“No guilt, all pleasure,” sings Ben Lee on his forthcoming album, The Rebirth Of Venus (due April 28 on New West). Lately, the 30-year-old Australian singer/songwriter has been on a mission to deliver radio-ready pop songs for the rest of us, mixing up hooks and politics and letting it all hang out. Shortly before he appeared on Jay Leno last week, Lee did a Q&A with MAGNET on the topics of Venus, his recent marriage to Ione Skye and the “mistake-pop” of his past and future.
As guest editor of magnetmagazine.com this week, the world’s most enlightened pop star shares thoughts about his latest revelations—from music to monkey gods.
Lee: Lou Barlow formed Sebadoh after leaving Dinosaur Jr and was the most prolific motherfucker of the ’90s. He made Ryan Adams look like a dude with writer’s block. He put records out as Sebadoh, Sentridoh, Folk Implosion and I’m sure others I don’t know about. He really pioneered the home-recording lo-fi aesthetic that became such a staple of underground music and indie rock. The thing is, Barlow always wrote from the heart, even when he was being snarky and cruel. I am making a Noise Addict record at the moment, and Lou is playing bass on it. It’s a bit of a moment for me. He’s spending a lot of time playing in Dinosaur Jr again these days. The world is going to re-awaken to the majesty of Sebadoh again very soon, I’m sure.
“The Freed Pig” from 1991’s Sebadoh III: