BurningStars.net: Name, position in the band.
Ben: 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 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 the story.
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.