We had the good fortune of connecting with Ben Eaton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ben, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
The reason I chose to pursue a career in the arts is the same reason I continue to pursue that career every day. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel excited to wake up and work at it every day. It soothes my troubles and takes away my pains and I feel so accomplished when I make a bit of progress. As a musician, creating a sustainable and stable career seems to be getting harder by the day, but I continue to work towards that because its what I enjoy doing and what gives me the feeling of inner completeness that I think everyone looks for in their day to day life.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am currently in the process of completing the recording and mixing process for my second album with my solo project, Steel Cut Oatmeal. I am VERY excited to release and perform these songs for everyone because they’ve been a long time in the making and I’m looking forward to a whole host of new musical journeys and connections to be made through this project. My biggest goal with this new record is to go on tour with it. I love touring so much because it encompasses two of my favorite things: traveling the world and performing with my friends. I started writing songs to play with my friends back in London Ohio many years ago and I just never really stopped doing it. It’s a great way to communicate a message about something that I’m passionate about or deal with things that are troubling me in a way that might help someone else deal with that same problem in their own life. I always feel better after channeling my energy into a musical creation, it’s a wonderful vessel to cultivate connections and communication. Though its always a challenge to stay focused, inspired and motivated in an often ruthless industry, at the end of the day, the good times and the warm memories that I get from pursuing these dreams always outweigh the struggles.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love when my friends from out of town visit! It’s an excellent excuse to go and have an adventure and treat them (and myself) to some treats around town! There are so many cool spots to hike and explore in the greater LA area so I always enjoy taking my friends on a trip to the beach or on a nice long hike to somewhere with a cool view, one of my personal favorite spots is Murphy’s Ranch. After a nice hike we would take advantage of my next favorite thing about LA, which is the abundance of unique and diverse food options available at a moments notice so we would of course be having Thai Curry to re-energize. After a hearty (and healthy) meal I’d take my friend to see the fiddlers play Irish Traditional music at Griffins of Kinsdale. That’s always been one of my favorite places to hang out. The musicians are amazing, the drinks are delicious and the overall vibe of that bar is cozy and enjoyable. On a nice night, one of my go-to leisure activities is having a bonfire at Dockweiler Beach. Watching the sun set over the ocean and enjoying the pure simple act of burning wood with companions, eating, drinking and singing some campfire songs has always been my happy place. The list of fun things to do here could go on and on but I think the general schedule of “hike, eat, drink and be merry” would be the order of the day for an interesting and enjoyable trip.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be able to do what I do and what I enjoy doing if it weren’t for all the active and supportive friends, family and strangers out there in the audience who allow musicians to take the stage and perform for them, it’s truly an honor to have people indulge me in my creative endeavors. I’d also like to thank Lauren Kleeman for her neverending support and inspiration to push my limitations and strive for new heights of success and accomplishment. My first wonderful guitar teacher Joe Plazak really deserves recognition for nurturing my love of the instrument and of music itself, and I’d of course like to thank the many many musicians I’ve had the pleasure of performing alongside over the years in numerous different bands big and small, I won’t list them all here but you know who you are. Lastly I’d of course like to thank my parents, not only for giving me life but for always being supportive and understanding of my pursuit of my dreams, Love you guys.
(Harmonica & Guitar) Marcos Hernandez (Black and White photo) Ojo De Loba (Guitar and Bandana) Lauren Kleeman (Green and Blue) Kerstyn Toombs (Pink Sky and Guitar) Tricia Eaton