Ben Watt: 2016
Ben Watt with Bernard Butler, Cameron Ralston & Pinson Chanselle (photo by Veronica Moyer/ WFUV)
North London’s Ben Watt has passed through many chapters in his musical life. In 1983 he released his first solo album, North Marine Drive, but he became understandably sidetracked for over twenty years with another band, Everything But the Girl, which he co-founded with his longtime partner (and now wife), Tracey Thorn.
When Everything But the Girl went on permanent hiatus in 2000, Watt focused on DJing, producing and running his record labels, the dance-oriented Buzzin’ Fly and the eclectic Strange Feeling. But motivated by a book he was writing about his parents, 2014’s Romany and Tom, and shocked by the sudden death of his half-sister, Ben began writing a solo album (his first one in 31 years), called Hendra. He collaborated on that album with a new friend, the guitarist and producer Bernard Butler, formerly of Suede, and they toured extensively in the States, the UK and Europe.
The two are back together again for Watt's new album, Fever Dream, which draws from a middle-aged perspective on mortality and the complexity of long term relationships. It’s a cycle of tough and tender songs—and a lot like Watt himself.
In this session, Watt and Butler discussed the path that brought them to their second collaboration and Watt's third solo album.