Benjamin Booker's next album will be as much a surprise to him as it will be to everyone else.The 25-year old singer-songwriter has been touring off the back of his eponymous debut album since it came out last year and is just starting to think about album number two. We caught up with him at Primavera Sound before his set to chat about it...
You're working on a new album - how is it coming along? Do you tend to write when you're on the move?
I'm writing but I probably won't start working on it until the end of the year - I'm not done touring until September. There's literally no time to record when we're on the road.
Would you imagine that there will be a departure in sound from your first album? What's going to be different?
No, I don't think it'll be too different - I mean, a little bit because I think I've definitely gotten better at playing but I don't think it'll be that big of a departure from the first one.
Your debut album was produced by Andrija Tokic - he also produced and album for Alabama Shakes with a similar blues-rock feel. Was this a consideration in choosing Nashville as a studio location?
Yeah, I picked Nashville because I liked the producer in the studio there but depending on the songs and how they end up, I might end up working with somebody else. The person you end up working with is super important to how it ends up sounding because you can go in with something and then end up changing it completely... it's a really collaborative process.
How are you enjoying the nomadic experience of the festival circuit? This is your first year playing them, right?
Yeah, definitely. They were a little harder at the beginning but I think we're getting used to playing them now. The schedule is crazy now that we're playing shows and festivals - I think this summer we have a show in like, Sweden and then we have a show in Philly, and then a show in Denmark so it's a little hectic.
Do you ever wake up and feel totally confused about where you are? That's hard to imagine.
Oh, all the time. And sometime you'll like go to buy something and start speaking French to the person and then halfway through you realise 'Fuck, I'm not in France'. But I feel like you get used to that and now it's almost weirder to be in one place for more than a week now.
Does being on the road inspire you to write, or does your schedule snatch that time away?
I think it's easier when you're at home and you just have time. It's nice to just have time to play guitar for a little bit and then not have to for a show later. Luckily, the label I'm on hasn't put any pressure on me to knock out another album straight away so I can pretty much take as much time as I want.
You're still pretty new to this. Is it weird to you that this is your actual job now?
Yeah, it's kinda surreal sometimes and it can be exhausting but it's great. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Benjamin Booker's tour dates and ticketing information are available on his website.
Image courtesy of Ashley Solomon.