THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Ben Morley of Mice on Stilts

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Mice on Stilts: A Moss Ocean
THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Ben Morley of Mice on Stilts

Few could watch the heartbreaking images from Gaza recently without feeling some pang of pain and discomfort. Regardless of the knotty politics of the situation there, seeing people's homes destroyed, families killed and schools bombed while children were there made you wonder just how civilised Mankind is in the 21st century.

The horrors of that conflict moved many musicians and this Friday October 10 there is benefit concert at Auckland's Wine Cellar to raise money for humanitarian aid to Gaza through the credible Christian group Tearfund and organisations on the ground there.

Among the many bands and artists on the bill (see poster) are Mice on Stilts.

This large and flexible Auckland ensemble explore the fringes of lightlydelic folk-rock and Pink Floyd in their soundtrack/experimental era, and was originally the brainchild of singer/guitarist Ben Morley who also describes their sound as "doom folk".

Earlier this year they released an expansive five track, 35 minute EP-cum-album An Ocean Held Me which received good notices. So given the forthcoming event and their heart being in the right place we thought it timely to get Morley to cast his brain over our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire . . ..

displacement_poster_webThe first piece of music which really affected you was . . .

When I was 13, I as living in a foster home and the foster parents had a son who was a couple of years older than me, he gave me –

‘Lataralus’ by TOOL.

‘Gallery of Suicide’ by CANNIBAL CORPSE

‘Chaosphere’ by MESHUGGAH

I listened to all three of them non stop for the next few years

Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .

The first person I really looked up to in a massive way was Adam Jones

Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?

John Lennon and Lady Gaga

If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .

Addicted to heroin

The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . .

Bones of you – ELBOW

Go Slowly – Radiohead

Seasons in the Abyss - Slayer

Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home?

My grandfather recently passed away and left all of his grandkids a grand to spend on something I was passionate about. Mum said I had to buy a guitar…… I couldn’t complain. So I bought a green eletromatic hollow body Gretsch. I haven’t really played my tele since.

The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .

DIY Touring the world by Blink

If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?)

Toby Driver of KAYO DOT. Id love to play their Choirs of the Eye album with them.

The three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .

Im not sure exactly how to answer this one, but I can tell you three films I love

The Holy Mountain

Vertigo

Inception

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)

The first Robert Johnson album on LP

One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you in that case would be . . .

How to Disappear Completely - Radiohead

The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .

I've actually got a massive poster of a summer sky on my wall, I think it might from an old travel agent. Its like another window.

You are allowed just one tattoo, and it is of . . .

Forearm tree

mice_on_stiltsDavid Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?

Living in Aotearoa, maybe slightly closer to my family, doing the same job I do now, playing in the same band I'm in now.

Actually, I wouldn't change anything really

And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”

I'd like to think this album and the one before both stand on their own merits. We are more into rehearsing/playing more recent songs as they are fresher and more exciting in the here and now. But still proud of the EP.

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