Benjamin James of Pluto Revolts
Pluto Revolts Myspace
Interview by: Lauren
Benajmin James started this Cincinatti, Ohio based project after leaving his old band Bottom Line. His new music is a blend of Alternative and Electronica and is sure to please his hard earned fans and even win him quite a few new ones!
If you like what you hear, check out Plutorevolts.com to download the E.P. Suffer No Delusions for FREE!
1. You used to be in the band Bottom Line. What has the fan's reception been about you starting a new project?
Honestly, on a large scale, I don't really know. There's a few reasons for that I guess and one of them is that Bottom Line hasn't performed a live concert in over a year and a half. So since I've started performing in April as Pluto Revolts, it's hard to gauge how people are responding two the bands back-to-back. All I know is that the reception has been more positive than I could've imagined in such a short time for Pluto Revolts and hopefully some of that is fans of my writing for Bottom Line that have followed me here.
2. What do you most hope to accomplish with Pluto Revolts?
I want to tour the world and support myself enough to buy a house and write music 24/7. Simple and selfish, but it's my dream!
3. Do you have a certain process when writing the music and lyrics?
Sometimes I feel like songwriting is magic. I mean sometimes I'm playing guitar for days trying to make sense of an idea and sometimes the music and words pour out in a few minutes all at once, without so much as a guitar or piano anywhere nearby. But lyrics are always last and the most time-consuming for me, and they tend to be about my own life. It's definitely cathartic. I don't keep a journal or anything, so looking back on songs I've written years and years ago, allows me to peek at what I used to believe or what was going on in my life that inspired me at the time.
4. You gave away your E.P. for free on your website. Why did you decide to do this?
There's a few reasons, the first of which being that it was cheap! Pluto Revolts isn't signed to a record label, so I've funded everything myself, and just chosen to circumvent the start-up cost of actually printing CD's for now. Especially when I know fans will most likely import it, burn it, or download it as mp3s anyway. Second, it was way faster to give it to my fans directly, because I didn't want to wait on the right label to pique interest, or the right tour, or marketing plan to line up before the music could be heard. I spent several years on a major label that shelved my songs and prevented me from sharing my music with fans for way too long. This way, I knew as soon as I was done putting the finishing touches on the recordings for the EP, I put it up for download myself and just let the fans have at it. And if they get it from our site, there's a bigger chance they'll choose donate to the band via Paypal if they end up liking it, as opposed to just downloading it "illegally" and never being presented with that opportunity for us to actually see some return on the recording costs.
5. Are there any current plans for a full-length?
I have enough material, that's for sure! I had a TON of material I didn't know how to incorporate into the first EP and I've been constantly writing since we wrapped up recording in January, so there's plenty to choose from. I've just started adding additional (permanent!) musicians for the live shows in support of the first EP, so that might help shape the sound of the next record as well. At least our fans should expect there to be a 2nd EP out by early 2009, if all goes according to plan!
6. Do you feel that being in Bottom Line has made starting Pluto Revolts harder or easier?
Way easier! Working with professional labels, producers and managers and touring with really great bands when I was in Bottom Line has given me all the experience necessary to build a stronger band from the ground up.
7. Does the name Pluto Revolts mean anything specific?
I loved the idea of applying astrological characteristics to a band name. Honestly, I was trying to come up with album names for the unreleased Bottom Line record a few years back and my girlfriend blurted it out. When it came time to name my new project, I couldn't ignore it, something about it has been attractive enough to remain in my "idea pile" for this long and when I got to thinking about it, Pluto in astrology represents rebellion, death and rebirth - what more could you ask for to describe the existence of this band!
8. When people go out to see you perform live, what can they expect out of your show?
The live sound is more accurate to the recordings than any of the songs I've ever performed before. We've taken a lot of the elements of the recordings and incorporated them into the live setting, so people are actually getting a really full sound. As more members are added, I think the excitement level on stage will really improve, because for the first few shows I was planted at the mic singing and playing guitar for 20 minutes straight! But I'll get my "stage legs" back soon! When people see the show, they shouldn't expect to see the Ben then knew from Bottom Line, because this band is all about quality of sound, not how high you can jump or how many times you can spin around without puking.