Written by: Mikala Lugen | Photo(s) by: Josh Siebert
Artist Spotlight: Ben Reneer
Name: Ben Reneer
Hometown: Alpine, Utah
Day Job: Industrial Designer
Fun Fact: I can wiggle my ears like a champ. They really move.
Music Influences: Peter Gabriel, Ryan Adams, Donovan Woods, Gregory Alan Isakov
When Did You Start Playing Music?: “I started piano lessons at five-years-old (thanks, Mom). I was very resistant to it. I even ran away from a lesson. At twelve-years-old, I became interested in learning guitar and bought one on eBay for $20 and started teaching myself. I didn’t do a ton of playing in high school, but when I got home from my LDS mission in my early 20s, I came home and started writing music as a creative outlet.”
Orange Avenue EP – 2017
Swallow Like An Empty Sun – 2018
Facets Of This Faded Memory – 2019
Between These Walls – 2020
Sans Vox – 2020
“Between These Walls is about being within a confined space, literal or otherwise. It was recorded some months before the pandemic, so it was coincidental that it came out during everyone’s time in quarantine. The album begins with “Welcome” and ends with “Farewell,” representing the space in-between birth and death. There’s this uncertainty about whether the universe is benevolent or malevolent. Does joy outweigh all the suffering in the world? That’s essentially the question I’m asking with the line: ‘Between these walls I can’t tell if I’m crushed or cradled.’”
Current Projects & New Releases: “Flowers” came out a few weeks ago which was a really fun song to work on.
“Flowers” – Ben Reneer
Upcoming Shows: Backyard Concert featuring Ben Reneer, No Bad Ideas, and Joie. Tickets and additional information can be found here.
Favorite Past Show: “I lived in Rhode Island for a while and played a couple of Sofar shows in Boston. The audience pays to be there. They care about the music and they pay attention. The small intimate space created a real sense of connection.”
Dream Venue To Play: Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN
What Do You Want Fans To Feel When They Listen To Your Music?: “Depressed. Just kidding. Sometimes people come up after my show and say things like “you’re so talented.” They’re missing the point. The point is to feel connected – connected to themselves, to the art, and to each other. Any value that talent has is merely as a means to that end.”
For more information on Ben Reneer, visit his website.