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Ben Mason opens up about returning to childhood roots for his sound [Video]

Singer/songwriter Ben Mason reflects on the lessons learned in his music career and childhood that created his imaginative indie sound.

Coming from the release of his album KanandahMelbourne artist, Ben Mason chats with Happy about the creative process behind his sound.

Deep diving into the memories of his childhood, Mason doesn’t shy away from the rawness and genuine nature of his music – offering guidance on the value of a second opinion and collaborating with friends in the music world.

Ben Mason
Photograph provided by artist

HAPPY: Hello Ben! Where do you find yourself today?

BEN: Hi! Today I am at my house in Melbourne. I’m in the middle of some home renovation, so I’m alternating between being inside my cosy house, prepping for painting and then being outside in the freezing cold, windy Melbourne weather, staining and sanding.

HAPPY: Congrats on the release of your single The Land Where The Sun Sets! What’s the story behind the track?

BEN: Thanks! The song is probably one of the most personal things I’ve ever written. When I was writing the album, I was remembering humorous stories from my childhood, but these other memories of sadder times kept creeping back to me. A number of times I “ran away from home”, which would result in me hiding in the backyard, or in my bedroom cupboard, but that feeling of not being understood or cared about and wanting to hurry up and be a grown up so you can make your own choices – that’s what I was what I was aiming for. When I was researching the history of the area, I tried to find out what the name of our street – Kanandah – meant. The only information Google had to offer was that it is “an Aboriginal word meaning The land where the sun sets”. The video came up a treat too, Simon Fazio is very good at what he does.

HAPPY: The video was filmed in Research, a gorgeous area just outside of Melbourne… What was it like returning to where you grew up for the track?

BEN: It was really emotionally charged, actually – wandering around the spaces where I would escape to when I was a kid, listening to this song I’d written about that time. The area has obviously changed in the 30 years since I lived there, but all those feelings came flooding back.

HAPPY: What made you want to venture into the solo music scene?

BEN: I’ve always written songs, by myself and with other people, so I don’t really see it as “going solo”. More writing songs that I will play under my own name, instead of under a band name. I like to be productive, so I just keep writing and recording and starting new projects. I can’t imagine a time when I stop making music either alone or with friends.

HAPPY: Is there anything you have learned from being in a band that you have taken into this experience?

BEN: I think the best thing about being in a band is the different elements other people can bring to an arrangement. I do miss that when I write and record by myself, so I’m conscious of including others in that process. I’ve surrounded myself with musicians and producers whose practice I really admire, so I tend to step back a little and trust that they will bring their magic.

HAPPY: How does the creative process typically look for you?

BEN: It generally starts with me sitting on the couch, playing my guitar until an idea comes, then I quickly record it onto my phone before I forget it. I try to come up with a chord progression and melody first, then struggle for hours with lyrical content. I find that writing to a theme is really helpful for me too. I record as much as possible in my home studio, and ship rough mixes off to my friends for input and ideas.

HAPPY: The Land Where The Sun Sets is a track from your album Kanandah… tell us a bit about the album!

BEN: Kanandah is an album full of stories from my childhood. There are sweet stories, funny stories and sad stories. I didn’t have a remarkable childhood. It was pretty normal as far as I can tell. One idea I was trying to explore was the sense that things that happen to kids might not seem like a big deal to adults, but they are a big deal to kids. You know when you go back to your primary school and the play equipment is tiny, but when you were a kid it was huge and challenging – that kinda thing, but with emotions too.

HAPPY: What can we expect from you in the future?

BEN: I have a couple of things on the go at the moment. I’m about to complete a project with my good friend Ben Donnan. We’re re-recording the classic Bros album, PUSH, from start to finish, but in the style of The Everly Brothers. It’s called Everly Bros. It’s a lot of fun. I’ve also started writing and recording a new thing… It might be an album or an EP, I’m not sure yet. Lots of collaboration and songs centred around friendship. We’ll see what it turns out being.

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Western states battle wildfires, record heat and power shortages [Video]

Western states battle wildfires, record heat and power shortages CBS News Watch CBSN Live Record temperatures are fueling dangerous and massive wildfires in the western part of the country. In California, the fires are interfering with power transmission lines and putting the states energy grid at risk. CBS This []

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Started streaming on June 4, 2018 Welcome to Virtual Railfan, please read this important info. You are watching a live stream of Norwalk, Connecticut, USA, for people who enjoy watching trains. The cams are located on the SONO Switch Tower museum, check them out here: http://www.westctnrhs.org/towerinfo.htm Internet is hosted by the Slice of Italy restaurant, right next door to the Tower! A must visit when you're in town: http://sliceitalysono.com/FAQ courtesy of local William McMorris: https://bit.ly/2T9JEdEMNRR /tracker arrivals: https://mymnr.org/stationArrivals/131You are welcome to join our family friendly chat, but keep in mind that there’s a community with rules already established. Please check them out below. East Cam: https://youtu.be/kWLx08A18fcWest Cam: https://youtu.be/2JRCi3-bhP0Recording, duplication, or distribution of our videos is strictly prohibited without permission. CHAT RULES: • Be polite and respectful • Please use English, we need a single language to be able to understand each other. If you’re not fluent, use a translator such as Google Translate: https://translate.google.com • Don’t post in ALL CAPS or use excessive emojis, letters or characters. • Don’t discuss politics, religion, race, sex, violence, disturbing details about train or vehicle accidents, or anything like that. We try to be mindful of any children who may be watching. • Don't use the terms "foamer" or "foaming" in your comments or your username. Many railfans find them derogatory and offensive. • The conversation here is trains, and please remember that it needs to come first. • Please keep personal details out of the chat. Remember, you are sharing information with hundreds of people, not just those directly involved in the chat. • Don’t ask to become a moderator. It’s earned. If we’re interested in your assistance, we will contact you. • Please don’t use our chats to seek attention, stand on your soapbox, or criticize other people’s presences or contributions • Just be nice, it’s amazing what happens when we’re all nice to each other. THINGS THAT WILL GET YOU BANNED: • Inappropriate usernames or avatar • Profanity • Coming into chat for the sole purpose of asking for subscriptions (subs) or to blatantly promote your channel • Being intentionally disruptive, creating arguments or any other jerk-like behavior • Not following the moderators’ instructions • Blocking a moderator (including Nightbot)ABOUT THIS FEED: Norwalk, CT, is located on the Northeast Corridor (NEC), between Washington, D.C., and Boston, via Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Trenton, Newark, New York City, New Haven, and Providence. This is the New York City-Boston section, formerly the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad (New Haven, NH, or NYNH&H for short). Specifically, this is the junction at South Norwalk, where the Danbury Line (to the eponymous Danbury, CT), diverges/splits off of the NEC, and this is at milepost 41.3; to the west (left) at milepost 41.0 is the station at South Norwalk. Numerous passenger trains can be seen every day, of both the Metro-North Commuter Railroad (M-N, MNCR, or MNCW for short) and of Amtrak (AMTK), including the "Acela Express", numerous "Northeast Regionals", and the "Vermonter". Metro-North is part of New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Besides passenger trains continuing towards or coming from Boston, locals coming to/from the Danbury Line can also be seen. This portion of the NEC, from New York City to New Haven, is owned by Metro-North; east of New Haven to Boston, it is owned by Amtrak. Originally, electrification ended at New Haven, but it was extended to Boston in the late 1990's in preparation for the inauguration of the "Acela Express" service. Norwalk, being between New York City and New Haven, is on the older 12.5 kilovolts (kV) at 60 Hertz (Hz); from New Haven to Boston the newer electrification is 25 kV at 60 Hz. There are no radio feeds/streams or ATCS layouts/servers available. When’s the next train? Yeah, we get this a lot. You can figure out the next Amtrak passenger train with this handy link: https://bit.ly/2GvDqNS There’s no schedule for freight trains, but some of our more knowledgeable members will provide real-time information when it’s available. Please refrain from asking. ABOUT VIRTUAL RAILFAN: Website: http://virtualrailfan.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/virtualrailfan/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/virtual_railfan Links to the Free VRF YouTube Cams.: https://bit.ly/3qWGohlLinks for Virtual Railfan Members - Full Cam List: https://bit.ly/2LU6VN6Know a good location for a camera? We’d love to hear about it., If you have any contacts in the area, please let us know. Please email us at : locations@virtualrailfan.com