Back to Blog

Straight from New Orleans: Backstage with Benjamin Booker

It's been a little while since we chatted with a band, but it's high time we got close and personal with another super-talented artist on the Rock Band 4 soundtrack, rocking out of New Orleans. We recently had the opportunity to talk with Benjamin Booker about what he's been up to, what it's like having his song in Rock Band 4, and more.

Benjamin Booker

Tell us about the music scene in New Orleans! What's your favorite place to play? Who are some of your favorite bands from that scene?

The New Orleans music scene has changed a lot in the four years that I've lived here. When I started playing there weren't many original rock acts -- lots of folk and americana. Now, with an influx of kids from other cities there are a lot more garage rock bands.

Some of my favorite bands in town are Quintron and Ms. Pussycat, Bottomfeeders, Planchettes, and Trance Farmers.

To me the best venue in New Orleans is definitely One Eyed Jacks in the Quarter.

Tell us about some of your influences. I hear a lot of different sounds in your music (punk, soul, R&B, etc).

I do pull from a bunch of different places. As a teenager I was simultaneously obsessed with punk and blues but I've gone through just about every music phase you can imagine. These days I've been listening to a lot of Nick Drake, 1970s African Psych, Young Fathers and some other folks. To me, there are things to be learned from all genres so I try to explore.

This past year has been busy for you. Tell me about some of the highlights!

Playing Glastonbury in the UK and Laneway in Australia was pretty surreal. I also played with Beyonce, Jay Z, Nas and a bunch of other people at Barclay Center last year which was completely terrifying, but something I'll never forget.

Do you play video games? What's your favorite game of all time?

I don't play video games. My parents honestly just didn't have money for them when I was a kid so I never really got into them. I did play at friends houses sometimes though. Star Fox, Goldeneye, and Mario Kart are probably tied for my favorites.

How does it feel to be a part of the Rock Band 4 soundtrack? Have you played your song in the game yet?

It's LITERALLY one of the coolest things that's ever happened to me. Out of everything I've gotten to do over the last few years, Rock Band was when a lot of people I know said "dude, you've made it." I can't imagine people playing my song in a game. It's mind-blowing to me. I haven't tried it yet but I will.

What are you up to now? What are your plans for the future?

I've been doing a bunch of writing. I just got back from Mexico City where I was for a month and was able to get a bunch of work done. Not too much planned for this year. I am playing a couple shows with Tame Impala in June I'm pretty excited about.

Benjamin Booker

His self-titled debut album is available now, and can be found on iTunes.