Ben Rector has a theory: The beauty of life resides in the everyday moments. On his new album, The Walking in Between, he sets those ordinary moments to some extraordinary music. Ben has recently hit the road to share his new music with fans around the country. Luckily, he took the time to chat with us about his new album, his live performances and his experience on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Ben Rector will be playing at The Tabernacle on Wednesday, October 18th! Read on to learn more about Rector and to purchase your tickets to his show!
Congrats on the new album!
How was your approach at writing this album different from your previous efforts?
Ben: On this record, I was in an interesting spot when I was writing it because I can kind of be pessimistic. I think it’s because I don’t want to feel presumptuous like, ‘Yeah, I know this is going to go well’. When things started to pick up a little bit for me, I kind of felt like ‘Oh man, this is going better than I thought it would. I’m sure I’ll feel some sense of accomplishment or satisfaction.’ Writing this record, I just really wanted to reconnect with myself and just write about ordinary stuff. I was in a really interesting place and I just wanted to celebrate some of those ordinary things.
You recently sold out the Ryman in Nashville! Congrats on that as well. What was that experience like for you?
Ben: Totally surreal! We booked it and everybody felt really strongly that it was the right call, and for me, living in Nashville now, it’s definitely a respected venue. I started to see that the tickets were selling really well and when it sold out I was just like, ‘Wow’. I’m super thankful and grateful and it was just really cool!
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Ben: Before the show, just with our group, there’s seven of us and so usually an hour before the show, I’ll just disappear and have a little bit of alone time. Usually right on the edge of when I’m supposed to go on stage, I’ll meet up with everybody and we’ll play. I just like unplugging for a little bit and when it’s show time going straight to the stage.
What’s your favorite part of playing for a live audience?
Ben: I would say I like feeling connected to the audience and I feel like they are part of the show. The most confirming thing is just seeing them connect to the music or just seeing them there, knowing that they’ve been affected by a song that I’ve written. Any time people are really engaged, just singing the words, usually that’s an awesome moment and something that I look forward to.
You’re really active on social media. Do you have a favorite platform or way to interact with fans via the internet?
Ben: I really like Twitter because you can control what you want to put out there and what you want to take in. Sometimes you can get a little overwhelmed with Facebook because there are all these pictures of people that I don’t really know, and quizzes and news articles and all this stuff. Sometimes I get a little overloaded by that. I’m really enjoying Twitter because it’s informative, you can get news out to a lot of people very quickly and it’s whatever you want it to be. I would say I prefer Twitter because it’s a great way to communicate effectively and you don’t have to hear about every news story that people talk about.
You were recently on Jimmy Kimmel. That’s pretty crazy! What was that like?
Ben: Actually, it’s been a bucket list thing for me, getting to play on some kind of late show. I love Jimmy Kimmel’s show; I think he’s super funny and I’m a fan of the show, so when we got asked to do it, that was really cool! I hate to say it, but it’s a little anti-climatic because you play and it’s over and it’s not immediate; you can’t watch people watching it on TV. We taped about a week early (it aired on Monday, October 14th), but it was definitely a really cool experience. I had a great time, but it’s something that kind of gets built up in your mind and then we were all kind of looking at each other afterwards and saying, ‘Did we just do that? Is it over?’
Are there any collaborations or projects that you’d like to work on in the future?
Ben: There are tons of people that I really respect and would love to collaborate or work with. In a dream world, it would be awesome to write a song with Randy Newman and Paul McCartney or get to sing with Alison Kruass, but that’s totally a dream scenario. There is nothing immediately in the future that is set up, but I really enjoy songwriting so I imagine I’ll definitely be collaborating with people at some point.
Catch Ben Rector live at the Tabernacle on Wednesday, October 18th with special guest, Tyrone Wells!