just that persistence pays off. I think trying to do anything whether it's being in a band or trying to be an author,
the most important thing is just doing it for as long as you can, and it seems like in life that things are never going to work out
and you're never going to be able to do something, that's why people always give up and just settle for an office job or
something, but I think I was just pounded with this belief since I was really young that if you care about something, you don't
have to be the best at it. If you're just persistent and you believe in yourself and you want to get it out, it will actually happen
and that's true. Everyone who is famous, everyone who is in a band, has been pounding away at it for years. Nothing just
happens, and I know that for a fact after being around bands and some people who are in movies or whatever, everyone has to
keep trying at what they're doing or else it won't ever happen.
BS: What's your opinion of Buffalo?
Ben: Um, I like it. It's cool. The first time we were ever in Buffalo, we were on tour with Midtown and a young band at the time
called Taking Back Sunday and Adam fell of the stage, the singer of Taking Back Sunday, and broke his thigh and was
bleeding in an alley way. That was my first, I've always thought this town was kind of like haunted or something.
BS: Any last words or anything you'd like to say to fans or potential fans?
Ben: Thank you for reading this interview, if you've stumbled upon it, which I'm sure many people will, and thank you for
doing the interview and thank you (Katy) for your moral support, and that's about it.
Then I let Katy ask a question:
Katy: What do you think about drug use as a band member and a person?
Ben: That's a really good question actually. You know, no ones ever asked me that, so that goes back to the question. It's
interesting, I mean..
Katy: I mean not if you use drugs, whatever, I'm not saying anything, I'm just like..
Ben: No totally. I mean, you know what? I think it's something that people have to go through on their own. Different people
react differently to doing drugs.
Armor For Sleep interview by: Julie Magyar