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.
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.
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