Ben Poole – Time To Talk

The guitar star and vocalist has a new album Anytime You Need Me ready for release, so he and Pete discuss the new material and relevant matters…

Adam Kennedy

It’s often clear whose music you love, but your songs do sound more and more ‘you’….I must have known (producer) Wayne Proctor about twenty years now!

Yeah, it’s always great to work with him, his playing skills, his ideas, his production values…just makes it all come together so easily. Every day with the project we worked hard on making it crystallise..of course he’s a busy man, not least with King King’s success..but he’s a friend as well as a business colleague and that makes all the difference, for me.

Both my current bands are full of friends…it’s like a social club where we happen to sing and play..

That has to work! That’s what I find, anyway

Your last album I thought was strong on songs..this one is a tad more focussed? The keys might be slightly higher, here and there..a Maroon 5 tinge

Recording my voice between live performances has maybe given me a bit more confidence..on phrasing and range..sometimes I am singing a little more softly in the studio than I might do live..less balls to the wall, more considered for the song in question.. it’s funny you should mention Maroon 5 because when we were deciding how we wanted this album to sound, dynamically, that name came up..thinking about influences..what might make a song work or moreover flow..purely what kind of album we wanted to make, who it might appeal to or connect with..the first Maroon 5 album obviously the songs are strong but also there is some great guitar work on there..

Yes, I saw their first ever show here

Well we did want to reference, them and say the early Lenny Kravitz albums, where a similar thing is going on

Hence the filthy guitar sound sometimes, here..

Yep – early Jonny Lang…with a good melody, the toplines can be strong and be effective

Anytime You Need Me has that going on, love the bass on it too

Yes he did a fantastic job on that for us and it’s good to have players who have been in the touring band when recording new material, you know it can sound good. We did want this album to be more guitar-based, without too much layering though to keep the feel sharp..I suppose less clean than on the previous album. A bit dirtier, a bit grittier. This time with each song we wanted to come up with a distinctive guitar sound on each song, to build that from scratch as we went along.

Take It No More is quite Albert Collins

Well I am a fan so if that’s in there, that’s good enough for me!

You Could Say has that cool UniVibe tone

Yes we used a Leslie on that song to get that atmosphere..I think we ran the guitar signal through a cabinet to get that..sort of pre-amped and double-tracked..that’s one of the songs that took a bit longer to initially write.

I Found Out The Hard Way I like a lot, has that steady but eerie ..neck pick up?

Yes I think so, then over to the bridge pickup as the song intensifies later

It’s confessional

(Ponders) Yes, there is a lot of truth in it, in the lyric. I’d agree there. Maybe people can relate to that lyric, I would hope so.

Further On Down The Line piles on the dirt, is it a set-starter? Evokes Stevie Wonder

To be honest I’m not sure yet, Pete – but it could well be! Oh and Stevie Wonder is indeed one of my favourite artists..and for a lot of reasons. Well spotted

Dirty Laundry – Don Henley. I’d have bet more on Building The Perfect Beast

Oh we like Dirty Laundry, it seemed a good idea to do a version of it, add our own flavour to an extent..I am an Eagles fan and a Don Henley fan, so when it was originally suggested, the idea stuck! We added the handclaps. Hardened the tempo a touch.

It’s not a song that’s been done to death

Nickelback did it, a few others…we’ve been playing that live already and it is fun to do

Don’t Cry For Me seems a nod to Mr Cray, how good is the bass on this?

Yes, there is the space on that song to move around, to emphasise

Let Me Be?

Hmm, a more aggressive sound is what we went for on that particular song. It has a strong construction to work off, so we are in our element. As is Wayne.

So it’s Holding On , for me on this set

That’s your favourite? Oh, that’s good! Well that was going to be the opening track on the album but then we thought it might be better at the end. It’s a heavy sound, fuzz on fuzz! That’s maybe where you’ll hear the influence of Queens Of The Stone Age, Rival Sons..a big rock thing going on. We are going here for a consistently great album not one with a couple of highlights..

An album should take you places…

Yes! My favourite is Grace by Jeff Buckley

Ah! Gary Lucas from The Magic Band…

Indeed – because it does what you say, takes in different moods and backdrops.. I can’t have that record on and be chatting over it..I just have to take it all in, the different instrumentation and everything!

Stage gear?

A couple of Fender Telecasters, a Les Paul for 30% of the set as well..quite a few pedals on the board, but it’s simpler than it looks..a Rotosound fuzz from The Sixties I think..

What makes Ben Poole angry?

(Thinks) Good question!..any kind of animal cruelty, I guess. Can’t stand to see that. I’m a massive animal lover, always had dogs. I was in a farm for a while with horses and sheep, thirty chickens..

I’m the opposite – don’t even have a Fender Jaguar! Thanks for your time, amigo

Cheers, Pete – see you down the road!

Pete Sargeant


(Thanks to Ben)

Photos Credited to Adam Kennedy

Ben Poole’s new studio album ‘Anytime You Need Me’ is out now on Manhaton Records.

You can read our review of the album here:

You can watch the official music video for ‘Dirty Laundry’ here:

In addition, Ben will support the release with a Winter 2018 UK Tour.

For more information visit his official website here:

The November/December 2018 UK Tour will stop at the following venues:

Wednesday 21st November 2018 – Latest Music Bar, Brighton, United Kingdom

Thursday 22nd November 2018 – (Double headline with Stevie Nimmo), The Stables, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom

Friday 23rd November 2018 – Old Schoolhouse, Barnsley, United Kingdom

Saturday 24th November 2018 – The Meeting Room, Elland, United Kingdom

Wednesday 28th November 2018 – The Beaverwood Club, Chislehurst, United Kingdom

Thursday 29th November 2018 – Oran Mor, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom

Friday 30th November 2018 – Cafe Drummonds, Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom

Saturday 1st December 2018 – The Green Hotel, Kinross, Scotland, United Kingdom

Wednesday 5th December 2018 – Früit, Hull, United Kingdom

Thursday 6th December 2018 – Real Time Live, Chesterfield, United Kingdom

Friday 7th December 2018 – The Ropewalk, Barton upon Humber, United Kingdom

Wednesday 12th December 2018 – The Half Moon Putney, London, United Kingdom

Thursday 13th December 2018 – The Musician, Leicester, United Kingdom

Saturday 15th December 2018 – The Railway, Winchester, United Kingdom