Ben Varon is a Finnish guitarist and the founder of Oceanhoarse. He is also known from bands like Amoral, Alcyona Sky, Grease Helmet, Tornado and Panorama. Here are “Ten Questions” by Ben Varon!
What made you want to become a musician?
Slash. I’ve told this story many times, but it was seeing Slash rise from the ocean while playing a solo in the “Estranged” video that totally blew my mind, and showed me that playing guitar is the coolest thing in the world!
How would you describe your music?
We describe Oceanhoarse as Heavy Fucking Metal. We mix all the elements that we love from all the different metal genres, and do our best to come up with our own version of it. But it definitely is heavy metal, there’s no question about it. Distorted, chugging guitars, searing solos, aggressive vocals and fat drums are in my blood, and there’s no other style of music that gives me the same rush that metal does!
If you could change anything about the music industry, what would it be?
Well, naturally I’d love to see some more fairness towards the artist when it comes to compensation for the work. Having all the music in the world in your pocket for 10 euros a month is an amazing deal for the consumer (myself included!), but not a very sustainable business model, unfortunately.
What is the saddest song you’ve ever heard?
I’m very much a product of the 90’s, so I love moody, depressing music in general, haha. I guess it’d have to be either “Estranged” by Guns N’ Roses, or “Nutshell” by Alice in Chains. Both songs give the listener an overwhelming sense of loneliness.
What is your best music related memory?
Oh man, there’s so many… Music has given me so much, both as a fan and as a musician. But if I had to choose one, it might be seeing Metallica (who I was obsessed with as a kid) live for the first time in 1996. The gig happened to be on my 13th birthday, and I just remember losing my mind when the band came on.
What is the most useless talent you have?
I’m pretty good at coming up with really bad jokes ands puns on almost any subject right on the spot!
What’s the best piece of advice another musician ever gave you?
Always fix yourself a sandwich or two from the catering during the day for later. Nothing worse than being hungry as hell at 1:30am after the show, with nothing to eat backstage and no restaurants open anywhere in the area!
Has there been one particular moment in your musical career that you’re most proud of?
Again, there’s been so many. There are a lot of songs I’me super proud to have written. And the feeling of finishing an album that you truly feel is the best thing you’ve ever done, that’s always a high point.
What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
I’ve thought about that one many times throughout the years, and still haven’t found an answer! Maybe I’d be a scuba diving instructor, as I can’t get enough of the underwater world.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Right here in Helsinki! I love to travel and tour, but in all honesty, Helsinki and Finland in general is a great place to live.