Ben Ottewell Gets Personal


Written by Yusuf Laher
21 Monday 21st February 2011

Who was the first person you played the finished record to?

My wife and twin boys.

And how'd they react?

Sarah loved it, the boys wanted something a bit rockier - so they could throw themselves around more. Tough crowd, but they are three.

Who’ve you got playing with you?

Will Golden on bass, Michael Jerome on drums and Phil Kronengold and John Ashton on keys. A lot of great players who happened to be in town (I recorded in LA) when I was there. Extremely serendipitous. Bally (Ian Ball) from the band also makes an appearance on the tune 'Chicago'.

Favourite song?

Not sure, keeps changing. At the moment, 'Blackbird'.

What was going on when you wrote it?

As I said, I started it about six years ago. I just had the verse and had been coming back to it intermittently ever since. The benefit of that is that you kind of get more perspective on the tune. The song is about trying to recover something or someone you’ve lost through a lack of respect.

How did Ian Ball’s solo album influence the process?

Definitely encouraging.

What’s your favourite solo record by someone in a band?

David Crosby’s If I Could Only Remember My Name.

And the most disappointing?

Chinese Democracy.

Are you going to be touring to support the album?

First I’m going to play a few shows by myself, just me and a guitar. I’ve got a UK run In early March, a couple of shows in The States in March/April, then I’m in Australia.

There’s also a new Gomez album in the works, how’s that going?

It’s finished! Being mixed at the moment and it sounds killer.

What’s it called and when’s it due out?

Whatever’s On Your Mind. Out early June.

Doesn’t being so spread out around the globe make things difficult?

It does logistically, but I think the space can also be helpful - we’ve spent a lot of time together in confined spaces over the last twelve years.

What else do you do, besides music? Or don’t you have time for anything else?

A lot of travelling, trying to sleep.

Last great movie you saw?

I thought Inception was pretty good.

The name of your local?

The Bell.

Least favourite TV jingle?

We Buy Any Car.

Favourite Gomez album?

Whatever’s On Your Mind.

Shapes and Shadows is out now on ATO (US), Eat Sleep (UK) and Shock (Aus). For more info visit

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