Name; Ben Hampson
Shoe size; tbc
Biog and credits; Noel Gallagher, Bloc Party, Noisettes
Ben’s credits as an engineer are impeccable. A classic career path in the art of making records has seen him engineering for illustrious producers in many of the UK’s top studios with a wide range of fabulous artists. Ben now also takes the helm, often combining the role of producer and engineer, two very different crafts with very different skill sets. Lets look at some of those engineering credits: Ben has worked with producers including Paul Epworth, Ken Thomas, Gareth Jones and Jack Knife Lee on artists such as Noel Gallagher, Blood Red Shoes, Editors and British Sea Power, crafting the sonics at legendary studios like Rock Field, The Townhouse & Jacobs…..this list could go on way beyond my word count.
Ben combines a depth of experience and knowledge of classic recording techniques with a mastery of modern technology. What he also brings to a project is the rare ability to find and use the correct combination of his wide array of skills to capture the magic as it happens with no disruption to the artistic flow. Whether producing, engineering, mixing or a combination of roles, the understanding that every project is unique to itself and deserves a sympathetic approach is what makes Ben a popular accomplice with the rest of our Irresponsible roster, as is the case with artists who conspire to keep him a very busy man.
Combined with this wizardry, Ben manages to employ his multiinstrumentalist talents to play and perform in his own projects whilst raising two young children with his wife on the south coast. He is also, quite frankly, a thoroughly nice bloke.
Is there an aspect of producing a record that you enjoy more than anything else?
Restriction, by that I mean being pushed outside ones comfort zone. Trying to find new or different ways to make things work. Being forced to make what you have stick makes things spontantuos and exciting, everyones just running on instict and that translation of emotion from performer to tape, and then back to the listener is so much more efficient, and that after all is what the game is all about.
Do you have a preferred studio and if so what makes it special for you?
Rockfield. Great gear and great rooms, but tons of vibe and I have a romantic affinity with residentials as I started as one as a tea boy a long time ago. Lot of history there too. I get freaked out by those sterilse purpose designed 80’s studios. They lack vibe and you could name every piece of equipment in there before you even looked.
One for the geeks, Is there a piece of equipment or perhaps an instrument that you couldn’t do without?
A drummer who knows how to play under mics! And a singer who can perform in front of a microphone.
What, for you, is the vital ingredient that makes a record special?
A reason behind it. It kinda makeas it automatically timeless, and thats what Im interested in, records that stand up on there own with out a context. Though for sure context is exciting and they they probably wouldnt exsist without there context. But its like good art, it has to work on different levels. Imidancy but also a cultural depth you can explore if you like.
If you had to have a lyrical line from a song tattooed on your neck, what would it be?
Now I wish I could write you a melody so Plain
That Could hold you dear lady from going insane
That could ease you and cool you and cease the pain
Of your useless and pointless Knowledge