By Sonia Schnee | Posted Sunday, April 15, 2018
Last month, northern NJ "prog-theater-dance-indie-rock" band Ancient Aliens released their new album, Put Me back in the Sunshine, on Mint 400 Records. Check out our interview with mastermind Ben Morss below to learn more about their unique style, the inspiration behind some of their songs, and more!
What's your name, where are you from, where are you based now?
My name is Ben, but my friends simply call me “Ben.” I was born and raised in a little place called Hades, and believe me, it was Hell. I’m now based somewhere off the Islets of Langerhans, just south of your pancreas.
Tell us about your music. How would you describe your sound?
Our songs are an unholy alliance between the spirit of punk rock, a pile of analog synths, and the need to stand up and scream while experiencing great beauty. We have a determined belief that quality eventually wins over easy stylistic pandering and a secret hope that once in a while we succeed in creating that quality. We know some people crave music that yearns to be smart -- that’s packed with lyrical and musical details that reveal themselves gradually, over many listens.
What's the meaning or inspiration behind some of your songs? How do you want people to feel when they listen to your music?
“Get Me out of this Party” is an industrial-strength dance song about other annoying dance songs.
“Rolling like the River” is our reaction to the rise of well, You-Know-Who. It’s an old-fashioned protest song that depicts our movement as something whose success is inevitable, which I think it is. I do think a small band of racist right-wingers have succeeded in duping a bunch of somewhat decent people into voting against their self-interest, but this is the last gasp of an old way of thinking, which will soon fall into the dustbin of history. Just look at what happened with Pete Wilson and the Republican Party in California in the 90s. Diversity’s here to stay.
Generally, we’re hoping our songs will open your mind and your heart, not necessarily in that order.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get started with music? What's been your personal journey?
Ancient Babies is a supergroup started by five seasoned session musicians who cut their molars laying down beats for superstars like Selena Gomez, Kanye West, the Beatles, and Mozart. They met on the International Space Station while foiling a plot to kill rock 'n' roll. The Babies draw inspiration from Baltic flugelhorn chants, late poems by Hafiz, and the quadratic formula. Led by noted lumberjack Ben Morss, their sophomore effort “Freshmen No More” rocketed to the top of the charts a week before it was released or recorded.
What words of advice or encouragement would you give to someone who wants to follow a similar passion, or is maybe facing obstacles similar to what you've faced?
Follow your dream vigorously and fearlessly -- but there’s no shame in having a backup plan :) Don’t obsess, but if you aren’t spending at least a month writing your song, you aren’t trying hard enough.
What's next on the horizon for you? Any upcoming shows, singles, music videos, or plans for the next album?
Along with this album, we just recorded a cover of “The Heart Will Go On,” but without once listening to the original or using most of the original lyrics, chords, melody, or arrangement. This was fun and we’re planning a whole EP full of similar non-cover covers.
Finally, how can people find you online?
And you might also like http://onwardchariots.com.