Jordan Benker has been touring the country with his undeniable indie rock style for years and his newest solo project, Look Out Love, is some of his best work yet. His most recent EP release, entitled Oh Boy, has received praise from publications all around. Jordan was kind enough to answer some questions via email with writer Maria Gironas, which you can check out below!
MEB: Do you mind telling us a little bit about yourself and what your style of music is?
Jordan Benker: Hi! I’m Jordan Benker and I’m the man behind Look Out Love. The music of LOL definitively falls under the indie pop category, but considering the vast array of music I listen to, you can hear influence from so many different genres…everything from grunge, to blues driven classic rock, to pop punk. Gotta keep people on their toes you know?
I saw that you used to work with analog and have now ventured into digital recording, do you ever miss analog at all?
I certainly did get my start on my old analog 8 track machine, and while it was fun at the time, the production quality just can’t compare to the technology that we have today with digital recording. That being said, I’ll always have a soft spot for analog…not only is it how I started, but there’s a certain organic and natural feel and sound with actual tape recordings that really special. One day I’d love to do a full record without the use of computers.
You’ve opened for some pretty amazing acts, was there one in particular that was your favorite?
I’d say my favorite show I’ve played was opening for Paradise Fears. That was one of the first really big shows I’ve ever played, so it was a really great entrance, if you will, to the music scene and having music lovers appreciate what I do.
It’s pretty rare, in my opinion, that musicians leave higher education to pursue their music. Would you recommend education like the one you got at Berklee?
Yes, I went to Berklee College of Music in Boston, and while I learned quite a bit, and took advantage of many resources to further my craft, it was not the place for me…hence why I only went for 2 years. Personally, I feel was slowing me down in the career that I had chosen. That being said, one of my best friends went to Berklee with me…he got involved, made friends, learned a lot and he ended up graduating. Every person will have their own individual experience with any kind of education after high school. I do not want to be the person who shuns away education of any kind, but if there is a path that does not feel right to you, it might be worth your while to find other opportunities that can get you where you want to be.
Can you break down your 4 track EP into a couple words each? Like, describe them in their own way.
Never Know is a song about blinding love. The sensation of being so infatuated with someone that you lose track of your surroundings and get lost within someone else. Once is about deceit and the acceptance of being alone. Nervous Wreck is hyperbole of the struggle of not being with the person you love. Oh Boy is about the common misconceptions I receive about being a musician, so the song is essentially one big tongue-in-cheek shoulder shrug.
If you can think back to when you first started with music to now, what do you think has changed the most about you personally?
I feel that while I’m still naive and still have incredibly high visions for my career, I feel like I’ve gotten a bit smarter and less impulsive with my decision making.
When you aren’t playing music, what else do you enjoy doing?
Well my friends and family are incredibly important to me, so spending time with them is a must. You’ll probably find me on my longboard when I’m not home recording. That or I’m watching cartoons while eating donuts. One or the other haha.
What’s a fact most people might not know about you?
I used to be a breakdancer for a DJ company in my old hometown. It was a pretty fun gig actually…I got paid to party and eat junk food.
What are some exciting things to come for Look Out Love?
Aside from the EP, I’m currently working on a full length for the beginning of 2016, as well as tour expected for later in 2015.