5 Random Questions with Ben Caplan

5 Random Questions with Ben Caplan

Smoking is bad for you. Ben Caplan is not, though both will leave you breathless; so fill up your lungs, before descending into this alt-folk madness. Look, there’s no other way to describe it. As you can hear on his latest, Birds With Broken Wings, the charismatic Caplan is a one-of-a-kind talent. With a thundering voice, a devilish beard and a bag of lurid lyrics, Caplan will coax you into his darkness – then raise up your spirit.

We had a chance to ask Ben a few important questions before his appearance at the festival in July. 

Burgers or hot dogs and why? 

Burgers. There are so many reasons. For starters, I am a vegetarian at the moment, and you can make beautiful veggie burgers of many a-kind in your own kitchen. Whole foods, mixed and prepared: what a delight! Hot dogs? The only veggie dogs are... pretty awful. Just have a salad, you hippie! And then... even if you eat meat, the burger offers so many more chances for creativity. A hot dog... well it's just a tube of animal butts wrapped in nitrates.

Or so I assume.

Bon appetite.

Which movie or book influenced you the most?

When I was 18 years old, I read a book called Passion of the Western Mind, by Richard Tarnas. It's a survey of western ideas and philosophy from the pre-socratics through into post-modernism. It sure ain't a perfect book, but it's a marvellous read, and it started me down a path of critical thinking and reflection that has made all the difference. 

Do you control your thoughts, or do your thoughts control you?

Oh, I suppose it's a tug of war from moment to moment. Some moments, I am the one who gets yanked into the mud, sometimes it's me who pulls my mind into the gutter.

What makes you bored?

People arguing without listening to each other. What a waste of a good argument!

What do you do in your free time?  

Listen to the radio, play backgammon, drink craft beer. Bike rides. Talking to friends in cafes and kitchens.


ben caplan, winnipeg folk fest

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