Born in London in 1986, Ben took up guitar at the age of 14.
Before taking up the guitar, I had drum lessons in primary school and then piano in secondary school. After passing grade 1 piano my new teacher said to me “I don’t think piano is the instrument for you”. At the time I wish I’d replied “I don’t think teaching is the profession for you”, but instead I took his advice (good or bad) and gave the guitar a go instead. I taught myself by playing along to my favourite songs in my room for hours on end and downloading tabs from the internet.
I come from a very musical family. My dad is an amazing guitarist and used to play in a band in Chile when he was at school. My brother is a drummer and I used to be in a band with him. My little sister plays violin and my great grandmother from Ireland was a songwriter.
Early influences include The Beatles, Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin and The Clash.
I think every kid should grow up listening to The Beatles. I’d happily debate with anyone about them being the greatest band ever in terms of songwriting. I still listen to their songs and think “How the hell did you write that?!”.
The first time I saw footage of Jimmy Page, it made me realise how far off I was at being a great guitarist. People used to say he’d sold his soul to the devil for his playing ability, and you can see why!
The Clash are a band close to my heart as they’re from around Ladbroke Grove where I grew up. They’re a genuine no-nonsense band who created an awesome, raw energy when they performed live.
What do you enjoy most about playing in The Routine?
Working hard in the rehearsal room to create something from nothing and then performing it live. It can be hard work but it’s really fulfilling when I see people enjoying our music. Recording is also really satisfying as we can really appreciate each individual element of each song and focus on finetuning every detail.
Any memorable/horrible moments from your musical career?
Supporting The Automatic at Buckingham University, playing Camden Rocks Festival, and any Fiver night at The Junction in Cambridge as they're always amazing to play. A horrible moment was at a festival called Ledgefest when a temporary rain cover collapsed, causing a huge puddle of water to land directly on my amp. Somehow it survived - I still have no idea how to this day!
Random fact about yourself?
I was given my first guitar by a nun. The Lord works in mysterious ways!