1. Hi Ben, can you tell me a little bit about yourself before you became a country artist/songwriter?
I’m originally from a small town outside of Boston, MA called Acton-Boxborough. I have a background in Performing Arts and Classical Music/Opera and I got a BA in Music-Theatre from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. But, honestly, living in Nashville and working to where I am today has been my Graduate School of sorts. I lived in Massachusetts for most of my life prior to making the move to Nashville in January 2015. I also LOVE animals & our military and currently working to promote adoptions at animal shelters for dogs/cats as well as veterans interests. I’ve been performing for our military because I appreciate their sacrifices to this country, and animals have always been there to make me happy, so I want to give back to both causes.
2. Who are some of your musical icons?
Some of the artists I admire the most are Chris Stapleton, Toby Keith, Brothers Osborne, Phil Vassar, Vince Gill, The Allman Brothers, Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks and Blake Shelton to name just a few! I first heard of Chris Stapleton back when he was a part of the Bluegrass group called the Steeldrivers and ever since I heard his voice I was an instant fan! Toby Keith’s “HONKYTONK UNVIERSITY” was the first Country album I ever bought.
3. When did you become a fan of country music and how did you know you wanted a career in it?
I first fell in love with country around the age of 12 years old. I was going to a family reunion in upstate New York and my parents bought me a bunch of CDs for the ride. I was listening to a compilation CD of Country ranging from the 60’s-90’s. Tracy Byrd’s song “Watermelon Crawl” and “Third Rate Romance” by Sammy Kershaw were the first Country songs that got me hooked on the genre! I’ve been singing since I was 11, but I knew I wanted to get into Country Music around High School while I was juggling my education and during my time in Choirs/Musical Theatre/Drama.
4. How did you come up with your debut EP name “Cesare’s Palace?”
Well! Haha! My last name is “Cesare” (spelled differently, but pronounced the same as The Salad or Roman Emperor) and I had an idea about how my band and I don’t need a lot of fancy things in life to be happy. Just our music and playing together. We decided to have my Album photoshoot at a popular, but hidden gem of a dive bar in Nashville called “Santa’s Pub.” It’s a double-wide Trailer that the owner, nicknamed “Santa”, turned into a Karaoke and Live Music Dive Bar. All of the artwork on the album was shot in the Men’s bathroom of the bar and as you can see, the walls are completely covered in graffiti which my band and I thought was cool looking!! Caesar’s Palace in Vegas is big, ritzy and caters to the rich and famous. Nashville has been my “Cesare’s Palace” for the last 3.5 years. The city of Nashville caters to people of all backgrounds. I don’t need fancy things to be happy. Just good friends, family, and great music!
5. What is your favorite song off your new EP?
Its a tie between DAMN YANKEE and SHE’S ALL WOMAN. I moved here from Boston and that makes me a Yankee Boy! I wanted to write a song to represent people like myself from North of The Mason Dixon Line. When you visit places like Nashville or Charleston SC, you’re just a “yankee” passing through. But when you MOVE to places like Nashville, you’re a DAMN yankee and I aint fixin’ to leave Nash anytime soon! I wanted to write a song that took that term and flip it into a clever song with a tongue-in-cheek view of the term. SHE’S ALL WOMAN is one of the songs I get into the most because its bluesy and rocky! I wrote that song loosely based off my fiancé! One day she treats me like a King and the next day she wants to rip my head off, haha! But I love her entirely for the woman she is, hence the title, SHE’S ALL WOMAN! Almost all relationships are like that. If ours was too perfect, that’d be concerning, haha!
6. If you could sing a duet with another singer or group who would it be and why?
That’s a tough one, but Chris Stapleton, Toby Keith, Brothers Osborne, Vince Gill & Garth Brooks for the guys. For women, I’d love to collaborate with Allison Krauss, Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland, Natalie Stovall, Maren Morris and Shania Twain (I have a crush on Shania, haha).
7. Is there anything new coming up with your music for the rest of 2018?
Right now I am just focusing on the EP release, booking more performances in the East Coast and continuing my radio tours to promote both the EP and my current single DAMN YANKEE. I’ll be out in IOWA and WISCONSIN Monday to Thurs of next week and details as to where I’ll be visiting will be on my social media pages “@BENCESAREBAND” on Instagram and Twitter, facebook.com/bencesareband and www.bencesareband.com.
8. Where do you see your career in the next 5 to 10 years?
I am an independent artist, so right now hopefully working with a record label will be in the near future! Playing all over the country/world and continuing to hear my music played on the radio. All of this and continued hard work will pay off and hopefully become a member of The Grand Ole Opry and earn a place amongst my idols. I love this genre of music and I hope that my brand and style of country will help continue to show how great Country Music is and resonates with fans.
9. What is one of your favorite quotes?
“THE DIVINE RIGHT TO CONQUER IS YOURS” -Ancient Roman Writer I love it because I am primarily Italian with Roman ancestry and it’s a historical form of self motivation! There are a lot of hurdles and obstacles in the music business and I am doing my best each day to climb and overcome them to where I want to be.
- Ben Cesare Band plays their newest single “Damn Yankee” on the Music City Light Stage during a taping of Today in Nashville.