Exclusive Interview with My One and Only
Why country music ?
~ Kassie: I personally love country music because of the stories that come from the song. I feel like country music is pure and honest with their lyrics, and so I really connect with it for that reason.
Ben: Country (particularly older classic country) and Americana music speak to me because of similar reasons. I love the simplicity in the music and lyrics, yet the song still hits you and makes you feel something. It really can be so honest. I've realized recently that there is something about a Southern American influence on music that really attracts me. It is the emotion. It is the raw-ness. It moves and has soul.
If everything would be possible (waking the dead included), which two people should sing the ultimate country duet?
~ Kassie: Ray Charles and Patsy Cline would be the ultimate best country duet. They are two of the greatest voices. Stylistically, they choose to take their melodies into such beautiful places. I wish I could be there to witness that duet.
Ben: I would love to see Hank Williams Sr. and Alison Kraus do a duet. I've loved the rawness in Hank Sr.'s voice....if that was mixed with the purity of Alison, it would be such a combination. I feel like both of their strengths would show up in separate areas that would complement each other nicely.
What song (that you've recorded) means the most to you and why?
~ Kassie: "O Lord, I Need Some Mercy". My older brother Kevin was addicted to crystal meth for about 15 years. That was a really hard time for the family and Kevin and this song came from the struggle that we've dealt with throughout the years. This song is from the perspective of the addict. The demons that they are dealing with, and them realizing the hurt they are doing to themselves and others. I'm happy to say that Kevin has been clean for almost 3 years now. He went to a Christian recovery program called "Adult and Teen Challenge" where God got ahold of his heart and he had a heart change. He's now head of operations at the facility where he graduated, which is awesome. This song holds a special place in my heart, because every time I sing it, I'm reminded that God can do the impossible. I'm so grateful to have my brother back.
Ben: Right now, our song "Mom and Dad" is very special to me. This song reminisces about our parents and how they are aging, and how we are aging. It brings up thoughts of how we spent our time with them, and how we sometimes wish we could go back and take more advantage of that time. I've been able to spend more time with my parents in the last couple years than most of my adult life, which has been so great. This song captures that dynamic between an adult child and their parents.
Who would you like to write a song for you?
~ Kassie: I would like to write a song (for us) with Lori McKenna. I love her songwriting. I love how she always writes from the heart and how she is always personal with her lyrics. That's how are we are and so I think that would be a perfect collaboration. I know you asked about someone writing a song for us, but wouldn't it be better if we could collaborate instead?
Ben: John Prine. I've always loved the simple, left-of-center writing style of John Prine. And yeah, it would be even better to collaborate with him on a song.
What is the one thing that readers/fans would be surprised to know about you?
~ Kassie: I think they would be surprised to hear that we've only been a duo for about a year now. We were solo artists for about 10 years, but after the guidance of some music business friends of ours, we decided to join forces, even though we'd still been singing together for so many years before that (as separate artists).
Ben: I suppose people might be surprised to know that I love construction work. All my life, I've been remodeling houses now and then, replacing floors, building decks and all sorts of other stuff. It's like, every year or so, I get this itch to build something with my hands. Something that I can see the progress of right away. And then I get knee-deep in the project, and it always consumes more time, energy, and money than I thought. So I get a little tired of it after that, but then I get that itch again the next year. It's just the cycle that I go through.
What is the question interviewers never seem to ask you and...you wish they would? (Please provide your answer as well.)
~ Ben: Nobody has been asking me lately who I've been listening to. So, I'll tell ya. I've been loving First Aid Kit's new album. As for other sisters, I've been listening to the Secret Sisters. As far as songwriting, Caroline Spence has been amazing, as well and John Prine's new album. Also David Ramirez has been on my Apple Music favorites playlist.
How would you like to spend a day with each other when you were not allowed to make music or to talk about music?
~ Ben: Ah yes, I love those days. We would be going out to eat Thai food, playing volleyball at the net down from our house, going to thrift stores and heading to the movies.
Kassie: We'd take our dog, Jackson,on a walk in our neighborhood. We would just be present with each other. We would just be hanging out and talking about things besides work.
Johnny or June ?
~ Kassie: There's no way that I can choose. I think of them as one. When you get married, it's like you merge. They are both great in their own ways, but what they are together is what's so special. Their love for one another and music is just so beautiful.
What was the most memorable day in your musical career and tell us why.
~ Ben: Playing our tour dates in Uganda, Africa were some of the most memorable days in my music career. They were truly amazing experiences, as we would set up staging and sound in dirt soccer fields and half-destroyed church buildings. And thousands of Ugandans would show up to these concerts. It was also amazingly difficult, mainly due to logistics and the dust in the air. But we were happy to use the gifts God gave us to spread His message of love and truth in Uganda.
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Answers given on November 7, 2018