Better Know an Artist (Vol 20): Roy Bennett (Used Bonneville, OXYMORON)

Roy Bennett is a local singer/songwriter from the bands Used Bonneville (an Americana jam band) and OXYMORON (a synth pop Americana band (is that possible?)). A pretty traditional American songwriter sound with some piano based harmonies and some jam tendencies, it’s a pretty good setting to have a burger and drink a beer, so if you get that opportunity, take it. Anyways, Roy sat down and answered (sort of, there’s a few cop outs here and there) all our questions.

Me: For starters, tell us a little about yourself. How did you first get into music? And when did you know this is what you want to do for a living (money be damned)?

RB: I grew up in Southeast Texas and moved to Dallas in the early 90’s. I’ve always played guitar, but not very well, so making up songs was always much easier for me to do rather than to play other people’s music. In Dallas, I got a job working in a commercial recording studio. The natural progression from there was continuing the songwriting and recording the songs I wrote in my spare time. I released my first solo record in ’06, and from there, I’ve scored a few movies and continued to release records.

Me: How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?

RB: The term Americana pops up the most. Here’s what I’m not. I’m not math rock, I’m not classical, I’m not Nashvegas country, and I’m not punk or metal.

Me: Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and why?

RB: Todd Snider, he is an incredible songwriter and a true gypsy. I hang on every word he writes, yet my songs sound nothing like his.

Me: Which of your songs means the most ot you, and if you don’t mind me asking, why?

RB: Currently, it’s the Used Bonneville song, “the Love Between Us”, and the OXYMORON song called, I Can’t Break Enough of You”. Last summer I was on a vacation with my family, and due to my own inner struggle with my lack of success, I decided then to basically ruin a vacation over it. Stupidest thing I’ve done in quite some time. Hurt the ones you love so they can feel how you hurt inside. Those 2 songs reflect some of my feelings on that event.

Me: If you could open for any act, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?

RB: Todd Snider or Hard Working Americans

Me: Any favorite new musical acts, local or otherwise?

RB: Hard Working Americans

Me: What’s your “stranded on an island” record?

RB: I don’t really have one particular record that I can’t live without. I guess if I could only have one record to be stranded on an island with, it would be the longest one I could find.

Me: Moving onto the home front, what are your favorite (and least favorite) things about the DFW music scene?

RB: The great thing about Dallas is that you never know who will show up. It’s a middle coast, so many artist come through town all the time that you don’t even know about until it’s in the paper a week later. Waco, for example, not many artists just stop in there

My least favorite thing about Dallas is the lack of attentiveness from the crowds. But in a way, that works for people like me. When the crowd isn’t really paying attention, I embrace it. I can do what I want and if I fuck up, “Who cares?” I usually try to find a group or a table that isn’t really engaged and I try to get them engaged. The result is it actually helps me put on a better show sometimes.

Me: Favorite DFW venue to play (or see a show). Why?

RB: I like playing Sundown at Granada. It’s not the best live music venue, but the management is solid and respectful. They pay bands and always have a good sound guy with good equipment.

Me: Any favorite local acts people should be looking out for?

RB: There are so many local solo artists and bands that are kick ass. The problem is getting a decent gig in this town to be noticed in the first place. It seems club owners and promoters are scared to take chances to book lesser known acts.

Me: And for shits and giggle, what’s a fun fact that most people don’t know about you?

RB: I like to watch Antiques Roadshow on PBS.

A big thanks to Roy Bennett for taking time away from two groups (busy dude) to answer our questions. You can catch OXYMORON at their first public performance if you’re heading out to SXSW. They’ll be at Austin Body Works March 17 & 18. Roy may also play a couple solo sets there as well, so get on out, and check out some sounds below. Also, it’s a while from now, but you can catch yourself a real Used Bonneville show, May 28 (Memorial Day Weekend), 9pm at the Foundry.

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