UTG INTERVIEW: Radical Face

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Ben Cooper is one half of the indie pop duo Electric President but has been hard at work on a solo project for nearly a decade now. Radical Face is the formulation of Cooper’s own thoughts, ideas, and dedication.

UTG had the chance to speak with Ben Cooper about his inspirations and upcoming projects. Please read through and get caught up with Radical Face.

What is the inspiration behind the concept of the Family Tree volumes?
I’ve wanted to write a family saga for years. It’s a big topic for me personally, and it’s something I’ve always enjoyed reading. I was originally going to attempt one in prose, but got the idea of doing it as a record instead. I started writing for this back in 2007, when I finished Ghost. I guess I had a lot to say, because by the time I started working on the actual albums in 2010, I’d written over 40 songs for the concept. So I structured it as a trilogy, and I’m currently tracking album two.

What are some of the biggest influences that go into your writing process?
Personal experiences and stories are big ones, and I get a lot from other art, like films and books and records. Anything that affects me, really.

But in a general sense, I make these things for my own peace of mind. I’m happiest when I have creative projects going, so I’m always involved in at least a few. A nice side effect of this is I don’t stress very much over my reception because this is something I’m gonna do regardless. And it’s a good way to get stuff off my chest, or to let some problems go. It can be therapy in its way.

What are you looking forward to the most on your upcoming European shows?
I try not to anticipate trips like these at all. I never know how they’re gonna go, and I don’t like adding any unnecessary pressure by creating expectations. I just go see what happens, and take it as it comes.

What can the world expect from Radical Face in 2012?
After these shows, I’m mostly recording until the end of the year. But I’m also gonna make a couple music videos, release a side project of mine called “Clone”, and potentially work on a score for a documentary. So it’ll be busy, but it’s all things I enjoy.

How has the reception been at your most recent live shows?
Surprisingly good. I don’t play out very often, and I’m about as far from professional as it comes, but people have been really nice. The shows have gone better than I thought they would.

Are you still doing any work with Electric President?
Yep. We’re on hiatus right now as Alex has a new job and I’m trying to finish this Family Tree project, but we’re gonna do another record once our schedules can time up again. So the project is not dead. Just sleeping.

Do you have a personal favorite lyric that you’ve written?
Not really. I spend a lot of time on words, trying to get them in the best shape I can, but none particularly stand out above the others. Or if they do, it’s only for a short time before another takes over.

What is your next big goal for your career?
To be honest, I don’t plan ahead very much. I have no idea how long this will last, but I’ll keep going as long as I can, or until I run out of things to say. For now, I just want to finish these Family Tree records.

Written and conducted by: Brian Leak

Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
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