Ben Poole In Conversation says Anytime You Need Me
BD: Thanks for taking time out we know how busy you are with the run up to your album release Anytime You Need Me, out Friday 14th September 2018 on Manhaton Records. With a UK tour planned for November and December, we all will have time to get to know the ten tracks on the album. Recorded at Superfly Studios in Ollerton Nottinghamshire and produced by Wayne Proctor, the album has a different feel full of grit and swagger the guitar tones sings to your soul.
BP: No problem I am on my way from Brighton to Chichester to Manhaton to pick up some albums and sign copies.
BD: Anytime You Need Me is the fifth BP album in my collection and the best so far you seem to have stepped up to a whole new level. This is a mature more thoughtful Ben Poole. Where did you draw your influences for numbers that make the album so much more than a blues-infused album?
BP: The album has definitely been considered, me and Wayne spent time, there were some long ‘phone conversations. I am still proud of my last album Time Has Come; it pulled in different aspects of my versatility it showed me off. It is in-depth playing direct, I wanted the guitar upfront, live, raw with a rock side like early Jonny Lang’s Lie To Me or Lenny Kravitz on Are You Gonna Go My Way. I just wanted to have more of a direction. Writing with Wayne Proctor, Steve Wright was totally hands-on, the time had come to co-write. Wayne knows me well whereas Steve mixed the last album but it was the first time we had written together it was good. These two guys made it kinda easier for us to speak.
BD: At the heart of the album are the Lyrics and your co-writing partnership with Steve Wright & Wayne Proctor
BP: Some of the greatest songs have been written as a partnership there are so many, Lennon & McCartney; Elton John & Bernie Tarpin; Tyler & Perry; Richards & Jagger… It gives you someone to bounce ideas off. Working with Wayne helped point me in the right direction. It kept me away from getting immersed in an idea. You get your best work building towards my strengths. I am looking forward to seeing the lyrics printed out as a poster so glad the lyrics are included with a great photograph from Adam Kennedy. It is a crime not to spend time crafting every song.
We took ourselves off to the hills of North Wales, where there are no distractions, with the potential of high levels of pressure. We started with blank paper and gradually worked together getting the parts, very emotive, heart on sleeves not always easy with lads. Co-writing is interesting over last couple of years it has been the most effective and positive at achieving the best results. The last number Holding High was written over four days and set the bar for the rest of the cuts. With its fuzzy guitar leaning towards rock, it set the pace and bar how to do the rest. By trial and error and another six sessions, the rest of the album came to life. It was fun making and a great experience really positive.
BD: The album is a mix of tones and textures one of the standout numbers has to be the ballad written by Steve Wright, Don’t Cry For Me. The gentle precise intro from your guitar is the perfect backdrop as you vocals curl around the lyrics. How did you go about selecting the numbers that fitted into the narrative of the album?
BP: The first three/five tracks came together really easy. Rather than the standard approach of album written and then into the studio to record we built the album slowly. We recorded five songs and then thought about how the rest of the album should feel; shaping songs to feel what was missing, the foundation of hard-hitting song. We needed another ballad, Anytime You Need Me was one of the last tracks it was upbeat with a hard-hitting edge. The track order came fairly easily to balance out the sound it was a simple process. There was definitely no arguments between the artist and producer. At times there were a clash of heads and ideas that led to greater songs and tracks.
BD: The ten track album has two covers Dirty Laundry and Start The Car, how did you go about choosing these two numbers?
BP: Start The Car, by Jude Anthony Cole was Steve Wright’s idea I did not know the song my knowledge of the 80’s is a bit lacking. It is a killer song. I could hear myself doing a version of it using a blues/rock format. I knew Dirty Laundry but had never considered myself covering an Eagles/ Don Henley number. It is really cool having done it. The music video was a lot of fun to shoot. It is fun and shows me in a different light.
BD: Unusually for this modern age of instant snippets and hits this is an album that works in the old fashioned way of listening from beginning to end. There is a natural flow that leads into each song that links them together. Was this deliberate and part of pre-production work or after the songs had all been captured for the album?
BP: I wrote the lead intro which then having early direction gave us a consistency in the quality of the sound and the content. We thought about stuff a lot. This created the space for vocals and using the right amp and guitar for each number to mirror the songs emotion. It was snappy and playing was fun. On Don’t Cry For Me, there is a delay, space to open and really think about the emotions within the song and the same way space to consider how to play the guitar. There are a million guitar sounds we used the effect of guitar amps on the sound to their best effect on the album. This took a lot of effort but the end product was worth taking the time. The previous album I used the same amp throughout the recording. The sound between Live and Studio are pretty close, but it was nice to have the opportunity to play ten different amps in the studio. It would be nice to do that on the road but not practical. We will be touring the album with extensive UK Tour from the middle of November. It will be good to be out on the road in the UK, the set will be super strong, not done any UK shows since last October and looking forward to unleashing a whole new set.
BD: What would be the show you would travel back in time to see –
BP: The gig would have to be Jimi Hendrix, Live at Monterey 1967 that is such a big gig for me. Jimi setting the guitar on fire and the guitar playing.
Ben Poole In Conversation says Anytime You Need Me
Out on Manhaton Records 14th September 2018
Pre-order the album from Manhaton HERE