Lead singer/songwriter for the band Ben Folds Five, he also plays the piano for the band. Born and raised in North Carolina. Married to a woman named Frally, with whom he has fraternal twins (one boy, one girl). Currently living in Adelaide, Australia.

Before forming Ben Folds Five with Darren Jessee (on drums) and Robert Sledge (on the fuzz pedal), he was a drummer in various North Carolinian bands. Did guest drumming for Fleming and John, who are friends of his, on at least one of their albums.

Released a solo project called "Fear of Pop" which included a song titled "In Love" which featured William Shatner doing spoken word. A self-confessed "pop songwriter", he apparently writes with hit singles in mind. Known for spearing his piano with a piano stool during concerts (for which he has received a lot of flak).