NAME: Benji Lee
PLAYING (YEARS): 14
STYLE: 70’s Rock and Roll ala Angus, Malcolm, Jimmy Page, etc…
GEAR: 1972 SG-Pro, Modified Marshall JCM 800 dual-channel, D’Addario 52 gauge, no pedals, they’re for pussies.
ENDORSEMENTS: Gibson? Marshall? anyone listening? I will be your whore!
PAST ACCOMPLISHMENTS: I’d say our (Supagroup’s) biggest accomplishment started when we turned down three major label deals because there was always some bullshit, Hollywood weasel catch. Instead, we just kept on doing what we did best, playing live. We toured for five years in a small, stinky, shitty van, breaking down, sleeping on floors, and eating Taco Bell before we got a record deal that was right. And because we persevered and stuck around so long we were able to maintain more control in the creative process than we ever would have gotten with the corporations. So to date, our biggest accomplishment is that we did what it took, no matter how retarded it seemed at the time, to get things to go our way. Which is easy when you’re doing what you do because you love it. My biggest personal accomplishment was when I co-produced our upcoming self-titled cd with Trina Shoemaker, who is awesome. She engineered the Queens of the Stone Age record, Rated R, and won a grammy for her work with Sheryl Crow. It was a long hard process and there was plenty of communication breakdown, but we made a record I can be proud of for a long time.
CURRENT & UPCOMING PROJECTS: Self-titled debut (Foodchain Records) out July 22nd., 2003. Tour, Tour, Tour.
FAVORITE GUITARIST: Tie between Angus and Malcolm. They both fit so perfectly together. Chris (my brother and rhythm guitarist/singer) and I use them as a starting point when figuring out the rhythmic exchanges between our guitars. They were so in tune with what the other one was doing. It’s one of those things about brother bands. The Young’s are constantly complimenting each other’s lines, while at the same time realizing when to lock in together and kick the shit mono style.
MOST UNDERRATED PLAYERS: Currenty>Josh Homme (Queens of Stone Age), his solos are like little melodies, never too wanky, always on time. Mike Cooley (Drive-By Truckers), it’s the country twang that wets the tang. Rontrose Heathman (Supersuckers), he’s like Scott Gorum and Rick Nielson rolled into a big fatty and smoked by Willie Nelson.
BEST MUSICIAN YOU’VE EVER SEEN: I don’t know who that would be. I went to college for music, so I saw plenty of musicians that were so far out of anybody’s league it would be ridiculous to try to judge them. But for rock, probably Kirk Hammet when I was 14 growing up in Anchorage, Alaska. It changed my life.
FOUR WORDS THAT BEST DESCRIBES WHAT YOU WANT TO GET ACROSS IN YOUR PLAYIN: Long Live Rock & Roll
YOUR HERO: Bruce Lee
ULTIMATE GOAL: “HAVE A GOOD TIME, ALL THE TIME”