What’s so good about being an internationally renowned travelling musician?
Having a dream come to life, about not only expressing music as a human emotion but having it welcomed with open arms. That’s the shit man, it feels so good it’s hard to even put into words.
Is it the ultimate? Is it better than sex?
It’s as good as a combination of surfing and sex and I love surfing and I really love sex. So it’s good man, really good, you should try it (laughs). Being able to travel and do what I do is almost as good as the way music hits me, it’s almost as good as the way I felt when I heard Zeppelin for the first time, it’s almost as good as the way it felt when I saw Pearl Jam for the first time
So what’s not so cool about being Ben Harper?
The rigors of travel, the rigors of the road, the lack of food your body needs to stay super healthy, the lack of time with your family and friends. But I mean if you’re going to do what you love and do it well there’s going to be sacrifice on all levels and I’ve always been prepared for that. I hate miserable whining musicians, we’re doing what we love and if you don’t like it, get out.
Do you sometimes wish you were a brickie or a plumber or a builder?
Well I am. Once I get home man I’m all that shit, Ben Harper’s out the window dude. I’m fixing toilets, I’m fixing door knobs, I’m sweeping, I’m changing diapers, I mean you got to believe it man, that old Ben Harper shit goes out the window. When was the last time someone asked you when you were going to grow up and get a real job? You’re in your 30’s now….
I know, the pressure’s on to grow up man. I should concentrate on a career, right?
Maybe accountancy could be a good career for you?
I am a part time accountant man, I’ve got to look after all my money, you’ve got to believe that. All those millions you know (laughs). When you’re touring the planet, are you a first class traveller or do you travel down the back with your fans? It depends, for the most part I’m a budget kind of guy, but for the long trips, like over here, the 17 hour trips I’m ready to go business. I’m still not into first, first is still like, okay, if there’s a $10 000 ticket, a $4000 ticket and a $2000 ticket I may go for the four but I ain’t going the 10, fuck that. To get in the chair and read a book, I don’t need to be doing that.
Are you any closer to retiring, building a vegie patch and just playing music for yourself and your friends?
I got a lot more music I got to get out there. You’re going to keep hearing from me for a while yet, man, I’m sorry about that (laughs).