Garage Rock Ben Kweller On The Way

Ben Kweller has been a busy bee, what with getting married this past summer and working on his third solo release, On My Way. This time he took a different approach to recording when he headed back to the studio with producer Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon). Kweller's latest album was cut a la '60s garage rock mode: guitars, bass and drums, all live in the studio, no headphones, minimal post production. The result: a gritty, inspired, more mature album with sounds that echo Neil Young & Crazy Horse's 1969 classic, Danny Whitten.

It was the Kings Of Leon that introduced Kweller to Johns, and according to Rolling Stone, Kweller had nothing but good things to say about the experience, "He basically learned a lot from his dad [legendary producer Glyn Johns]. So my album was recorded in a mid-Sixties fashion. We were all in one room, with no separation between amplifiers and drums. Usually you can fix everything how you want in your headphones. But a lot of times people end up just listening to themselves and making sure they're playing their part perfectly. So we brought it back to pure old school recording."

Johns encouraged Kweller to feel the passion of the music, rather then concentrating on the technical aspects. "I had no idea what I was sounding like, so I would just go for it," commented Kweller. "It might sound off key at times, but it is also live and honest. That was one of Ethan's mottos, 'passion before pitch.' Through the years, you come to realize that what makes those old Neil Young or Bob Dylan albums so amazing, in addition to content - lyrics and melody - is the delivery. That's what we tried to hone in on."

The title track is one of the more brooding tracks on the album, lending itself more to old time folk then garage rock. The lyrics become confessionals through verse and chorus from a murderer, a thief, a listener, a friend and a lover. According to Kweller, "There's a dark edge to some of the stuff, but it still has my usual optimism in the songs. The light's still at the end of the tunnel for me - I'm not going to lose that."

Kweller will be co-headlining a 43-date tour with Death Cab For Cutie prior to the release of On My Way.

Here is a preview of the tracklist for On My Way:

"I Need You Back"

"Hospital Bed"

"My Apartment"

"On My Way"

"The Rules"


"Living Life"

"Ann Disaster"


"Here Me Out"

"Different but the Same"

Ben Kweller / Death Cab For Cutie tour dates:

03.24.04 - Omaha, NB (Sokol Auditorium)

03.25.04 - Minneapolis, MN (First Avenue)

03.26.04 - Milwaukee, WI (The Rave)

03.27.04 - St. Louis, MO (Mississippi Nights)

03.29.04 - Grand Rapids, MI (Calvin College)

03.30.04 - Royal Oak, MI (Royal Oak Music Theater)

03.31.04 - Cleveland, OH (Odeon Concert Club)

04.01.04 - Pittsburgh, PA (Club Laga)

04.02.04 - Charlottesville, VA (Starr Hill)

04.03.04 - Washington, DC (9:30 Club)

04.05.04 - Northampton, MA (Pearl Street)

04.06.04 - New York, NY (Irving Plaza)

04.07.04 - New York, NY (Irving Plaza)

04.08.04 - New York, NY (Irving Plaza)

04.09.04 - Providence, RI (Lupo's)

04.10.04 - Boston, MA (Avalon)

04.12.04 - Philadelphia, PA (Trocadero Theater)

04.13.04 - Philadelphia, PA (Trocadero Theater)

04.15.04 - Chicago, IL (Vic Theater)

04.15.04 - Chicago, IL (Vic Theater)

04.17.04 - TBA

04.19.04 - Carrboro, NC (Cat's Cradle)

04.20.04 - Athens, GA (40 Watt Club)

04.21.04 - Atlanta, GA (Variety Playhouse)

04.22.04 - Birmingham, AL (WorkPlay)

04.23.04 - New Orleans, LA (Howlin' Wolf)

04.24.04 - Houston, TX (Numbers)

04.26.04 - Dallas, TX (Tree's)

04.26.04 - Dallas, TX (Tree's)

04.28.04 - Austin, TX (Stubb's)

04.30.04 - Tempe, AZ (Marquee Theater)

05.01.04 - Las Vegas, NV (House of Blues (without Death Cab for Cutie))

05.03.04 - San Francisco, CA (Fillmore Auditorium)

05.04.04 - San Francisco, CA (Fillmore Auditorium)

05.05.04 - Portland, OR (Crystal Ballroom)

05.06.04 - Seattle, WA (Showbox)

05.07.04 - Seattle, WA (Showbox)

05.08.04 - Seattle, WA (Showbox)

05.09.04 - Walla Walla, WA (Whitman College)

05.11.04 - TBA

05.13.04 - San Diego, CA (Canes (without Death Cab))

05.14.04 - Hollywood, CA (Henry Fonda Theater (without Death Cab))

05.15.04 - Anaheim, CA (House of Blues (without Death Cab))

Garage Rock Ben Kweller On The Way