Ben Kuzay, Multi-Talent Musician
Interviewed by Michael Meade on 8/2/14
Posted 8/15/14 - 11:58 PM ET
TLR editor, Mike Meade, caught up with multi-instrumentalist and bass player extraordinaire, Ben Kuzay for the first time since their 2009 interview and review of Ben's '09 album, Perpetual Reign.
TLR: Ben, it's good to chat again. It's been a few years since our previous interview for Tastes Like Rock. Before we get into your new album, A Celebration of Life, what else have you been up to between the last time we spoke at length and the release of your new CD?
Ben Kuzay: Well, let's see.... In 2010 I played bass on Mike Philippov's debut CD, Reflections. He was great to work with, a total professional. He's also a phenomenal guitarist and composer. I enjoyed the immense challenge his compositions presented me, not only as the album's bassist, but also as the writer of the bass parts. It was a lot of work, and in the end he and I were both extremely happy with my contribution to his project.
In 2011 I recorded and released my third CD, Beyond Black Mirrors. This album stands out as the only of my four solo CDs that features a drummer (the rest of my albums have programmed drums). I did not submit the CD to TLR for review because it's not a rock CD- its primary genres are ambient, dark ambient, and classical, though there is some rock, as well. Throughout 2010 and 2011 I was playing live shows in Wisconsin with The Ben Kuzay Band, then at the end of 2011 Barry and Allen quit amicably, so in the beginning of 2012 Daniel and I began playing live as a two-piece. It was during this period that I took my solo project on the road for the first time. Daniel and I toured from late June through early July.
This was our 'Beyond Black Mirrors' midwest mini-tour. It went great, but unfortunately Daniel quit the duo at the end of that jaunt. I took the next half year off from live activity, during which time I conceived and prepared a one-man show. In the beginning of 2013, I debuted my one-man show, and it was a big success! I then went on my 'Introspection' U.S. tour, which went from late February through early April. In September I did my 'Bass Domination' mini-tour. I also recorded with two different local artists that year. This year, coinciding with the release of my new CD, A Celebration Of Life, The Ben Kuzay Band reassembled for a pair of shows, the first of which was the CD-release party that took place on the date of the album's release. The next show was the following day. Barry did not participate in this reunion; in his stead we welcomed Britta Kuzay into the band as a full member. Then in mid-April I hit the road with my one-man show on my 'Celebration Of Life' U.S. tour, which took me through late May. Also, throughout the past few years I've been steadily playing local concerts during the times I'm not on the road, with the exception of the half-year between the end of the duo and the beginning of my one-man show.