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Benjamin Marx with Vampire Weekend

Debi Moen • January 2020On the Road • January 12, 2020

Ben Marx

THE DESIGN: “This design was conjured up by the great Rob Sinclair. Before I was brought onboard, he and the band developed something that borrowed elements from older psychedelic and jam bands, specifically Pink Floyd and The Grateful Dead. At the same time, it was to have a strong ‘theater’ vibe. It was to be minimalistic, but also colorful and vibrant. Those goals were achieved in stellar form.”

BACK STORY

HOME BASE: Los Angeles

YEARS IN THE INDUSTRY: 20

Vampire Weekend FOB tour photo by Rob Sinclair

CAREER SPARK: “It was accidental, really. I was a stagehand at the legendary Metro in Chicago. One day the house LD failed to show up. I said that if someone showed me how to turn on the system, I’d figure it out from there. Fiddling with the faders and buttons and seeing the lights reacting, I understood the real art to it all. I knew I wanted to dive in.”

TRAINING: “Mostly informal, hands-on, make-a-million-mistakes-as-I-go. It’s provided me with good lessons along the way.”

FIRST INDUSTRY GIG: “My first ‘job’ was bringing bands and artists into the campus venue at my college. It was a tiny stage but we were lucky enough to see some incredibly talented musicians come play.”

HEROES/MENTORS: “A few standouts have been Tim Lougee, Dan Hadley, Benny Collins, Abbey Rosen-Holmes, Joe Shanahan. They’ve taught me an array of things: from how to blend color and texture to how to treat the locals with kindness and fairness.”

WHEN YOU KNEW YOU “MADE IT”: “I try to stay away from feeling like I’ve ‘made it.’ My first show at Brixton Academy felt pretty epic at the time. I still love that venue and have had many amazing shows there.”

BEST ADVICE TO INDUSTRY NEWBIES: “The best version of myself happens when I truly open myself up to learning and gaining new experience.”

DEFINE A GREAT LIGHTING DESIGN: “A design that leaves the people feeling as though they’ve been transported to a new environment and evokes a feeling of transcendence.”

WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO? “Who doesn’t love a supremely good catering day? It will always raise the morale.”

FANTASY CONCERT TO LIGHT: “Andy Kaufman or The Clash. No one could ever compete with either of them.”

Vampire Weekend FOB tour photo by Rob Sinclair

 

 

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