A Conversation with Ben Stephenson – Exploring Inspiration and the Latest Single, “Faux Business”

In a recent interview between Ben Stephenson of Radio Vision and Mister Styx, we had the opportunity to gain insight into the artist’s background and their latest single, “Faux Business.” Ben Stephenson shared personal anecdotes and shed light on the driving forces behind their music.

When discussing his main inspiration, Ben Stephenson candidly expressed, “My main inspiration is the fact that I’m going to die one day, as corny as it sounds. But these songs will last far longer than I ever will, and I find that beautiful.” It is this realization that fuels his creative process, drawing from the music he loves, personal experiences, observations, and the stories he encounters unexpectedly, even while waiting in line at the grocery store.

Having started out playing drums in grade school, Ben Stephenson eventually transitioned to guitar due to the noise constraints imposed by his parents. This shift marked the beginning of a musical journey that continues to shape his unique sound.

Describing his music as a blend of psychedelic rock and blues, Ben Stephenson creates a captivating medley of influences and textures that embody whatever feels good to him at any given moment. This artistic fluidity allows him to craft songs that resonate deeply with his own emotions and captivate listeners in the process.

Delving further into his personal life, Ben Stephenson revealed that he currently works as a tattoo artist during the day, supplementing his income until his music can sustain him independently. Despite this, he remains committed to his musical pursuits and envisions a future where his artistry becomes his sole focus.

In the interview, Ben Stephenson provided a glimpse into his inspirations, musical style, and the duality of his life as both a tattoo artist and a musician. With “Faux Business” as the latest addition to his evolving discography, it becomes evident that Ben Stephenson’s passion for creating enduring music is what drives him forward, even as he navigates different facets of his creative journey.

Listen to Faux Business below

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What is your stage name?
Ben Stephenson

Is there a story behind your stage name?
I’m sure there is, but my mother has never told it to me. I was almost named Oliver though.

Where do you find inspiration?
I find it in the music I love, experiences I have, situations I’ve observed, stories I’ve heard, you never really know until it happens and you could be in line at the grocery store and all the sudden it hits you.

What was the role of music in the early years of your life?
I started out playing drums in grade school but it was too loud for the parents so I went with guitar.

Are you from a musical or artistic family?
My family has visual artists on both sides and my grandmother plays great organ, but to my knowledge I’m the only one pursuing it in any capacity.

Who inspired you to be a part of the music industry?
I had a music teacher at Concord who really fostered my love of music from a very young age and made me realize that people can actually do this for a job.

The slide guitar at the end of “Layla” by Derek and the Dominoes made me fall in love with rock music though and subsequently guitar.

How did you learn to sing/write/to play?
I learned on my own a lot, using a handful of music books and some helpful internet resources. Still can’t make proper use of sheet music but my music theory knowledge is coming along nicely.

As far as singing My cousin had a boyfriend who was very musical years ago and he gave me a couple vocal lessons. but other than that my teachers were the records I grew up on and the musicians I look up to. Still hate my singing voice but that’s just human nature, hearing ourselves is a weird thing.

What was the first concert that you ever went to and who did you see perform?
The first concert I ever went to was technically Bliss Fest Music Festival, I couldn’t tell you who played though, I was very young. It’s a local bluegrass and folk music festival, we went every year for a long time. I remember being fascinated by the synchronicity of the band members, communicating with their instruments.

How could you describe your music?
Somewhere between psychedelic rock and blues, a medley of influences and textures to bring you whatever feels good to me at the time.

Describe your creative process.
It’s a absolute mess most of the time, but when I get the first pieces of an idea I tend to stick it in my looper pedal and try to come up with complimentary Melodie’s and from there start to build up something of a song structure.

Usually ends up in snippets as content on TikTok or Instagram once it has some shape to it. From there I usually spend a good day or so on recording it when I have the house to myself and can give the track my undivided attention with no distractions.

What is your main inspiration?
My main inspiration is the fact that I’m going to die one day as corny as it sounds. But these songs will last far longer than I ever will and I find that beautiful.

What musician do you admire most and why?
Foremost Jimi Hendrix, followed closely by David Bowie, Frank Zappa and Howlin’ Wolf

Their music speaks to me on a level I didn’t know I understood until I heard it. And their journeys are all equally inspiring as their music.

Did your style evolve since the beginning of your career?
My style evolves all the time. Mostly in the recording process, you’re forced to see your approach to an idea under a microscope in the mix and you start to see what works and what doesn’t then it just evolves.

I started out playing more punk adjacent music in my youth, very inspired by that scene and the cultural lense that came with it. As my rebellious nature subsided I found my way back to the blues though.

Who do you see as your main competitor?
Myself, my insecurities, I think the scene functions better if all the bands in that given area/sphere of influence interact cooperatively.

What are your interests outside of music?
Tattooing, Film, Art in various forms, Being in nature, Traveling

If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
currently I daylight as a tattoo artist until music can pay the bills on its own, so I imagine I’d keep doing that.

What is the biggest problem you have encountered in the journey of music?
It’s simultaneously been made very easy for anyone to enter the music industry and have their music available in the same places as top artists, but also harder to make a living of.

If you could change one thing in the music industry, what would it be?
The focus on digital media, and the new trappings that come with it for artists in the form of low streaming royalties, and depending on social media (which throttles your reach unless you pay up)

They’ve commodified all the tools necessary to succeed and sold them back to us.

Why did you choose this as the title of this project?
I was once told (at length) that birds could see radio waves, which turned out to be false but their misguided passion for the topic and the name “Radio Vision” stuck with me.

What are your plans for the coming months?
I’ve got 5 more songs to release this year ready and sent over for mastering as we speak. Set to be released as singles but I may do an EP if I get too impatient. The slow burn is effective, but I want to share these songs with the world yesterday, I’m sure it will prove a valuable lesson in patience.

Do you have any artistic collaboration plans?
I have been in talks with a few people in the local scene here to fill in on instruments I don’t know how to play/ don’t have and am currently at work putting together a live band to take these songs on the road.

What message would you like to give to your fans?
If you don’t stop, no one can stop you.

Mister Styx
Mister Styxhttps://musicarenagh.com
My name is Mister Styx and I'm a music blogger and an HVAC Engineer. I'm passionate about all kinds of music, from rock to hip-hop, Jazz, and Reggae as a matter of fact I am always eager to hear new sounds as music has no barrier, and I'm always looking for new sounds to explore. Hop on lets go fetch for some new sounds!

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