Ben Lee is my hero. He's a really nice guy and good to his fans. I gush whenever I see him and he always remembers me.
Born September 11, 1978. (Virgo). Native of Sydney Australia.
He did some commercial work when he was a kid and once was a contestant on Australia's equivalent of the gameshow Double Dare.
The boy and his guitar formed a band Noise Addict with some school chums, Daniel Kohn, Saul Smith and Romy Hoffman, and played a local BBQ where they were spotted by Stephen Pavlovic of Fellaheen Records. Shortly after, they released a 7" featuring I Wish I Was Him, Ben's musical love letter to Evan Dando.
This caught Dando's attention, as well as Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore who signed them to his Ecstatic Peace lable where they release their first EP DEF. Shortly after, they were signed to Grand Royal and they released Young and Jaded.
Their third and final album Meet the Real You was released in January 1996, which they promoted by going on tour, only to disband a couple months after.
Ben released his first solo alubm in 1994, Grandpaw Would produced by Brad Wood in which his indie-rock darling status was further raised.
His follow up album Something To Remember Me By was not as well recieved, but has it's moments, especially How To Survive A Broken Heart which was featured in the filmThere's Something About Mary.
His most recent album Breathing Tornados, released in 1999 displays great maturity and is said to be his best work to date.
Ben currently resides in Manhattan in the loft he shares with longtime girlfriend Claire Danes.
For more information, visit http://www.ben-lee.com
Hey, I know this is out of date. Just so you know, I wrote this in 1996 for my high school newspaper the Woodrow Wilson HS Statesman. It was the same time Noise Addict went on tour for their third and final album Meet the Real You. Noise Addict broke up not long after, I believe in March. Think of it as a little piece of history.
Aussie Ben Lee took a break from his band Noise Addict to record his first solo album Grandpaw Would for Felaheen and Grand Royal records. This pop-fest, according to Lee, features songs that are "mellower and based around my $20 acoustic guitar."
Lee is 16 and hails from Sydney, Australia where he leads the life of an ordinary student until vacation, when he’s in the studio or on tour with his band. During this successful time for Australian bands, one might develop the mental image of a long-haired slacker, oddly resembling the late, great Kurt Cobain screaming and hollerin’ about "toomorrrooooow". But after listening to the first song, it can be concluded that this ain’t Silverchair. No thundering drums or power chords here. Lee, with his new George Clooney haircut and polite demeanor is the clean cut poster boy for youn’uns of alt.rock.
His electric guitar is used sparingly and only to give songs that extra special touch. He prefers that the songs be heard in the company of clean, undistorted acoustics and prizes vocals over everything else. Backing vocalists include Liz Phair and Rebecca Gates of the Spinanes. Throw in some shakers and a tambourine and you’ve got a peppy pop hybrid of Beck’s acoustics and The Beatles early years. In addition, Lee’s accent makes all the girls (and some boys) swoon.
At first Lee’s lyrics seem to be nothing incredibly deep, dark or brooding, just things that a 16 year old would contemplate but not have the guts to admit. One might think so, but after speaking with the lyrical master himself, it’s clear that few things can be taken at face value. There’s a deeper meaning to everything most everything and once found, is completely understood. For example, in The Loft, something’s happened and it has knocked the wind out of him. "Gotta come to terms with what I’ve found…" When asked to elaborate, Lee explains "It’s more of a metaphor for finding yourself… You know when you’re alone and have all this time to think about things?" Everyone goes through a kind of identity crisis and everybody knows it, but not many are brave enough to talk about it, let alone sing about it.
His songs include subjects such finding the perfect girl, loss of innocence, parting of friends, embarrassing and awkward situations and the great confusion that comes with becoming an adult. Even so, there are also songs that will put a smile on anyone’s face, whatever the meaning, be it blunt or buried under metaphor. The big single of this album, however, is the melodic Away With the Pixies, possibly about how, at a certain age, one begins questioning their personal truths and search for new beliefs and values. "I don’t want your stories anymore, they were fun when I was four. I’d do away with the pixies, if you could give me something more…"
Lee’s album is definitely worth listening to when in need of a pick-me-up, because it never fails to bring on a smile.