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QRD #40 - Happy Father's Day! - June 2009
about this issue
interviews with:
Nicholas Slaton of slicnaton
Shaun Sandor of Promute
Jeremy M Lange, photographer
Chris Bonner of THe BAcksliders
Matthew Kendall of Rogue Motel
BevanHurdof The VeryFoundation
Michael Jarmer of Here Comes Everybody
Chris Williams of Maple Stave
Brian John Mitchell of Remora
Kyle Monday of Carta
Bill Tollner of Amadan
Sacha Galvagna of Carta
RobertBrownof Northern Valentine
Benjamin LÝzninger of LÝzninger
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Benjamin LÝzninger of LÝzninger
June 2009
I don’t really know Benjamin at all, but he sent me some music recently & anyone that mentions they started their band because of having their child certainly belongs in this issue.  French is his first language, but hopefully things come across okay in this interview.  His music is kinda wyrd folk-pop for lack of a better term.

Name: Benjamin LÝzninger
Band: LÝzninger,
Elektrisk GÝnner
Website: lozninger.com

QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a professional musician?

Benjamin – I never really wanted to be a “professional musician,” but it’s always been the most important in my life as a kid apart from “drawing.”  Little by little I decided to create my own songs.  Music is more of a contemporary art media.  Photography, graphic design, video, & music processes are linked in my mind.

QRD – What are a few highlights of your musical career?

Benjamin – Singing Beatles’ songs to my daughter when she was still in her mother’s belly.  My first CD trilogy.  The very first solo show in Toronto in front of 6 people.  Playing the first time at Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona at 4 AM in front of 3000 drunk people.  Meeting Vic Chesnutt & Daniel Johnston.

QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?

Benjamin – Not sure I really “decided” it, but I accepted “the idea I could be a father” around my 30th year.  & I never regretted it once.

QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career?

Benjamin – The most important thing is to leave on tour.  It’s both good & bad.  Good because it’s great to realize how much you miss the people you love.  & bad because sometimes you miss them too much.

QRD – Have your children effected the music you make &/or listen to?

Benjamin – She’s linked to the project coz I started this solo project because of her.
I couldn’t make as much noise as before during her naps & I started to write a few acoustic lullabies, so let’s say she’s the “muse” & founder of LÝzninger.

QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from a musical career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?

Benjamin – Well, it’s still quite complicated for now.…  Any rich patron around?

QRD – Given the limitations having a family has on being a touring musician, would you have toured more earlier in life if you’d known?

Benjamin – I think so, but in a way, there’s nothing to regret.  I guess I wasn’t ready before...  & I still manage quite well.

QRD – Do you think being a father or a musician has a greater impact on your community?

Benjamin – I really don’t know.  I hope so.… Ask the community!

QRD – Would you rather see your daughter eventually become musicians or parents?

Benjamin – I just want her to be happy & find her own way.

QRD – Both family & music seem like things that will take up as much of your time as you’re willing to put in.  How do you end up dividing your time?

Benjamin – It’s a secret & mysterious alchemy….  I keep my tips for myself :)

QRD – What does your daughter think of your music?

Benjamin – Mmmh it depends!  She can immediately recognize my music, but she’s sometimes more into the music of some other bands I was touring with.  I guess my music equals “great & boring feelings” for her, like = pride, happiness but also sadness, absence.…

QRD – Do you think you could ever do a musical project with your daughter?

Benjamin – She already sang on a couple of songs & I’m often using some samples of her voice.  She also appears in one of my videos = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NycNWSYpw2Q

QRD – Any words of advice to young people?

Benjamin – + + + Stay young forever + + +

QRD – 2015 update - any new insight from five more years of fatherhood?

Benjamin – Loads actually! My daughter started middle school last year, so she's definitely becoming a teenager now. She's singing in her school choir. I met someone living in NYC & the past 3 years have been dedicated to a lot of travelling & we're still switching between NYC & France. In the meantime my project Elektrisk GÝnner took us on a lot of touring in the world & got great feedback. Mō, the danish singer I discovered & who was featured on the first album, is now signed to Sony & is touring non-stop. I just discovered a new young amazing singer for Elektrisk GÝnner & we're recording the second album now. I'm also mixing a new album for LÝzninger featuring the very talented texan singer Jessica Kitowski & the greatest news of all, my partner is pregnant & the tribe will be bigger in November!