Veteran music maker, DJ, author, and label-owner Ben Watt catches us up with his latest happenings as he prepares for a string of US shows to promote his upcoming album, Hendra. He’ll be playing Joe’s Pub in NYC on April 1 (sold out), Rough Trade in NYC on April 2, and The Echo in LA on April 4. You aren’t going to want to miss these!
Giant Step: It’s been over two decades since your debut album, North Marine Drive, came out in 1983 and over a decade since your last work with Everything But the Girl. What inspired you to get back into the studio for your own project?
Ben Watt: Instinct, mainly. After Everything But The Girl stopped in 2002, I focused on DJing and running my two labels Buzzin’ Fly and Strange Feeling Records for ten years, but I felt myself wanting to get back to words and writing again, not just beats and other people’s music. The first thing I did was write a new book – a memoir all about my parents’ lives and marriage that will be published by Bloomsbury in the US in June. (It has just come out here to great reviews, which is very heart-warming.) And then right after that I fell into songwriting again. It was perhaps triggered by the unexpected death of my half-sister, Jennie. She died just as I was finishing the book and it was a heavy blow. A lot of stuff just tumbled out.