Indie-rock icon, Ben Kweller, has captured the hearts of fans and critics for 15 years. Through his schizophrenic approach to music making, constant touring, and a punk-rock refusal to be pigeonholed, Kweller, has built the kind of career that rolls on regardless of fads and trends. His genre-jumping catalog of five albums, four EPs and multiple singles, has sold over half a million copies worldwide.
Kweller hit the world stage in the mid 90’s as the leader of the self-proclaimed ‘Sugar Metal’ band, Radish. A top 40 hit in the UK gave the band a cult following and landed Kweller on the cover of Kerrang! Magazine. All of this, plus a world tour opening for Faith No More, forced the 15-year-old Kweller to drop out of high school and never look back.
Radish broke up in ‘99, so Kweller packed his bags and headed to New York City. His newfound urban landscape and irregular lifestyle gave birth to the authentic and autobiographical style of writing he is known for today. With no band and no label, the artist recorded a lo-fi collection of songs entitled, Freak Out It’s… Ben Kweller. ‘Freak Out’ made it into the hands of Evan Dando, Jeff Tweedy, Juliana Hatfield and The Violent Femmes, all of whom took the solo artist under their wings and out on tour.
The education and support he received from those artists proved invaluable as the spontaneous and raw solo performances of those early days became the building blocks for his illustrious career. Kweller became a staple in the New York music scene of the early 2000’s, touring and playing with local peers, The Strokes, Adam Green, Moldy Peaches, Nada Surf, Fountains of Wayne, Guster and Jeffrey Lewis.
Kweller was ATO Records’ first worldwide signing in 2001. His time with ATO included a brazen collection of albums including the breakout slacker-staple, Sha Sha, the 60’s garage zinger, On My Way, the eponymous Ben Kweller, which Kweller played every instrument from drums to xylophone.
Over the years, Kweller has collaborated with numerous artists. In 2003, Kweller teamed up with Ben Folds and Ben Lee to form the indie super-group, The Bens. The Bens released a four-song EP in support of an Australian tour (the band’s only tour to date.)
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