Ben Tourkantonis is a familiar face to the darkwave and industrial music scene. His ability to play behind a variety of frontmen shows that he is a unique musician and someone to keep your eye on. He took a moment out of his busy tour schedule with William Control to answer a few questions with Infectious Magazine. See the full interview after the jump and don’t forget to purchase a CD here and buy concert tickets here.
Infectious Magazine: You’ve toured with Grendel, Ludovico Technique and others and now with William Control. Do you switch your style of drumming with each different group or keep it the same?
Ben Tourkantonis: Switching styles is essential to what I do. Each artist that I work with has a different writing style, so the drum parts are always a little different, Especially in electronic music because the drums are usually programmed by someone who is not a drummer. On the flip side, I do have a consistent personal style that I bring to each gig that separates me from other drummers.
IM: After tour is done, are you planning on staying with William Control or doing something else?
BT: William Control is definitely something I want to stay with. This summer I am performing at Terminus Festival with Grendel and Azar Swan and Aftermath Festival with WC. There is another big gig I have coming up this fall, but I can’t elaborate right now. Lets just say I have a ton of songs to learn this summer!
IM: A handful of allegations have come out recently about male members of other bands being inappropriate with their female fans. Obviously, fans can be a little intense at times, but how do you ensure your interactions with fans aren’t misconstrued?
BT: When interacting with people at shows or on social media I keep things platonic and respectful. Ya know, talk about cats and shit.
IM: In an interview from this past October, you said that you were excited to go to Athens. Was it everything you expected it to be?
BT: Hah! I forgot about that. Looking back, that entire overseas tour was a great experience and I’m glad I did it but the entire time I was completely stressed out and couldn’t really enjoy being in Europe. Its kind of a blur of venues, carbonated water, mystery meat, shitty weather and waiting on one of the members of Combichrist to stop hogging the backstage toilet.
The day of the Athens show followed this insane travel day from Bulgaria (I think?) and by the time we got to the city it was already nightfall and we were 4 hours behind schedule (no time to see anything). You know the joke about how all Greek men are either named Nicky or George? Literally the two dudes who owned the venue were called “The Two Georges” and every time we needed something the response was “Nicky will get it for you” but it was a different guy each time.
The venue was this small fetish club that was packed to the gills with people. They gave us the upstairs bar for a dressing room which had a plexiglass floor overlooking the stage. During our set, Brent from CC stripped down to his boxers and started rolling around on the plexiglass above us. It made for an Instagram update fit for the Gods! The night ended with us showering in this dudes apartment who was watching BDSM porn when we walked in. I spilled coconut oil all over his tub… sorry dude.
IM: What major changes do you see happening in the music industry within the next few years? Anything you want to be a part of?
BT: A big change I see is the deterioration of Genres. I notice people using words like “punk” “metal” “goth” “pop” “electronic” etc as merely an adjective to describe a band rather than a defining characteristic. I think William Control is definitely part of that; an act that is too Rock to be labeled Electronic and too Electronic to be labeled rock.
IM: Fans have seen you on the road playing drums, but have you recorded music with bands?
BT: Yes check out “Exploiting Our Dreams” by The Amatory Murder
IM: How do you stay sane on the road while you’re away from friends and family?
BT: I make horrible horrible horrible jokes/puns and look up memes all day.
IM: You’ve mentioned that every time you go on tour, you get offered another opportunity to perform with another group. What is a dream band that you would like to tour with?
BT: I would love to tour with a major Pop or HipHop act!
IM: What is something that fans might not know about you and your bandmates? Any habits or weird pre-show rituals?
Nothing interesting, Will and Kenny usually grab a smoke before show time and I like to stretch.
IM: Is there anything else you would like to add about you or William Control?
BT: Nothing other than stay tuned, we have some big announcements coming this summer, and be sure to check out the support acts on The Punishment Tour: Requiem and Justin Symbol