Ben Harper

I have a respect for anyone who attempts to get on the mic, but I wouldn’t say all music is good.

BenHarper: Thank you everyone for coming on

line tonight.

sparkyguest_53a041174: Hey Ben how's it

going?

BenHarper: Very good. Its good to be back in

NYC.

Heffalump23: Mr. Harper, what your

inspiration behind "By My Side"?

BenHarper: Sometimes you can talk about

inspiration, but sometimes you cant. But this time its feelings

and its in a song.

JMRTCL: What was your previous occupation?

BenHarper: I was pretty much just

woodshedding and playing coffee houses and before that I was

working at my grandparents shop and before that I was boxing

groceries.

oumaguest_18d41306: Ben Harper,

who are some of your musical influences? At what age did you

begin playing guitar?

BenHarper: Some of my strongest influences are dub blues

musicians such as Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Willie Johnson,

Mississippi Fred McDowl. It breaks down to separate age groups. I

got my first guitar at 8 and we started making bands in the

neighborhood. I started getting into drums at 12/13, but I was

just as likely to go out and ride around on my diamond back dirt

bike as I was to play music. First time I really started hearing

music when it hit me the hardest was in my late teens that’s

when I started practicing for hours a day.

BenFan1: What’s the thing with Kobe

Bryant cards?

BenHarper: That’s my man! He is on the

Lakers, #8. I am all about Kobe Bryant. His playing is so

inspirational.

Sweet_Angeline: I know you're a big Jeff

Buckley fan, how did you first hear of him?

BenHarper: I first heard Jeff and heard about

him at the same time. We ended up being on the same festival

around the time his first record and my second record came out,

and I got a chance to meet him, and got to hear him play live.

That’s when I first heard his music and was blown away.

CurseofThorn: How did you come to work with

skateboarders for your video "Ground On Down?"

BenHarper: Some of them I knew. Some of them

my friend JP knew. And they dug the music enough to be in the

video.

oshkoshguest_7b942903: I heard a rumor you

will be headlining the Horde Tour this year with

Barenaked Ladies and Blues Traveler. Are these rumors true?

BenHarper: Yeah we will be on the HORDE

tour with those groups.

Sparky69_6969: HOW OLD ARE YOU?

BenHarper: I am 28.

YeYe17: ARE YOU MARRIED?

BenHarper: And I will cut it off there cause

I don't talk about family stuff.

Nico_corto: You speak a lot of your

connection with God. I was curious as to what religion you are?

BenHarper: Do I speak about it a lot? I think

I ask about it more than I speak about it, but my belief in GOD

isn’t segregated by any of man's religions. I believe in the

wisdom in many religions, but I just find GOD to be the strongest

feeling in my heart that I have ever know.

Briac_P: Do you plan to make another more

political album like Fight For Your Mind?

BenHarper: Well I don’t really know what

the word politics means.

Mr_Red_Dragon: Ben, why did you choose to

become Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals instead

of just Ben Harper?

BenHarper: There has been different

carnations of the Innocent Criminals, but I

though it was a correct thing to do. The band was coming together

so strong that I decided to do that.

RedM27: Ben do you have a favorite Hendrix

tune?

BenHarper: It varies from day to day, but

"The Wind Cries Mary" is at the top. "Axis Bold As

Love" or "1983."

Nico_corto: Of what ethnicity are you?

BenHarper: I am mixed up. I am all mixed up.

Mastamho: Ben, how do you find the European

audiences as compared to the ones in the States?

BenHarper: I find them to be quite similar

actually. In some places they are larger, in some places there

are things that make them culturally unique. Its a hard question

cause the US is so big I find as much as a cultural difference in

England and Japan as I do in NYC and Birmingham, AL but they are

similar again still.

Tom_Dolan: Hey Ben what do you think of the

Internet and your web site?

BenHarper: What’s up Tom! That’s my

man! It should be known that my man Tom and my man JP hook up all

the art work for the records. And I think Tom has done an amazing

job on that website. I hear about that web site everyday and I

will probably hear about it for the rest of my life. I am not the

only one who digs it!

Khanlin: Where did you pick up Juan?

BenHarper: I could never pick up Juan he

could pick up me.

SEXKINGNOW: What could you do to save the

world?

BenHarper: I would start by just health

insurance in America for crying out loud.

AvaGardner: Have you ever received any

feedback from Maya Angelou about your amazing cover of "I

Rise?"

BenHarper: "I Rise?" No I

haven’t heard from Mya.

oshkoshguest_7b942903: How do you feel about

fans trading tapes of your shows?

BenHarper: I have mixed feelings about the

whole bootleg scene.

GaSpAr_: How do you feel about your child

facing the world as it is?

BenHarper: I feel responsibility to show them

what it can be.

Freddy_Kruegar: How do you keep your afro so

high? Are you down with Puffy?

BenHarper: Haaa! It takes a pretty big size

afro pick and some sculpting. I have never met him

Etrnl_Postive_Vib: Will you be playing

"Our Own 2 Hands" at the Seattle show?

BenHarper: I will try to work it in the set

sure. Thanks for the request

DJ_Jesse: How does it feel to be talked of as

a modern day Bob Marley?

BenHarper: Its an interesting question, cause

people make comparisons of grandeur quite often and of course

flattering how would you feel if you got compared to Bob Marley

and his music? Its an honor at the same time. You see groups

getting compared to the Beatles or whomever but sometimes the

music doesn’t stand up to the comparison. So if I can

represent, I have listened to Bob so much in my life. I have

listened to him everyday. If in the music I make I can bring a

small part of that feeling then I am extremely proud.

SonicNetHost: What new bands are you

listening to these days?

BenHarper: I have been listening to the new

Everclear album and Eryka Badu. Ummmmm I listen to so much music.

The new Bob Dylan record but he's not new. Robbie Roberston,

D'Angelo.

Khanlin: What inspired the song "Glory

and Consequence?"

BenHarper: Its just a feeling and idea that

motivated you. The inspiration is in the lyrics themselves.

Freddy_Kruegar: Was your favorite homestyle

meal?

BenHarper: Stew.

oshkoshguest_7b942903: Where did you find the

backup singers on "I'll Rise?"

BenHarper: One of the singers is the drummer

on that record on Cruel World, and the other two

are friends of his.

Mr_Red_Dragon: Ben, what's your opinion on

the concept of "selling out" and do you resist the

temptation?

BenHarper: The temptation is not even there.

What is a joke is seeing bands who have signed major label record

contracts and then complain about being famous. That is quite

hypocritical.

ThaOlDirtyBastard: The heart and soul that

you put into your music is astounding, do you ever get tired

after writing a song?

BenHarper: That’s a good question.

Sometimes after writing them, I am totally wiped out and have to

sleep for a day.

Weezer96: How long does it take for you to

write a song?

BenHarper: It could be 10 minutes or it could

be 10 months.

Madbeef1: Are you planning to come to Mexico

City?

BenHarper: I hope so. I would love to.

Phu7: Ben, which song do you like performing

most?

BenHarper: I don’t have one particular

favorite.

Erina_: Ben, are you going to make the East

Coast Blues Festival at Byron an annual event (Please

say Yes!)?

BenHarper: I would love to that is the most

amazing part of the world there.

J_hn: Did you think you would be doing this,

when you were a kid?

BenHarper: I have always like to make music

ever since I was a child and it has always been part of a

childhood dream to do so.

Mammamack: Ben, how long have you been

singing?

BenHarper: I have been singing since I was a

kid. My mom sings' and she just let us know that it was okay to

sing. She loves beautiful music. Emmylou Harris, The Caters. All

my brothers grew up singing.

Pacifix: Hey Ben! I'm a huge fan!! I'm from

Montreal, Canada, the city that adores you. I was wondering what

you think of our city.

BenHarper: Myself and the entire band always

has a great time playing and hanging out in Montreal.

Mr_Red_Dragon: What's your favorite city in

the world?

BenHarper: San Francisco is up there.

Phu7: Ben, is it true that you're going to be

on the Conan O' Brien show?

BenHarper: Yes that is true. April 10th.

I will need all your support so turn it on.

Freddy_Kruegar: Any relationship to Ron

Harper of the Chicago Bulls?

BenHarper: If he can get me season seats I

am. Hey Ron! What’s up man?

Regreta: Ben, is there any song out there you

identify with or appreciate so much that you wish you'd written

it yourself?

BenHarper: There are libraries of songs like

that!

Freddy_Kruegar: What did you think about the

"Soy Bomb" guy from the Grammy's?

Would you have him dance for you on tour?

BenHarper: Its too late the Spice Girls hired

him

Manzu: Do you get the same feeling everytime

you play one of your songs, or is there a different meaning

sometimes?

BenHarper: Sometimes there are different

meanings, but its always the same feeling.

Frizzello: Do you like traveling on the road?

BenHarper: I do. I love to travel and I love

being out here. It gets hard and it gets tiring sometimes, but

that doesn’t make me like it less. It just lets me know that

I need to get some rest.

Pacifix: What is one thing that you miss the

most from when you were not yet a star?

BenHarper: Am I star now?

Cakehole__: What is your most important goal

in life?

BenHarper: Accomplishment.

oshkoshguest_7b942903: What is your favorite

cover song to do live?

BenHarper: Its got to be "Voodoo

Child/Sexual Healing" Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye.

Khanlin: Why did Virgin make that promo

poster of you standing w/ an electric guitar when you hardly ever

play one?

BenHarper: It was out of the

"Faded" video and I was going to sit down but I stood

cause it looked better on the video then we though oh what the

hell.

Weezer96: What was your reason for starting a

band? Was it chicks? Or fame? Or what?

BenHarper: What do you think when you listen

to the music you really think its any of those.

Krycek3xx: Where do you see yourself in 10

years?

BenHarper: I am working on 10 minutes.

Gliter_grrrl: Who do you admire most in the

music industry.

BenHarper: My manager cause he is the shit.

Etrnl_Postive_Vib: Does your fame ever

trouble you?

BenHarper: Am I famous now?

Theryz: Ben, who would you like to tour with

most among your contemporaries?

BenHarper: We have toured with everyone from

the Fugees to PJ Harvey.

Nico_corto: Can you walk through LA or

another city without getting mobbed?

BenHarper: No I don’t think that there

have been any reports of Ben Harper mob scenes. What is really

cool about that people who recognize who I am always have

heartfelt words of appreciation about the music. And that is

always nice to hear.

AdriannaL: Were you referring to someone

special in the song "Gold?"

BenHarper: Yeah.

Nico_corto: How many Weissenborns do you own,

are they hard to come across?

BenHarper: They are getting harder to come

across. I have a few.

ThaOlDirtyBastard: What's your opinion on

some of the new rap acts that are using the acoustic like Wyclef

Jean?

BenHarper: I think its great Wyclef is an

amazing guitar player.

Volgirl98: What are your "words to live

by?"

BenHarper: I don’t want to just put out

any words to live by cause they may change tomorrow.

Pacifix: Why is the third album so different

in style from your first two?

BenHarper: Well Welcome To The Cruel

World came out it seemed like people dug it. But them

the next record came out, Fight For Your Mind.

People felt that one was extremely different and then when Will

To Live came out people said "oh this is so

different" some people will only like Cruel World

some people will only like Fight For Your Mind

and some people will only like Will To Live. But

I am hoping that the majority of all of you guys will move with

me from record to record and growth to growth. And I mean I think

if you give each record the same amount of listening time you

hopefully will like them equally.

Lolly8015: Do you often watch TV ? Which kind

of programs?

BenHarper: I don’t want to let you guys

down, but when I am on the road you gotta see what is going on

the music video channel. I am not a regular TV watcher, so its

always from hotel rooms. When I am home I like to watch 60

Minutes on Sundays at 7PM. Its good healthy American

reporting. Mike Wallace, Andy Rooney. I am down with those guys

and Rooney always has something funny to say. And I watch every

Laker game.

M_Stipe: Is music dead?

BenHarper: No.

Phu7: Will Phish ever be opening up for you?

BenHarper: I don’t know about Phish,

they are huge. They are famous.

Deazel_22: Do you always finish a show with

"I'll Rise?"

BenHarper: We have a lot in the past. But

lately we have been ending sets with "Will To Live" or

"Fight For Your Mind."

Freddy_Kruegar: Do you appreciate gangsta

rap?

BenHarper: Yes.

Freddy_Kruegar: What's your favorite gig you

ever played?

BenHarper: It was in Oaska Japan it went off.

It was really good. The out door gig in Sydney. it was on the

beach at an out door arena.

Gliter_grrrl: Do you have an idol?

BenHarper: Yeah, the Dali Llama.

Gliter_grrrl: What did you think about the Tibetan

Freedom concert you played at in June?

BenHarper: I though it went really well. We

played super early, but I was excited to see as many people out

there at 11AM as there were.

Noisepatch: Ben, any chance of "Voodoo

Chile" being released?

BenHarper: Its going to be released in a

weeks time. Its an 11 ½ minute version and its going to come in

a separate CD that’s in with the Will To Live.

Deazel_22: Do you prefer playing for a big or

a small crowd?

BenHarper: I don’t have a preference. I

like being able to play for larger crowd but I enjoy playing for

both.

ThaWailer: What was the best advice you've

ever gotten?

BenHarper: I have gotten a lot of good

advice. Its too big a question. I have been lucky to get a lot of

good advice. It would be hard to say what the best was, there is

a lot out there.

Theryz: I don't know why but I find your

musical theory and drive much the same as Lenny Kravitz's.. have

you two ever hung out?

BenHarper: No.

ThaOlDirtyBastard: Is it your belief that all

music is good music?

BenHarper: I have a respect for anyone who

attempts to get on the mic, but I wouldn’t say all music is

good.

ThaOlDirtyBastard: What's your favorite book?

BenHarper: CS Lewis, The Lion The

Witch and the Wardrobe.

AdriannaL: What concerns you the most about

our planet today ?

BenHarper: The balance of our existence.

Deazel_22: Ben, do you use the Internet much?

BenHarper: I use it more and more. There is

one member of our crew who is on line' and travels with a

computer, so we are going to use it more and more.

Deazel_22: Hey Ben, this is Ken. I have

noticed that your crowds are ethnically diverse? Are you very

proud of the fact that you appeal to a wide audience?

BenHarper: Yes I am proud of that I think its

really good. Its something that I am proud to see. Thank you for

recognizing that.

M_Stipe: What's your favorite movie?

BenHarper: Babe. It was so

dope.

Deazel_22: Hi Ben, this is Ken, what was the

last CD you bought?

BenHarper: It was The Jam compilation. 21 of

their greatest hits.

Nico_corto: How much input do the other guys

have when you're writing?

BenHarper: I write the song lyrics and music.

And then I have specific ideas for them to play, or the band will

just run with it. I have also co -written with the band and with

JP.

ThaWailer: What advice would you have for an

aspiring musical artist?

BenHarper: Write songs, write great songs.

Don’t finish a song cause you want to have a song

that’s done. Write a song that you have exhausted to all

ends to communicate.

DJ_Jesse: Do you ever respond to your mailing

list?

BenHarper: I do and I try to respond by hand

to mail that I get. I don’t want to send out a cheesy flyer

. Do I send out a cheesy flyer?

Silk130: Would you tour with Spearhead?

BenHarper: I have before.

Cyde420: Ben, what do you think of the

smoking of cigarettes at your concert, does it bother you?

BenHarper: I have grown amune. I don’t

smoke.

ThaOlDirtyBastard: Do you think that the

overall public's capability to listen to deep music is

underrated?

BenHarper: Its just tough to comment on that

or speak for a majority of people.

Kanel34: What's your solution to save the

world and the poor lands?

BenHarper: That’s a heavy question.

Kanel34: What do you think about US

international relations, for example Golf war?

BenHarper: I cant answer that question in a

sentence its more a discussion.

Lolly8015: What do you prefer famous and

money but less honesty or the opposite ?

BenHarper: I will take fame money and honesty

all in one sort of one entity and attain it.

BenHarper: I want to thank everyone for

coming on line and I hope that we can do this again, and thank

you for making the Internet such a strong base for the music.

Also I know there has been a lot of discussion about bootlegs and

I want to take more time to think about where I stand on this

business. I think there are both good and bad sides to it but I

want to be fair in representing both and I will be going on line

soon to get further in to detail about it.