I grew up in a Christian home, but not a terribly musical home. My parents, however, saw that I loved music from a young age and REALLY supported that. I started playing guitar when I was in 7th grade then quit 2 weeks later. I picked it up again when I was 15 and have been playing ever since. We started MercyMe when I was 19, so I didn’t have a whole lot of years under my belt, but no better place to learn how to play than in front of a crowd, right!
After a few years on the road, my life TOTALLY changed when we played a show in West Monroe, LA. That was the day I laid eyes on the most beautiful girl on planet earth. Not long after that, somehow, I suckered her in to marrying me, and now 5 1/2 years later we’ve got the 2 smartest kids in the world…don’t believe me, ask their mom!
Ben and Millie
Where were you born and where have you lived?
Born in Portland, ME, grew up in Bartow, FL, lived in OKC, Nashville, Dallas and Greenville, TX
Best childhood memory:
Hard to say having such a great childhood, but probably riding bikes through the neighborhood, playing in the woods, and of course avenging the death of my murdered uncle…oh wait…that was Spiderman.
Most embarrassing moment:
Trying to dive off the side of a boat in the Cayman islands, slipping, belly flopping, and hearing all my “friends” in MercyMe laugh at me before I hit the water.
What are you most known for saying?
I don’t know if there’s one thing I say in particular, but I’m often told by my “friends” in MM that I talk too loud…I think that it’s the only way to be heard above Bart…
If the bus were burning, what is the one musical instrument you would grab?
My ‘52 tele reissue, my Zinky, my ’76 Marshall head, my Gabriel 1×10 combo, my Gibson 135, my customized tele w/ Bigsby, my ‘66 Vox AC30, my Gabriel Voxer18, my ’72 Gold Top Deluxe, my ’66 Epiphone acoustic, my Supro DualTone, my pedalboard…wait…did you say 1 instrument????
“It’s very important you guys don’t stink tonight!!!” Tom Hanks – That Thing You Do
Hobbies and/or favorite thing(s) to do in your leisure time:
Wrestle with Ben and Millie, ride the golf cart with Ben, Millie and Abby through the neighborhood like the Beverly Hillbillies, write and produce music and occasionally play really bad golf
Songs on my iPod
A Band/Artist that inspired you the most:
U2, but lately listening to Eyes Around, Thad Cockrell, The Southern Sea, Death Cab for Cutie, Phil Wickham and Halo
What’s on your ipod playlist?
Uh…U2, Eyes Around, Thad Cockrell, The Southern Sea, Death Cab for Cutie, Phil Wickham, Coldplay and Hullabaloo
Favorite artist/band(s) to see live:
U2, Coldplay and The Listening
Braveheart, ALL things Star Wars and That Thing You Do
Relentless and Fearless, the 1st 2 books in the trilogy from Robin Parrish. If you’re into sci-fi and comic books then these books are TOTALLY for you!!!!
Favorite Cartoon Character:
What, for you, is a good show and/or what is your favorite thing about playing?
Any show when the crowd gets involved and is singing with us is a GREAT show…it also helps when I don’t break any strings or my amp doesn’t explode.