This Beautiful Republic will drop their new project “Perceptions” two weeks from today. Well, thanks to our good friend Vanessa at EMI Records we got a chance to talk with lead singer Ben Olin about the new project, the story behind thier current single “Learning To Fall” and if he’s ever Googled their band name to see what people are saying about them. Oh, and there’s a special surpise for those of you who read the entire interview.
ST.net: Where are you and what are you doing today?
Ben: Today I am in Toledo, the town of my birth (same for all my other members consequently enough). I am learning how to use stickam.com for video blogs/chats for upcoming promotional events for us.
ST.net: Describe This Beautiful Republics sound?
Ben: It’s Jimmy Eat World meets Norma Jean but marries Matchbook Romance because Norma Jean has an eating disorder and Jimmy likes to Eat.
ST.net: What’s your favorite thing about playing music?
Ben: For me, I’m learning to appreciate the adventure aspect of this job. Most jobs wouldn’t allow you to fly to London for the weekend, play a show and come home. Or to go to the Grand Canyon or Yosemite National Park. Much less get to meet hundreds of really cool people and make lasting friendships along the way. Are there problems? Yes, …and they’re all financial, but is it worth it? When you look over a waterfall at sunset in the mountains, yes.
ST.net: What one artist or speaker has had a big impact on you?
Ben: There was a gentleman named Bob Cox who used to pastor a church and speak at weeklong or weekend events. He gave a great series of talks on “Living dangerously,” and those tapes really helped me to understand how we’re to live life as Christians. I believe he ended up being caught in some sort of scandal later on and when I heard that, it crushed me, but it also gave me an opportunity to realize human sinful nature, grace, love, and forgiveness.
ST.net: What are you listening to these days?
Ben: My friends, parents, and fans. Musically, As Cities Burn, Oh Sleeper, our new record, “Perceptions,” and Sarah McLachlan.
ST.net: I’ve been listening to the single “Learning To Fall” from your new project “Preceptions”, what’s the story behind this song?
Ben: “Learning To Fall,” is a song about knowing the truth and actively going against it; despite also knowing that we’ll eventually need to seek forgiveness and God’s grace. The song also focuses on our Father’s willingness to always take us back and fully restore our relationship with Him. Every person goes through a time where they are pulled away from what they know is true and falls flat on their face. I went through a time like that and this song was a result.
ST.net: The title of this new project deals with the idea that there are at least two sides to every story. How did you settle on this title was it based on a personal perspective or looking at the world as it is today with the media trying to catch someone doing something wrong?
Ben: Not necessarily that specific with society trying to catch people. Although they ARE doing that and it’s pathetic. It’s more on giving people the benefit of the doubt. To consider that there might be more to the story than what it appears. It also has to deal with how God sees us and how we see ourselves. A lot of the songs we were writing when we settled on the title were really about how we couldn’t get our heads around how God could love us despite our flaws, that he must be able to see something that we cannot. That his perception is much much different than our own. It’s a beautiful picture once you get the whole thing in view.
ST.net: If you could go to any other artists show, Christian or mainstream, who would it be and why?
Ben: That’s a dangerous question because some people who are looking to catch someone doing something wrong might be reading =). I’d have loved to have seen a Rage Against the Machine show, or a Nirvana show. Right now, I’d love to see an UnderOATH/Oh Sleeper/As Cities Burn show or even better… a The Almost/Paramore/Jimmy Eat World/Deathcab/This Beautiful Republic show. MUCH better that way.
ST.net: What’s the one thing you “Must Have” on the road?
Ben: Patience. …and lo-carb monsters (which are often given to us by fans, THANKS!!)
ST.net: What has God shown your in the last few weeks?
Ben: That we need to be more willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. Sympathize better. Have grace more. Jump to less conclusions and to genuinely love people. They will know us because of our love, you know.
ST.net: We know that “Perceptions” will be in stores Aug. 19th, but any other news or tours coming up that you’d like to share?
Ben: We’re working on some tours for fall and winter, but we can’t announce them just yet. I CAN share that Aaron Gillespie (UnderOATH/The Almost) did guest vocal on one of the songs on “Perceptions.” That was an incredible blessing and we haven’t announced that publicly just yet.
ST.net: Just for fun have you ever Googled your band?
Ben: Always. It’s weird.
ST.net: Have you ever checked out your band’s Wikipedia page?
Ben: Always. It’s wrong.
ST.net: Do you correct the errors?
ST.net: Are you a cat or dog person?
Ben: DOGS… they play AND come when called.
ST.net: Today are you blessed or stressed?
Ben: Blessed. Stress is usually worthless.
ST.net: Do you prefer myspace or facebook?
Ben: hmmmm… more MySpace work to do, but Facebook is a better communication tool with immediately viewing wall-to-walls.
ST.net: Do you like Sonic’s burgers or an In -n- Out Burger?
Ben: In-N-Out without a doubt.
ST.net: Cracker Barrel or Denny’s?
ST.net: Is it the Journey or the Destination?
Ben: hmmmm… appreciate the journey, love the destination?
ST.net: Thanks for your time.
Ben: Naw, thank YOU. I had a great time with this. You’re the man.
ST.net: Ah, you’re to kind.
Now, if you read this entire interview with Ben then congratualtions you’ve scored a free download of their new single “Learning To Fall”. Click on the song title to download it now.