Night Windows Q & A with Ben Hughes

nightwindows_coffeeNight Windows Review and Q & A with  Ben Hughes

 

Night Windows the band envisioned, created and executed by Ben Hughes alone has released its debut LP Musicassette/Magnetic Memory. I’ve sat with the album on several occasions listening to the sounds, the lyrics, the melodies,  and the composition and I like it. In learning about this new band, I’ve also learned a few things about myself. The first thing I do when I listen to a new band, or artist is to try to figure out who the influences are and secondly I listen to the lyrics– carefully. As for the influences, we all have them, we can’t get away from our roots, and where our musical footprints have derived from. For Night Windows I hear a few I recognize, but it is balanced out with a healthy dose of Ben’s own sound to create Musicassette/Magnetic Memory which is evident and testimonial to talent.

Listening to Musicassettte/Magnetic Memory took me on what I like to think of  as a music journey.  I got the feelings of personal discovery through the tracks along with many different stories to tell. Often themes of personal struggle with the human condition and just making it by in the world– in a sometimes first and sometimes third person experience, so much so I can’t quite tell if Ben’s talking about himself or someone else.

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There’s a Friend of Mine carries an islandish sound with strumming patterns and vocal sounds that has a familiar type of feel in such a subtle way that it’s almost new all at once (if that could make any sense).  My favorite track on the album is Home, which takes the listener inward with the minor key and lyrics.

I could continue to review each song individually, speculate on influence and genere, but I won’t!  I will just say that Ben is a chameleon with his vocals- something I like most about a singer and respect due to the complexity and skill that requires.  He’s capable of adapting his voice to each song to give the song the feeling he’s striving for that you hear in the lyrics. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to Musicassette/Magnetic Memory I suggest you check it out here!

Night Windows will play at Ortleib’s Saturday the 21st @6pm. GO see!

Read the Q & A interview that Ady had a chance to do below.

June 18, 2014 Interview with Ben Hughes of Night Windows

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 Ady: You recently released your debut LP Musicassette/Magnetic Memory.   What was it like to go through the process of writing and recording a full length release in your bedroom? I did read that you created this body of work all from    your bedroom? 

 Ben: The process of writing and recording Musicassette/Magnetic Memory was a lot of    
things. It was a triumph one day, a defeat the next. It was a real learning experience. I have been making albums from my bedroom since 2005, but this was the first one that I knew I’d actually release. I had a better recording set up (thanks to my friends for teaming up and buying me a new set up for my birthday), more space to work with (a music room and a garage), and more instruments at my disposal. 
I’d wake up early and record before work, and then get right back to it when I got home. Then when I was done recording all of the songs, I started the mixing and mastering phase of the production. This was the most difficult for me, because I had a lot more tools to use and wasn’t sure how to use them. Ryan Buzby (longtime friend and bandmate) kind of coached me along through the process, so that helped out a lot.
As for what you read about the bedroom studio, it was a bedroom down the hall from mine that I labeled the Music Room 170.
Ady: What about your debut release are you most satisfied about?

Ben: I’d have to say that I am most satisfied that I made it through the process without losing my initial vision for the album. It was really cool to hear it all come together the way that I imagined at the beginning of the process. 

Well, I did shave 5 songs off of the album, because I am not generally a fan of long albums, and it seemed more focused and stronger without the 5 songs that I cut out. Plus, now I have 5 unreleased songs from the Musicassette sessions that I can either use as singles or an EP, so it all worked out.

Ady: Where is the name Night Windows from?

Ben: Night Windows is a song from The Weakerthans album Reunion Tour (One of my favorite albums). I looked everywhere for a fitting name for this project and Night Windows just felt right to me. 

Ady: As you know, Sisters Dissonance is all about the live show. when will Night Windows hit the road to play some gigs?

Ben: We are booking some shows from mid July to late August in the tri-state area. I’ll keep you posted!

Ady: What advice can you give to rising musicians? Especially those that are from the NJ/Philly area?

Ben: Don’t rely on gimmicks, don’t be an asshole, develop a good filter (friends, bandmates, etc), and most of all, focus on the songs.

Ady: And lastly the Sisters Dissonance question no one can escape:  If you were a superhero what would your super hero name be and what power would you possess? 

Ben: Well, it’s kind of funny — I once dubbed myself Consumption Man after a day of heavy eating and drinking, so as much as I’d hate to have that be my super hero name, I might have to go with it. Consumption Man possesses the power to consume anything and everything in sight! All for the greater good? lol

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