Ben Seretan/The Cowardly Lionel

Group type:
Mostly solo with electric guitar (still loud!!), sometimes acoustic (banjo?!), a lot of times with friends helping me out on drums or whatever I decide on a whim.

How many instruments can you play, and what are they?
No comment!

You’re in a lot of music groups on campus, with styles ranging from gamelan to punk. What’s your solo material like, musically and lyrically?
Musically, I tend to have a Neil Young, Modest Mouse, or My Morning Jacket slant, but sometimes I do some experimental pieces incorporating noise, and I am prone to doing Talking Heads covers. It depends on the venue. Lyrically, I don’t really know, I think I might be cryptic to a fault. Perhaps it is best to let them speak for themselves: “Revolution, please roll back your eyes/Skin blink shudder, won’t you draw them shut?/On this mishap, sorrow synthesized/Brain waves flutter, burning in my gut/Hey! Wait up!”

What’s your proudest musical moment?
Opening for prog-rock Gods SPOCK’S BEARD at the Galaxy with my band in high school. I’m not really into the Beard, but I saw Ted Leo and Gwar
perform on that same stage, so that was pretty cool.

Why should people come see you perform?
Because I shred and give head. What? I guess I jump around and scream a lot, and I try really hard, even if I’m all by myself. Also, my shows are always different. I’m working on an all-banjo set, and I just started writing parts for horns and strings. Plus, I always try to play a cool variety of other people’s songs. Woody Guthrie, Pavement, Mountain Goats, Wilco, Velvet Underground, Prince, etc.

What do you like about playing solo over playing with a group?
It puts less distance between the audience and what I’m doing on stage and gives it sort of a cool, informal feeling. Also, because I try to get other people to help me out, it gives me the opportunity to play with lots of other musicians. Also, I like to think that everyone knows that everything that’s happening on stage comes from one place (me).

Upcoming shows/place to learn more:
I have a few tunes at, but they’re from last year. I don’t really have a centralized information center yet, but maybe I’ll make a Facebook group or something. I want to start playing impromptu shows in strange places, like the CFA tunnels, Indian Hill, or your room. Plus, if you are planning a show, I’m just one dude, so I’m easy to book.

David Byrne?
Don’t take the lord’s name in vain.

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