It’s only been about a year since former LVL UP member Dave Benton unveiled the second Trace Mountains LP Lost In The Country, one of the most underrated records of 2020. Now, Benton is back with House Of Confusion, which continues down the Americana path Benton set down with the previous effort, but features more polished songwriting and some truly stellar jams. Where Lost In The Country got Trace Mountains on the radar in the first place, House Of Confusion proves Benton’s strength as a songwriter and cements the project as one to watch in the coming years.
To celebrate House Of Confusion, Benton sat down to talk AC/DC, Lifetime movies, and wearing hats on stage in the latest Indie Mixtape 20 Q&A.
What are four words you would use to describe your music?
contemporary indie rock music.
It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?
ah man, i dunno. sure would be nice to be remembered, but you can’t control what the art means to someone. i hope it inspires people to write their own music or words.
What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?
new york city or missoula, mt
Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?
i idolized my friend liam betson (liam the younger) when i was a teenager. i still love his music, but his early records showed me it was even possible to do this. i don’t think i’d be doing this if i hadn’t been shown the way by him & his music.
Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
might be piccola cucina osteria siciliana in new york. that’s the first one that comes to mind right now! really great little italian restaurant in soho.
What album do you know every word to?
american idiot or pretty much any green day album. they were my first favorite band.
What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?
kurt vile i think. i just saw him but it was really special. i think he’s at a magical moment in his career & development as an artist. i don’t see a ton of concerts though. wish i did really!
What is the best outfit for performing and why?
whatever makes you feel good. i’ve been having fun wearing funny hats myself. i think it’s good to have fun with it.
Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
lily hayes always makes me smile, she’s amazing.
What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?
hands down “it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock & roll” by ac/dc
What’s the last thing you Googled?
“is marijuana legal in new mexico”
What album makes for the perfect gift?
house of confusion by trace mountains of course.
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?
my old band lvl up was on tour with pile a long time ago and we crashed with an ex marine who threatened to shoot us if we stole any of his stuff. i went to sleep immediately but others stayed up with him late doing cocaine and playing video games while he unloaded horror stories on them about his time in the military. there really have been so many weird times though. that’s probably not even the weirdest situation i’ve been in but it’s the one that comes to mind right now.
What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?
i don’t have any tattoos!
What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?
ac/dc, marvin gaye, the (dixie) chicks
What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
it’s really hard to think of the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. people do nice things for me all the time! i guess related to music, bill from evil weevil (dead record label) put out my band’s record when there was really no reason to do that. his support encouraged me to keep going at a time when i needed it.
What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?
it’s ok & good to dedicate your life to writing songs.
What’s the last show you went to?
kurt vile & others at woodsist records music festival. it was pretty awesome to see a concert again.
What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?
anything on lifetime. i get that from my mom!
What would you cook if Obama were coming to your house for dinner?
well, i’d have to invite my dad. he loves that mf. i’m kinda sick of everything i make right now though. i’d probably hit up rainbowplantlife.com for some ideas. maybe i’d pick up some fancy mushrooms & make her mushroom stroganoff, which i haven’t made in a while. that’s a great recipe.
House Of Confusion is out now via Lame-O Records. Pick it up here.