Podcasts & Books

Two Minutes with Ben Ruggles

By Caterina Francesca - 04 Jun 2013

From Brisbane to Melbourne, from coffee to music... A suave energetic soul and up-and-comer in the music scene, we took two minutes with Ben Ruggles. With his song,The Depths, featured on triple j unearthed, we asked what it was like collaborating with Matt Cook and what's to come.

TUL: Describe in one sentence what it is you love about music?

Music provides an opportunity to be oneself—free of compromise, a rare opportunity in society nowadays.

TUL: Tell us more about you and your song, 'The Depths'?

The Depths was written during a difficult period last year. It's the product of a toxic relationship and aims to express the emotional turmoil from that time. The song was both an attempt to convey my discomfort and a chance to speak my mind. 

TUL: What is it like to have collaborated with Matt Cook?

Matt Cook is an amazing man. Working with him is great; he brings energy to the table that draws the best out of people. If you are about the company you keep than being around Matt is definitely a positive thing. I've met only a few people as tenacious as Cookie and I'm truly grateful for his input/time.

TUL: What is your background? What did you do before this?

Before writing music I was the same Ben. I've always been involved in music to some degree—I played in the woodwind band in primary school as soon as I was old enough to ditch the recorder. I moved to QLD in 2001 and took up guitar lessons the following year. Before writing my own music I was covering songs that I enjoyed—I've been doing that for as long as I can remember.

TUL: What is the best part about being a musician? 

The networking opportunities,hands down. You get to meet cool folk who all share a common interest.

TUL: What do you want people to get out of their experience when they listen to your music? 

I would hope that people listening to my music feel something. At the end of the day you're putting your soul into your work—I don't aim for anything in particular, but I feel an honest song should be evocative. If you can stir something in the listener then you've done your job as a musician in my opinion.

TUL: What got you interested in music?

I've always found comfort in music, from as far back as I can remember. I'd say it was my parents' influence that brought about my fascination for music. The Crowded House, Oasis, and Van Morrison blaring from the tape deck during car rides as a young kid is most likely to blame.

TUL: If you weren't a coffee connoisseur and aspiring musician, what other career would you choose?

I'd be a pimp—I've always wanted a purple crushed velvet suit…  

TUL: What is your career highlight (so far)?

When a good friend rigged the open mic votes so we could drink free beers for the rest of the night.

TUL: Which Brisbane restaurant/cafe are you loving at the moment?

Easy! Blackstar Coffee in West End—those dudes really bring their A-game.

TUL: Favourite Brisbane bar? 

Brew. It's an awesome café/bar nestled underneath the hustle and bustle of the Queen Street Mall. The atmosphere is great, plus you can get drunk while sitting on a couch.. 


TUL: Describe your personal style.

Honest, contemptuous, and vulnerable. 

TUL: The last thing you purchased?

A tube of Bepanthen.

TUL: Best way to spend $50? 

Cigarettes and alcohol.

TUL: And the best way to spend $500? 

On someone you know, who doesn't have $500 to spare.

TUL: What was the last album that you purchased?

Ben Howard – Every Kingdom

TUL: What would you request for your last song to listen to? 

Samba Pa Ti – Santana

TUL: What's next for you?

Establishing myself in Melbourne—there's a long way to go and it's going to be a lot of work.

Image credit: Patrick Ruggles

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