Magic and Every Kingdom : Conversations With Smash Mouth's Steve Harwell and Communion Artist Ben Howard


A Conversation with Smash Mouth's Steve Harwell

Mike Ragogna: How are you doing, man?

Steve Harwell: I'm doing fantastic. We just got home. We've been traveling like crazy and everything's starting to ramp up right now with the new record coming out in early September and the new single coming out in a couple of weeks. It's been nothing but fun and goodness on my end, so I can't complain.

MR: Has making this new album been a little oh, I don't know, Magic?

SH: It's been very magical because it happened -- I wouldn't say quickly, but all the way around, the people I wrote with, my guitar player Mike Krompass and people like Shelly Peiken, who's written a ton of hits, and a bunch of friends of mine out here in Nashville and in LA. It just was magic. We were busting out songs left and right, quicker than I ever have in the past. It was really refreshing to have a few new faces around me and a little bit of a new energy going. I can't complain. I am so excited. Personally, I think it's my favorite record probably since Fush Yu Mang, the first album, even though I know Astro Lounge was the Big Daddy and everybody kind of leans toward that because of "All Star" and all that stuff. The energy level and the excitement is back, especially for me... so we're rocking.

MR: Okay, so what was the creative process like this time out?

SH: Well, this time out, it was really one of those very, very first times that I really dove into the songwriting side of it one hundred percent. I wrote everything on the record and it was just exciting to get some fresh ears and people that were hungry enough to go, "Wow, I actually have a chance to be in this band?" This is a lifelong dream for Mike, especially, and Mike's a very established songwriter and producer. He's worked with Nelly Furtado and a ton of other people, and he's produced some really great stuff. He just brought a new feel, like a really energetic feel, and it gravitated to me right away. We hit it off, and we've become really close friends. I actually live back in Nashville where he lives, so it's nice to be close together, so we can work on stuff. It's just been amazing. I've made a lot of new friends in this business, especially on the writing side, and it's just been fun, it's been fresh, and I think everybody's going to love the new record, because I know I do.

MR: Let's explore the new record with "Planet Perfect." I like the point you bring up in that song.

SH: You know, honest-to-God truth, that song is true to word. I actually was sitting at a bar with a guy, and we kind of just started shooting the stuff about relationships and what's going on and it just kind of rounded itself out. It just came to me right off the cuff, I'm like, "It's a perfect planet. We can sit here and complain and bitch and moan about things, why things aren't right, why relationships don't work. But at the end of the day, we've got it pretty damn good here." So that's honestly a true story. A lot of this record is really based on truth. I've had a couple relationships go bad, and there's some fun stuff in it, there's also a little heavier stuff. I think that actually was the first song we wrote, and that was with myself, Michael, and Shelly Peiken. She's written a ton of stuff for Brittney (Spears) and Christina (Aguilera) and everybody else you can think of, from pop to hip-hop, everything. The lady is just phenomenal, and we became really close friends right out of the gate and that's really where "quote, unquote" the magic started happening right away.

MR: There's also the ballad "Out of Love." "I've lived and I've learned, I've crashed and I've burned, and I think I've finally had enough. I think I'm simply out of love." Can you go into what motivated the real depth of that song?

SH: Well, you know, what really motivated it is that I actually rekindled a really close friendship with a girl I went to high school with. After my divorce, I was single for a few years, and I moved back to California, she happened to be going through a breakup, and I was kind of standing there going, "Well, wait a minute, I'm right here." And I'd always had a thing for her since we were in high school, and ironically, most people say, "Don't go backwards," but this was worth it. We hit it off, and we fell in love out of the gate. But the problem is, we were like oil and water down the road a little bit. I take just as much to blame as I think anybody else would. We didn't mix well when it came to the going out and having fun stuff at times. It got a little heavy. It was a situation where I think we were kind of better off separating our ways. We're still not talking yet, but in time, I think things will get better. That's what all motivated it. I was just sitting with Shelly and Mike and I just started telling them my story and we started talking, and Shelly had her laptop in her hand and she just couldn't type fast enough. She said, "Keep talking, keep telling me." So I kind of mentioned the phrase "out of love" and she kind of did too. It was like I was just tired of it, and it was a situation where I've been down that road in my past marriages, and stuff like that. I think there's a lot that people can reflect on. For me, I just let my guard down and said, "You know what, if I'm going to talk about this, I'm going to talk about this. I'm not going to hold anything back." I'm not perfect by any means, but sometimes, things are just better left by moving on. She's a wonderful girl and I wish her the best, and she's one of the most wonderful people I've ever met, but unfortunately it didn't work out between us. But I thought there was a lot to talk about there. I would never do anything to badmouth her or anyone else because she actually is one of the most beautiful people I've ever met in my life and it was just unfortunate that it didn't work out. But I think we got something good out of it and I think it's something that a lot of people are going to be able to relate to. It is one of my favorite songs on the record. There's another one called "Better With Time," which I think is one of my favorites, too. I really was proud of the way these songs turned out for me. It's some slower stuff for Smash Mouth. A lot of people don't expect it. We've done it in the past and it's never really been "accepted" but I think this year, we're going to get a shot with that song, and if not that one, I think "Better With Time." I think there's a lot to be heard and said in that song and I think people are going to really take something from it.

MR: Yeah, I can see that.

SH: They're personal, and I poured my heart and soul into them when I was in the vocal booth singing those things. I hope they come across that way to the fans and the listening audience. It means a lot and I just hope that this year, we finally get a shot this time around with something a little more mature from us, something a little more heartfelt. We've put slower songs on our records in the past and I just don't think most of the audience was ready to hear something like that from a band like us.

MR: Well, you guys might just keep be getting "Better With Time," you know, like your song title?

SH: Well, thank you. I think we've matured and I think it kind of shows in our music. We've been through hell and back with our personal lives and band things. Sooner or later, some people spike; they need to move on or they need to be different and change it up a little bit. I was panicking like crazy when I had to make that decision and I didn't want to have to make it, but certain people within the band who were founding members just kind of gave up. I don't know why, but I was not going to give up on something I put together twenty years ago. Like I said, I have never been this excited. I think I'm at a time in my life where we're finally going to start hitting our stride here as a band. The live shows have been absolutely incredible. When you're walking off stage every night now high-fiving each other, that just goes to show that you're enjoying yourself again.

MR: Look at the title of another one of these songs. Why, it's "Justin Beiber." Nice commentary on fads.

SH: You know what, everybody goes, "You have a song called 'Justin Beiber?'" and I'm like, "I know, I know, I know, just listen to the song." His name is mentioned once. The basis of the song is where are people going to be ten years from now? What are they going to look like? Are you still going to be buying my tickets? I kind of play off everything. We go from high-top sneakers to streakers, to everything you can think of. Where's it all going to be? Is it all going to come full circle? That was the second song that we wrote together for this record.

MR: That's how you could tell you guys had some fun on this album.

SH: Oh yeah, just out of the gate, we were laughing our butts off writing the funnier stuff and I knew right then. I even said this to Mike and Shelly when we were sitting there in our studio in California, "You know what? I think we're the new California Dream Team." That's kind of our little writing club now. We call ourselves the California Dream Team. We had a blast. It's such a different way of doing things now than I'm used to. I was used to me being the front man, the voice, the face, the name; Greg was the main songwriter, and we all did our part. It started getting to where it wasn't fun anymore because people were not doing what they would say they were doing, and now other people in the band were sitting around twiddling their thumbs. It got to a point where I felt like my hands were tied behind my back, unfortunately. The best thing I ever did was make a change. I'm not saying I'll never be on stage with Greg again in my life. I would love to down the road. But right now, it's a new, reinvigorated Smash Mouth. I think it shows in the record, I think everybody's going to really enjoy it. It's one of those records that I feel you could put on and listen to front to back and have a party or barbecue and you're not going to want to switch it around, you're just going to want to play it over and over again. Hopefully, that's the case.

MR: Perhaps, you'll be sitting back listening to it with your "Future Ex-Wife."

SH: (laughs) Oh my gosh, that's another one-liner I came up with and Shelly just went, "What did you just say?" I looked at her and said, "Shelly, you're like my future ex-wife," and she said, "We've got to write a song about that." I don't think anybody could say anything wrong while making this record. Everything we were coming up with was just funny, serious, deep. Everything was just clicking, and I haven't had that feeling in a long, long time. That's why I'm so proud of this record... I can't wait for it to come out. We've got a lot of touring to do this year. We're going to Australia, New Zealand, Japan; we've had three tours booked in Australia but because of 9/11 and personal things, it just never happened, but it's finally happening in October. The single comes out next week down there and the record will be already out by the time we get there. Everybody seems to be really excited down there. We have a huge fan base there. We just went to South America, we were doing sixty, seventy-thousand people. Kids were singing and screaming, "Play 'Why Can't We Be Friends'" and I'm like, "I don't even know if I know it anymore!" But they were singing every word. It really goes to show how far music has traveled. Until you get there and you see these fans and how loyal they are and how passionate they are about our music, that's when it really hits home. And it just added to the fun.

MR: There's this cover of Simple Mind's "Don't You Forget About Me" on the album. Why?

SH: I'll tell you how that song came about. We were in the studio with Eric Valentine, whose done all of our records, and Greg was still in the band, and we were about to cover another song and we got word two minutes before we started that it was covered already just recently. So we're sitting there and Eric goes, "Well, do you want to record something? We're all here." I said, "You know what, man? My all-time favorite song that reminds me of summertime is 'Don't You Forget About Me' from Simple Minds and The Breakfast Club." We all knew it from just growing up around the cult classic movie. We started playing it and it kind of played itself. That song hasn't been recorded for five or six years, and I was finally able to say, "I've got to put this on the record." We've always know when to have a cover on our records and we've been fortunate to have really good success with all of them and I'm like, "You know what? This song is going to fit."

MR: Steve, what advice do you have for new artists?

SH: Well, you know, the industry's changed. It operates in a different way. It's more of a challenge, I'll tell you that. I think my biggest advice to anyone -- and I've always said this and I'll say it again -- Practice, practice, practice, practice. Do your best to write great songs. The easiest way to get somewhere is to write a hit song. Of course, today, with YouTube and all the social media, people are getting famous overnight. They're becoming YouTube sensations and it's done it for everyone, from your Beibers to all of these other people. I think that's a whole new world that I'm having to accept. I get it now, but I fought it for a long time. I was like, "I don't want things to change," but things change. There's a whole new way of doing things out there. But if I could give advice to anyone, I'd tell kids, "Don't expect to be superstars overnight. But if you're passionate about it and you love what you do, go do it, but make sure you have a backup plan." That's my advice.

MR: As you say in "The Game," all you've got to do is play the game.

SH: All you've got to do is play the game. If I can suggest anything, don't be afraid to play the game. At the end of the day, it is a game, but people still have to sign our checks. I've always had no issue with playing the game, because I play just as good as anybody. I might've written the book on it, too, I don't know. Work hard, practice, write songs, have a backup plan, don't be afraid to play the game, and stick with what you love. If you love it, love it. Go for it. You don't ever have to stop playing music. It doesn't mean you're going to be a rock star, but you know what? You will be in your own right, and that's okay. Sometimes, I wish the garage days were here again. I used to love that, when you're eating Taco Bell and tuna fish seven days a week and you're struggling to pay rent, your cable's getting turned off and you're plugging extension cords into your neighbor's house to steal their cable and their power. We did whatever it took because we loved it. And for me, personally, I don't think I had a backup plan, per se, that would've been as successful as this was. I think for the most part, all of us were at the age going, "Okay, we're still pretty young, but not that young. We're in our twenties. Let's just stick to it and practice." We practiced six days a week for two years straight. We did not play that much, but when we did play, we kind of started shocking people. All I did was just get on the phone every day and call record labels and call radio promotion people and build a friendship over the phone and I think that helped a lot. When we finally did go down to LA and we started showcasing here and there, I could actually name a name. I had it multiple times where I was standing around having a conversation and I'd hear this voice behind me and I'd turn around and go, "Kevin?" and he'd go, "Steve?" From knowing these people on the phone and just working it, and working it, and working it, and working it, and trying to kick those doors in and trying to come in the back way all the time, it paid off. I built these friendships before I'd even met these people and that worked in our favor big time.

MR: And also you have a book, Recipes From The Road.

SH: Yeah. Recipes From The Road was something I had in mind for a long time. I've talked about it forever. My manager came to me and said, "You know what? Since you're doing all this, let's get the book going." The book started before the record. It's kind of a coffee table read. It's funnier than heck. Every city where you get a recipe from, we talk about our favorite places to go, from dives to five-stars to what I love to eat. We had all these great chefs from all over the country contribute great recipes, and Paul, our bass player, is such a great writer that that was kind of his job. I was like, "Paul, do you really want... " and he was like, "Please let me do this." He did a phenomenal job. For every city, you get to see photos -- old-school and new -- great food, and you're going to read the funniest stories you've ever heard, and they're all true stories, from pretty crazy to just really funny. There's nothing really dark or heavy. It's pretty much the lighter side of Smash Mouth. I think it's a great book, and my buddy Guy Fieri was kind enough to write the forward to the book, which he knocked out of the park. I met him years ago at a California show, he was catering our concert and it's really funny. I looked at him and I go, "Did you steal my look from back in the day?" and he goes, "What do you think?" That whole look he's got with the spiked blonde hair, that was me back in the day. He's a great guy. He was kind enough to do that, and he also put some recipes in there. We're great friends today, and it's nice to have a guy like that to back you on it. I think people are going to like that too. Everything's coming out at the same time, pretty much. I can't complain right now. I'm just trying to hold on. Every day I'm getting like, "Okay, we've got more shows, you've got to come here and go there." Things are looking good. We're also pitching a show right now called "Recipes From The Road" where I go on the road and go into all of these restaurants and have fun. It's more rock 'n' roll fun, and it's basically me going into restaurants and meeting the local people, playing some music and making good food and having a ton of laughs. It's basically me on the bus touring the country between shows and just kind of popping into places where people don't expect you to pop into.

MR: You also might say you've got a lot of "Magic" going on in your life right now.

SH: One of the funniest points of it is that my manager called me and he said, "Hey are guys writing right now? I need a song called 'Magic' or that has the word magic in it." I said, "Why?" and he said, "It's the most requested song from the publishers of TV and movies." We wrote that song in literally twenty-five minutes, and I said, "Okay, this is magical." The minute we came up with that name and that kind of stuck, all of a sudden, you hear it all over the place. Everybody says "magic" here and there. How come that word's popping up here and there where it never did before?

MR: That happens with names sometimes. You go your whole life, you've never heard a name, and then you hear it once and then everybody's kid has that name.

SH: It's funny. I was doing a show a couple weeks ago and the driver had just the darkest natural red hair you've ever seen in your life, and now, in the past two months, I've seen probably a hundred redheads walking around when I've never noticed them. When something sticks with you, it starts popping out.

MR: Steve, this has been a blast, and I want to wish you luck with the new Smash Mouth album Magic and with the new book.

SH: Well thank you for the great interview, I really appreciate it.

1. Perfect Planet
2. Live To Love Another Day
3. Magic (featuring J. Dash)
4. Justin Bieber
5. Out Of Love
6. Flippin' Out (featuring J. Dash)
7. Future X Wife
8. Better With Time
9. The Game
10. She's Into Me
11. Don't You (Forget About Me)
12. Magic (Murrman remix)
13. Future X Wife (Murrman remix)
14. Flippin' Out (Murrman remix)
15. Live To Love Another Day (Murrman remix)
16. The Game (Murrman remix)
17. Perfect Planet (Murrman remix)

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne


A Conversation with Ben Howard

Mike Ragogna: Hey Ben, How are you? Congratulations on your debut album, Every Kingdom.

Ben Howard: Hey, thank you! It's been kicking around for a little bit, but it's nice that it's finally getting over your way.

MR: It's not only getting over our way, but I've noticed that a few critics have been praising this album as well. And you're very blessed to be on the new Communion label. Mumford and Son's Ben Lovett is involved with this.

BH: It's his little brainchild, certainly.

MR: I'm not sure you remember, but The Huffington Post debuted your "Over The Hill" Communion Jam.

BH: Oh yeah, I remember that very well, yeah. That was a great day.

MR: It showcased the camaraderie that's formed over at Communion. Can you tell me what's going on for you acts with Communion and with your life?

BH: I think for all of us, Communion's a different thing. For me, it's really nice to find a bunch of like-minded musicians. I think more and more these days, there's a big divide between music and entertainment, and it's quite nice to find a group of people that are really into music from all over the place. It started in London and we were never really part of that scene. We came up and did a couple of shows with everyone a few times, a few hours away from London. It's just a good vibe around everyone. Everyone has a similar ethos about music. The people really love live music. It's a cool thing to be part of. It's definitely a huge throwback, listening to everyone's record collections that they've got. We all listen to a lot of old stuff. I guess it's kind of bringing a tiny bit of that back, even if it's just a slight ethos of the old days when people used to play music together and not think about when they were going to do their next interview and their next TV thing.

MR: And by "we," you mean you and the other artists as a collective playing together?

BH: Yeah, exactly. That whole Communion collective. I don't know how it works, there's a whole lot of ins and outs of record labels, but fundamentally how it works is that we're good friends most of the time, and we have a pretty good idea of each other's music and each of our outlooks on music.

MR: Ben Lovett is both the cheerleader and the ringleader, right?

BH: Yeah. He's the cheerleader. He wears the tutu and he runs around and goes "T-E-A-M, TEAM!"

MR: Let's talk about songs on the album. "Old Pine" has a rustic flavor to it that goes beyond the music itself. That's no accident, right, since the recording environment for this album was in a barn?

BH: Yeah, it was a converted barn near where the woman who plays cello lives. I think the only conscious choice in that was to record near home so that we could have some home time. We were recording quite a lot, just to be at home and have a little time and space and not have any pressures off of other people. It's been glamorized a little bit as this disheveled little cowshed in the middle of nowhere since it's out in the countryside and it didn't have too many amenities and stuff, but it was time and space for us, really. We had electricity and we'd just chuck loads of stuff in there. We brought a desk in and our own microphones and stuff, and just made sure we had a lot of time. We probably had too much. It took about a year and a half to record the album. It took way too long, but it was good.

MR: That's because you guys were having too much fun.

BH: Yeah, I think it was one of those things where time can be a real burden sometimes when you've got lots of it. And as musicians, you're always perfectionists, so there were always extra little bits we wanted to put in there while having a blast. It was the hardest thing I've ever done, but the most rewarding as well. It was an epic experience.

MR: "Old Pine" starts with this beautiful guitar piece as if you were listening to, excuse my comparison here, an Alex De Grassi album. Then the vocals come in and sets us straight on that, but also sets up the mood of the album. What was the inspiration for the writing and creation of "Old Pine?"

BH: "Old Pine" is a song about memories, really. It's a song about being younger and a bit freer with plans and life and stuff and the real life responsibilities haven't hit yet. It was a song I wrote about a trip I did as a kid, and it was that first little bit of independence. I was sort of fiercely independent as a kid. We went to France as a camping trip and nearly got killed by a pine tree, so I guess that's sort of the loose basis around it. But it's a song about friends when you're a kid, and going away and just getting loose, you know? We went away for about six weeks when I was sixteen and the song is fundamentally about that. The joy of being young at heart, really.

MR: May I ask how old you are now?

BH: I'm twenty-five now.

MR: Twenty-Five.

BH: Older by the day. I've been trying to grow a mustache for the last three weeks, but it's not going very well.

MR: That's why they invented magic markers.

BH: Yeah, exactly. I think I'm going to need one. I thought at twenty-five years old, I'd be able to grow a beard or a mustache or something. I'm really struggling with it.

MR: (laughs) Ben, there are songs on this album that are inspiring, such as "Keep Your Head Up."

BH: That's probably one of the oldest songs on the record, if not the oldest. I was at university and in a little bit of a pickle at the time, when you're growing up you go through those little stages of falling out and going separate ways from people and learning how to deal with it, and it's just a song about that, really. It was a beautiful sunny day--I still remember the day clearly--I went out with a few friends on the Coast down in Cornwall and we found a new little place to hang out. It was just a song about how easy it is to fall into a really negative mindset and how easy it is to suddenly wake up from it.

MR: This is a gold album in the UK, and it debuted in the top ten. Impressive.

BH: Yeah, I think we got to number seven, which is pretty cool. Very unexpected.

MR: How do you explain such magic and mystery?

BH: I don't know. To be honest, I've just always concentrated on playing a lot of live shows. I love going out and playing music. I don't know how it all happened, to be honest. I never really focused on much of that. Let's put it down to luck. The only lucky thing in music is whether people get your music or not, and I think we were definitely lucky there. Let's put it down to Lady Luck.

MR: There's also your song, "The Fear." You do your shopping list of things that we all kind of fear or have some reservations about. Can you go into what motivated that one?

BH: I think "The Fear" was one of the first songs that I wrote while kind of being on tour. A lot of musicians write songs about being on tour and being away from loved ones and stuff like that. I think that was the first song that I wrote about being away. I just realized what you miss and your concerns about yourself. You get a bit self-reflective and a bit thoughtful when you have one of those little hotel room moments when you're like, "Wow, what am I doing here?" It's a song about questioning yourself and questioning your purpose. I think we all do it, like, what on Earth we're up to on this planet sort of thing. I think especially the musician. You always wonder why you get to be a musician. It's all transient. We've been to all these crazy places and seen all these crazy things. What's actually going on here, why am I here? I think that's what the song's about, really. Am I getting too deep and heavy on you?

MR: No, no, I understand, and I'm going to ask you a deep and heavy question based on what you just said, sir. Where do you put yourself in the whole scheme of things right now? Do you think you have a glimmer of what your purpose in this world is at this point?

BH: I feel pretty confident at the moment. I feel pretty happy just kind of rolling with it. It's a real privilege to be playing music for a living. I think a lot of people forget that. You see it in the UK music scene all the time, people who have just totally lost the plot and just take it for granted. Every now and then, you get a little glimpse of your purpose and you realize what it's all about. Most of the time, you're just trying to get on with things and do your own thing and hope people appreciate it. It's great to be able to travel the world and play music. Amazing, really.

MR: I love how you put it in the context of musicians, because I think there's a fear in the heart of every musician about not "making it," whatever that means these days. On the other hand, they continue to persevere, just like you do.

BH: Yeah, it's funny, when you get to go to so many places and you see how many people just sort of crack on with their own thing. It doesn't matter what you do. We've all got these funny little jobs we do and we just entertain ourselves and amuse ourselves along the way. I think you've got to be confident carrying on and doing what you do and somehow, it'll make sense eventually.

MR: Can you give us a little background on "The Wolves?"

BH: We're going for the whole record here, this is fun! "The Wolves" is a song about frustration, and getting really frustrated with other people and kind of digging into that a little bit to try to figure out why. I always like having these kind of juxtaposed songs, like a real upbeat fun little hook and rhythm and then putting some sort of really serious content in there. I guess that's the sort of bones of the song, really.

MR: Now, you were on Jools Holland's show recently, right?

BH: Yeah, we played a couple of months ago. That was a childhood dream for me, that was a sort of Holy Grail. I've watched that program ever since I was a kid. That was a big moment.

MR: And also another big moment for you, in the States anyway, was that "Promise" was played on the show House.

BH: Yeah, I heard about that, that's really cool. To be honest, I don't watch that much TV, but it's amazing that it got so much recognition. That's one of my favorite tracks on the record. It's a funny one because the singles that usually come out are the more punchy songs on the record, so it was nice that that one got so much exposure. It's one of my favorites and it kind of definitely has a sentiment that's carried on through the whole record.

MR: I have to ask you my traditional question for all artists, which is what is your advice for new artists?

BH: My advice. Ooh, I don't know. I never feel privileged enough to be in that position.

MR: Are there any basics that you've come across in your own career that you would share with others?

BH: I think it sort of boils down to two things. One is play as much as possible. Just play gigs and learn your music and learn your style and where you want to be and what you want to play. Something that comes into that is be true to yourself, play music that you want to play. Don't write a song because someone says that want you to write a song about grinding in a club or something like that. The other one is take things as they come. I think music -- especially when you start gigging and traveling around -- it becomes a pretty twisted and crazy place at the best of times and you just try and keep quite focused and you just try to keep quite steady about things and take them as they come and not let all the other things rattle you. Just carry on and make sure you're happy in your own skin with it.

MR: Ben, I imagine you'll be touring the states for support of the album, right?

BH: We're back on the road in September. We've got quite a lot of shows in the States and we're really looking forward to it. It's our first bus tour in America and it's going to be fun, yeah.

MR: I believe you're playing Washington, New York, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Vancouver...

BH: ... all over the shop. It's going to be a good laugh. September in America, it's going to be a beautiful time of the year to tour.

MR: Yeah, and you're popping back and forth between Canada.

BH: Yeah, we pop into Canada. I get good vibes off of Canada. It always seems pretty chill up there. I know the Americans give them quite a hard time.

MR: I think we just have a good time at their expense because they're like our little brother or something.

BH: Yeah, it's a funny relationship. It's like Australia and New Zealand. New Zealand always seems to be the little brother of Australia.

MR: Right. Hey, I really want to thank you, Ben Howard. Congratulations on your debut in the United States, Every Kingdom. I wish you the best.

BH: Thanks a lot man, thanks for having me. Cheers!

MR: Cheers.

1. Old Pine
2. Diamonds
3. The Wolves
4. Everything
5. Only Love
6. The Fear
7. Keep Your Head Up
8. Black Flies
9. Gracious
10. Promise

Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne